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Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 National League East Predictions

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Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 National League East Predictions
The Phillies will take their 6th consecutive NL East Title!

The Phillies have won the NL East for five consecutive seasons.  In 2007, the comeback kids came out of nowhere to catch the New York Mets and went quietly into the night in a three-game defeat to the Colorado Rockies.  In 2008, they got hot in the second half, even hotter in the playoffs and won the World Series.  2009 can't be considered too much of a disappointment as they won the NL pennant but lost in six games to the NY Yankees

However, the finishes to the 2010 and 2011 seasons were heartbreaking, first, to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS and last season to the Cardinals in the NLDS.  During this stretch, the Atlanta Braves were the only other NL team to make the playoffs, exiting quickly in 2010 to the Giants.

So how will the NL East play out this year?  The Phillies are probably still the favorite, but the gap is narrowing and fast.

 

1. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Team MVP-  Hunter Pence

Team Cy Young- Cole Hamels

Biggest Surprise- Domonic Brown

Biggest Disappointment- Jim Thome

Best Case- The Phillies are healthy in October and make it back to the World Series enabling Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to dominate in the postseason earning them their first rings.

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Worst Case-  Injuries kill this aging team and the progression of World Series Champ (08) to World Series loser (09) to NLCS loser (10) to NLDS loser (11) leads to no playoffs (12)

Predicted Record- 94-68

 

2. FLORIDA MARLINS

Team MVP- Mike Stanton

Team Cy Young- Josh Johnson

Biggest Surprise- Carlos Zambrano

Biggest Disappointment- Mark Buehrle

Best Case- The Marlins take advantage of the injury riddled Phillies team and catch lightning in a bottle again like 1997 & 2003 when they won the World Series.

Worst Case- Ozzie Guillen, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano bicker their way to a disappointing season, and the fans stop showing up at the new ballpark in July.

Predicted Record- 87-75

 

Jose Reyes moves from the Mets to the Marlins

3. ATLANTA BRAVES

Team MVP- Freddie Freeman

Team Cy Young- Craig Kimbrel

Biggest Surprise- Jason Heyward

Biggest Disappointment- Chipper Jones

Best Case- The Braves young pitchers remain durable, and they get enough out of a suspect offense to make it to the postseason.

Worst Case- Kimbrel and Jonny Venters' innings from '11 catch up with them, starters Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson can't stay healthy, and sub .500 record here we come.

Predicted Record- 86-76

 

4. WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Team MVP- Jayson Werth

Team Cy Young- Jordan Zimmerman

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Nats' Jayson Werth needs to rebound from a disappointing 2011.

Biggest Surprise- Ian Desmond

Biggest Disappointment- Mike Morse

Best Case-  Bryce Harper gets called up early, sets the world on fire and makes a dynamic young tandem with Stephen Strasburg to make a run before many anticipated.

Worst Case- Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos take a step backwards, while Stephen Strasburg's arm acts up time and time again.

Predicted Record- 84-78

 

 

5. NEW YORK METS

Team MVP- Lucas Duda

Team Cy Young- Jonathon Niese

Biggest Surprise- Lucas Duda

Biggest Disappointment- Johan Santana

Best Case- With a significantly reduced payroll the Mets play with heart and passion, something lacking in the previous seasons with much more talent.

Worst Case- The expected happens.  Too many question marks are answered negatively and the fan base starts yelling "J-E-T-S Jets Jets!" in June.

Predicted Record-  69-93

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