Back for another day of predictions, and today we move into the Senior Circuit to explore the NL East.
- Philadelphia Phillies – Hard to pick against a team that won the World Series in 2008 and should be as strong if not better this season. They will have a full season of Joe Blanton in the rotation, they signed Raul Ibanez to replace Pat Burrell (make your own comparisons there, I’ll take Ibanez), and they still have one of the most dominant 6-4-3 combinations in the bigs today.
- New York Mets – The Mets are getting a freebie here from me, just based upon their talent. What can I say, I know better than to side with pond scum. The Mets are the classic all-the-talent-in-the-world team that can’t put it together when it means something. Are rookie outfielder Daniel Murphy and an improved bullpen enough to put the free-spending Mets (at least the Yankees have rings to show for their payroll extravagance) over the top? I’m betting not. In fact, the Metropolitans are lucky that they didn’t wind up behind my choice for third place…
- Atlanta Braves – The Braves were a big player in the off-season, adding aging outfielder Garret Anderson, pitcher Derek Lowe, pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, and brought Tom Glavine back home to (ideally, hopefully, hang it up in) Atlanta. The Braves are young and have plenty of talent, but I still don’t think they can keep up with the Phils and Mets. Lowe will have to prove he is a front line starter to keep the Braves in the mix past the All-Star Break.
- Florida Marlins – They haven’t changed the team name yet, right? This team will be the most exciting young team in the Major Leagues that no one will watch. Former Cardinal Kiko Calero stands to make the team out of spring AND be the fourth highest paid player on the roster, at…wait for it…$1.1 million for 2009. Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, and Johan Santana all stand to make more than the entire Marlins’ Major League roster in 2009.
- Washington Nationals – They signed Adam Dunn. They fired Jim Bowden (yeah, yeah, he resigned…right). They will have the chance to take Stephen Strasbourg this June and will pass. Just goes to show, you can take the team out of Montreal, but you can’t take the Montreal out of the team.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the NL Central predictions (you KNOW you want to read that!) and while you’re waiting, check out the United Cardinal Bloggers’ website for the rest of today’s predictions!