Predictions are useless but are also fun to do. This week I will roll out my own dumb predictions for the 2013 season.
Last year the Nationals had the best record in baseball and during the offseason they added Rafael Soriano, Denard Span and Dan Haren to their club. Stephen Strasburg should pitch more innings this year and Bryce Harper is a year closer to his peak. Washington doesn’t seem to have any real weaknesses. I expect them to cruise into the playoffs and make a serious run once they are there.
Best player by WAR (Baseball-Reference) Bryce Harper 7.6
Atlanta bought low on Justin Upton this offseason and added a potential superstar while doing so. The Braves have an excellent defensive club which should help all of their pitchers but I do question the quality of their starting rotation. Their bullpen is deep and if managed correctly should help shorten games and lessen the burden on their starters. Their record will get a healthy boost from playing both the Mets and Marlins so frequently.
Best player by WAR Jason Heyward 6.2
I think the Phillies could make a run at one of the wild card spots this year but they will likely fall short. Lee and Hammels provide one of the best 1-2 combinations in baseball but the health and ability of Roy Halladay has become a major concern. I have no idea what Halladay will be this year but it seems rather obvious the days of him being an eight win player are long gone. With Utley and Howard expected to play full seasons the Phillies should score more runs this year, however they will likely give plenty back due to a well below average defense. Like the Braves their win total will be enhanced by beating up on both the Mets and Marlins.
Best player by WAR Cole Hamels 5.4
The Mets two highest paid outfielders this year are Jason Bay and Bobby Bonilla, that’s a problem. The Mets have David Wright, which is good, but the rest of their lineup is full of question marks and mediocrity. Matt Harvey was excellent last year and should add more wins and innings this season, Jonathon Niese should to the same. The Mets bullpen looks shaky and the back of their rotation is full of players with lengthy injury histories. This could be another long season for Mets fans.
Best player by WAR David Wright 5.3
The Marlins traded most of their good players away during the offseason and left their fans and lone remaining star (Stanton) disgruntled as a result. Stanton might be the best power hitter in the game but he can’t carry a team by himself. The Marlins will likely look to deal him at some point in the near future which will only make their team worse. The future might be bright for the Marlins as they have 6 of the 100 prospects in baseball (Baseball America) and will only add more when Stanton is dealt, but the future is certainly not now.
Best player by WAR Giancarlo Stanton 5.7
The all NL East Team with my projected WAR (Baseball-Reference).
Several other starters should finish in Niese’s range. Gonzalez, Harvey, Halladay, and Medlen all come to mind. The division has quality pitchers from top to bottom, it was tough to pick someone for that final spot.
Those are my dumb predictions for the NL East. I’ll revisit them at the end of the season to see how many I butchered.
Follow me on Twitter @Rosscarey
Originally posted 3/26/13
Thumbnail NL East logo courtesy of www.realclearsports.com/