By Sam Bush

Phillies opening day is just five days away — Thursday, March 28 at 3 pm at Citizens Bank Park.

And after a successful offseason, the Phillies are picked to win the National League East.

Here’s our preseason review:

1. PHILLIES

2018 | 80-82, 3rd in East

Last year in playoffs | 2011

No team loaded up this winter like the Phillies. They broke records with their 13-year, $330-million contract for Bryce Harper. They won the sweepstakes for catcher J.T. Realmuto. They also added shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson. Kept out of the playoffs since 2011, they might be the favorites to win the East.

Projected batting order

PlayerPosition
1. Andrew McCutchenRight field
2. Jean SeguraShortstop
3. Bryce HarperLeft field
4. Rhys HoskinsFirst base
5. J.T. RealmutoCatcher
6. Odubel HerreraCenter field
7. Maikel FrancoThird base
8. Cesar HernandezSecond base

Pitching

Pitching rotationThrows
Aaron NolaRight-handed
Jake ArrietaRight-handed
Nick PivettaRight-handed
Vince VelasquezRight-handed
Zach ElfinRight-handed
Closer
David RobertsonRight-handed
Setup
Seranthony DominguezRight-handed

2. WASHINGTON NATIONALS

2018 | 82-80, 2nd in East

Last year in playoffs | 2017

The perpetual underachievers, unable to get past the first round of the playoffs since moving to Washington, were undaunted this winter when facing Bryce Harper’s departure. The team responded by doling out $140 million to pitcher Patrick Corbin, while acquiring catchers Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes to shore up their receiving. They still boast phenomenal talent in pitcher Max Scherzer and budding star outfielder Juan Soto.

Projected batting order

PlayerPosition
1. Adam EatonRight field
2. Trea TurnerShortstop
3. Anthony RendonThird base
4. Juan SotoLeft field
5. Ryan ZimmermanFirst base
6. Brian DozierSecond base
7. Yan GomesCatcher
8. Victor RoblesCenter field

Pitching

Pitching rotationThrows
Max ScherzerRight-handed
Stephen StrasburgRight-handed
Patrick CorbinLeft-handed
Anibal SanchezRight-handed
Jeremy HellicksonRight-handed
Closer
Sean DoolittleLeft-handed
Setup
Trevor RosenthalRight-handed

3. NEW YORK METS

2018 | 77-85, 4th in East

Last year in playoffs | 2016

The arrival of new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, the former high-powered agent with CAA, infused life into the wayward franchise. Van Wagenen retooled the roster over the winter, adding all-star closer Edwin Diaz and second baseman Robinson Cano in a trade with Seattle. With Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard headlining their rotation, the Mets will try to ride their pitching back into the playoffs.

Projected batting order

PlayerPosition
1. Brandon NimmoCenter field
2. Michael ConfortoRight field
3. Robinson CanoSecond base
4. Wilson RamosCenter
5. Jeff McNeilThird base
6. Dom SmithFirst base
7. Juan LagaresLeft field
8. Amed RosarioShortstop

Pitching

Pitching rotationThrows
Jacob deGromRight-handed
Noah SyndergaardRight-handed
Zack WheelerRight-handed
Steven MatzLeft-handed
Jason VargasLeft-handed
Closer
Edwin DiazRight-handed
Setup
Jeurys FamiliaRight-handed

 

4. ATLANTA BRAVES

2018 | 90-72, 1st in East

Last year in playoffs | 2018

The Braves surprised the industry by winning 90 games and the National League East in 2018, buoyed to the top of the division by the emergence of National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr. Despite the success, the team largely stood pat this offseason as the rest of the East loaded up. Outside of a one-year contract for former MVP Josh Donaldson, the Braves are banking on repeat performances from their young players.

Projected batting order

PlayerPosition
1. Ender InciarteCenter field
2. Josh DonaldsonThird base
3. Freddie FreemanFirst base
4. Ronald Acuña, Jr.Left field
5. Nick MarkakisRight field
6. Ozzie AlbiesSecond base
7. Brian McCannCatcher
8. Dansby SwansonShortstop

Pitching

Pitching rotationThrows
Julio TeheranRight-handed
Kevin GausmanRight-handed
Sean NewcombLeft-handed
Touki ToussaintRight-handed
Mike FoltynewiczRight-handed
Closer
A.J. MinterLeft-handed
Setup
Arodys VizcainoRigh-handed

 

5. MIAMI MARLINS

2018 | 63-98, 5th in East

Last year in playoffs | 2003

Under the leadership of Derek Jeter, the Marlins remain in a perpetual rebuild. The latest star to be shipped out of town was catcher J.T. Realmuto, who joined an exodus begun the previous winter with the trades of outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly must prepare for another season in his division’s basement.

2019 Miami Marlins

Projected batting order

PlayerPosition
1. Curtis GrandersonLeft field
2. Brian AndersonThird base
3. Neil WalkerFirst base
4. Starlin CastroSecond base
5. Peter O’BrienRight field
6. Lewis BrinsonCenter field
7. JT RiddleShortstop
8. Jorge AlfaroCatcher

Pitching

Pitching rotationThrows
Jose UreñaRight-handed
Wei-Yin ChenLeft-handed
Dan StrailyRight-handed
Trevor RichardsRight-handed
Pablo LopezRight-handed
Closer
Drew SteckenriderRight-handed
Setup
Adam ConleyLeft-handed