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State (Re-Evaluation) of the NL East


FreshFish
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What do you think so far of the NL East? I expected this division to be very competitive, but not this competitive. with that said, I didn't discounted anyone at the beggining. At this point, EVERYONE have a shot at the tittle.

 

This is how I see it now:

- Atlanta (in trouble)

good starting pitching, ugly bullpen, and average offense (they need to pull a couple of good trades to remain in the hunt)

 

- Washington (over achieving at the moment)

above average starting pitching, good bullpen, decent offense (need to stay healthy) on a hot streak, should cool off some sooner or later. Surprise team of the year.

 

- Philly

average starting pitching, good bullpen, best offensive team in the NL East (should continue to play good ball and stay on the race all year long)

 

- Mets

above average pitching, below average bullpen, 2nd best offensive team in the NL East (should continue to play good ball, but may have trouble down the stretch). Need a couple of good trades

 

- Marlins

good starting pitching, average bullpen, good but inconsistant offense. May be the best all around team in the NL East. Starting pitching health will be key, and offense inconsistency may not allow the team to finally win the NL East tittle. (may benefit from a couple of trades to shake up offense and solidify bullpen and/or starting pitching (5th spot))

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Every team in the division has a record over .500--but that'll change when we start facing each other a lot more. Right now everything is tight and it's very competitive, but that's not going to last long when everyone in the division starts playing each other.

 

I think us, the Braves, and the Nationals will be there fighting in the end.

 

The Nationals never back down, they have a lot of last AB wins, and even though they don't seem to dominating, they find ways to win, like we did in 2003.

 

And the Braves own this division, so it's theirs until they lose, and they're sticking close. Especially since they always get hotter as the year goes on, you shouldn't count them out, and they will be there in the end.

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Here's the way I look at it:

 

The Mets and Phillies will actively try to improve (they've spent too much money already this year to simply play out the string) and if they're less than 6 back by the deadline, they'll be making the moves because they can take on payroll.

 

The Braves and Nats are handcuffed financially because they're on a budget, so unless they make trades dollar for dollar, they won't be markedly better than they are now (although Scheurholz always finds a way).

 

The Marlins are too damn confused about what kind of team they have. I mean, this is basically the same team that won the 2003 World Series, and basically the same one that struggled to put a consistent offensive out-put last season. You could make a very strong case as to why this team should be blown up and built up around Cabrera and Delgado for '07, as you could for why they should make those two impact trades (a bat and an arm) and go for it this year.

 

I think you could very easily say the division will be "won" on July 31st...

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Atlanta - health is their primary concern. It will determine where they finish

 

Florida - consistency is the biggest problem. If it isn't solved, you're looking at a repeat of last year

 

New York - Bullpen is cover your eyes awful. Seem to be missing enough pieces to win the division, but as others have said they have the money and will make moves if they're close at the break.

 

Philadelphia - Offense needs to click all summer because they don't have the pitching to carry them

 

Washington - Solid all around, getting great bullpen work. Don't discount what Bowden has done as GM, and don't be surprised if they pull off a move. Baseball is loving the press a winning team in DC is giving. They aren't about to rain on their season.

 

Unless things change (trades, injuries, caliber of play), you're looking at a finish of:

Wash

NYM

Fla

Atl

Phi

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Re-evaluation.......As I see it the Marlins started out the season with the best team in the NL East. Nothing dramatic has changed. They are still the best team in the NL East. The 3 keys for the Marlins remain the same now as on Opening Day......health, health, and health....as in Burnett, Beckett, and Willis. These 3 stay healthy and miss less than 8 starts between them from now on and we win the division. All the other teams have weakneses that we do not. Over the course of the season these teams will fade. It's a tough division, but we win by 3 games.

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My power rankings:

1- Phillies

2- Marlins

3- Nats

4- Braves

5- Mets

 

Nationals are red hot, but Livan their pitching can't hold up all year.

I think the Phillies manager is really good and their bullpen will be much better with Urbina, so they will eventually end up fighting for the division with us. That is, of course, if we execute like we did at the beginning of the year.

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Reading some of these responses I think people are underestimating the Nationals. This was an Expos team that competed 2 years ago when they were playing in two homes. They are a relatively young team on average. They have a balanced hitting lineup having hitters from both sides of the plate. A manager who knows the game. And now they know what it tastes like to win not to mention a lot of fans behind them. They have pitching in Estaban and Livan and Aramas is not trash. If Drese plays the NL like he did in past interleague years he will be a very serviceable 5th man. Also the Nationals have only been 1 game under .500 at the worst this year. They have basically been a winning team all the way so far this year something the Expos didn't do last year. I would not be shocked if they just keep winning.

I think the team the NL East as a whole needs to worry about the most is the Phillies. Its hard to find a hole on that team now that they have Urbina. Their starting pitching is their weakest piece but if their offense can score in that sandbox like it should then their pitching won't be left out to dry.

The other three teams have holes of some sort or another. Mets have relief pitching issues and aside from Pedro their starting pitchers are not top notch and their offense isn't anything great but it gets the job done. The Braves have no O and are OLD. Injuries aren't helping either. They do have the intangebiles on their side though. You can never rule them out. And of course this leaves the Marlins.

Lowell and JP need to start hitting. Delgado is doing as good as you could have thought he would coming from the AL. Cabrera is doing better. Seabass is having an un-Seabass like year. Encarnacion is his streaky self. Team speed and power is down mostly in thanks to the disapperance of Lowell and JP. The pitching is still there well starting pitching at least. And is Todd Jones the man long term? As much of a great player Delgado might be he is not a "winner". He has never led a team somewhere. The Marlins need to rally around someone. Conine would be the apparent choice but the problem is he doesn't play much. And Lowell is just coming around but will he go back to his normal second half slump?

As of now I will have to say the NL East will shake out WSH, PHI, FLA,ATL,NYM. Which of course means the Braves and Marlins will both be the top two teams.

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Reading some of these responses I think people are underestimating the Nationals. This was an Expos team that competed 2 years ago when they were playing in two homes.807273[/snapback]

 

I respect the hell out of what the Nats have done, but they are not the same team they were two years ago. That team had Guerrero, Cabrera, a healthy Vidro and Bartolo Colon, those are four big pieces to lose.

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The Expos were a good team in 2004. Injuries hit them very hard and they had no depth. They're a 75-80 win team with potential to outpace expectations. Their bullpen is unbelievable. Cordero, Majewski and Ayala are three of the best young relievers in the game.

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Its still way too early to tell anything about this division as the Marlins were in first place on this date last season and finished third. Right now everyone else besides the Nats are kinda playing as well as everyone else. Who knows the Nats could be for real the do have a good player base and are still making moves to get better. To assume this years Marlins are the Marlins of 2003 is absurd, as there are only 10 guys from that WS team on the active roster. This is a totally differant team. Right now I'm just thankful that the Braves haven't gripped the division as they usually do. As for the other teams in the East the Phillies and Mets have the payroll to be successful, but I don't think the chemistry to do it. Unless things change drastically IMO the division will shape up being

1. Wash 2. FLA 3. ATL 4. NY 5. PHI

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Wow, so many are picking the Nationals to win the division. They are certainly better than last year, but do not have the starting pitching to go all the way. Livan is either going to wear down or find himself on the DL with the way Robinson is overusing him. I don't see where they have the staying power to keep it up.

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Wow, so many are picking the Nationals to win the division. They are certainly better than last year, but do not have the starting pitching to go all the way. Livan is either going to wear down or find himself on the DL with the way Robinson is overusing him. I don't see where they have the staying power to keep it up.

807312[/snapback]

 

Surely you've learned the mood of the board, that the here and now is the new long-term norm.

 

Here's my prediction:

 

Philly-Fla-Atl-Wash-NY

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