Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MLB Preview-NL East

Today I tackle the NL East. This year I think this will be a one team division, but there are some other teams in here that are going to be competitive for many years to come...

  1. Philadelphia Phillies: This is far and away the best team in the National League. They have the most solid lineup, and you cant get much better in terms of pitching. They swapped Roy Halladay for Cliff Lee in the offseason and added Placido Polanco to man the hot corner. My only concern with this team is their closer. First Brad Lidge needs to get healthy, then he needs to pitch just a bit more consistent in the season. The Phillies can't win it all if Lidge is shaky. None the less their lineup is powerful and their starting rotation should be dominant. They win their division handily.
  2. Atlanta Braves: Last year the Braves came up ever so short in the Wild Card race, which surprised most people in baseball. The only notable offseason moves Atlanta made was trading Javier Vasquez to the Yankees and signed Troy Glaus to play first. I really like how the Braves are shaping up in the final year with manager Bobby Cox. They have a very solid starting 5 lead by young guns Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens. A revived Billy Wagner is closing games out of the pen and with the way he pitched last year in the AL East, he should do better in this division. Oh and they have a young outfielder named Jason Heyward who has turned some heads this spring and should do that in the regular season. And I like the Braves to win the National League Wild Card.
  3. New York Mets: The 09 Mets were more remembered for their trips to the disabled list. If they have any chance of being good in 2010, they have to not make those frequent trips. But even with a healthy squad I dont think the Mets have a standout team. Behind Johan Santana, they have a shaky rotation that includes John Maine and Oliver Perez. Their bullpen is not looking solid too with the exception of their closer Francisco Rodriguez. The did add Jason Bay to spark some offense, but I dont think he or their offense can make up for how bad the pitching staff is. I'm being generous and picking the Mets third, but the could very well finish fourth.
  4. Florida Marlins: Last year the Fish finished third in the division and were in the Wild Card race for a good chunk of September too. I always seemingly pick them low in the division but they do better than expected, and I gave them serious consideration for third in the NL East. But I dont like their bullpen makeup with a bunch of unknowns trying to nail down wins in this division doesn't fit well for me. And that was the lone reason I picked them fourth. I love their rotation, lead by Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. I love their lineup, lead by batting champ Hanley Ramirez, and Dan Uggla. I love watching this team play as they are the Twins equivalent of the National League. But Florida finishes a close fourth to the Mets.
  5. Washington Nationals: Last year Washington was a awful team to watch. This year, they aren't going to have different results, but should be a bit more entertaining. They have some young guns (P Steven Strasburg and SS Ian Desmond) and some good veterans (1B Adam Dunn and P Chien-Ming Wang) on this ballclub. The Nationals are definitely a team of the future in this division and in 2010 I cannot seeing them win more than 65 games because of the other four teams in this division. But the difference between last year and this year is they should give more of a fight in games. And thats a good sign going forward.
Yesterday was crazy so I could not get this in until this morning. Later tonight I will have another post taking a look at the NL Central....

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