The National League East is poised to be Major League Baseball’s most competitive division in 2021. The Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals and Phillies organizations are loaded with established and emerging stars, and they’re led by ownership groups that are determined to win.
With the beginning of the MLB regular season just days away, how does the public feel about the NL East? Let’s check in with each team’s price on SimBull, the Stock Market for Sports.
Initial offerings for SimMLB shares opened earlier this month and the market went fully live on March 23. Create your SimBull account to trade for yourself and remember to enter promo code fishstripes when making your first deposit for a $10 bonus.
The three-time defending division champs predictably have the most expensive NL East share price as of Monday morning. At $30.96, SimBraves is fifth-highest on the SimMLB market, trailing only SimDodgers, SimYankees, SimPadres and SimTwins.
The back end of Atlanta’s bullpen is more vulnerable following the departures of Mark Melancon and Shane Greene. They’re also lacking in bench depth now that Nick Markakis has retired. Investing in SimBraves was an easy call at the initial offering of $27.63, but now that the price has soared 12%, proceed with caution.
The Fish impressed during spring training with a major league-best 14-5-5 record, led by their dominant young pitching staff. But as has been the question throughout their rebuild (now entering its fourth season), will they score enough runs to legitimately contend in the NL East? The SimMLB market is still in wait-and-see mode, apparently.
A key to Miami’s 2020 success was the flexibility to start powerful run producers Garrett Cooper and Jesús Aguilar together on a regular basis thanks to the universal designated hitter rule. For the moment, MLB and the players’ union have been unable to agree to implement that for 2021. However, a last-minute change of heart would be very advantageous for this club. Put SimMarlins on your watch list just in case.
The Mets were more active than any other team in the division last offseason, addressing several key roster weaknesses under the leadership of new deep-pocketed owner Steve Cohen. Acquired from Cleveland in a blockbuster trade, perennial All-Star Francisco Lindor excelled against Grapefruit League competition (1.046 OPS in 58 PA) and has hundreds of millions of reasons to perform at his best in 2021 as a pending free agent.
Cohen confirms that he and Lindor are engaged in contract extension talks that would keep the talented shortstop in Queens. Although no individual player can single-handedly vault their team into championship contention year after year, investing in SimMets now before the ink is dry on Lindor’s mega deal could be an efficient long-term play.
The SimNationals price hasn’t budged in either direction since March 10. Washington won the World Series in the most recent full-length MLB season (2019) and still rosters key contributors from that run such as Max Scherzer, Juan Soto and Stephen Strasburg. On the other hand, the club’s depth is shaky at most positions. There is a lot of risk here.
The Nats could very plausibly win the NL East this season, but you’ll want to closely monitor the first few starts from Scherzer, Strasburg and Patrick Corbin to make sure the quality of their stuff hasn’t diminished with age.
A decade removed from their last season with an above-.500 record, the Phillies brought in the notoriously aggressive Dave Dombrowski as their lead front office executive. On paper, they have an awesome lineup, and the bullpen can’t possibly be as bad as it was in 2020.
Count on Dombrowski to seek additional upgrades as the summer progresses. For the time being, SimPhillies seems to be undervalued at $24.64.