The NL East looks to once again have some good luck in the postseason with the Phillies looking to win the division like it has been for the past couple years. The Phillies, led by slugger Ryan Howard and pitcher Roy Halladay, won 102 games last season, leading the braves by 13 games at the end of the regular season. The Phillies pitching staff looks to, once again, dominate the MLB with ace Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hammels and Roy Oswalt on the hill in 4 consecutive games. The Phillies have picked up Dontrelle Willis that may give them an advantage, depending on how Dontrelle decides to play this year. If he comes to Philadelphia and has another 1-6 season with a 5.00 era, then his career as a Phillies pitcher won’t last too long.
With the Braves not even finishing in the top 20 in Runs, OBP, SLG., and BA, it doesn’t look like a very promising season for the Braves. Jason Heyward looks to have another good year in Atlanta along with ace Tim Hudson, Brian McCann and Chipper Jones. However, it can’t be just those players. The rest of the team needs to step up and become leaders in their roles as Braves players. The other 4 pitchers need to really help out the team, and get some wins under their belt. The Braves are looking like the only team in the NL East who can really give Philadelphia a run for their money.
The Marlins, now the Miami Marlins, Mets and Nationals look to battle it out for 3rd place as they have been for the past 2 years. If one of those teams have a chance, it’s the Nationals, with pitcher Stephan Strausburg on the hill, and a few offseason acquisitions such as Jason Werth, Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa, they will be the team to beat for the third place spot between those other 2 teams.
Basically, in a nutshell, my picks for the NL East are as follow:
1. Philadelphia, 2. Atlanta, 3. Washington, 4. New York, 5. Miami