NL Picks

Here’s my fearless picks for the National League. I’m definately more of an AL guy than an NL guy, so my knowledge of some the teams (especially in the West) is slightly lacking. But I know enought to pick ’em.

NL East

Braves

Mets

Phillies

Marlins

Nats

I like the Braves offense better than the Mets (Jones, Teixiera, Francour, and McCann) over the Mets (rapidly aging Delgado, Beltran, Wright, and the streaky Reyes). Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar is one of sleeper picks this season. I think the Braves rotation is slightly more stable than the Mets. Santana is great, but Pedro and El Duque have to be question marks. Granted, the Braves have Mike Hampton, but when he’s out for the season again, the Braves have enough pitching depth to plug someone else in. The Mets’ outfield (besides Beltran) doesn’t look that good. The Phils aren’t going to have the magic of last season because of their pitching. Hamels and Myers are good, but the rest of that starting rotation is questionable. Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge are the anchors of the bullpen and that could be scary. The Marlins will play another season and have some talent but nothing to contend. The Nats have what could be an entertaining outfield with Elijah Dukes and Lastings Milledge. Entertaining both talentwise and trainwreckwise.

NL Central

Cubs

Brewers

Reds

Cards

Astros

Pirates

With or without Roberts, the Cubs have a great lineup. Lee, Soriano, Fukodome, and Ramirez with put some runs on the board. Their rotation is fairly deep, but I have my doubts about Ryan Dempster as a starter. Zambrano is a beast and Ted Lily was the most consistant pitcher on staff last season. The Brewers will have a good season, but Ben Sheets have been durable as…pardon the lame pun….a sheet of paper. With Chris Capuano done for the year and  Yovani Gallardo coming off surgery, they’ve had a few bumps but in the NL Central you can afford a bump or two. With Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Ryan Braun, and Richie Weeks, they’ll be alright. The Reds are back to being a decent team. I worry about about 2 things, both involving Dusty Baker. Will he move the vets aside to make time for the young players and how healthy will the pitching staff by towards the last quarter of the season? The Cards aren’t going to be good as they’re transitioning toward starting over. The ever scrappy David Eckstein, Tony LaRussa’s pet Scott Rolen, and highlight ham Jim Edmonds are gone. The rotation is patchworked and Albert Puljos may or may not need surgery at some point on a cranky shoulder. That said, I think they’ll be better than the Astros. They have a nice outfield in Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence, and Lance Berkman, they’ve got our boy Miggi at short, and they have Roy Oswalt. Outside of that, they have no starting pitching and 4 days out of 5 could be ugly. If Oswalt goes down during the season, it’ll get ugly. They’d better put some runs on the board. The Pirates are still the pirates, and as an O’s fan, I feel their fans’ pain.

NL West

Padres

D-Backs

Dodgers

Rockies

Giants

This division should be fun to watch. I think the top 4 teams will be pretty close all season. The Padres have some great pitching and manage to win games. I’ve always written off the Padres in the past few season picks, but I’m drinking the kool-aid this season. They’ll win the West. The D-Backs could win it too. They have a great pitching staff and manage to win close games. The Dodgers could win the division too, but I don’t like their pitching staff as much as the other two teams above them. I like their pickup of Andruw Jones and I think he’ll have a rebound year over there. The Rockies caught lightning in bottle season all the way to the World Series. I doubt they’ll make that far again, but they’ll have a winning record at worst. The Giants, on the other hand, will be one of the few teams as an O’s fan, that make me glad to be an O’s fan. They gave stupid money to Barry Zito, they pandered to Barry Bonds for far too long at longterm cost to the teams future, the 4 and 5 spots on the rotation are anybody’s guess, there’s no offense at any position on the team…. yeah, it’ll be a long season for the fans over in the Bay too.

NL MVP

Prince Fielder

NL Cy Young

Jake Peavy

NL HR Champ

Prince Fielder

NL ROY

Matt Kemp

NL Manager of the Year

Bobby Cox

First NL Manager to be fired

A lot of the bad teams already have new managers and I can’t see how the Giants could fire Bruce Bochy after the team they’re giving to field. If the Mets miss the playoffs after last season’s collapse, Willie Randolph will get the boot. So that’s who I’m going with here.

Playoffs

Cubs over D-Backs

Braves over Padres

NLCS

Cubs over Braves

NL Champs

Cubs

Could the 100 year WS drought end for the Cubs? Check tomorrow with the AL Picks

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6 Responses

  1. I think the Giants can surprise some people and finish in 3rd

  2. As a Mets fan and fellow SBN blogger, I have issue with your picks (obviously).

    The Mets pitching staff is FAR superior to the Braves. An already injured Smoltz and a “rapidly aging” Glavine, plus an extremely unhealthy Hampton does not bode well for them.

    Also, Delgado has been using the opposite field a lot more this spring, so hopefully he can do that during the season as well.

    Mets
    Braves
    Phillies
    Nats
    Fish

    That’s how I think it’ll shake out.

  3. I’m biased towarded the Braves since I’ved in SC my whole life, BUT if I used the rapidly declining arguement against Carlos Delgado, you’re right to use against Glavine. I like the Braves depth in case of a likely Glavine/Hampton flameout with Reyes and James. I think it’ll be a close race though. I’m already regretting picking the Fish above the Nats, but I locked myself in already.

  4. I think the Giants are in the same boat as the O’s this season, it’s gonna be long ride.They got some good pitchers with names that I can’t spell at the moment (its Saturday morning at 2 am so cut me some slack) but the offense is scary weak. Hey, maybe they can trade for Jay Gibbons. But since we’re on the topic of the Giants, answer me question, I’ve been having a debate with one of myfriends, he thinks Omar Vizquel is a sure fire Hall of Famer. I think he’s great player but don’t think he’s quite Cooperstown. What;’s your thoughts? I’d like some feedback on this one. I’m going bed, since I shoulda a couple hours ago,

  5. I think he’s heading to Cooperstown. He has enough gold gloves to warrant it.

  6. I agree. His comparable is Ozzie Smith and he has nearly better stats in every category including fielding percentage.

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