NL East Preview 2010

April 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

By: Eddie Dice


Baseball Season has sprung upon us and optimism is spread all over camp. The 0-0 Washington Nationals are zero games back of the dominant Phillies and the upstart Atlanta Braves. This is what makes opening day special and keeps fans all across the nation glued to the TV all summer long.

For years the NL East has been dominated by one team. In the ’90s, it was the Braves, and with a three-year reign the Fightin’ Phillies are now the beasts of the East.



Coming off a 93-69 season which concluded in the Fall Classic for the second straight year, the Phils have some unfinished business. The Phils feel they have made the necessary adjustments to get them back in the Series.

In a virtual swap of Cy Young Award-winners, the Phillies acquired arguably the best pitcher in baseball in Roy Halladay. It unfortunately cost them Cliff Lee, because the Phils brass wanted to replenish their farm. They picked up Placido Polanco to play third and provide more contact in a strikeout-prone lineup. Danys Baez and Jose Contreras will help provide depth in a thin bullpen.

The Phils still bring one of the best lineups in the business, and assuming Cole Hamels returns to form they could have one of the best one-two punches in the game.

The Phils have serious problems in the ‘pen, with Romero and Lidge headed for the DL to start the season. The rotation is pretty thin towards the back end with Blanton banged up and 47-year-old Jamie Moyer earning the fifth spot.



The Bravos set out to regain dominance in the division they once owned. In Bobby Cox’s last year the Braves look to give the Phillies a challenge.

Their rotation remains one of the best in baseball with Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson a year older. Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe will give NL East hitters fits all summer. But the Braves did lose Javier Vasquez in a deal that brought in experienced outfielder Melky Cabrera.

The Braves best solidified their team in the back end of the bullpen. They acquired Takashi Saito and Billy Wagner. In a division where blown saves happen more often than Tiger Woods’ affairs, the Braves may have the edge.

Jason Heyward is a beast and reminds me a lot of Phillies slugger Ryan Howard. He should win ROY, and with Troy Glaus healthy the Braves should mash with the best of them.



Injuries, injuries, injuries. Unfortunately for Mets fans, Opening Day merely brings more of the same from last year.

Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and now Daniel Murphy will all start the year on the DL. The Mets did acquire Jason Bay, and David Wright has to hit for more power, but Citi Field isn’t the best place for fantasy points.

The rotation is still a mess behind Johan Santana. John Maine and Mike Pelfrey have shown signs of promise but never seem to get over the hump. K-Rod will be solid as the closer but how many games will he close; and better yet, how many games will the middle relief blow before it gets to him?



The Marlins finished six games back of the Phils and put a scare into them in early September. The Marlins are led by two future phenoms.

Josh Johnson is simply dominant and will challenge for a Cy Young in the near future. Hanley Ramirez can be defined as one of the best hitters in baseball.

The Fish will bring most of the same chips to the table from last year and will hope valuable experience will help them get over the hump. Led by Johnson, the rotation all includes Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Volstad, and Sean West.

I see the Marlins being feisty, but having a down year this season.



The former Expos are still trying to find their place in the baseball world. In their first year as the Nats back in 2005, they were in first at the All-Star break, and that was the last time we ever heard of them.

Gone are Manny Acta and the passive rules of losing everyday. They still hold the best third baseman in the game and a potential 600 HR guy in Adam “Will Ferrell” Dunn. They changed their approach and brought in proven veterans to teach young guys such as Ian Desmond and Nyjer Morgan.

The plan is to stay competitive and let the Steven Strasburg era start ASAP.

Jason Marquis, Ivan Rodriguez, and Matt Capps will provide a few more wins this season.


My Predictions

Phillies    95-67    0 GB

Braves     90-72   5 GB

Mets       81-81    14 GB

Marlins     80-82   15 GB

Nats       74-88    21 GB

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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