Well, this is it.Â Within a week from now, the 2010 Baseball Season will be underway and like true baseball and Met fans that we are, it is time to put our money where our mouth is and record our predictions for the Mets and the N.L. East.
We, TRDMB writers, have weighed in our opinions.
So hereÂ they are along with some commentary.
1st. Phillies: AssumingÂ they have noÂ injuries and Hamel returns to slightly normal form. They will win the division by 3-5 games
2nd. Mets: Obviously a lot will rest onÂ our injured guys comingÂ back and performing.Â Next our mid-rotation has to step up.Â The Mets will compete with the Braves and the Rockies for the Wild Card right up to the last week of the Season.
3rd. Braves: Offensive concerns and a uniquely put together Bull Pen are two factors that might affect the Braves Season.Â N0t to Â mention the aging players with nagging injuries.Â If Chipper and McCann are going to miss significant time, the Braves could be in trouble.
4th.Â Â Marlins:Â Just too young and inexperienced
5th.Â Nationals:Â Just too bad to compete.
1st.Â Phillies: I never root for the Phillies, unless they play the Yankees.Â But they remind me of the 86′ Mets and have done more right the last few years than any team in baseball.Â And they have not won simply by outspending the Yankees.
2nd.Â Braves:Â Their pitching is incredible andÂ their Bull Pen is pretty good too.Â With Chipper and added youngsters along with Bobby Cox’s last year justÂ might act as a motivator to get the most out of everyone.Â Of course, the Braves will also give the Mets fits every time they play them.
3rd.Â Mets:Â The Mets are my blood, I bet on them to win the Pennant and World Series when inI was in Â Las Vegas in February.Â Although I would love to be SO wrong here, I only see the Mets pitching staff, even with Ollie, Maine and PelfÂ pitching WELL, to only win 85 games.Â But I would love to be wrong.Â However, what I have seen from Mejia, Davis, Fmart and the rest of the Junior Core has me already picking us 1st in 2011.
4th.Â Marlins:Â They will fall back in a somewhat hugely improved division.
5th. Nationals:Â A team clearly to remain 5th in this group.
1st. Phillies: I think the 3-time defending Champions Phillies haven’t come back to the pack.
Three way tie
2nd. Braves-Marlins- Mets.- Listed in Alphabetically order only, these teamsÂ are all imperfect enough depending on how things break for any of them.Â Â I do believe that all these teams will spend the season beating on each other and therefore their total wins will not be high enough for the Wild Card to come out of this division.
5th. Nationals: Not improved enough to leapfrog anyone in the division.
1st- Braves: With a healthy Hudson back as the ace and Derek Lowe the number 4 starter, the Braves have arguable the best rotation in the division and now with the addition of Billy Wagner to shut things down, they could be tough to beat.Â If Jason Heyward could protect Chipper Jones and Glaus makes a comeback, the Braves couldÂ have a solid line up.Â In addition, then there’s the intangible emotion players will have playing for Bobby Cox.
2nd-Phillies:Â No way Ibanez has a duplicateÂ performance of 2009 and I’m betting that Roy Halladay has a repeat of 2009- strong start with a weak finish.Â Phillies have problems with the back end of their rotation which means that they will lead the division much of the way and then fade into the Wild Card by season’s end.
3rd-Mets:Â I’m optimistic, but there are too many questions at too many positions.Â 85 wins and 4-5 games back in the Wild Card.Â Wait until next year!!
4th-Nationals:Â GM Mike Rizzo has done a remarkable job remaking the Nationals and with Morgan leading off in front of Zimmerman, Dunn and I-Rod, they could score a lot of runs-more than the Marlins I’ll bet.Â They have a great shot of finishing near 500. especially if Strasburg gets into the show by mid-season and Wang makes a full recovery.
5th-Marlins: Other than Ramirez, Dan Uggla and Cantu, there’s not a lot of offense.Â There’s still a lot of power arms in the rotation, but their defense is woeful.
1st- Phillies: The reality is that they are in a class of their own..the division is theirs to lose.
2nd-Mets: Not being biased but I think they can compete very well for the Wild Card.
3rd-Marlins: They are just a few years away from being really dangerous…but for now they will just continue to scare teams
4th-Braves: Letting go of Javier Vasquez was not a smart move and I just don’t see much offense.
5th-Nationals: Rotation, Rotation, Rotation…it’s just not there yet, even with the inexperienced Strausburg.
1st-Phillies:Â I’m not gonna say they runaway with the division, but at this point, unless they get 2009 Met-like injuries, you can’t bet against them.Â I see them winning just over 90 games and taking first place.
2nd-Mets: I’m sick of the media, their team has the ability and can absolutely take second and even challenge for First if Philly falters.Â At this point, there has been no news about Beltran being out longer than expected. and if Â he gets back within a month, then the hitting has a much better pop than last year.Â Their relief pitching should be more solid and I think when push comes to shove, the starting pitching can be better than average.
3rd-Braves:Â This team will flip flop with the Mets all year.Â The Braves have the potential for a shut down rotation…but what else is new?Â It seemsÂ like that was the thought ofÂ the 90′s as well!Â Wagner is older but should still save a large amount of games and be more solid than Gonzalez or Soriano were, but their hittingÂ doesn’t scares me.Â BesidesÂ an agingÂ Chipper no one in their lineup truly scares me besides himÂ except forÂ McCann.Â Heyward could be a threat, but I still think the offense will be their hold back.
4th-Marlins:Â Of course, a young, talented team, if they keep the core(which they never do), they will absolutely get to the top of this division within years.Â For now, they need to get some consistency with the roster and some payroll flexibility, maybe with the new stadium and MLB’s slap, they will.
5th Nationals:Â Seriously, who in their right minds TRULY thinks this team is better than the MetsÂ or anyone else in this division?Â Are they making progress? Sort of.Â They signed a few veterans and spent some money that will likely throw away, but of course have some young players(Strasburg) who should make them a contender years down the road.Â I don’t buy the hype of them having a great off season; however, I d0Â think they will surprise a few teams and be able to compete with them but all in all, they still stay in the gutter.
The Mets will finish second place in the division if Jose Reyes returns to the line up within two weeks of Opening Day andÂ Carlos Beltran returns within a month.Â The second place I’m predicting isn’t a glorious Silver Medal, however, but a mediocre mid-80′s win with aÂ sloppy finish.Â This team can compete for a Wild Card, but this hopeful fate would likely rest on the shoulders of the NL Centrals’ second place team.Â If the Cardinals and the Cubs both finish with over 85 wins, the Mets will very likely be hung out to dry come October.
A worse fate will befall the Metropolitans if Reyes and Beltran take longer than expected.Â The team could easily finish at .500 or worse if more than a month goes by without two of their marquis players.Â A third or fourth place finish in the division becomes the likelihood in this situation.
2nd-Mets (Wild Card winners)
The Mets(85-88 wins) will just beat out the Marlins for the Wild Card.
Mets rotation simply looks too weak with too few descent replacements for me to see the Mets any better than 81-82 wins on the high end.Â I hope I’m wrong.
2nd-Mets:Â The Mets will win the Wild Card.
1st-Phillies:Â Right now they are the team to beat and until someone beats them, they are first in my list.Â They have everything from pitching to hitting, however, maybe that bullpen will be their undoing.
2nd-Mets:Â If everyone plays to their full potential, I see them challenging the Phillies.Â With Reyes back and Beltran along with Frenchy and Bay, I think their line up can score runs.Â I’ll alsoÂ pick them second because I’m a Met fan.Â I willÂ be honest,Â their starting PitchingÂ scares the hell out of me.
3rd Braves:Â A thorn in the side of the Mets, and they will continue to be.Â If the Mets falter just a little, I could see these Braves take second in the division.
4th Marlins:Â Too young and way too cheap.Â Their defense resembles Swiss cheese in the hot sun. They will break hearts though, maybe this year it might be the Phillies they do it to.
5th-Nationals:Â I applaud their ownership on spending money and at least trying to compete.Â It is a team of Journeymen and rag tag Free Agents to say the least but they are building something with Strasburg.Â If they do, this list will be upside down come 5 years from now.