5. The Phillies Are Good
The Phillies did the most of any NL East team this offseason. Bryce Harper was the flashy name, but the team added J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, and a host of others through trades and free agency. The Phillies are going for it this season.
That much is evident. And I know I said no overreactions, but the Phillies looked good yesterday. It was the Phillies, not the Nationals, who pushed the Braves last season for the division title. This year seems like the year the Phillies will overtake the Braves.
It’s still one game, so it’s not time to panic yet, but if the Braves offseason is compared to the Phillies, Atlanta is miles behind.
This Braves team barely squeaked out the division last season, due mostly to Ronald Acuna and a Phillies late-season collapse. The Braves can’t count on that to happen again. If the Braves have any hope of repeating as division champs, then they will have to play a lot better baseball the rest of the series and year.
The Braves feasted on NL East opponents last season, that’s how they were able to get out to such a big divisional lead last season. It doesn’t feel like the Braves will have that same fortune this year with the improvements the Phillies, Mets, and Nationals have made. If the Braves don’t pull it together quickly, they could find themselves near the bottom of the NL East this season.