NL East roundtable: Who will win MLB's most revamped division?
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With Opening Day around the corner, theScore's MLB editors Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb, Tom Ruminski, and Brandon Wile answer some of the biggest questions about the National League East.

Who is the most exciting player in the division?

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Bryce Harper. There's been a target on Harper's back ever since landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a teenager, and that's only been amplified heading into this season after he inked the richest free-agent contract in the history of baseball. Harper joins a vastly improved Phillies team, but he's been on elite teams before that failed to win a playoff series. Not only will Harper be judged on his individual performance, but how the team does over the course of his contract will go a long way in writing his legacy in Philadelphia. The fact that Harper signed within Washington's division only adds to the intrigue. Imagine if the Nationals finally win their first playoff series after Harper signs elsewhere. - Wile

Trea Turner. A lot of people are going to point to Juan Soto here, and rightfully so. The teenage sensation is going to be phenomenal to watch in his sophomore season, especially now that he's got the full spotlight in D.C. with Harper gone. But this honor goes to Turner, who's poised to turn some heads. Very quietly, Turner has started to morph into not only a fantastic leadoff man, but the game's next great stolen-base threat. Last year, he led the NL with 43 steals and was caught just nine times, while also posting career highs in homers, doubles, hits, runs, and on-base percentage. Expect more of the same in 2019, as manager Dave Martinez has said he believes Turner can steal 70-plus bases and wants him to "run wild" out of the leadoff spot. If last year's growth is any indication, Turner will improve his stolen base numbers, OBP, and walk rate in 2019 to start becoming a well-rounded hitter. That kind of leadoff man is a rare find in today's game. - Sharkey-Gotlieb

Ronald Acuna Jr. This toolsy 21-year-old phenom impacts the game in so many different ways while captivating fans with his otherworldly skills, energy, and fire. Acuna could hit 35-plus home runs this season after collecting 26 in just 111 games in his rookie year to go along with a .293/.366/.552 slash line. Acuna can also be a force with his legs, as he stole 16 bases in 21 attempts, making a 30-30 season this year a very real possibility. He has good instincts in the outfield as a natural center fielder playing left field and has a big arm and a flair for dramatic catches. If all goes well for the Braves this year, this should be the guy raising the NL MVP trophy. - Ruminski

What is the most intriguing storyline to watch?

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How will the Braves fare with greater expectations? Cinderella's slipper fit the Braves perfectly in 2018 when they walked to an NL East title. They didn't sit back and bask in the glory of that success for long, as general manager Alex Anthopoulos brought former MVP Josh Donaldson on board. The 2019 Braves are an improved team from a year ago, but the other three NL East contenders (sorry Marlins) may have surpassed them this offseason. Donaldson, Freddie Freeman, and the repatriated Brian McCann aside, this group of Braves - while immensely talented - is still quite young, and many of them haven't experienced what it's like to have expectations to live up to or have a target on their backs. The Braves have the talent to get back to the playoffs, and they will be contending in this dogfight of a division, but a second straight NL East crown won't come nearly as easy as it did in 2018. - Sharkey-Gotlieb

Will all the changes in New York make a difference? New general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has certainly made a strong first impression. In his first offseason on the job, the agent turned executive added Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jed Lowrie, Wilson Ramos, Keon Broxton, Jeurys Familia, and Justin Wilson. That's an impressive haul, and a major boost for a team coming off a 77-win season, though is it enough in arguably MLB's most competitive division? On paper, this is a team capable of making noise in the postseason, but they'll need to stay healthy. Already, the club is set to open the season with Lowrie, Todd Frazier, and Yoenis Cespedes on the injured list, and staying on the field has always been a challenge for the rotation. - Wile

How long will it take for the Phillies new stars to gel? This team looks like a postseason contender on paper. But stop me if you have heard this one before: This team's success will all depend on how quickly the roster comes together with so many key pieces coming in. All eyes will be on Harper as the weight of a sports-crazed city will be almost exclusively on his shoulders. In addition to Harper, the Phillies added 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, All-Stars Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto, as well as veteran closer David Robertson. Four of the top five projected hitters in Philadelphia's lineup haven't played a single regular-season game for the team. There will be a lot of pressure for this club to perform after so many high-profile additions. - Ruminski

Who will win the division?

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Phillies. The NL East is going to be so much fun to watch and could come down to who has the most success against the Marlins as the rest of the teams beat up on one another. With not much separating the top four clubs in terms of talent, it's realistic that the division sends three representatives to the postseason. The Phillies, though, should come out on top given the additions they made to an already solid core. They'll have arguably the best offense in the NL, along with a solid rotation and bullpen. The Nationals and Mets could have injury concerns with a number of veteran players that could derail their seasons, while the Braves, despite winning the division last year, don't have as much talent as Philadelphia. The Phillies should be the favorites to win the division, but it wouldn't be a shock to see them fall to fourth, either. That's how stacked the NL East is. - Wile

Nationals. This might be the most competitive division in baseball, and it's going to be fun to watch the four contenders battle all season. In the end, it will be a shocking result when the Nationals - sans Harper - end up on top after 162 games. Sure, losing a former MVP and face of the franchise hurts, and losing Harper to the arch-rival Phillies doubled the pain. But the Nats have enough to survive. Soto and Victor Robles will anchor the outfield in D.C. for years to come, Turner is morphing into the next great speedster at the top of the order, and Max Scherzer still resides in their rotation. In fact, the Nats' rotation is quietly better than Philadelphia's, and that should make the difference. - Sharkey-Gotlieb

Phillies. The cream always rises to the top. The Phillies are oozing with talent after their franchise-altering offseason and they should be the last team standing in the fiercely-competitive NL East. The club will need its stars to produce and stay healthy to make that happen, as the margin for error will be slim. One can only dream of a scenario where - with the division up for grabs in the last week of the regular season - Harper is facing off against Scherzer and the rest of his old buddies from Washington. - Ruminski

NL East roundtable: Who will win MLB's most revamped division?
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