2015 BrokeMets MLB National League Preview

Posted: April 3, 2015 in Hot Stove, Opinion
Tags: ,

By Steven Inman

Stephen Strasburg enters 2015 as the Nationals third starter in a reloaded Washington rotation

Stephen Strasburg enters 2015 as the Nationals third starter in a reloaded Washington rotation

With baseball thankfully just a few short days away let’s take a look at the entire National League with the official 2015 BrokeMets National League predictions. Last year my predictions on division winners were perfect but my award races were way way off… You can check last year’s post out here.

Let’s start with the N.L. East

  1. Washington Nationals    (97-65)
  2. New York Mets             (84- 78)
  3. Miami Marlins               (80-82)
  4. Atlanta Braves              (74-88)
  5. Philadelphia Phillies      (69- 93)

The Nationals enter 2015 as the heavy favorite in the N.L. East. Their offseason signing of Max Scherzer, while seemingly unnecessary, makes them even more difficult to compete with this season. While they lost Adam LaRoche, expect a bounceback season out of Ryan Zimmerman now playing first base every day. The other Zimmermann, Jordan, should be in for a monster year before leaving Washington next winter as a big ticket free agent. He could be in for over $150 million with another strong year. Regardless, the Nats will likely win this division by more than ten games yet again.

The New York Mets are certainly improved but I think they fall just short of the postseason because of a questionable defense and what should be a very streaky offense. Matt Harvey’s innings limit and Zack Wheeler’s Tommy John surgery don’t help matters.

While the Marlins made some nice moves this winter they still have plenty of holes and haven’t showed a willingness to spend significant dollars to fill a key hole during previous trade deadlines. If Jose Fernandez was back in April that could change things but he won’t be. The Marlin bullpen would also scare me especially after the loss of set up man Aaron Crow to TJ surgery last week.

The Braves and Phillies continue to rebuild and won’t be in the race most likely. The Braves offense has been completely gutted but they lack the depth in their starting rotation to compete regardless. It is currently unknown what GM Ruben Amaro Jr.’s plan in Philly currently is so expect them to stay near the bottom of this division for the foreseeable future.

The N.L. Central

The Pirates need Gerrit Cole to be the ace of the Pittsburgh staff if the club wants to get back to the playoffs for the third straight year

The Pirates need Gerrit Cole to be the ace of the Pittsburgh staff if the club wants to get back to the playoffs for the third straight year

  1. St. Louis Cardinals  (93-69)
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates   (87-75) – Wild Card
  3. Chicago Cubs         (82-80)
  4. Milwaukee Brewers  (77-85)
  5. Cincinnati Reds       (74-88)

This was definitely the toughest division to gauge as teams like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh could seemingly go either way based off of key players health. The Reds need bounce back years from Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce just to have a punchers chance in this tough division. If they don’t then Johnny Cueto will likely be the crown jewel available at this year’s trade deadline. Cueto is looking for a monster contract as he is set to become a free agent after the season.

The Cubs look much improved after the the acquisitions of Jon Lester and Dexter Fowler. They should have Kris Bryant in the middle of their lineup within a month but there isn’t enough pitching here to win a loaded N.L. Central. The bullpen is going to cost the Cubbies a lot of games in 2015 but stock is definitely up on the North Side.

The Cardinals are one of if not the best team in the National League. They have what every contender wants, a great rotation, a battle tested lineup and a young bullpen filled with power arms. They have the talent to go on another deep playoff run.

The N.L. West

If the Padres can get all their new pieces to fit together, like Matt Kemp (pictured), then they should be a playoff team in 2015

If the Padres can get all their new pieces to fit together, like Matt Kemp (pictured), then they should be a playoff team in 2015

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (94-68)
  2. San Diego Padres  (87-75) – Wild Card
  3. San Francisco Giants (83-79)
  4. Colorado Rockies (75-87)
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks (71-91)

The Dodgers remain the class of the division but won’t have the Giants on their heels all year long this time in my opinion. The loss of Pablo Sandoval and Mike Morse along with the inconsistencies of the members of the rotation not named Madison Bumgarner will cost this team a playoff spot. The Giants didn’t really address their offense much aside from trading for Casey McGehee. Matt Cain will be the key to the Giants season. If he can get back to his ace form than the Giants will be contenders if not, then they are the 83 win team that I listed above.

The Padres should be much improved after new GM A.J. Preller overhauled the entire offense. He also brought in James Shields and all those moves should be enough to make the Friars a playoff team. That being said they still have a big hole and that is their defense. Every position player is either below average defensively or seemingly in the wrong position. It should be very interesting to see how much defense plays into their season.

Last year I was when off on all my award predictions so I can’t do much worse this year.

The D-Backs have made a lot of questioinable decisions recently, such as their attempt to put Cuban import Yamany Tomas at third base

The D-Backs have made a lot of questioinable decisions recently, such as their attempt to put Cuban import Yamany Tomas at third base

NL CY Young: Clayton Kershaw

NL Rookie of The Year: Jorge Soler

NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton

NL Manager of the Year: Bud Black

After picking Jose Fernandez to win the NL CY Young last season I learned my lesson and won’t pick away from Kershaw for the indefinite future.

Soler and future teammate Kris Bryant may steal NL ROY votes from each other but I went with Soler over Bryant because the outfielder is going to start the year in the big leagues. He has looked terrific both offensively and defensively this spring.

Stanton would have won MVP last season if it wasn’t for a freak HBP to the face in early September. I expect the Marlins to be in the race like all year so Stanton is my MVP and the rejuvenated Padres have a great manager in Bud Black and he will be rewarded with the NL Manager of the Year.

What do you think of the BrokeMets 2015 predictions?

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