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The fact is, I couldn't include everyone. If this story gets popular, I'm sure there will be gripes about some of the omissions, so just let me justify a few of the reasons I didn't include some of the other contenders.
Mat Latos: Cincinnati's new ace has the potential to be great, but there's no telling how well Latos will transition into the NL Central. He pitched in some of the best pitcher parks in baseball in the NL West, including his home field in San Diego which is the best pitcher's park in baseball. Also, even with the losses of Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, the NL Central is still a stronger offensive division than the West on the whole.
Chris Carpenter: I know the type of season Carp put together with the St. Louis Cardinals was special, but he's definitely showing signs of wear and tear. He was able to pull himself out of a major slump at the beginning of the season to lead his team to a world championship, but with his age, I simply don't see Carp putting elite numbers up.
Adam Wainwright: Will be a leading contender if he pitches like he did prior to Tommy John surgery. It could be an average season for him though, and he could have to readjust to the majors.
Tommy Hanson: Injuries. He can be an elite pitcher and an ace if he just stays healthy.
Johnny Cueto: See Tommy Hanson.
Matt Garza: Too inconsistent, and he might not even stay in the National League for the entire season. Great pitcher, but I don't see him contending.
Josh Johnson: This was definitely the hardest omission for me. Johnson has so much upside that it's almost mind boggling, but he is constantly injured. Much like Hanson and Cueto, Johnson will not only be a contender, but a leading contender if he can remain healthy. Unfortunately, staying healthy has been the hardest part of his promising career so far.