Give me just one good reason to not pick the Phillies, and I wouldn’t pick the Phillies here. The Braves could push the Phillies, but the Phillies still have a margin for error that no other team in the division has. They also have nearly twice the payroll that the Braves have, so we’re not exactly talking about a level playing field, either, but that’s decidedly not the topic of this discussion.
The dirty little secret behind the Cliff Lee deal this offseason is that the Phillies really needed it to get done. They actually barely outscored the Braves in 2010, and they surrendered almost as many runs as the Braves. The Phillies lost Jayson Werth, and the Braves added Dan Uggla. To create run differential, the Phillies needed to lower their “runs against”, and adding another top-end pitcher was their way of doing that. Interesting use of their payroll dollars, huh? My prediction for the NL East:
Funny, that’s the same as the division finished last season, and the Braves could be in the hunt for the division title and the wild card.
TIDBIT: Phillies 772 runs scored in 2010, Braves 738 runs scored in 2010.
Like it? Think the Braves can knock the Phillies out of the top spot? Follow gr33nazn on Twitter and let me know why!