Andy Capwell’s Major League Baseball Predictions: National League East
On this very snowy last day of winter, let’s think spring and baseball! This year will feature some changes in MLB. The Houston Astros will now be in the American League West and the playoffs will be expanded to 10 teams from 8. Now for my predictions. Today I’ll make my picks in the National League East. I’ll predict the NL Central tomorrow.The NL East seems to be the have and the have nots.
1. Washington Nationals – Pitching, Pitching, Pitching! Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez are a strong top of the rotation. They have a good, young offense as well. Look for Washington to be back in the playoffs.
2. Atlanta Braves – Chipper Jones might be gone, but the Braves will still be a good team. They have an exciting young offense with Heyward, Freeman and McCann, B.J. and Justin Upton. The starting pitching doesn’t seem to be as strong as in past years, but they have one of the best closers in Kimbrel.
3. Philadelphia Phillies- Very strong pitching will have them contend for the division and a wild card spot. Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay anchor the starting staff and our old friend Jonathan Paplebon is still an elite closer. The offense is getting older, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are coming back from injuries and if they play to their potential, they could place higher.
4. New York Mets – The Mets are still a mess. The starting staff has question marks. They could be good if Johan Santana returns from injury and Shawn Marcum could be a quality pick-up. The offense is lead by David Wright, I look for a huge year from him.
Who do you like?