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Sunday, July 15 2018

2003 NL East Baseball Preview

SportHere are my thoughts on a possibly competitive NL East Atlanta Braves: When exactly was the last time they did not win their division? Picking against them now is trendy I guess, but unlike some people I think turning over their starting pitching will help them, not hurt them. In the past their hitters have sat back and thought “let Glavine pitch a 1 hitter” while now they will not trust anyone other than holder Maddux at the top of the rotation. That fire I believe will ignite their offense, which has enough talent, but never gets it done. They will have enough to repeat yet again.

Montreal Expos: This could be “America’s Team” if they’d just move to D.C. and sign some stars. Instead they are 25% of Puerto Rico’s team, and if I can be politically incorrect for a moment they don’t have a single white guy in their starting rotation. They also have the Cuban defector Hernandez brothers, one who defected from the Yanks, the other from the Giants. If their rotation holds up, they’ll be competitive again, but this team is too hard to figure out. I can see anywhere from 75-90 wins out of them to be quite honest, maybe 95 if they really do damage in Puerto Rico and get on a Twins-esque roll.

Philadelphia Phillies: These guys are the Boston Red Sox of the NL. Everyone wants to hand them the division on paper, but paper is not where games are won and they have too many questions for me. Can Thome switch leagues and still hit for power? Is Millwood going to be as good as a Phillie? Does Mesa have anything left in his aging tank? Sure, they can win the division, but I’m conservatively taking them as the wild card winner.

Florida Marlins: First Huzienga screwed America with his Blockbuster late fees, then he screwed the state of Florida by winning a title and purging the roster. Their team hasn’t been good since that run to the 1997 World Series championship, and now their offense clearly can’t keep up with their pretty decent starting pitching. Without question they remain towards the bottom of the division.

New York Mets: The Metropolitans have a new manager, and he’s a guy that Oakland didn’t want in Art Howe. If a smart team like Oakland doesn’t want him, he’s not that great. They have the potential to challenge for a winning season, but something always goes wrong with injuries or clubhouse madness. Howe can control the latter part of that equation, maybe, but he can’t help injuries or talent deficiencies. There is too much ahead of them in this division for more than a push up the standings towards respectability.

NL East bottom line: I’m going with Atlanta because I think they are the best team. Philly should win the wild card with a strong record. Montreal will be respectable, and so will New York, but the Expos will finish higher. Florida will take up space at the bottom of the division.

2003 NL East Baseball Preview | 18 comments | Create New Account
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