Phillies (96-100 wins)- The Phillies are obviously the class of the NL East winning the last four division crowns. the Pros of this team is obviously the starting pitching. The top four are the clear cut best in MLB with Joe Blanton as the number 5 who has cleared 194 IP 5 of the last 6 years. the cons with this team could end up being a strength if Chase Utley and Ryan Howard can have a bounce back year. The big key for the Phillies offense is the 1 and 2 hitters getting on base. Rollins, Victorino and Polanco each had OBP under .330 last season. As for the bullpen Ryan Madson comes in as one of the dominate setup men in baseball, but the obvious key will be Brad Lidge. if he can spot his fastball like he did from August 1 on hell be dominate once again.
Braves (89-93 wins)- The Braves come in losing their setup and closer from last season. however gained alot of pop with Uggla coming over from Florida. The pros of this team is also pitching with a strong core of starters with Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Lowe and Minor. The Braves young star Heyward will be joined by another big time prospect in 1B Freddie Freeman. The Braves lineup looks to be in the top 3rd in NL lineups, Heyward, Freeman, McCann, Uggla, Prado, and potentially Chipper Jones. Chipper coming off a knee injury will be another key to the Braves lineup. but IMO the weakness is the back end of the bullpen for Atlanta. I do like Craig Kimbrel but like Drew Storen im not sure if hes ready to take over as the closer. Johnny Venters could be another candidate, what was a big strength has now turned into a question mark. however i expect Atlanta to win the wild card.
Marlins (85-89 wins)- The Marlins traded away their 2B Uggla but got bullpen help and a much more sound defensive infielder with mike dunn and infante. One of the best offseason moves was signing Javier Vazquez, who was dominate with the Braves in 2009, and now returns to the NL, and gives the Marlins another sound rotation with stud Josh Johnson, Nolasco, Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Volstad. the offense is filled with talented young players and could have a tremendous 3-4 with Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton another super rookie NL East RFer. Morrison is a the perfect 2 hole hitter, and free agent pick up John Buck behind the plate. Weakness once again will be the bullpen, the Marlins come close to the Braves, but fall short
Mets (68-73 wins)- the Mets barely beat out the Nats for 4th. Santana is out until at least june possibly later. the rotation is shaky at best with Dickey and Pelfrey leading the way. Bay comes off a concussion, Reyes coming off a leg injury, Beltran in a contract year we all know the story with the Mets. well see if K-Rod can keep himself from assaulting family members, but overall still have a good core of position players. Mets will play for 2012 with millions coming off the books after this season
Nationals (66-71 wins)- The Nats (at the expense of one of the worst contracts ive seen) got Jayson Werth to man RF. lost Dunn but signed a very servicable 1B in LaRoche. its sad Strasburg went down or the Nats rotation wouldnt look too bad. Livan more than likely wont repeat his performance from last year, but Jordan Zimmermann comes back from TJ surgery. the middle of the order looks very good for Washington with Zimm, Werth, and LaRoche. well see if Desmond can continue to grow, and if Nyger can keep his composure this year. the Nats have shown they have the money, this year wont produce a winning record but with Strasburg and Harper on the way they should have amuch better chance come 2012.