Featured in this article:
  • Despite winning last 4 NL Divisions and last year's World Series, the Braves opened as second favorites to win NL East Division at +275
  • NY Mets -175 favorite to win NL East
  • Mets owner Steve Cohen has second largest payroll in MLB, and will likely spend more to acquire a trade if necessary

3 Minute Read

Atlanta Braves' Kyle Wright pitches during the first inning in the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The red-hot New York Mets are NL East favorites.

The Atlanta Braves are defending World Series champions and have won the National League East Division four straight years. They should have opened as favorites to win it again this year.

However, the Braves are much closer to last place than first as of May 4 and arguably the best team in the National League thus far has been the New York Mets. They are now -175 second favorites to win the NL East for the first time since 2015 and also +800 second favorites to win their first World Series since that memorable 1986 team of Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter & Co.

jacob degrom pitching for ny mets

Mets Still Will Add DeGrom

What should worry other teams in the NL is that the Mets’ Steve Cohen is easily the richest owner in Major League Baseball, and he hasn’t been afraid to spend money. The Mets have the No. 2 payroll currently at about $260 million and Cohen is going to go spend more to acquire a trade piece if necessary.

What also should worry other teams in the NL is that the best starting pitcher on the planet, two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, hasn’t even taken the mound yet for the Mets due to injury and probably won’t until June. Yet New York starters have a 2.69 ERA, fourth-best in the majors. Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer has been as good as advertised after signing a big free-agent contract, Carlos Carrasco is having a huge bounce-back yet, and Tylor Megill has become an unlikely Cy Young candidate.

The Mets are so good and well-financed that they recently released potential future Hall of Famer Robinson Cano and will simply eat the remaining $40 million or so on his contract.

Atlanta is +275 to win the division again despite sitting well below .500 The Braves did recently get back star outfielder and MVP candidate Ronald Acuna from a torn ACL suffered last July, so they could take off once Acuna gets into a rhythm. The rotation has been moderately disappointing – Charlie Morton has an ERA near 7.00 – even with Kyle Wright emerging into an ace.

The Philadelphia Phillies (+700) are a maddening team as they seem to play well against the good teams and lose to the bad ones. Manager Joe Girardi might be on the hottest seat in the NL. Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper really hasn’t gotten going at the plate, but pitchers seem way ahead of hitters around MLB in the early going perhaps because of the shortened spring training.

The Miami Marlins (+1000) have promise with a very good young pitching staff, but they aren’t winning the NL East. Neither are the Washington Nationals (+25000), who are in full rebuild mode around young superstar Juan Soto.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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