The Phillies went to the World Series last year, and the Mets have become the biggest spenders in baseball.
But don’t forget who the class of the division has been the last half decade.
The Braves roll into the 2023 campaign having won the National League East each of the last five years. That’s no small accomplishment in a division that has gotten increasingly competitive.
But for all the attention teams elsewhere in the division got, the Braves are still the betting favorite in the East. They’ve got a loaded lineup, a rotation that has elite talent, and a complete bullpen to boot.
Atlanta slugger Matt Olson put it well on Audacy’s “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast.
“The best part is we’ve got a damn good team here,” Olson said. “Top to bottom, lineup 1-9, starting pitching, bullpen, staff. It’s pretty impressive what we’ve got. I think if we just go out and play our game, we’ll be in a good spot at the end.”
Despite winning the division in 2022, the Braves were bounced by the Phillies 3-1 in the NLDS. Although teams might rapidly be closing in on Atlanta in the East, until it relinquishes its yearslong stranglehold on the division, the Braves the rightful favorites.