Baseballdamous Part 2

I know this is a day late, so for that I apologize… I get really lazy sometimes. I know you’re all dying to hear about what’s gonna happen in the National League this year. It’s pretty much gonna be the same as last year, maybe a few minor changes but I don’t expect a shift in powers. Let’s get this show on the road.

Let me begin with the best division in the National League the NL east. A division traditionally dominated by the Atlanta Braves. Times have changed though, my friends. That same domination now takes place in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. So here’s how the NL east is gonna break down this year.

1. Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies are a National League team trapped in an American League body. Their lineup 1 through 9 is one of the best in baseball. I’m in love with their infield. J rolls, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Greg Dobbs. Then they go and sign Placido Polanco to back up Chase Utley. In the outfield you got Raul Ibanez, Shane Victoriano, and Jason Werth. Those are all potential All Stars. Their starting rotation is without question the best in the National League. Cole Hamels looks to have a bounce back year. J.A. Happ is turning into one of the best young pitchers in the game. They have one other pitcher they just signed, what is his name. OH YEA ROY HALLADAY. He may be the best pitcher in the game. Look what he did pitching in the AL east. Now you put him in the National League… forget about it. All of these guys are capable of pitching deep into ballgames which helps the bullpen out immensely. The Phillies should run away with this division winning 92 to 96 games. I love the way they’re put together. Players to watch: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley… I could go on all day.

2. New York Mets: I really don’t want to put the Mets in this position. I think the Braves and the Marlins can easily be here. I see the Mets fortune changing a little bit. They signed a very good hitter in Jason Bay. They have a very good line-up; there’s no questioning that. The pitching is suspect. The bullpen blew a lot of games last year; I think that’s gonna happen again. They play in a ball park that’s almost equal to the old Polo Grounds. Ok maybe not. But it’s still pretty big and not hitter friendly. I think this team can be good if they go out either before or at the trade deadline, and get a good starting pitcher to back up Johan Santana. If they do that, they have potential to win the wild card. Players to watch: David Wright, Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran.

3. Atlanta Braves: I put the braves in front of the Marlins because I like their pitching. Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson are two quality Major League pitchers. Tommy Hanson is another young stud who actually put up better numbers than J.A. Happ last season. He looks like he’s their future number 1, and a potential 20 game winner. They got a lot of line-up questions. You know what to expect from Chipper Jones if he stays healthy. Brain McCann is a quality hitter. The big key for this line-up is Troy Glaus; if he can show us a glimpse of the old Troy, this team should do very well. Players to watch: Derek Lowe, Chipper jones, Troy Glaus, and Tommy Hanson.

4. Florida Marlins: This team needs pitching. They need a star pitcher in Florida. Problem is they don’t sell any tickets. I like their line-up anchored by Hanley Ramirez, but they need pitching. Without pitching you go nowhere. I just looked through their pitching staff and not one name caught my eye. Josh Johnson is really the only good pitcher they have. Players to watch: Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson.

5. Washington Nationals: Ummm let’s move on to the NL Central.

I see no change in the NL Central this year. The only change is that the Cubs should be a little better than last year. It should be a close race. So without further adieu…Your NL Central.

1. St. Louis Cardinals: Love the pitching, love the lineup, decent bullpen. Should be fun to watch the Cardinals play this year. I do hate one thing about their team however…..Julio Lugo. Other than that they’re very good. They got a two-headed monster of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Two above average pitchers. They also have Albert Puljos. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him before. He’s a pretty good hitter. He’s also underrated defensively. He makes any line-up better. I see the Cardinals winning 90 to 93 games. It helps when you get to play Cincinnati, Houston, and Pittsburg 19 times each. Players to watch: Albert Puljos, Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter, Skip Schumaker.

2. Chicago Cubs: The cubbies had an extremely disappointing season last year. They should play better this year.  This team is too good to only win 83 games. Alfonso Soriano needs to get healthy and get his swing back. Derek Lee needs to hit better, and Aramis Ramirez needs to step up into that MVP role. I like the addition of Xavier Nady, he should help them a lot. Zambrano is a quality major league pitcher. They need one more good starter. Ted Lilly just doesn’t do it for me. They also need to beef up the bullpen a little bit. If all these things happen, the Cubs win the division. That’s a pretty big “if” though. They can win anywhere from 85 to 90 games. Players to watch: Alfonso Soriano, Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Xavier Nady, and Carlos Zambrano.

3. Milwaukee Brewers: Outside of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, this team has no real fire power. You might get a little power from Greg Zaun but not much.  They don’t really have that workhorse pitcher that every starting rotation needs. This is just a very average baseball team; I think they’ll be lucky to win 80 games. Players to watch: Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder.

The rest of this division really isn’t worth talking about. You’ve got Houston, who I believe will be good down the road. Cincinnati who will probably never be good. Then Pittsburgh… How many of you actually remember Pittsburgh had a baseball team? Yea, didn’t think so.

Moving on to the National League West, where my favorite player resides, Emmanuel Ramirez. Love that guy. Don’t care what he does, what he’s done, the guy can flat-out hit. And he’s already causing some drama in LA. Gotta love it.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers. You can never have a Joe Torre coached team not be the favorite to win the division. I love the way this team is set up. Their starting pitching is very good. Clayton Kershaw is ready. He’s a good young pitcher and he’s ready to go out and prove that this year. Their line-up is above average and it’s all centered around Emmanuel. He makes that whole line-up better, and I think he’s ready to shut up his critics and have a big season. Another Manny like season. There’s power all throughout this line-up, and Andre Ethier might be the most clutch hitter in the game. This team has 95 wins written all over it. Players to watch: MANNY RAMIREZ, James Looney, Andre Ethier, Casey Blake, Blake Dewitt, Russell Martin, and Rafael Furcal.

2. San Fransisco Giants: Yea, I said it. The giants will finish second in this division. The pitching will finally carry them. The offense in recent years has been horrendous. They got a little better last year though, scoring more runs than past years. Tim Lincecum is ready to put this team on his back. They added Aubrey Huff who will give them the much-needed “Pop” that they need. They won 88 games last year; I think they can win a few more this year.

3. Colorado Rockies: This is a very good young baseball team. I don’t believe they’ll be as good as last year though. Todd Helton is getting old and is not able to carry this team. They have a very young starting rotation. They were a little inconsistent last year, and they should be better this year. They have an average bullpen. I love Houston Street as their closer; he can lock up a lot of victories for them. This was a 90 win team last year but I don’t think they’ll be able to repeat that. Players to watch: Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe, Chris Iannetta.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks: They have a good young nucleus of players. They need 2 or 3 more years together. Brandon Webb is one of the best pitchers in the game, but he’s not enough for this team. They have a bunch of good young up and comers but they aren’t quite there yet. Players to watch: Brandon Webb, Stephan Drew, Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds, and Edwin Jackson.

5. San Diego Padres: Well, they just cut Ladainian Tomlinson. So that’s gonna hurt their running game. Oh wait my bad wrong sport…..see how much people care about the San Diego Padres?

So there it is: your break down of the National League. If you feel any differently please let me know. You’re gonna see the Phillies and Dodgers again in the NLCS whether you want to or not. The wild card is gonna come down to the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. Look for that race to last till the final week of the season. Because the Mets will blow it again. The MVP award will go to Ryan Braun; he’s finally ready for it. And how can you not pick Roy Halladay as the Cy Young winner?


3 Responses

  1. I still say your players to watch…just obvious…

  2. Other notes:

    Josh Johnson is not just a good pitcher…he is a great pitcher, he just pitches for the Marlins.

    I do not really believe Aubrey Huff and his 203 career HR’s in 10 seasons (1322 games) is really going to be the answer to the Giants power hitting, or “pop” needs.

    Jake Peavy never played for the Brewers.

  3. my bad on the jake peavy thing i really dont know where that came from

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