2014 MLB Predictions- National League
The Major League Baseball season officially got underway last weekend with the Dodgers taking on the Diamondbacks in Australia, but the season begins in earnest today with 13 games on the schedule. Here is how Dave Overlund thinks it'll end up come October.
1. Washington Nationals
Great young talent highlighted by a very strong rotation. Still have not seen best of Bryce Harper.
2. Atlanta Braves
A lot of question marks on the team including catcher (Gattis replacing McCann), second base (Uggla) and third base (Chris Johnson).
3. Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia is on the outside looking in, with their aging roster's window closing a few seasons ago.
4. Miami Marlins
Yuck. The Marlins are sort of the Twins of the National League, getting public funding for a stadium then gutting what had been a competitive team in the interest of 'building for the future.' It isn't now.
5. New York Mets
The lineup should be improved with the addition of outfielder Curtis Granderson and impending development of top catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud. However, losing ace Matt Harvey to season-ending Tommy John surgery will make the Mets' patchwork rotation suspect at best.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
The defending National League champs return with their roster largely intact in what could be the toughest division in baseball.
2. Cincinnati Reds**
The Reds feature some very exciting offensive players in Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce who combine with emerging youngsters like Billy Hamilton and Devin Mesoraco.
3. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers could actually make some noise this season. Carlos Gomez emerged last season as a legitimate MVP candidate, and the team gets Ryan Braun back from his public shaming-er-PED suspension. Milwaukee may have the deepest rotation in the NL.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates were a great story last season and it was good to see the long-suffering franchise get back on track. However, with winning comes expectations and with expectations come pressure. The Pirates will bounce back next year.
5. Chicago Cubs
Cubs gonna be Cubs.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have the best team money can buy with a payroll of nearly $250 million. With an all-star at nearly every position and a deep rotation (with a deeper bullpen) the Dodgers are the team to beat in the West.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks**
The Diamondbacks are a deep team with consistent power threats (Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo) and a strong rotation (Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley). Wouldn't be shocked if they took the division.
3. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies won't have any problems at the plate in 2014 with 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau joining 2013 batting champion Michael Cuddyer, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.
4. San Francisco Giants
The Giants have been an "every-other" type of team the last few seasons. After winning the World Series in 2010, the Giants finished in second place in 2011 at 86-76. In 2012 the Giants won another World Series title before finishing in fourth place in 2013. I suppose that makes them breakout candidates in 2014 but I just don't see it.
5. San Diego Padres