Monday, April 06, 2009

NL East

This is the most interesting division that I don't care all that much about.

Order first:


Now the explanation:

Mets: They beat the Reds today 2-1.

Also, they have 2 closers compared to the 1 of last year. They lost 13 games by 2 or less runs after August 1st last year. If they won even 3 of those, they are tied for the division lead with the Phillies. Because of the meltdown of the last 2 years, people forget how good this team is. I think they put it together and win the division for the first time since all the way back in 2006. Big questions are how Delgado starts the season, how much impact Daniel Murphy has, and/or what the heck to do with Sheffield.

Phillies: The opposite of the Mets, they have gotten very lucky to even make the playoffs the last two years. Myers, Moyer, and Park do not a consistent, healthy rotation make, but I think the massive bats keep the Phillies in the playoff race throughout the season.

Braves: The Braves are loaded with young(er) talent with a pleasant mix of veterans thrown in. My guess is that this year is the year they relearn how to win close games (after some trial and error) and make a push at the leaders and playoffs before falling to just over .500. I am already more interested in how good the 2010 Braves might be, which often leads to a surprise breakout season a year early. Question is where will their pitching come from?

Marlins: There's something missing from the team and it might just be marketing. I don't see them making it over 80 wins and part of the reason must be that I can't see a face of the franchise truly emerging. Han-Ram is a fantasy stud and might be the best player in the NL not named Pujols, but he still isn't happy about being in a town that doesn't seem to appreciate baseball (2 titles in 12 years or not). The Marlins are what the current Braves could be in 2-3 years. That is, they are full of guys who used to have limitless potential until someone found their limit. Uggla, Hermida, and Cantu all continue to be adequate enough to keep their jobs, but not good enough to carry the team further. Big question is can anyone name a Marlins pitcher without looking? Alternate question is whether Maybin lives up the hype and breaks out this year.

Nationals: Now that Bobby Bowden has stopped trying to make the team a bizarro Cincinnati, the team can start to recover. I love seeing Kearns and Dunn in the same outfield again, but I doubt that anyone or anything other than Dunn makes the Nationals relevant this year. I also think that Dunn further contributes to the team when he is traded in late May for a bunch of prospects.

No comments: