Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Projections for the 2011 Season (National League)

By Mike Moritz

All I can do is hope that my American League Projections are somewhat accurate. And if they're not, well then all I can do is hope that my National League Projections are accurate:

National League East:
  1. Philadelphia Phillies (96-66)
  2. Atlanta Braves (94-68) *Wild Card Winners*
  3. Florida Marlins (84-78)
  4. New York Mets (81-81)
  5. Washington Nationals (77-85)
Just like their counter part (the AL East), the NL East is a very competitive division as well. Some of you might think I'm stupid because I'm writing the Phillies to win under 100 games. They have what is easily considered one of the best assembled pitching rotations of all-time. The bullpen is nothing special and with Brad Lidge out until the second half of the season, it could be a little shaky, but not bad. The offense is a concern though. Domonic Brown and Chase Utley are both out for extended periods of time and they lost Jayson Werth. Although Ben Francisco is more than capable of filling for Brown in right, it might not be enough. Jimmy Rollins is clearly hitting his decline. Just not sure if I am crazy about this year's team from Philadelphia.

The Braves are up-and-coming. They have plenty of young pitching and a great offense especially with the trade to bring in Dan Uggla over the off-season. I do not foresee any problems with new manager Fredi Gonzalez.

National League Central:

  1. Milwaukee Brewers (92-70)
  2. Cincinnati Reds (90-72)
  3. St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)
  4. Chicago Cubs (83-79)
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates (76-87)
  6. Houston Astros (68-94)
So no, I do not see the Reds making the play offs this year. Don't get me wrong, they are a very good team, but I don't see the pitching being as good as it was last year. They had two pitchers over a 2 WAR on their whole staff last year. It looked like Bronson Arroyo and Travis Wood got helped out by some pretty low BABIPs: .239 and .259, repectively. Even Johnny Cueto got a little lucky: his HR/FB rate was 8.6% compared to his 11.2% career mark. My point is that the offense is more then good enough (it's great, actually), being led by Joey Votto, Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce, but the pitching just isn't deep enough.

The Brewers, on the other hand, have more than enough pitching, esspecially with Zack Greinke (who is curently on the DL) along with Yovani Gallardo, Shawn Marcum and Randy Wolf. It seems as though the Brewers are going all in this year and I would not be surprised if they add another bat before the deadline.

National League West:
  1. San Francisco Giants (93-69)
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers (88-74)
  3. Colorado Rockies (86-76)
  4. San Diego Padres (78-84)
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks (76-86)
I do not think that this division is much of a "hard division to project". The Giants are my favorite, mainly because they have an amazing pitcing staff and a good offense. The defense is most definitely not good enough to bring them another ring this year. The Rockies and especially Dodgers could give the Giants a run for their money.

The Dodgers though, have a very nice nucleus of young players to build a team around, perhaps one of the best in the bigs. They failed to live up to expectations last year mainly from a horrid year from Matt Kemp, both on offense and defense and a down year from James Loney and an almost washed-up Casey Blake. This should be looking a little brighter for them, but I do not see a play off berth.

(Stats in courtesy of: fangraphs.com)

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