Predicting the N.L Central was rather easy and to the naked eye, these predictions should be easy as well. But as I start to go in depth, I’ve learned that there’s plenty that can go into this. But to start off, I’m going to go with the:
1. Washington Nationals
Additions: Matt Adams
Departures: Check back next year;)
This Nationals team, just like the Nationals teams in years past, is a pretty darn good team. But this team didn’t splash anyone huge and they should be looking to sign another bullpen arm to accompany Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. This season is make or break for the Nationals. They have to break the D.C curse that has been cast upon them thanks to the Capitals. The Nationals desperately, desperately,need to at least make the NLCS to not only break the curse, but to have a prayer in keeping Bryce Harper, since next year he will be a free agent. They should take the division again, but the life of the team is on the line this year. If they choke in the playoffs again, then this division should be wide open.
2. Philadelphia Phillies
Additions: Jake Arrieta, Carlos Santana
Departures: No departures
Take this as my upset pick. This team can challenge for a wild card spot. Now I didn’t say they would take it, I think they may be right there or a bit short, but I think they will exceed expectations to say the least. Carlos Santana is a good signing that brings power and a great ability to get on base and postseason experience on a very long team. Jake Arrieta pretty much does the same thing. The offense and rotation now have building blocks to push onto as the years go by. The Phillies will be an interesting squad and I think they’ll have enough in the tank to make the wild card race very entertaining. Plus with the Eagles and the Villanova Wildcats, why not the Phillies?
3. New York Mets
Additions: Jay Bruce, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Reyes
This season hinges completely on the health of the starting rotation. Not only must they stay healthy, but they have to play very well. They resigned Jay Bruce and got Adrian Gonzalez, which I guess was the big splash of the offseason. The offense still isn’t enough to win games in case the pitching goes awry. That’s why last season was such a crapshoot for the Mets. Even if the starters are completely healthy, will they be as effective as they were in 2015? For this year at least, I’m betting against that notion.
4. Atlanta Braves
Additions: Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir
Departures: Matt Adams, Matt Kemp
Picking up those Dodgers starters should help out a rotation that has, well Julio Teheran, who had a down 2017 but should improve. Not much to mention from this squad, who under-performed significantly last year, due in part to the injury to Freddie Freeman midseason. Besides those two stars, this team is made up of sub par veterans and top notch prospects. If guys like Acuna and Swanson can perform well along with a couple of offseason splashes, who know what the Braves can do. But their uncertainty scares me, and that’s why i see a losing season in their near future.
5. Miami Marlins
Additions: Starlin Castro
Departures: Everyone that was somewhat relevant to the team, Stanton, Yelich, Gordon, Ozuna might as well disable the franchise huh?
I mean what the hell? Serioulsy? This offseason was completely unnecessary! All you needed was a good pitching signing but instead you give up your entire team? Again? I just don’t understand. Any fan support this franchise has had was officially killed off by Derek Jeter and company. Have fun digging ditches in the basement.