Effectively Wild Wiki


Ben Lindbergh, Meg Rowley, and Sports Illustrated writer Emma Baccellieri banter about the contrast between March Madness and early-season baseball, the Rays-Tigers trade involving Austin Meadows and Isaac Paredes, and the challenge of evaluating Rays transactions in general, then complete the 2022 division preview series by setting the stage for the season in the National League East, team by team.


  • Atlanta Braves season preview
  • New York Mets season preview
  • Philadelphia Phillies season preview
  • Miami Marlins season preview
  • Washington Nationals season preview


  • Emma's transition from March Madness to early-season baseball
  • Rays trade away Austin Meadows for Isaac Paredes
  • Evaluating Rays transactions


  • Emma had just finished covering March Madness and enjoys the shift to low-intensity "really meaningless baseball".
  • The Rays traded Austin Meadows to the Tigers for the younger and less established Isaac Paredes. The Rays seem always have a method to their madness.
  • The Rays filled the hole left by Meadows with top prospect Josh Lowe (rhymes with "doe").
  • Meg is sorry that Ben will hesitate due to having to remember how to pronounce Lowe's name. Teammate Brandon Lowe pronounces his last name to rhyme with "now". Ben is relieved that the Rays traded away Nathaniel Lowe (rhymes with "doe"). Ben calls it the "Lowpocalypse."
  • Ben has to overcome the habit of just assuming that every trade the Rays make is in their favor.

NL East Preview

  • Ben's pitch is that the NL East has the highest floor of the six divisions, with four credible playoff contenders, and the other team has Juan Soto.
  • As with the other preview episodes, Ben frames the discussion by asking Emma to identify five things about each team: Best (or most interesting) roster move, strength, weakness, breakout player, rookie to watch. They don't always get to each topic during the discussion.
Team Best move Strength Weakness Breakout Rookie
Braves Matt Olson Bullpen DH Spencer Strider Tucker Davidson
Mets Max Scherzer Rotation Rotation depth Nick Plummer Francisco Álvarez
Phillies Nick Castellanos Rotation (Defense) Alec Bohm Bryson Stott
Marlins Jacob Stallings Young pitching Lineup Jesús Luzardo
Nationals "No?" Rotation Josiah Gray
  • The Mets started Metsing even before opening day, when Buck Showalter announced that Scherzer was scratched as their opening day starter due to (yup) injury.
  • Phillies
    • Ben noted that the weakness is so obvious they didn't bother saying it out loud. It's the defense.
    • Meg is tickled at the roster construction: "I have no notes about this crazy no-defense team. It's the best. I love it. I wish there were more teams like this!"
    • Emma also finds it a perfect match for their "I want to die" fan base. She points out that they will be competitive, "and it is going to look terrible. I cannot wait."
    • Ben also looks forward to the defense collapsing, and then the offense having to hit themselves out of a hole that they put themselves into. He compares it to "Indiana Jones and the boulder. And the boulder is all their fielders."
    • Meg: "There are frustrations to be had here, but they are going to send baseballs very, very far."
    • Phillies President Dave Dombrowski convinced ownership to trade away prospects and spend money to get free agents. Ben wonders if when Dombrowski ends his tenure, the Phillies will be "a wasteland" with a lot of payroll for aging players and no farm system.
  • Nationals
    • Ben introduces the team as the "Washington Sotos" since Juan Soto is basically the only good thing left.
    • Emma has trouble choosing just one weakness. "That's hard just because of the variety here."
    • Ben describes the Nationals as "star and scrubs". Singular star.
    • Meg notes that the Nationals are the only team which have both first-place and last-place rankings in the FanGraphs positional power rankings.