The National League East appears on paper to be a runaway win for the Philadelphia Phillies. The only team that could challenge the Phillies would be the Atlanta Braves, but the arms in Philly should be enough to overcome the Braves.
Philadelphia Phillies 101-61
Boasting a starting rotation that could end up being one of the greatest of all-time nothing short of a World Series championship is the goal for the Phillies. With the only major loss being the bat of Jayson Werth, to the Washington Nationals, the offense will use the crutch of its starting pitching if age becomes a problem. The bullpen could become an issue for the Phillies especially if the health of Brad Lidge does not improve.
Atlanta Braves 90-72
The Bobby Cox era is officially over in Atlanta with Fredi Gonzalez taking over the reins this season. Gonzalez inherits the National League Wild Card winners from last season, and a team with a good mix of veterans and newcomers. Expect a big season from Jason Heyward and a possible Rookie of the Year run from first baseman Freddie Freeman. This team has a shot to win the Wild Card again in 2011.
New York Mets 75-87
A new manager in Terry Collins, a new general manager in Sandy Alderson and Bernie Madoff. Nothing seems to come easy for the team from Flushing, New York. The Mets were one of only three teams to lose money last season (along with Detroit and Boston), and it is Alderson’s job to clean this team up and save money. With huge contracts still on the books for some aging and injured players (Johan Santana, David Wright, Jason Bay and Francisco Rodriguez) it may be a few seasons before the Mets contend in the East.
Florida Marlins 73-89
Next season the Marlins move into a brand new stadium with a retractable roof and 30,000 less seats. Unfortunately that is next season. This season should be much of the same for the Marlins. Playing in front of less than 10,000 fans, flirting with the Wild Card and dealing with their at-times troubled star Hanley Ramirez. If Ramirez and ace Josh Johnson put together big seasons the Marlins have a shot at .500 or over by the end of their time at Sun Life Stadium.
Washington Nationals 65-97
The Nationals shocked quite a few people around baseball when they signed Jayson Werth for seven years and $126 million this past off-season. By the end of the season Werth might be shocked as well. The Nationals do have Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, but neither should be in the capital before the end of this season, and quite possibly not until next season. We will have to wait to see what the impact of the Nyjer Morgan trade will be, but it will not matter as the Nationals will struggle to win 70 games this season.
NL East MVP: Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida
NL East Cy Young: Cliff Lee, SP, Philadelphia
NL East ROY: Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta
Up Next: The American League East