Friday, June 26, 2015

Season 31 NL Predictions

NL North
1.       Milwaukee Brewers – Very good pitching staff with a few offensive studs carry this team to 4th straight division title, going to be tight though with all the free agent defections.
2.      Cincinnati Reds – Scary lineup with an average pitching staff means these games might be higher scoring than Bengals games.
3.      Montreal Expos – Still a solid balanced team that looks to be hovering over .500.
4.      Chicago Cubs – The loss of Bravo hurts a lot. 4th in this division is no sad state though as I would be shocked if more than 10 games separates 1st from last.

NL East
1.      New York Mets – Pitching wins championships and another banner over Shea seems more like a “when” than an “if.”
2.      Washington DC Nationals – A more aggressive approach in free agency this season will have them competing for a wild card.
3.      Philadelphia Phillies – Losing Hughes will be painful and push the team deeper below .500.
4.      Pittsburgh Pirates – The team appears to be in a transitional period and not yet ready to compete.

NL South
1.      Houston Astros – 104 win team returns intact and ready for another great season.
2.      St. Louis Cardinals – Another 104 win team returns in full with the addition of a new power bat. Should be down to the wire again.
3.      Florida Marlins – Welcome chase39!  In his first free agent period in Kinsella, he was aggressive. The new pitching staff looks top notch, but may still be tough scoring runs.
4.      Atlanta Braves – Not a bright outlook this season as they look like a team ready for an overhaul.

NL West
1.      Los Angeles Dodgers – Great pitching powers the team with the offense scoring just enough to win games.  Going to be interesting to see if they can hold off SF this season.
2.      San Francisco Giants – Probably the most aggressive spending team over the last two seasons. Pitching gets even better with Hughes while the offense seems to be an all or nothing bunch with plenty of homers and poor OBP.
3.      Arizona Diamondbacks – Lowest payroll team in baseball is in full rebuild and going to ride the line on the MWR.
4.      San Diego Padres – With a team mostly comprised of AAAA level talent and nothing of note added in free agency, I don’t see this team winning the 64 games they need.

Major Awards
MVP – Alex Garcia, St. Louis:  Tough to vote for anyone else when there is a gold glove level CF busting out 40-50 homers. His plaque in Cooperstown is already waiting for him.
Cy Young – Matty Wallace, Milwaukee:  This season the 24 year old righthanders will emerge as one of the best pitchers around.           
Rookie of the Year:  Didn’t take the time to look for Game 20 call-ups, so who knows?

Playoff Seeding:
1.      Houston Astros
2.      New York Mets
3.      Los Angeles Dodgers
4.      Milwaukee Brewers
5.      WC #1 St. Louis Cardinals
6.      WC #2 San Francisco Giants
Near Miss:  Florida Marlins

Playoff Predictions:
Division Play-In
               #3 LA Dodgers vs. #6 SF Giants
               SF Giants in 5 – Big pitching combined with timely home runs make the difference.
               #4 Milwaukee Brewers vs. #5 St. Louis Cardinals
               St. Louis in 3 – Rematch of last season’s big 2nd round upset, with St. Louis getting even.
Division Championship
               #1 Houston Astros vs. #5 St. Louis Cardinals
               Houston in 5 – Likely a match-up of the league’s best records could easily go either way.
               #2 NY Mets vs. #6 SF Giants
               SF Giants in 5 – In a big upset, Tony Ramirez leads the Giants past his former team.
League Championship
               #1 Houston Astros vs. #6 SF Giants
               Houston Astros in 5 – The best team wins and Ted Simpson gets another shot at a ring.

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