Next, we move on to what I consider to be the most interesting division, second only to the AL East.
1) Philadelphia Phillies–As a baseball fan, I love watching this team play, which is what made the 2009 World Series all that much better. I can’t get enough of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jason Werth, or Raul Ibanez. What an incredible offense this is. However, I could do without Shane Victorino, or as I call him, the Cryin’ Hawaiian. With the addition of Roy Halladay to the team, the defending National League champions have only gotten better. And I can only see another NL East division title in their sights. [Prediction: 93-69]
2) Atlanta Braves–I question why I like this team so much what with a aged Chipper Jones and an inexperience pitching staff, but from what I’ve seen this Spring training, I love this team. Unfortunately for them, they play in a division with a team that boasts the best offense in all of baseball. I love watching Tommy Hansen pitch almost as much as I love watching Jason Heyward swing the bat. Bobby Cox should not be underestimated, nor should he be counted on leaving at the end of the season. Great all-around team. [Prediction: 89-73]
3) Florida Marlins–Again, I love the front-end of the starting pitching in Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. The offense also boasts a lot of middle-of-the-order power in Hanley Ramirez, Chris Coghlan, and Dan Uggla. But I don’t think that this team can be consistent enough over a 162-game schedule to win its first NL-East title in team history. Also, I don’t like Freddi Gonzalez as a manager. [Prediction: 85-77]
4) New York Mets–I don’t believe in this team so much that I wanted so badly to pick this team to finish in dead last place in the East. But I think that even though they have no heart outside of David Wright, and no brains in a seemingly clueless manager, whose only good quality is that he gets along with the media, when both Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran come back to the team, they should provide enough of a threat for the Mets to out-play the lowly Washington Nationals. Also, there is something screwy going on behind the scenes. Either the Mets management is incompetent or they are not making public the truth of how badly the team is struggling financially. I tend to lean towards the latter because I don’t believe that a management team of a $1 Billion company in New York City can be this incompetent on accident. Anyway, back to the baseball field. With John Maine as the third starter and no Reyes or Beltran on the team until who knows when, the Mets are going to stink for the amount of their team salary. [Prediction: 75-87]
5) Washington Nationals–I feel like this team is still a year or two away from emerging from the NL-East cellar. I think they at least need to have Steven Strasburg in the rotation and another bat to support Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Willingham before they are going to hope to contend. The strike-out, big-swinging Adam Dunn can’t possibly be the answer. And the pitching rotation just doesn’t cut it to contend on the major-league level. [Prediction: 72-90.]