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
5 of 5

Washington Nationals

CJ Abrams
Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

Key Additions
- 1B/OF Joey Gallo
- 3B Nick Senzel
- RHP Dylan Floro
- OF Eddie Rosario
- RHP Derek Law
- RHP Matt Barnes

Key Loses
- 1B Dom Smith

The Nationals are our team obviously, and with that, I won't spend too much time covering a team we are all relatively familiar with. The Nationals, now in year five of the rebuild, aim to do the same thing they did the past previous years - watch the young guys progress and continue to build to the future. The success will be hard to find this year in terms of wins and loses, but if the young guys improve and have their bright spots, then some can classify the year as a whole a success.

The Nationals lineup is comprised of young players that hope to be a part of the future, along with veterans hoping to keep their MLB careers alive. The main guy that will take a lot of the attention in the Nationals lineup will be young stud CJ Abrams. The young shortstop has shown his speed and athleticism throughout his young professional career, but looks to take that next big step in 2024 and improve in all areas of his game. Abrams shines when he pulls the ball in the air, and has seemed to already make some progression in that direction this year. More consistently smart swing decisions with increased elevation of the ball will directly lead to increased Abrams success, as he can create havoc when he gets on base. Keibert Ruiz, Luis Garcia Jr., and Trey Lipscomb join Abrams in that category, as all three could be pieces of the future. Ruiz and Garcia have each shown their ability to drive the ball at times, but can't seem to put it together at a consistent rate, putting them in a tough spot with their defensive woes on top of it all. Lane Thomas looks to repeat his great 2023 season, although it does look to be a tall task. Veterans Joey Gallo, Jesse Winker, Joey Meneses, and Eddie Rosario make up the rest of the lineup, as the veterans all look to contribute somewhere and potentially find themselves somewhere else after the deadline. While on the shelf now, Victor Robles and Stone Garrett should be fun additions when they are healthy and ready to come back.

On the pitching side, there are some, but few, bright spots to watch for the Nationals. MacKenzie Gore has ace potential written all over him, but it is up to Jim Hickey and the Nationals development system to tap into that talent. The flashes are there, but can Gore keep it all together and remain consistent is the question. 2023 All Star Josiah Gray is off to a horrid start this year, and now unfortunately finds himself on the IL with an elbow and foreman issue. Jake Irvin is another young arm to keep an eye on, as the tall right hander showed his fair share of potential throughout the 2023 campaign as well. Cade Cavalli aims to come back around July, as the former top Nationals pitching prospect hopes to have a strong second half of the year to build into next year with. Veterans Patrick Corbin and Trevor Williams wrap up the rotation for now, and I'd rather not speak on either of them. Funny enough, despite being an overall weak team in 2024, the Nationals look to have a decent bullpen. Kyle Finnegan and Hunter Harvey will hold things down on the back end, with arms like Jordan Weems, Dylan Floro, Derek Law, and Matt Barnes holding down the middle innings. Overall, it is once again a rebuilding season for the Nationals, as they look more towards the future and building for that time.

Team MVP: CJ Abrams

Team Cy Young: MacKenzie Gore

Team X-Factor: Josiah Gray

The National League East looks to be a top-heavy division in 2024, with the Braves and Phillies fighitng it out at the top. The Mets have a roster that might be able to compete, and the Marlins went to the postseason last year, but neither of the teams look too strong in a more competitive NL playoff picture. The Nationals will hopefully take strides forward, like they did last year, but won't quite reach the competitive window yet. To wrap everything up, here are my division predictions for the NL East in 2024:

1. Atlanta Braves (99-63)
2. Philadelphia Phillies (91-71)
3. New York Mets (80-82)
4. Miami Marlins (79-83)
5. Washington Nationals (71-91)