2024 Division Outlook: NL East

One league and five divisions down, leaving us with one last division to preview. The 2024 season has begun and with that, we'll wrap up the division preview series. Now, we come home to the familiar National League East, a top-heavy division in 2024 with some intriguing competition.
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Welcome back to the final round of the division preview series, this time heading back home to the East Cost portion of the NL and tackling the familiar National League East. The NL East is a very top heavy division, with a lot of talent living in the top two or three teams in the division. The Braves are obviously the favorites, but the Phillies are only a couple years removed off a World Series appearance. You never know what might happen in baseball, but the Mets, Marlins, and Nationals all look to be weaker squads this season. With that being said, the division looks to be competitive at the top, with a chunk of talent to be showcased. Now, let's dive in and preview the National League East for the 2024 season.

Atlanta Braves

Andruw Jones, Ronald Acuña Jr., Ryan Howard
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Key Additions
- LHP Chris Sale
- RHP Reynaldo Lopez
- OF Jarred Kelenic
- LHP Aaron Bummer

Key Loses
- OF Eddie Rosario
- RHP Kirby Yates
- RHP Kyle Wright
- RHP Michael Soroka

The Atlanta Braves have won the National League East in each of the last six seasons, and look to continue that elite trend this season. They have the roster to do so, losing some of their role players but keeping all of their stars and adding good pieces throughout the offseason. There is little reason to not trust Brian Snitker's squad in 2024, but the injury of Spencer Strider is a major storyline to keep an eye on.

The lethal attack of the Atlanta Braves lineup will return in 2024, as their offensive core is up there in the elite level in all of baseball. Their offensive core consists of Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Matt Olson. Acuna is obviously coming off his 2023 MVP campaign, where we saw him become the first player ever to reach 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases in a single season. The sky is the limit for the former MVP and his bat is a big reason behind Atlanta's recent success. Matt Olson had an insane power surge last year, clubbing 54 long balls in his second season in Atlanta. Albies and Riley have become additional consistent run producers in the heart of Atlanta's lineup. That group is just the top four of the offensive attack, as Atlanta then turns to Marcell Ozuna, Michael Harris II, and Orlando Arcia. With Sean Murphy already on the shelf, Travis d'Arnaud will take on the bulk of the catching duties for Atlanta to begin the season, but he has proven he is more than capable of handling that role. Offseason acquisition Jarred Kelenic wraps up the lineup for the Braves, as he enters the season in a platoon-type role split with Adam Duvall.

On the pitching side of things, the Braves have already taken a massive hit with Spencer Strider hitting the IL. The extent of his injury is still unknown, but we have already seen a couple aces go down this season with similar injuries that needed Tommy John surgery, so hopefully Strider doesn't fall into that hole. The Braves rotation can still be good, but losing your ace that is also a top 5 pitcher in baseball will only ever hurt a team. Max Fried will take over as the ace, a role he owned before Strider. Chris Sale, looking for a fully healthy season, will follow suit as the number two guy behind Fried, as Charlie Morton and Reynaldo Lopez wrap up the current rotation. It will be interesting to see if the Braves look internally or externally for their number five starter now, but the Braves pitching staff as a big hole to climb out of now. While Strider's health is obviosuly a glaring concern, the Braves still have the team to take home the NL East crown once again.

Team MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr.

Team Cy Young: Max Fried

Team X-Factor: Spencer Strider's health

The Nationals will host the Braves for a four game series from June 6-9, and a two game set from September 10-11. The Nats will then head down to visit Atlanta for sets from May 27-30 and August 23-25.