- 03/05/2013, 03:39PM ET
CuntryBlumpkin said 03/05, 03:39 PM
Obviously, they are guaranteed to have one, and I don't think many will be picking against the Nationals, so I won't spend anymore time than this on them.
The Braves were the one seed in the Wild Card last season by a pretty good margin, and they have added some bats to their lineup, and they kept the pitching(especially the bull pen) that made them the very good team they were. I don't see a drop off in performance this season, they're still behind the Nationals, but they should be good for 95 wins, which should be plenty enough to get them a wild card birth.
The Phillies ended last season with a bang, and they're starting the season fully healthy. Having a healthy Howard, Utley, Halladay and Lee is huge for the Phillies, and adding Michael Young, Ben Revere and Mike Adams makes them a better team. They are an experienced team that knows how to win, and I think they come home with the second wild card spot.
Just looking at the competition, I think the Reds are the clear favorites in the Central, and I can't see the Cardinals making another magic run. And IMO the Giants are the clear best team in the west, and I expect big time disappointment for Dodger fans.
Mrlns Fn said 03/05, 11:43 PM
I'll give ya the Nats and the Braves. Both of those teams are pretty deep in the rotation/pen and have good (with the potential for being great) lineups. The Nats proably have the better rotation but the Braves lineup could be just as good as Washington's, and Atlanta should be the superior defensive team. These two teams will probably collectively run away with the division from the get go. Not sure who winds up winning the East pennant but you can bet the Nats and Braves will be ahead of the pack by a long shot. One of these teams is a virtual lock for a WC spot.
We obviously agree that the Mets and Marlins might as well start planning for 2014 (at best, especially in Miami's case) right now, so that leaves the Phillies as our one and only point of contention in the East.
The Phillies are going to be a bad team. They'll probably finish .500 or even a little worse. Their biggest problem is everybody of note on the team is mad old and extremely injury prone. More on them later.
Moving for now to the the NL West, I see it boiling down to the Giants and Dodgers. I believe one will win the West pennant and the other will join Atlanta or Washington as the WC teams.
CuntryBlumpkin said 03/06, 11:38 AM
I think you're vastly underestimating the Phillies. They miss the playoffs last season because basically every start they had started the season hurt. Check out Philly's second half record, they didn't fall too short of getting the second Wild Card last season.
Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are all healthy, and while their window might be closing, it definitely hasn't closed yet.
With all the talk of the Dodgers' rotation that I'm not in the least impressed with, the Phillies have 3 of the better starters of the last 5 years, and an offense, when healthy that is capable of putting up some big numbers.
They improved their bullpen, improved their offense by getting Michael young and Ben Revere(and even Delmon Young is better than what they had).
The Bottom of the NL East is also a lot easier than the bottom of the NL West, and the NL East gets to play the AL Central in interleague.
The Dodgers, well they have a tougher schedule, are relying on Boston's trash and a pitcher who had a nervous breakdown in Kansas City.
I'll take the team that has been there before. The Phillies are better than the Dodgers, better manager, better players.
Mrlns Fn said 03/06, 11:06 PM
You said Philly missed the playoffs because their starters started the season hurt, and there's a lot of truth to what you said. Thing is, some of the Phillies seem to be hurt frequently, so there's no reason to expect these guys to be super healthy this year. After all, they're all just another year older.
Back to the injuries; Ryan Howard has played 162 games ONCE in his career. Last year was his worst yet as far as injuries; Howard only played a TOTAL of 71 games.
Utley is worse. Much worse. Utley's NEVER played 162 games in a season. His last three years look like this:
2010: 115 games
2011: 103 games
2012: 83 games
Notice the trend? His body is never going to recover, and his stats prove his game has completely fallen off a cliff even when he does play.
Injuries aside, the Phillies justaren't as talented as we've grown accustomed to them being. Halladay had a very average 2012; Cliff Lee pitched pretty well but Philly wasted his starts (Lee went just 6-9 in 2012); Victorino and Ibanez are gone, and Carlos Ruiz doesn't have a snowball's chances in Hell of repeating his 2012 stat line.
There's not much to like about the Phillies, at all.
More on LA next.
CuntryBlumpkin said 03/07, 12:48 PM
Ryan Howard has been around a while now, and he tore his Achilles the last game of the 2011 playoffs, and that is the only serious injury he has suffered. Not many players play 162 games these days. I wouldn't call Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee injury prone seeing as last season was the first time in their careers that they missed significant time due to injury. And all of them are tearing it up in spring training. I'll give you that Utley is injury prone, but he's still productive when he plays, and this year, they have Michael Young.
When was the last time the Dodgers made the playoffs? Didn't the Dodgers have a better record before they made the big trade with Boston than after? And when was the last time Don Mattingly managed a team to the playoffs?
Bottom line is every player they acquired from Boston played a significant role in Boston's downfall, and I don't think a change of scenery is gonna help them.
The Phillies have a better rotation, and it's really not even close, a better bullpen, and a lineup that is at worst even with the Dodgers.
I'll pick the team that's been there before, the one that has made the playoffs 5 of the last 6 years.
Mrlns Fn said 03/07, 11:00 PM
Your overall point is that the Dodgers haven't made the playoffs much over recent history while the Phillies have.
Only problem with that train of thinking is that the rosters aren't the same anymore (except in Philly's case - a lot of those guys are the same players, they're just mad old now) so all those comparisons can be tossed right into the trash.
When's the last time LA made the playoffs? Why does it matter when their roster has been almost completely turned over? Last year isn't a great gauge of how the new additions will do, anyway. Those guys were all in a brand new environment and many of them were shocked to even be traded.
This year is different. The newbies have had time to adjust to the city and dugout and now they know what they're dealing with.
I don't see any reason at all why the Dodgers would miss the playoffs.
And how is Philly's rotation better than LA's?
Halladay and Lee are basically cancelled out by Kershaw and Grienke, and the additions of Ryu and Beckett, etc, definitely give the edge to LA. The backend of the rotations clearly favors LA and the front end might, too. Might, I said.
Oh, and Michael Young sucks now.
Good TD; GL.
- Awful Announcing
- Free Darko
- Pro Football Talk
- The Big Lead
- Joe Posnanski
- The Sporting Blog
- Big League Stew
- Bugs and Cranks
- Every day Should Be Saturday
- Mr. Irrelevant
- With Leather
- The Sports Hernia