National League East
MLB National League East 2022
The NL East should continue to excite in 2022. Not only will they have the reigning World Series champions in the Atlanta Braves, but the division is loaded with talent.
Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna Jr., Bryce Harper, Jacob deGrom, Francisco Lindor, J.T. Realmuto, Austin Riley, Max Fried, and others will look to lead their teams to the top of the standings.
Currently, the Braves have the seventh-best odds of winning the World Series again in 2022; however, everyone in the division could make an argument that they will contend. That in itself should make for a great summer of baseball and an exciting battle in the NL East.
MLB National League East History
In 1969, in an effort to keep up with the increasing popularity of football, Major League Baseball decided to expand. Four additional clubs (Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres, Seattle Pilots) were added to the existing slate of teams.
The National League and American League opted to create divisions to accommodate the increased teams, with both leagues adopting an East and a West division. Thus, in 1969, the National League East was born.
When the NL East first started, there were a total of six teams. Three of those teams still reside in the division today in the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals). The other three teams (Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago Cubs) moved to the NL Central when the additional division was created in 1994.
In 1993, another expansion team was created, as the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) were added to the NL East. Finally, in 1994, when the other three teams moved to the NL Central, the Atlanta Braves were moved from the NL West to the NL East.
MLB National League East Championships
In the first 12 years of the division’s existence, the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Philadelphia Phillies combined to win every division title. In fact, the Pirates and Phillies won ten of those 12.
Despite not joining the division until 1994, the Atlanta Braves have won the most division titles in NL East history with 16. From 1995 to 2005, they won every single divisional crown.
Still, the Phillies (11), Pirates (nine), Mets (six), Nationals (five), Cardinals (three), and Cubs (two) have had some success in terms of winning the division. The only team that hasn’t won the division to this point is the Miami Marlins.
Even though they have never won the division, the Marlins have won two World Series (1997 and 2003) as a Wild Card team.
In terms of championships, every current NL East team has won at least one World Series title. The only other division that can claim that is the AL Central.
Since the division was created in 1969, the NL East has won a total of 12 World Series titles. Aside from the Nationals, each of the other four current teams has won the World Series twice. The Pirates also won it twice as part of the NL East, and both Washington and St. Louis have won the title a single time.
The most recent team to have won a title was the Atlanta Braves, who won it all in 2021. Jorge Soler was named the MVP of the World Series.
MLB National League East Top Players
Some of the greatest players to play the game, many of which are in the Hall of Fame, have played in the NL East. Players like Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Steve Carlton, Roy Halladay, Joe Torre, Willie Stargell, Mike Schmidt, Dale Murphy, Ryne Sandberg, Willie McGee, Andre Dawson, Terry Pendleton, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Andrew Jones, David Wright, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Piazza, Dwight Gooden, Barry Bond, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Curt Schilling, John Kruk, Pedro Martinez, Larry Walker, Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Cabrera, Gary Sheffield, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Fernandez, and others have represented the NL East in their careers.
Since the creation of the National League East in 1969, 21 players from the division have won the National League’s Most Valuable Player award. The Phillies have the most MVPs in that span, with six. The most recent from the division was Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021.
In terms of the National League Cy Young, the division featured 29 winners since its inception in 1969. The Mets and Phillies share the lead with seven winners apiece. The most recent winner was Jacob deGrom, who won it back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019.
Today, the stars still shine bright in the NL East. Here are just a few of the stars from the division this past season:
National League East Star Players:
- Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero – .311/.401/.601, 48 HR, 111 RBI, 123 R
- Braves: Austin Riley – .303/.367/.531, 33 HR, 107 RBI, 91 R
- Marlins: Jesus Aguilar – .261/.329/.459, 22 HR, 93 RBI, 49 R
- Mets: Pete Alonso – .262/.344/.519, 37 HR, 94 RBI, 81 R
- Nationals: Juan Soto – .313/.465/.534, 29 HR, 95 RBI, 111 R
- Phillies: Bryce Harper – .309/.429/.615, 35 HR, 84 RBI, 101 R, 13 SB
MLB National League East Top Managers
NL East teams have a long history of success, and some of that success can be attributed to legendary managers that have led teams in the division. Some of the most iconic include Bobby Cox, Whitey Herzog, Don Zimmer, Jim Leyland, Felipe Alou, Larry Bowa, Jack McKeon, Joe Girardi, and others.
In 1983, MLB started awarding the Manager of the Year award, and the NL East is no stranger to taking home those honors. In fact, since its inception, the honor has been won by an NL East manager 16 times.
The most recent award winner was Don Mattingly, who won it after leading the Miami Marlins to a second-place finish in the division in 2020.
Today, the division still hosts some of the best managers in the game, including Brian Snitker (Braves), Don Mattingly (Marlins), Joe Girardi (Phillies), and Dave Martinez (Nationals). In 2022, Buck Showalter will return to managing as he takes over the New York Mets position.