April 04, 2005

2005 National League Predictions

Andruw Jones will lead the Atlanta Braves back to the World Series.

NL East
1. Braves
2. Mets (WC)
3. Phillies
4. Marlins
5. Nationals

Comments: Deepest division in the National League, yet it’s the easiest pick for division winner. History, talent and best GM in baseball on Braves side as they look to break through to NLCS. Mets are uncommon choice for postseason, but free agent gems Martinez and Beltran, along with a handful of players destined to improve, are too good to ignore. Phillies enter 2005 as a darkhorse instead of favorite. That’s a better place for them, and a good climate for new manager Charlie Manuel to ease back into baseball. Marlins have a text-book offense, but back of rotation and bullpen could be a disaster. Expos improve as Nationals, but merely competitive cellar-dwellers in tough division.

NL Central
1. Cardinals
2. Cubs
3. Milwaukee
4. Astros
5. Pirates
6. Reds

Comments: Big, bad offense leads Cardinals back to postseason, but health is a concern. I doubt Scott Rolen’s knee can hold through October. Can returning starters live up to standard new ace Mark Mulder will set? I’m not a fan of the Cubbies’ bats and need to see pitchers Prior and Wood healthy together to believe it. Milwaukee has the potential to be a neat little team. Former Phillie minor leaguer Ezequiel Astacio gets a chance to start in Houston, but offense and defense could bury them. By mid May, Jose Mesa out, Mike Gonzalez in as closer as Pirates put up their trademark hot April, followed by nothing. Is Paul Wilson really Cincinnati’s best pitcher?

NL West
1. Giants
2. Padres
3. Dodgers
4. Diamondbacks
5. Rockies

Comments: Closer Armando Benitez is the difference maker for the Giants this season. If Bonds returns, they could go deep in the postseason. Jake Peavy emerged in ‘04 as one of the best pitchers in the NL, but talent drops off sharply after his spot in the Padres’ rotation. Kind of a goofy offseason from GM Paul DePodesta in Los Angeles, but they came through with a quality rotation without sacrificing young arms. Arizona and Colorado could win 100 games combined.

Dark horse favorites:
Phillies – If rotation clicks, postseason not unlikely.

Milwaukee – Ben Sheets and Doug Davis could match Hudson and Smoltz as the best 1-2 in the NL.

Potental busts:
Mets – Bullpen already a mess, and can Victor Zambrano and Kaz Ishii man the hull with all those walks?

Giants – Oldest team in baseball, in addition to spring training comments from ace Jason Schmidt to the tune of "Something ain't right."

MVP: Andruw Jones, ATL
Cy Young: John Smoltz, ATL
Rookie of the Year: Andy Marte, ATL

Fantasy Pitching MVP: Ben Sheets, MIL
Fantasy Hitting MVP: Albert Pujols, STL

National League Division Series:
Braves over Cardinals
Giants over Mets

National League Championship Series:
Braves over Giants


At 11:09 AM, Blogger el123chico said...

you have the braves sweeping all the awards. i also like how quickly you have fallen out of love with Josh Beckett. i remember a certain email last year bragging about beckett when he pitched a cg shutout against me in fantasy.

and where is the love for the pirates oliver perez? i think he'll be more valuable in fantasy than sheets.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Jason Weitzel said...

Don't you remember my general post of the message board, something like. "Stick that blister up your ***, Beckett!"


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