Monday, April 5, 2010

2010 National League Predictions

Yesterday, I made my predictions for how the American League would shake out in 2010, where picked the Yankees to get back to the World Series. Now, it's time to take a look at the NL and see who they will face in the World Series. Can the Phillies get there for a third straight time?

NL East
1. Phillies

As Phillies fans, we follow this team every day and make a big deal out of all the little things that go wrong. Sure, the Phils have some issues in the back end of the rotation and their bullpen isn't quite where it should be, but you do realize how insanely good the lineup is, right? How this lineup goes 1-7 like an American League team and even the 8th hitter is known to swing a clutch bat? And, you do understand they have the best pitcher in baseball and he's licking his chops about facing NL lineups? Make no mistake about it, despite their minor flaws, this Phillies team is loaded and ready to get back to the World Series.

2. Braves
While I'm not going to enjoy seeing Jason Heyward destroying Phillies pitching in the years to come, let's hold off placing the crown on the kid just yet. The Braves do have a good rotation and some great hitters in the middle of the lineup but you have to be a fool to think Chipper Jones and Troy Glaus are going to give Atlanta 162 games this season. This is a team on the rise, not a team that has arrived.

3. Marlins
Florida seems locked into the middle of the NL East. They don't quite have the pitching or the hitting to keep up with the big boys but they certainly aren't going to fall back to the bottom. The jury is still out as to whether their latest crop of young guys can be counted on.

4. Mets
Remember when these guys used to be a threat? Before I regret my words, the Mets could still make some noise if they somehow avoided the injury bug, something they have already succumbed to this season. Their pitching is a joke, though, with their bottom three of Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese being abysmal. It's going to be another long year for the Mets and I wouldn't be surprised so see them compete with the Nats for last place.

5. Nationals
Why do the Nationals keep bringing in useless veterans? What do Adam Kennedy, Matt Capps and Tyler Walker bring to the team that someone from Triple A can't? Bring on Stephen Strasburg already and sell some tickets.

NL Central
1. Cardinals

It's hard to pick against the Cardinals given the weakness of the rest of the division. They lost a whole lot more than they gained this offseason, though signing Matt Holliday was huge. The rotation doesn't look great with Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse in there but the Cardinals always seem better on the field than they are on paper.

2. Reds
This pick might be a bit of a reach but Cincinnati looks like they are poised to make a move. They have four guys coming off 20 homer seasons (Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Jonny Gomes) and have some good young pitchers that are coming along nicely. Them finishing second might tell you more about the rest of the Central.

3. Brewers
The Brewers never seem to quite get over the hump. We are now entering the years where their young guys like Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are supposed to be carrying the team to multiple division titles. Unfortunately, neither Braun nor Fielder can pitch, so while the Brewers will score a lot of runs, their aging, mediocre pitching staff is going to give up more than their fair share.

4. Cubs
On paper, the Cubs should be better than 4th in the division. When you look a little deeper and realize that they are counting on Marlon Byrd to be a big part of the offense and that Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukodome are pretty awful, you realize that this team just isn't that good.

5. Astros
The team where former Phillies go to die is going to be a joke this year with only the perennially awful Pirates keeping them out of the cellar. With Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence in the middle of the lineup, why are they so bad? Take a look at their starting rotation. Bud Norris? Brian Moehler? Brett Myers as the number three? Yikes.

6. Pirates
Do I have to give a reason why I picked them for last place?

NL West
1. Rockies
The Rockies have become the trendy pick to make the World Series by industry experts who are desperately trying to pick someone besides the Phillies. While I agree that the Dodgers have fallen off and that has allowed the Rockies to take over the division, I don't take them seriously as World Series contenders. They are pretty solid all-around, with an always dangerous lineup, a reliable bullpen and a deep rotation, but they don't do any one thing that separates them from the rest of the NL, especially the Phillies.

2. Dodgers (Wild Card)
An offseason of no moves has kept this team stagnant. They are still a good team with the bats but I really don't see how their rotation is going to hold up the whole year. When Vicente Padilla is your Opening Day starter, it's hard to pick them to go far.

3. Giants
New year, same old Giants. They still have a great rotation but their lineup just has nothing going for it. The Giants are perennially a bat or two away from contention and this year won't be any different.

4. Diamondbacks
Another team with major rotation questions starting at the top, where Brandon Webb looks like he can't be counted on to pitch this year. While they still have Dan Haren, Arizona really has no one else they can count on. Oh, and Adam LaRoche is their clean-up hitter.

5. Padres
Poor Adrian Gonzalez, he has to play for a team that has Jon Garland on the mound on Opening Day. Expect Gonzalez to account for like half of the teams runs on offense and for the Padres to be out of contention by June.

Phillies over Dodgers
Cardinals over Rockies

Phillies over Cardinals

World Series:
Phillies over Yankees
Revenge made sweet with the help of Doc Halladay.

MVP: Albert Pujols
The award is his as long as he stays healthy. I would love to see Chase Utley finally put together a full season of great numbers and steal it away.

CY Young: Roy Halladay
Brace yourselves, NL, Halladay has been freed from the AL East and is ready to mow down all in his path.

Agree or disagree with my predictions? Want to make your own? Include your thoughts in the comment section. Check back tomorrow for my Phillies individual player predictions.

No comments: