Monday, March 25, 2013

CFCL Bold Predictions: NL East

Now that I've gotten that other league out of the way, its time to move on to the only league that matters, the National League.  Starting with the NL East.  I already tried to predict the NL standings statistically, back in February.  Now I'm going to go with my (sizable) gut.

Here are my predicted standings for the NL East:
  1. Washington Nationals
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. New York Mets
  4. Philadelphia Phillies
  5. Miami Marlins
Although it should be a close race between the Nats and Braves, I give the edge to the Nationals.  Denard Span replaces Michael Morse in the outfield, giving the Nats a better overall defense, without much drop off in offense.  Dan Haren replaces Edwin Jackson in the rotation, which should be a step up, and Rafael Soriano strengthens and already strong bullpen.  Add in a full year, without restrictions, for ace Stephen Strasburg and it easy to see this team winning 100+ games.

Atlanta will not be far behind and should get at least a wild card birth.  The addition of the Upton brothers makes an already strong offense even stronger and left replace the loss of Martin Prado and Michael Bourn.  The rotation of a healthy Kris Medlen to go with Tim Hudson, Mike Minor, Paul Maholm and spring phenom Julio Teheran should be able to hold its own and put the Braves at around 95 wins for the season.

The Mets are in rebuilding mode, but with a trio of young, quality hurlers in Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee and Matt Harvey, the rebuilding should not take long.  David Wright and Ike Davis will anchor the offense, which should also feature top prospect Travis D'Arnaud around June.  They should hover around the .500 mark all year and finish with around 82 wins.

The Phillies are getting old and it started to show last year.  Roy Halladay has lost velocity and Ryan Howard has struggled with injuries.  Chase Utley may never be the same again.  However, they still have Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels to go along with the newly acquired Ben Revere, so all is not lost.  Domonic Brown will help the team get younger, but will it be enough?  The Phillies should battle the Mets for 3rd place and finish with around 80 wins.

The Marlins continued to dismantle a team that lost 94 games last year and will battle the Astros for the worst record in the majors.  There is some young talent in the system, such as Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, but they are all at least a year away.  They will be lucky to win 60 games this year.

Tomorrow I'll take a look at the NL Central.  Until then, check out the United Cardinals Bloggers site for more NL East predictions from my fellow Cardinals bloggers. 

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