Phillies face tough 2021 season competition in NL East

Sixto Sánchez #73 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Sixto Sánchez #73 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia Phillies will have their hands full with a very stacked National League East division in the 2021 season — with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets looking for not only a postseason appearance, but much greater things.

Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals look to bounce back and recently won the World Series in 2019, while the Miami Marlins look to continue the development of their young talent this coming season. We preview the Phillies’ National League East completion and what they are really up against.

The Miami Marlins and former Phillies top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez.

Going into 2021, there are a lot more recognizable faces in Miami. The Marlins finally have some players and want to build off their 31-29 finish in 2020.

They will get a full season with Starling Marte, who they acquired at the trade deadline. The Marlins hope Marte continues to do what he has done throughout his career, and hope continues to develop into a really good third baseman. Fellow outfielder Corey Dickerson should be due for a bounce-back 2021 season, as the former Phillie had just a 96 wRC+ in 2020.

Projected Marlins Lineup:

  1. Corey Dickerson, LF
  2. Starling Marte, CF
  3. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
  4. Brian Anderson, 3B
  5. Adam Duvall, RF
  6. Miguel Rojas, SS
  7. Isan Diaz, 2B
  8. Jorge Alfaro, C

The Marlins starting rotation should look something like this:

  1. Sandy Alcantara, RHP
  2. Pablo Lopez, RHP
  3. Elieser Hernandez, RHP
  4. Sixto Sanchez, RHP
  5. Trevor Rodgers, LHP

The most notable guy here, for Phillies fans, is top prospect Sixto Sanchez — who the Marlins acquired in the J.T. Realmuto trade. Sanchez is the face of a promising rotation as had a very promising career so far, posting a 3.00 ERA, 3.72 FIP, and 4.04 xFIP in his rookie season.

The Marlins bullpen will be interesting because of the loss of closer Brandon Kintzler, who snubbed his former team and signed with the Phillies — with the help of Bryce Harper.

The current Marlins bullpen is led by Anthony Bass, who posted good numbers in Buffalo (Toronto) this past season — 3.51 ERA/3.62 FIP/4.33 xFIP.

While the Marlins look to be in the basement of the National League East again, they will have a much more compelling team than in years past. We all know about the Phillies’ struggles with them in recent seasons.