2010 Divisional Previews & Predictions: NL East

I round out my prediction series with the NL East. This league holds the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves and Marlins look to challenge the Phillies for the division crown. The Mets struggled with injuries last year as well as this year but can they still contend for the division? I will do my best to project how this division will unfold.

1. Philadelphia Phillies
Key Departures: Cliff Lee, Pedro Feliz, and Chan Ho Park
Key Arrivals: Roy Halladay and Placido Polanco

I have the Phillies edging out the Braves ever so slightly for the NL East title. This division could end up coming down to a matter of games because I believe that the Braves are a little better than last season. However, the Phillies have one of the better lineups in all of baseball and posted a wOBA of .340 which was good for 6th best in the MLB last season. The Phillies also play solid defense and have some great defense up the middle. One of the Phillies weaknesses is the back end of the rotation. Can it be relied on for a full season of work? Kyle Kendrick will likely replace Joe Blanton for a little while. However, they have a good enough bullpen and offense so I think they can edge out the Braves for the NL East crown.

2. Atlanta Braves
Key Departures: Javier Vazquez, Mike Gonzalez, Kelly Johnson, and Adam LaRoche
Key Arrivals: Melky Cabrera, Billy Wagner, Takashi Saito, Troy Glaus, and Jason Heyward

The Braves had a very busy off-season and I think it was good enough to get them into second place. They added three players in Cabrera, Heyward, and Glaus who could end up being league average, or slightly above league average hitters this season. The key to the Braves season will be if they can remain healthy. The loss of Javier Vazquez will hurt but their rotation is still one of the best in the league. Tim Hudson will make his return after missing most of last season. The emergence of Tommy Hanson and the return of Tim Hudson should make up for the loss of Javy. Their bullpen is extremely good and it could improve on a 3.68 bullpen ERA from last season. The Braves could be the sleeper team in all of baseball this year. Be on alert Phillies fans, the Braves could end up challenging the Phillies for the division crown this season.

3. Florida Marlins
Key Departures: Kiko Calero, Nick Johnson, and Jeremy Hermida
Key Arrivals: Nate Robertson

The Marlins like to keep a relatively low payroll so it is not surprising that they did not make that many off-season moves. I think they should have a similar record to the one that they posted last year. The only difference is that they won’t finish in second place. The Marlins have a very underrated offense and rotation that are led by Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson respectively. The Marlins posted a .331 wOBA in 2009 and a team FIP of 4.15. These were both in the top half in the league. I really like what the Marlins have done with their franchise and they are one of my favorite teams to watch but I just do not think that they have enough to move up in the standings any further.

4. New York Mets
Key Departures: Carlos Delgado
Key Arrivals: Jason Bay, Gary Matthews Jr., Rod Barajas, and Ryota Igarashi

Similarly to the Cubs, the Mets are poorly managed. The Jason Bay signing does not make a whole lot of sense to me. Jason Bay is a very bad fielder and that is evident in this UZR numbers. Not only his be a bad defender, but Omar Minaya got a player that hits a high percentage of fly balls in a very specious outfield. This is bound to reduce his offensive numbers just a little from a year ago. The Mets would have been better off going after someone like Mike Cameron more aggressively. This is not the only problem for the Mets. The Mets are also sending two very important offensive producers to the DL. Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes could be out for about 4-6 weeks. Now factor this in with a rotation that posted an ERA of 4.46 last season and was not improved this off-season and a team that does not play good defense and you have yourself a 4th place team.

5. Washington Nationals
Key Departures: None.
Key Arrivals: Stephen Strasburg, Jason Marquis, Chien-Ming Wang, Matt Capps, Ivan Rodriguez, and Adam Kennedy

The Nationals are in a better position than some other last place teams that we have looked at. The Nationals are lead by Ryan Zimmerman who is one of the best third basemen in the game. If you are a Nationals fan, it is time to get excited. Stephen Strasburg is the real deal and he will likely be in the rotation by June. The Nationals could very well improve on their record of 59-103 last season especially since they might have their best rotation since they moved to D.C. So Nationals fans, keep in mind that good days are ahead. This season could very well be their turning point to future success.

JeffMac’s NL East Predictions:
1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Mets
4. Marlins
5. Nationals

ES42’s NL East Predictions:
1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals

Disco’s NL East Predictions
1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals

Dougbies NL East Predictions:
1. Phillies
2. Marlins
3. Mets
4. Braves
5. Nats

YC’s NL East Predictions:
1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Nationals
5. Mets

Twac00’s NL East Predictions:
1. Phillies
2. Marlins
3. Braves
4. Mets
5. Nationals

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: All Posts, Baseball general

Tags: , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: