In an MLB season where the weather has been a big story, there have been some surprises in the Nl East. The Mets fast start has been well chronicled, but after a messy start, Gage Kapler and his Philadelphia Phillies have put themselves in position to challenge for a wildcard slot. The Miami Marlins, as expected, have stunk. The Braves have also done pretty well, starting 8-6, while the Washington Nationals have gotten off to a slow start, but figure to right the ship fairly quickly.

The Eagles aren't the only good young talent in Philadelphia

Gabe Kapler and his extreme reliance on sabermetrics got off to a rocky start but now sit at 9-5.

Since the Phillies start is fueled by young players, it may not be a fluke. Rookie, Scott Kingery, has played all over the field and acquitted himself well in the field and at the plate. Center fielder, Odubel Herrera, has already compiled a WAR of 0.7. He's a good player who is getting better.

The left fielder, Rhys Hoskins, has put up some sneaky good stats. At least they're sneaky good if you live outside Philadelphia. In 2017 Hoskins put up an OPS of 1.014. This year, on an admittedly small sample size, his OPS is at 1.055. Hoskins may be the latest in a long line of Phillies left fielders who could rake, but were defensively challenged.

Free agent signee, Carlos Santana, has gotten off to a slow start but figures to warm up with the weather.

Another big free agent signing, Jake Arrieta, figures to team with Aaron Nola to give the Phillies the foundation of a decent starting rotation. Phillies fans should be in for an interesting ride this season.

The Braves infield is looking good

The Atlanta Braves look to be short on starting pitching but have some genuine young stars.

The second baseman, Ozzie Albies, looked like a star in the making in 2017 and his start in 2018 only reinforces that concept. Shortstop, Dansby Swanson, had a poor 2017 season, compiling a WAR of -0.3. By way of contrast, he already has a WAR of 0.9. If the growth is real, Swanson and Albies could team with the first baseman, Freddie Freeman to form one of the best infields in baseball.

Another fight in Washington

The Washington Nationals are off to a sluggish start but stars Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper has been doing their part. Harper has hit seven home runs and Scherzer is sitting at 3-1 with an ERA of 1.33. The Nats still look to be the class of the division, but improvements by the Mets, Phillies, and Braves should make the division race more interesting than it has been in recent seasons.