By Marc Lawrence — The Braves once won 14 division titles in a row, and now they’ve started another streak, with N.L. East crowns in each of the last three seasons.
Last year they fell one game short of the World Series and signed Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly to join Atlanta’s dynamic young starting rotation alongside Ian Anderson, Max Fried and Mike Soroka, who is working his way back from tearing his Achilles’ tendon. Their robust offense will provide plenty of support, with Ronald Acuna Jr., a strong candidate to follow Freddie Freeman as winner of the N.L.’s Most Valuable Player Award. The team’s .832 on-base plus slugging percentage in 2020 was the best in MLB…
Nobody in the NY Mets regular lineup is older than 30, and along with the trade for superstar SS Francisco Lindor, the team added starters in Marcus Stroman (who opted out of the 2020 season after joining the team via trade in 2019), Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker and Joey Lucchesi…
Rallying around their status as “bottom feeders”, the Miami Marlins crashed the playoff party last fall. The pitchers have electric stuff and the hitters can beat teams in several ways. Color them a sleeper in 2021…
Think the Dodgers aren’t loaded. Consider the Cy Young Award winners (Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, David Price) and M.V.P. winners (Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Kershaw) on the roster and then guess again.
For a preview on every team in the 2021 National League race this season, click here.
The number of strikeouts per nine innings by Brewers relievers in 2020, best among MLB bullpens.
Setting the table is a starting staff that saw five starters post ERAs of less than 4.00 this spring, led by Corbin Burnes’ 1.65 ERA with a 0.86 WHIP.
Burnes was a Cy Young candidate last season and finished with a 2.11 ERA, ranked only behind Trevor Bauer (1.73), Yu Darvish (2.01), and Dinelson Lamet (2.09).
If the Brew Crew’s bats come around this season they could find themselves as a true sleeper in the NL. Central this season.
Grinding Out The Profits
Still barred from playing in Canada, the Toronto Blue Jays will play home games this 2021 season at their spring training park in a cozy neighborhood in Dunedin, Florida.
They may return to Toronto at some point, but over a 162-game grind, the lack of a stable home base should find them craving their home park by season’s end.
The longer they play in Dunedin the more likely they are doomed.