Prior to Opening Day, I noted that “the National League East is poised to be Major League Baseball’s most competitive division in 2021.” One month into the regular season, all five teams are clustered together within two games of each other in the standings! The Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals and Phillies are loaded with established and emerging stars, and they’re led by ownership groups that are determined to win.
Eventually, though, we will see some separation. That’s where SimBull comes in—knowledgeable sports fans can invest in any individual NL East team now and profit later once they consistently pile up wins. Create your SimBull account to trade for yourself. Enter promo code FISHSTRIPES when making your first deposit for a $10 bonus.
How is the SimMLB market reacting to what we’ve seen from this division so far?
Current Price: $31.79
The Braves are wrapping up an inconsistent April that has included multiple four-game losing streaks. Ronald Acuña Jr. is playing at an MVP level, but many of their other core players have fallen short of the standards they set last season. Interestingly, Atlanta stumbled out of the starting gate with a 5-8 record—all of that in intradivision matchups—before straightening themselves out against non-NL East competition.
Left-hander Max Fried will have a huge impact on where the Braves go from here. Currently sidelined with a hamstring strain, he could potentially rejoin their starting rotation next week. If he’s anywhere close to the guy we saw in 2020 (2.25 ERA, 3.10 FIP in 56.0 IP) and avoids additional injuries, this club has the potential to repeat as division champs.
Current Price: $27.00
The depth on Miami’s active roster has been drained by injuries. Within days of the season opener, their starting rotation thinned out with the losses of top prospect Sixto Sánchez and slider specialist Elieser Hernandez. More recently, Starling Marte, Brian Anderson and Jazz Chisholm Jr.—their three most well-rounded position players—all landed on the IL (though Anderson is on the verge of returning). The Marlins have been patching things together with internal options, but the truly impactful prospects in the pipeline aren’t quite ready yet.
Anybody investing in SimMarlins should be playing the long game. If their injury luck turns around and the front office uses their financial flexibility to pursue midsummer upgrades from outside the organization, they could make it back to the postseason. Regardless, Miami’s outlook for 2022 and beyond is very bright.
Current Price: $36.50
SimMets is up 13.50% since Opening Day despite a mildly disappointing month. New York has found creative ways to lose most of Jacob deGrom’s brilliant starts. Also, newly added superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor isn’t living up to the back of his baseball card yet, even triggering boos from the fans who were initially so excited to have him in blue and orange. However, the rest of the NL East has not seized this opportunity to create any sort of cushion between themselves and the projected division title favorites.
The Mets have struggled in games away from Citi Field (3-6, minus-22 run differential). That’s worth mentioning because they have upcoming series versus the Phillies, Braves and Marlins that are all on the road. If they are at or slightly above .500 following that tough stretch and finally get veteran Carlos Carrasco acclimated to their rotation, it would be an easier decision to invest in them.
Current Price: $27.24
The Nats haven’t won more than two straight games at any point. The vaunted top of their rotation has given them nothing outside of Max Scherzer, plus Juan Soto (out since April 19 due to a shoulder strain) is obviously irreplaceable.
On the bright side, they are MLB’s most-improved defensive team from last season. More so than anybody else in the NL East, you can count on them to swap minor league talent for proven vets if they have a shot to contend.
SimNationals is worth monitoring.
Current Price: $25.67
The Phillies have been arguably the most fortunate team in the division from a health standpoint. They have had lots of continuity in their batting order (though several regulars are underachieving) and clear improvement in their bullpen (though there was really nowhere to go but up from 2020’s trainwreck).
My analysis now is the same as it was entering the season: SimPhillies is undervalued. There is a decent chance that the organization won’t be deep enough to withstand possible absences from their stars, but considering the share price, this is low risk/high reward.