Happy Opening day blog! I cannot believe we are here. I can't believe I am saying that now at post 85, the whole experience up to this point has been remarkable. This post will be my last post before we get actual games! I am so excited, and I don't even care who wins tonight as long as we see some dingers.
NL East: 1- Philadelphia Phillies- 43-17 2- Atlanta Braves 40-20 3- Washington Nationals 38-22 4- NY Mets 36-24 5- Miami Marlins 23-37
I had to do some soul searching for this division since I wrote my original predictions. The Phillies moved up for me cause they haven't lost any significant pieces to injury or COVID. The Phillies are healthy and experience and have enough depth to send their top pitching prospect down. I am in on the Bryce Harper and the Phillies. I sadly had to move the Braves down to a more realistic spot in my rankings. They have had the worst luck of any team with COVID hurting them. Yasiel Puig was part of the team and then not because of a positive test. The team was able to add some MLB depth in Matt Adams, who started hitting dingers. The Washington Nationals are just slightly behind the Braves simply because of who isn't there. Rendon is on LA Angel, Zimmerman is out the season. These were two critical pieces for the championship Nationals. I don't have a ton of hope in them. But a streak like last season can propel this team again. The NY Mets also were adjusted back sadly. After having Stroman land on the IL for a while. The Mets have two of their top 3 pitching options out. Then deGrom himself may even be battling injuries. The Mets have depth with the offense and players coming back from injury. The Mets have one of the better attacks in all the NL. With the Mets having to play against the AL East, they don't have enough pitching to get it done. Going into 5th place, the Miami Marlins have just a weird mix of young talent, developing talent, and vet talent. I don't love the combination of players on this team, and I don't see it as a competitive unit.
NL Central- 1- Chicago Cubs 41-29 2- Milwaukee Brewers 40-20 3- Cincinnati Reds 36-24 4- St. Louis Cardinals 33-27 5- Pittsburg Pirates 25-35
Once again, I had to come down a little bit off one team for another. I think the Cubs I now have finishing first in the division is too good not to win many games. The offense of this team alone is 2nd to only the Dodgers in the NL. The pitching is top 5 in the NL to myself as well. The stars are aligning for the Cubs. Milwaukee Brewers are just excellent. The only area I think the Brewers don't get enough credit for is how good the team is outside of Yelich. I believe in this team and think they are highly underrated. The only reason they come in where they do is because of unproven pitching. The Brewers will turn a lot of heads by how good they are. The Reds are much improved all around. They are more developed and brought in the right talent to fill the needs. The Reds are my surprise team of the NL. The Cardinals are somehow the NL version of Oakland A's. They aren't going to blow you away with payroll or star power. But what they do have is excellent coaching and a system that gets the best out of players. I am a fan of the Cardinals, and I think they are tough always to beat, but with the improved competition in the NL and the AL Central, they don't have enough. The Pirates are a full-on rebuild right now. With Archer's bad trade, putting them even further behind doesn't expect this team to win many games.
NL West- 1- LA Dodgers 43-17 2- SD Padres 39-21 3- AZ D-backs 37-23
4- Colorado Rockies 34-26 5- SF Giants- 27-33
Since I first started the blog, the Dodgers are the class of the NL. With a loaded offense from last season that not has Mookie Betts on it. With a pitching staff that has possible CY Young contender Walker Buehler emerging and primed for a breakout. The Dodgers have NO, not ONE weakness on this team. I am shy, saying they will only win 43 games. The Padres are coming around, with Machado more in tune with Tatis Jr coming on as one of the NL's top SS. The offense is ready to pop. The pitching is also improved slightly but is still the most crucial question for me. Either way, I see the Padres winning their fair share of games. The D-Backs ended last season so strong and got better by adding Mad-Bum into their rotation. I can see a way that the D-Backs end up in second place in the West. They have the offense, the pitching, and emerging solid MLB talent. The Rockies pitching puts them into 4th place for me—playing against the division and the tough AL West. The Rockies' offense alone is enough to win the games, but pitching is needed to get over the hump. The last place is the SF Giants, who will be missing Posey, Longoria, and Belt to start the season. These are the impact bats for the SF Giants and the veteran leadership. You take away this group of players in the field, and at the plate, the Giants will not be winning that many ball games this season.
Thanks for reading, and LETS PLAY BALL!!!!