Obligatory (and fun) 2010 MLB Predictions: National League

Pretty much every blog in the universe remotely related to baseball has been making its predictions for what will happen in the majors in 2010.  Some have done it division by division, and some have done it in one big shot. 

I’ll be subscribing to a combination of both as I go league by league.

I will not be including records because, well, I’m just not that smart. 

I see 2010 as a season that will have more than just a few surprises.  Sure, teams such as the Phillies and Yankees will be right there until the end, but there are other squads that I think possess much intrigue because of their offseason moves and the emergence of their younger players.

More than likely this is an effort in futility, but it sure is fun.

Today I will break down the National League.  Tomorrow the American League.  Tuesday I’ll put out my playoff predictions.

NL East

Phillies                        Nobody’s better in the NL.  They would be better with Cliff Lee AND Roy Halladay, but they are pretty darn strong as they stand.

Braves                        I like their mix of youth and experience.  Their pitching will be a strength for them, especially if Tim Hudson can turn in a strong season.

Marlins                       How can you pick against them?  Nobody knows how they do it, but they win every year.  Ricky Nolasco is back and Josh Johnson is solid. 

Mets               How can you pick FOR them?  The addition of Jason Bay would seem to bode well for the offense, but the recent injury to Daniel Murphy won’t help.  Neither will the fact that they seem to have given up on their pitching.

Nationals         I don’t want to pile on.  They are not a good team.  But their offseason moves and slow dedication to a youth movement points them in the right direction.

Playoff team:

 

NL Central

Cardinals         Makes me sick to say it, but they are darn good.  Their offense will more than make up for any pitching deficiencies.  They have the potential for closer problems this year, though.

Cubs                I love this team, but it seems no matter how much talent they get on the squad they do not win.  Sure, they won the division for three straight years, but that was about it.  Last year was an abomination.  Marlon Byrd, and a healthy Aramis Ramirez, will really help the offense.

Reds                They could be the surprise of the division in 2010.  I like their staff (and the addition of Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, even though he is in the minors now) and their bats.  Might sound crazy, but I think these guys could push for a playoff spot this year.

Astros             Sure Lance Berkman is hurt, but this team has some talent.  They are getting older at some positions (Carlos Lee, Berkman, Oswalt) and injuries could derail their season.

Brewers          Their pitching is horrendous.  Yovani Gallardo can’t stay healthy and one of their starters, Jeff Suppan, is already out.  Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun are not enough.

Pirates             Andrew McCutcheon will be fun for the entire league to watch and will more than likely represent the Bucs in the All-Star Game.  That’s about it.

Playoff teams:  

 

NL West

Giants              As fans of the Tampa Bay Rays know, pitching wins.  And there are few staffs (provided Barry Zito is actually good this year) as strong as the Giants’.  “Kung Fu Panda” Pablo Sandoval will really shine this year.

Dodgers          Why won’t they win the division?  Health.  I just think that they are going to have some big injuries this year and that Manny will do all he can to distract the team from winning baseball games.  I like their young starting pitching, but it won’t gel enough this year. 

Rockies                       Coors Field seems like a great place to watch a baseball game.  Its offensive stats seem to have calmed down a bit.  The rise of Ubaldo Jimenez and his ability to induce ground balls will help this team have a solid season.

Padres             I love their youth.  Everth Cabrera, Mat Latos, Chase Headley.  I like ’em.  This will be a big surprise if they don’t finish in the basement of the division again.  I think they have some surprises in them.

Diamondbacks            It will be a surprise if these guys DO finish in the basement.  I like Dan Haren and their emerging catcher, Miguel Montero (he’s on my fantasy team!).  But I don’t see a lot to get excited about in the desert.

Playoff team:

 

Well, that was fun.  No doubt, some of my picks might be debatable. 

 

And, if they are debatable, feel free to tear me apart.

 

Let’s play some baseball!

 

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6 comments

  1. southernbelle

    Bob: Interesting to have the Reds in 3rd place…but hey, anything can happen in baseball! I agree with you mostly otherwise. Although I’d hate to think of the Dodgers not winning. They are my 2nd favorite team (because Andre Ethier is sooo hot) and I like them. But not nearly as much as my Yankees, who are going to be playing in LESS THAN 2 HOURS!
    -Virginia
    http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com
    http://riveravebombers.com

  2. SLY

    I hope you can see the future. I am putting the fate of Los Gigantes season on your shoulders. Shall they fail I will deem it the “Curse of Raysfanboy”. If your prediction fails I may fall into an drunken bender that could lead to me losing my job/house/girl/life. Yes, your prediction could be the end of me.

    I am a delicate flower.

    Shaun

    http://syaple.mlblogs.com

    The Three Bs

    “The $200 French Fries”

  3. santosis

    I’m with you on the Giants–they seem to be flying under the radar as all the experts choose the Rockies. If (and this is a 50/50 proposition, I would say) Aubrey Huff can have a good year (say .800+ OPS), then I think the Giants offense will be good enough to win the division.

  4. devilabrit

    So we differ on a couple…. but if everyone agreed it wouldn’t be worth playing would it… and besides you have the Phillies winning the East and that’s whats important… 🙂

    Can’t believe your guys don’t open till tomorrow (Tuesday) night sucks…

    -peter
    Phillies Outside

  5. crzblue2

    RFB,
    Sorry to hear Jeff Suppan is alredy out. He is really a nice guy. I went to his restaurant about two year ago and he gave us a nice tour of the place.
    Love the Johnny Carson picture, not your predictions 🙂
    I think it will be a repeat of last year in the NL West with the Dodgers taking the division and the Rockies the WC.
    Emma
    http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

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