NL East: Predicting Each Team's Final Record
It's getting closer and closer to Opening Day, and I'm excited.
The National League East has always had a large impact on me, as I grew up on the East Coast.
This year, there will be some teams that make a big jump the standings, while there are others that will remain stuck in the cellar of the division.
The NL East has some of the best, young baseball in the MLB.
The following slides are predictions for each NL East Team's record in 2013.
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In 2012, the Atlanta Braves improved their record by six games. They got hot toward the end of the season, winning eight out of their last 11 games, clinching a postseason berth in the process.
A major highlight of their offseason was the trade that brought over Justin Upton and Chris Johnson.
With Upton and Melvin "B.J." Upton teamed up and Jason Heyward in the outfield, Atlanta solidified itself as a major player for the NL East crown.
Speaking of Heyward, he will be the key to the Braves’ season. The 23-year-old, entering his fourth year in the league, must continue to improve.
The pitching, anchored by Tim Hudson, will be solid as always, even though Tommy Hanson left for the Los Angeles Angels.
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After a disappointing 2012 with a stacked roster, the Miami Marlins aren't looking any better in 2013.
The Marlins lost their wins leader, leading hitter and saves leader, all from the same trade.
In an effort to free up some cap space, Miami traded Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, among others, to the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a major blockbuster deal during the offseason.
It will be an uphill climb for the Marlins, and it is not their year.
There are no clutch hitters on the team, and that will catch up to them.
New York Mets
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The New York Mets will see a decrease in their win total (74) from 2012.
The Mets will definitely get off to a fast start and begin to prove everyone wrong, but will inevitably fall during the summer.
The team traded R.A. Dickey, who won 20 games in 2012 and earned the 2012 NL Cy Young Award. Think about that for a second.
Twenty of 74 wins came because Dickey was on the mound.
Without Dickey, there isn’t a quality, healthy starter who can be effective on every occasion.
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The Philadelphia Phillies were a major disappointment at 81-81 in 2012 because, in the previous year, they won 102 games.
The Phillies got extremely hot at the end of the season. On Aug. 22, the team was 10 games under .500, and looked to be out.
But, the team went on a run that brought them a winning record by the end of September.
This year, there’s no way Philadelphia will be in anywhere near the same situation. They’ll pull it together early in 2013.
Pitchers Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee have the potential to win 20 games every year. The team also added youth to the rotation by adding pitcher John Lannan in December.
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The Washington Nationals are going to run away with the NL East in 2013.
They have everything a team needs to be successful.
Gio Gonzalez is a stud on the mound, and has been a 20-game winner most seasons. The real key to the success of the Nationals will be the progression of the younger superstars—Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.
Harper was phenomenal last year, and really took the league by surprise in his rookie season.
Strasburg was coming off Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation. The Nationals put an innings limit on the young pitcher. He was shut down in September, and the Nationals really lost momentum heading into the playoffs.
In 2013, with much of the same team returning, Washington has the ability to make a deep run in the playoffs.