National League East Handicapping / Gambling Futures
Hard to believe that the Boys of Summer are almost back. Ready to start baseball betting? Teams have reported to 2010 Major League Baseball training camps and it’s time to start our division by division MLB predictions previews for the year.
With such an impressive 2009 showing and the swapping of elite pitchers Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay, the Phillies remain the class of this division. Halladay is one of the more consistent hurlers of the last decade and is perennially in the Cy Young race. The Marlins and Braves field intriguing squads on the rise, the Mets need to recover from a disaster ’09 and the Nationals, unfortunately, don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell.
National League – Odds TO WIN 2010 MLB NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
ATLANTA BRAVES +250
FLORIDA MARLINS +600
NEW YORK METS +600
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES -175
WASHINGTON NATIONALS +2500
Philadelphia Phillies Prediction: 1st NL East
Those of the Liberty Bell persuasion have no reason to doubt their team in 2010. Last year’s N.L. representative at the World Series will be as strong as ever. Roy Halladay anchors a rotation supported by young stud J.A. Happ and slightly inconsistent Cole Hamels. Though Hamels has been a bit of a wildcard, when he’s on, he’s fantastic. The offense will again be paced by 2B Chase Utley, 1B Ryan Howard and CF Shane Victorino. Right fielder Jason Werth’s breakout 2009 performance was indeed a welcome addition; Werth will surely continue to show his worth.
Florida Marlins Prediction: 2nd NL East
I’m going to take a sizable leap of faith by calling the Fish to place second in the division. The Braves have a great ball-club that many envision as a sleeper in 2010, but the Marlins have an excellent young nucleus and for once have stability in the pitching rotation, headlined by the re-signed Josh Johnson. SS Hanley Ramirez might be the best young player in baseball, fellow young stud CF Cameron Maybin looks to follow in Ramirez’s footsteps. OF Chris Coghlan emerged as a superb leadoff guy and 2B Dan Uggla has some nice power.
Atlanta Braves Prediction: 3rd NL East
Though the chips could easily fall with the Braves in second, I have a little less faith in the Peachtree City than some. In manager Bobby Cox’s last year, there are dynamic players all over the roster and a nice mix of youth and veterans. However, some of these vets – 3B Chipper Jones and 1B Troy Glaus – are quite brittle. While the pitching staff has some gems like Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, I’m not sure how much faith Tim Hudson engenders. If everything goes right, Atlanta could almost nip at Philly’s heels. Don’t expect everything to go right.
New York Mets Prediction: 4th NL East
It says a lot for the division that the Mets, with their massive payroll and hunks of talent, don’t stack up better than fourth in 2010. There was just too much stomach churning luck and play last season. Virtually all the major players went down with injury, star 3B David Wright lost his power and Francisco Rodriguez was underwhelming in the closer role. The Mets need health, the re-emergence of big-ticket guys like Reyes, Beltran and Wright, and someone to pitch well beyond ace Johan Santana. That’s quite a laundry list.
Washington Nationals Prediction: 5th NL East
(crickets). Let’s hope for a deep playoff run from the NHL’s Capitals to keep D.C. sports fans from thinking dark thoughts.
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