Thursday, March 15, 2007

NL East

Mets -
Phillies 2
Braves 4
Marlins 6
Nationals 11

NY Mets: Not much has changed for the Mets. I am concerned that Pedro will not be back until the All Star break, but that should not matter. He was hurt last year and they were still able to do well without him. If Mike Pelfrey can make the 5th starting spot, this should help with dealing without Pedro. Offensively this team is once again strong. David Wright is a great thirdbase man and you have Reyes with his breakout performance last year.

Philadelphia Phillies: They have done a lot for pitching on this team. They signed two ex-M’s in Moyer and Garcia. Hamels is a concern as a starter with is ailing back. Offensively they have enough bats to protect Howard and see if he can once again produce numbers like last year. The kid is young and should do well.

Atlanta Braves: You never know with this team, they have some great players. This team would benefit greatly from a healthy Chipper. A full season out of Chipper and I don’t have them finishing third. Pitching looks strong, anchored by Smoltz with his return to the starting spot last season. Bring back a healthy Hudson, and a second place finish could be in the works. Offensively, you have to mention Andruw Jones, beyond that you have some youth that could make the starting 9. The Pen has Wickman and Gonzalez, with Wickman probably taking closing role. Gonzalez was the most successful closer last year, playing for the hapless Pirates.

Florida Marlins: I am still bitter they fired the NL manager of the year, even though he took the lowest payroll in MLB within a game or two of making the post season. I like the talent this team offers, especially at pitcher. One big blow, Josh Johnson is out until mid-summer, this will hurt the rotation. To help, Sergio Mitre is looking strong this spring. Offensively, Uggla they have some decent bats, especially in Uggla and Willingham. The should compete with the Braves for the 3rd spot.

Washington Nationals: I don’t have much to say about the Nationals. They do have Ryan Zimmerman at first and Austin Kearns in RF, this gives them some offensive power. Nick Johnson is out until at least mid-May, but his return will add some extra punch to the middle of the batting order. Pitching is probably going to be mediocre, nothing too spectacular. Cordero should be decent at closer, but I am only predicting maybe 30 chances.

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