Ladies and gentlemen, our tour of the National League is reaching the last stop. Please check to make sure you have all your belongings and have your transfers ready...
All five of these teams have a realistic shot at winning the division.
(No, that is not a misprint. Yes, I am picking the Mets.)
While the Jays principle opponents in interleague play this year will come from the NL Central (Reds, Cards, Astros), the team will square off against two NL East foes this year – the Phillies and the Braves. It seems apropos to take a look at the whole division now, not the least because we are doing divisional previews.
We (Dave and Anders) are in agreement about the following order of finish, and PECOTA agrees, so therefore it must happen.
... as has been reported here recently (and many, many times previous to that), Roy "Doc" Halladay (3-0, 1.13) is pretty good.
As if his usual doctoral brilliance weren't enough, Halladay, whose career batting average lies just south of .080, now sports a three-game hitting streak. Doctor, doctor ...
There are 5 teams in the NL East. I asked 2 questions about each team. That's 10 questions! Did I ever mention I'm a math teacher?
In exchanging a few emails with my co-author regarding our task, both Alex and I realized that the NL East isn't all that interesting this year. Sure, it features the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies and a revamped Mets bullpen, but aside from that, there just isn't much excitement going around. Or maybe we're just lazy. Whichever, here's a bunch of questions we've asked and answered ourselves.
“I think we’ll have to play harder, execute better and stay focused for 162 games,” – New York Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado.
Everything is moving along nicely.
“We’re the team to beat…”
-Jimmy Rollins, Spring 2007
Good call. But now, with no further ado, let me turn over the Progosticator's Poncho to a Special Guest.
Pinch-hitting, Mr Liam McIlroy. Take it away....
Nah. Not the Braves. Their time has surely passed. After
all, they're heading into 2008 with two 40 year old starting pitchers.
When was the last time a team won a championship with two such elderly
folks in the rotation?
It was 2007?
Not quite as long ago as I was expecting. Maybe we still have to take this outfit seriously.
Enter the Florida Marlins' spring training facility press conference area. After having received notice of an important Florida Marlins announcement, a throng of reporters was seated and looking around confusedly. One Miami Herald reporter in the second row turned to his colleague and whispered “is confusedly a word?” “I don’t know,” the response came, “but if it isn’t, it should be, because it’s definitely the manner in which I’m looking around right now.”
As the Mets, Phillies and Braves are all going to win the N.L East, I'm going to confidently predict that the Nationals finish last.
When the hostilities had finally come to an end, the old general looked
around. He saw his kingdom, once so mighty, so proud, so invincible,
lying in ruins.
I think we're the team to beat.
- Jimmy Rollins
Spring training means worn-out cliches, sun-burned Caucasians, and
friendly players if you happen to go to a game in Arizona or
Florida. It also means BB's annual season previews. We hope
you enjoy them this year. We begin with the Mets.
You might think that the Mets would be a prohibitive favourite in the
NL East after a 97 win season, with contributions from a core of young
players that rank among the best in the majors. They shouldn't be.
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