Friday, February 04, 2005

The NL Breakdown

Ok, so here is my take on the NL....I promise you that this will be a mess (as I have no idea about the NL)....

NL East- This will be a tight division. The difference between 2, 3, and 4 will be less than 8 games.
Braves- Why not? It seems as though they can have anyone pitch for them, and pitch well.
Mets- Their lineup is fairly potent. They have speed and power. They have Pedro. This takes the burden off Glavine. Pedro and Glavine will help the young guys along.
Florida- Better than the Phillies.
Phillies- Leiber is not the answer...They never seem to get it quite right.
Montreal- Sorry, I mean DC or Washington or...What I really mean is LAST PLACE.

NL Central
Cards- Why shouldn't they win the division again?
Chicago- The should have better health luck pitching-wise this year. Nomar will break out. They lost Sammy, but that might not be such a bad thing.
Houston- Some good arms, but Beltran helped them a ton last year. His absence will be felt.
Pittsburgh- Young team. Guy with a mullet. They should move up a notch this year.
Cincinnati- Terrible.
Milwaukee- They will lose their best starter in a long time at mid-season. LAST PLACE.

NL West
Giants- Thanks to the fall of the Dodgers...How many IBBs will Bonds get this year when he shows up to camp a little older, a little slower, and having lost 10 pounds of "water weight".
San Diego- Young team. Solid team. They lost Wells, but they'll be good.
Los Angeles- From first to third. Let Beltre go...I just don't think they're going to be good.
Rockies- Still bad..
D-Backs- Lost Randy Johnson...Could it be that they lose more games this year? LAST PLACE.


  1. Wow, yeah the NL is even tougher. I think all three divisions may have races.

    The East - Matt you say the difference between 2,3, and 4 will be less than 8 games - this could be like the 1967 AL with 1-4 being separated by 3 games, which of course the Sox won while being carried by the greatest Polish man of all time.

    Braves - they are the Patriots. Until someone beats them I guess you have to pick them.
    2-4 - you might as well flip a coin. Actually I think the battle for second will really be between the Mets and Florida with Philly falling to 4th. A week ago I would have said the Mets with their deep rotation, but they have no bullpen and FLA has Delgado now.
    So I'll go Braves, FLA, NY, PHL, Mont/DC.

    Central - STL with the addition off Mulder, they should be able to offset losing Mathena (they have one of those molinas) and renteria. Although losing Woody W and Steve Kline should further deplete their staff. But like Matt said, Why shouldn't they win the division again? Its not like anyone else has done anything.

    Houston and the Cubs have done nothing. Cubs traded their best hitter and are relying on Nomar. Ha ha. Houston lost Beltran, Kent and Miller and Berkman is hurt to star the year.
    Sleeper team in the Central has to be Cincy. Not as strong a sleeper as Cleveland, but they are a team that coud sneak up on some people. They signed Milton Inot great, but okay), they upgraded their bullpen and even though they lost Larkin, Aurillia could fill in nicely (if he could just remember to hit again.) And maybe, just maybe this is the year their OF stays healthy (yeah right).

    And yes Pittsburgh and Milw are awful.


    Cubs only b/c of their pitching
    Cincy (a stretch, but I'm trying to mix things up)
    Houston - Rogers hamstring. 18 wins for 18 million - not even close
    Pittsburgh - I really want it to be the other way around, but there is no way a team that picks up Ben Grieve does not deserve last place predictions.

    The West. Another wide open west.

    Giants - no real pitching and Barry (and everyone else) is getting older.
    Dodgers - a lot of movement. Who knows what they were doing.
    SD - I'd be pissed if I were a Padre fan right now.
    Ariz - no unit. But picked up some talent.
    Colorado - now this is the definition of a lost franchise. They should move them to Vegas.

    Starting at the bottom. Colorado will finish last - they lost the only two guys that could really hit in Coors.
    Arizona has gotten better by getting worse. They lost their best player, but were smart enough to get rid of their worst player. Ortiz, Vazquez, Webb (could bounce back) are an okay front 3 in that division. and if only Casey Daigle could pitch as well as his wife.... The three G's could put up some numbers.
    Okay so its down to LA, SF, and SD.

    For some reason I think the Dodgers will be okay. they have some talent - Perez, Weaver, Lowe, Penny, Edwin Jackson (maybe), Ishii (can he be productive), they have THE closer with some help. Now of course they won't score runs, so that could be a problem.

    But SF has no pitching beyond Schmidt.

    And SD has the young studs, but did nothing this offseason. Woody Williams - will that be enough. I would love to see this team do something but I just don't see it
    So I think the top three will look just like last year and a flip flop for 4 and 5

  2. Not to sound too much like a broken record, but most of the NL teams just don't impress me. St. Louis, while lacking in pitching, still has that scary lineup. But Houston and Chicago doesn't, so they should coast to the playoffs, with a decent shot at getting to the WS.

    The other two races should be very fun to watch. I say Florida above the Mets (but below the Braves), and another down-to-the-wire race in the West between SF and LA, the winner of which will be unable to win 3 playoff games.

    The Dodgers...I don't know. They seem decent on paper, but just seem to lack something. I mean, besides hitting. I have to say, so far I've been pretty unimpressed with Beane's two disciples, Ricciardi and DePodesta, so far. Maybe building a good farm system is super-critical for Moneyball to work. But Ricciardi's been there a while...

  3. At Longo's request, here are my picks. I reserve the right to change them before April 1.

    AL East: NY, Bos (1.5 games back), Bal, TB (tight race for 3rd), Jays (not close).

    AL Central: Cleveland (barely), Twins, White Sox, Detroit, KC

    AL West: A's, Angels, Texas, Seattle. This is a crapshoot. (I said "crapshoot")

    Boston gets WC, ALCS is NY-BOS


    NL East: Braves, Marlins, Mets, hell...Nationals THEN Philly. Just to make a stupid and bold (but meaningless) prediction.

    NL Central: Cards in a walk. Cubs, Cincy, Houston, Brewers with worst record in MLB.

    NL West: Dodgers, Giants 1 game back, Padres, DBacks, Rockies

    Two playoff spots for 4 teams: Mets, Marlins, Dodgers, Giants. Marlins get WC. Cards-Braves NLCS.

  4. Jesse - Its 2005. How can you have the A's as your pick in the West. Wow!! No Mulder. No Hudson. Kendall is their main offseason addition. I would say that is your bold prediction.



  6. I am surprised at the Indian picks...

    I also am surprised at the Dodgers holding on to the West...but with the decline of Barry and no pitching, I get it...

    The East? Delgado and LoDuca...but they lost Pavano...Burkett and Beckett (my fantasy-baseball-non-stud) are good, but I just don't see this Marlins team doing much...I see a repeat of last year for them...

    I have to agree it is the basement of the league for the Brewers...I can't see that team doing anything...I bet they miss the days of Gorman Thomas, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and Rollie Fingers...

    And the Cincy picks surprise me a bit...but I don't follow them much. I can't see Milton being that big a difference there.

    So..out of our predictions, who goes to the WS?

    I am saying Cards again...We may see a rematch of last year's WS...

  7. I was thinking the same thing: a rematch is very possible (and this is the first time that's been true since the 1999 WS). Speaking of '99, I think the Braves and the Yankees are other contenders. The Braves have to get back sometime...

  8. Yeah, the beauty of this is that you never know. Obviously you play a few hunches when you make these predictions. Basically I take a look at last years standings and see what each team has done to get better and to get worse. Sure FLA lost Pavano, but he was (I hope) a one year wonder. How much does Leiter have left in the tank? Who knows - I say enough to keep them competitive. Not a bad staff. They have Mota for the whole year. And Delgado gives them another bat w/ Cabrera, Lo duca, Lowell, Pierre getting on base. I see them more improved than Philly without the Mets making up 12 more games.

    As for the Dodgers and SF - I think Jesse predicted it goes right to the wire. I agree the Dodgers just don't seem to have "it" but SF seems to be a disaster waiting to happen. Bonds is going to be under even more stress, Schmidt is their one horse.

    Cincy - yeah I may be reaching on that one - like Jesse trying to mix it up with the Nats.

    The Brewers I bet they would have a better record if they signed Gorman Thomas, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and Rollie Fingers and had them play now. And even have Bernie Brewer pitch an inning every now and then. Or bat clean up.

    It's good that we got our predictions up now BEFORE the 8 zillion articles that come out later this month/next month - can guys believe pitchers and catchers report in about a week.

    At the end of day I would have to agree the Cards are the class of the NL. A rematch would be cool.