Lo Duca: Even With Harper, Phillies Aren’t a Sure Thing in NL East

Lo Duca: Even With Harper, Phillies Aren’t a Sure Thing in NL East article feature image
Credit:

Kim Klement, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Bryce Harper

  • Even with Bryce Harper in the fold, the Philadelphia Phillies are still tied with the Washington Nationals as favorites in the NL East.
  • Paul Lo Duca breaks down whether or not Harper's arrival will be enough for Philadelphia to come out on top of a tough division.

Now that Bryce Harper is getting settled with the Philadelphia Phillies it finally feels like we can take a responsible look at the season ahead.

Of course there are still big-ticket players (Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel, anyone?) without teams for 2019, but now that Harper is off the board we can get to work.

So what does Harper’s jersey-switch mean for the NL East? The answer is pretty surprising.

NL East Odds: The MLB’s Most Competitive Division?

  • Philadelphia Phillies +225
  • Washington Nationals +225
  • New York Mets +300
  • Atlanta Braves +300
  • Miami Marlins +20000

My colleague Mark Gallant reported that oddsmakers were ready for Harper to jump to the Phillies and that’s why their betting outlook didn’t really adjust much after the news of his signing broke on Thursday.

Philadelphia currently sits at 12-1 to win the World Series at the Westgate SuperBook, tied with Harper’s old team in Washington. The Nats and Phillies also share the same odds to win the NL East (+225) and the same win total (89).

The fact that Vegas projects the Phillies and  Nationals to be neck-and-neck is one of the most intriguing storylines going into this season.

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