2008 NL East Predictions
1. Mets — Easily the most complete team in the NL, thanks in large part to the addition of Johan Santana, no coincidence. I thought the trade of Milledge yielded better returns than most critics gave them credit for. Reyes, Wright, and Beltran are good enough to carry the team even if Moises is banged up and Delgado isn’t back to old. I think Pedro has enough moxie to contribute, and I love Oliver and El Duque as 4’s and 5’s. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em …
a bonafide ace a new pair of Prada shoes!
2. Braves — For some reason I see this team and I can’t get away from the fact that I really like it. 3-6 they have a difficult stretch of hitters, and I think everyone in their lineup presents a difficult out. They won’t give away many at-bats at the plate, and they won’t give you many extra outs when they’re in the field. Injuries can plague their pitching staff, but I think they have enough depth to carry them. And did I ever tell you that I love John Smoltz? If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a full season from Chipper Jones.
3. Phillies — They sure have some monsters on offense, and that park can turn Davids into Goliaths, but I’m still a doubter. Lidge is already laid up, Eaton won’t hold up, and Moyer’s finally going to be done. Their bullpen seems too weak to get it done, so I guess they’ll be banking on outscoring everyone, which is entirely possible. I don’t see them winning the division like last year, no last-week miracles. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a closer.
4. Nationals — They made some shrewd moves in the off-season, yes, shrewd — even by Jim Bowden’s standards. Problem is, you can’t have “I hope he turns it around” players at every single position. You need at least a handful of solid guys you can count on, and Ryan Zimmerman’s about the only proven commodity. They have good intentions, but I still think they’re too weak. And when Odalis Perez is your ace, you’re in big trouble. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a win on opening day to make the fans happy.
5. Marlins — Read what I wrote two sentences ago and replace Odalis Perez with Mark Hendrickson. Enough said about this team. They were headed in the right direction two years ago, but their rotation fell apart when Anibal Sanchez got hurt, and Scott Olsen went crazy. Any rotation counting on innings from Rick Vanden Hurk is in big trouble. Their offense isn’t as solid as it used to be presumably because they lost Miggy. They won’t be too far from the Nats. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a notice of contraction.