The On Deck Circle

Baseball History, Commentary and Analysis

National League Baseball Predictions – 2013

Since this is the second part of a two-part mini-series, I’ll dispense with a redundant introduction.  If you want to read Part 1, my American League Predictions, that initial introduction should suffice.

So, let’s get on with it.

National League

East

1)  Washington – Fields two of the most exciting players in the game (Strasburg and Harper).  Made the playoffs last year without breaking a sweat.  Could win a hundred games this year.  Harper will win the N.L. MVP award.  Strasburg averaged 11 K’s / 9 innings last year, and could win the Cy Young award this year.

2)  Atlanta – Two-thirds of their new outfield, the Brothers Upton, have been more disappointing than the latest unemployment numbers, and the third, Jason Heyward, has had his share of growing pains as well.  Still, no team in their division outside of Washington is obviously better.  87 wins.

3)  Philadelphia – Appears to be melting before us like a snowman in the March sun.  Older, residual talent, mostly of the pitching variety, will be sufficient to grind through an 84-win season.

4)  New York – A couple of young players, perhaps Ike Davis and Matt Harvey, will shine, but a sub-par outfield and overall lack of depth will ensure another sub-.500 season out in Queens.

5)  Florida – Is there anything left to root for down in Miami?  Fans should stay home in droves this year in protest of this sham of a franchise.

Central

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1)  Cincinnati – Votto, Bruce and Choo (acquired from Cleveland) will produce oodles of offense, while Cueto and Latos will hold down a respectable staff.  92 wins should be sufficient to take this division.

2)  St. Louis – Yadier Molina might be in the first-half of a HOF career.  Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran are still fine players, but both are well past 30 years old.  Pitching staff appears adequate, if unspectacular = 86 wins.

3)  Milwaukee – “There once was a player named Ryan / For PED’s he kept sayin’ he’d not tried ’em / But his name it did appear / on a client’s list so clear / Makes you wonder how much more he’ll be denyin’.”  83 wins.

4)   Pittsburgh – Because the Cubs don’t have Andrew McCutchen.  Once again, a sub-.500 team.  77 wins.

5)  Chicago – Staff “ace” Matt Garza is a perennial tease.  New addition Edwin Jackson, now on his 8th team in eleven years, changes teams more often than a hooker changes her underwear.  But really, it’s always been about an afternoon in the sun at Wrigley, hasn’t it?

West

1)  Los Angeles – Manager Don Mattingly needs to drive this expensive new vehicle into first place, or upper management might be looking for a new driver next season.  With Kershaw and Greinke at the top of the rotation, and Kemp, A-Gone, Hanley, Crawford and Ethier in the lineup, this team either wins the division, or heads will roll.  95 wins.

2)  San Francisco – Pencil them in as one of the two N.L. Wild Card teams this year, because nobody does it better. Tim Lincecum will look to rebound and join the highly capable Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner in what should once again be a top-five N.L. pitching staff.  Catcher Buster Posey may be the best in the game.  87 wins.

3)  San Diego – Has apparently moved in the fences this year, which should help Alonso, Quentin, and Headley (one of baseball’s best kept secrets.)  But what the fences giveth, the fences will take away, namely an overly spacious park where fly-balls used to go to die.  But the pitching staff, led by the enigmatic Edinson Volquez, could suffer a bit as a result.   81 wins.

4)  Arizona – So what does Arizona know about Justin Upton that the Braves don’t know?  Martin Prado is a versatile player, and there should still be enough thump in the lineup to keep the score interesting.  The staff, with Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy, could be this team’s strength, if healthy.  79 wins.

5)  Colorado – Once upon a time, they were the toast of the American West, drawing over four million souls in their initial campaign.  Now, although a healthy Tulowitzki, along with Car-Go and Fowler should generate some runs, the pitching staff may be the worst in baseball.  Also, it’s time to tow the S.S. Helton out to sea so the Navy could use it for strafing runs.  71 wins.

So there you go, folks.  Your five N.L. playoff teams are probably Washington, Atlanta, Cincinnati, L.A., and San Fran.  I predict that the Nats will go on to defeat the Angels in a seven game World Series classic.

Or not.

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18 thoughts on “National League Baseball Predictions – 2013

  1. we’ll see if this is the year the bucs don’t fall off the face of earth on august 24.

  2. There are a lot of heavy expectations (and deservedly so) for LA, which always makes me nervous. I’ve seen that too many times. But I guess fans of just about every franchise (except the loser franchises) experience the heartache of dashed expectations.

    • Actually, I’m a fan of a loser franchise (Mets) who still manages to experience the heartache of dashed expectations. It’s the worst of both worlds! I think L.A. will win the division, but blow it in the playoffs. Then again, Kershaw and Greinke could be very tough in a short series.
      Take care,
      Bill

  3. barring injurie(s) it seems tome that the braves are better than last year. i think they can go toe to toe with washington. you have them winninf 7 less games. i can’t understand why you think they are 7 games worse thar 2012. oh well, i guess we will soon see.

    • Hi Jim,
      Basically, I think the losses of Chipper, Bourne and Prado will hurt them more than they think. The pitching should be about as good, but their three top relievers aren’t likely to repeat last season’s sub-2.00 ERA. I think Uggla is all but done, and the left side of the infield is mostly a question mark in terms of the level of offense they’ll contribute. Also, B.J. Upton is a highly overrated out-machine. His homers and steals won’t make up for his low on-base percentage. Meanwhile, the Nats haven’t come close to peaking yet as a team.
      I do think both teams will make the playoffs, however, so it doesn’t matter all that much about how many games back the Braves might finish. And once the playoffs start, anything can happen.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving the comment.
      Bill

  4. Enjoyed the post as I so often do, Bill. I agree with your NL East and Central predictions. As to the NL West, I think 95 wins for the Dodgers reflects a best case scenario which I don’t believe will happen. They may indeed win the division, but I believe it will be closer than eight games. And I’m not exactly Giants boy, either, as you know.

    I’m waiting until around March 25th to issue my predictions. I want to wait in the event we have a few more injuries of the Curtis Granderson type.

    Kindest Regards,
    Michael / Grubby

    • Hi Michael, I think the Dodgers should win the division with the talent they have, but it wouldn’t shock me if they manage to blow it. If so, Sir Donny will be run out of town on a rail. Giants are still a very good team, and I see them getting the Wild Card, but they just have a few too many holes in their offense, in my view. That puts a lot of pressure on the pitchers.
      Looking forward to reading your predictions in a few weeks.
      Cheers, Bill

  5. Mike Cornelius on said:

    Well done as always. I hope you’re right about the Dodgers. I agree that Donnie Baseball is on the hot seat, given all the money the new owners have spent. I’ve always liked Mattingly and one of my very best friends is a lifelong Dodgers fan, so I’ll be pulling for them. Though having grown up in DC, not as much as I’ll be pulling for the Nats.

    Mike

    • What I’d hate to see is if the Dodgers blow it, and Mattingly gets fired, his overall reputation takes a hit. That would be too bad, because Donnie Baseball is an icon. If the Nats somehow blow it, though, that would mean God himself hates Washington D.C.
      Bill

  6. One thing about baseball: you have to play the game well. It’s hard to predict. Each year there are surprises. You always have a chance. (Except for the Mets)

    • You’re certainly right about that. No one predicted the A’s and the Orioles to make the playoffs last year. There will probably be one or two surprises this year as well (maybe even the Mets!)
      Take care,
      Bill

  7. One last Elmira crack–I had a friend who worked in the newspaper business. He was in production, and a lot of times he had to help unload rolls of newsprint. A lot of the guys he helped unload were also delivering to the Star-Gazette in Elmira, and if someone asked my friend “Hey, what’s the quickest way to get to Elmira?” he would always answer “Live a really horrible life and die young.”

    I agree with your picks almost in their entirety. I think the Phils tread the .500 line a little more closely than you project them to, and I think the Mets could push them for third (I have a wholly subjective faith in Duda and Nieuwenhuis.) I also think the Bucs finish ahead of the Brewers–the Pirates have a lot more organizational depth than Milwaukee does. Still, I think you have the right five teams in the playoffs and the right World Series champion.

    • Man, I absolutely love that crack about Elmira! Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever been there. I get the impression I’d remember it if I did. Then again, I’m from Bridgeport, which is nothing to brag about either.
      Always a pleasure, my man.
      Bill

      • Trust me Bill, there is nothing to see there. My son just transferred out of Elmira College in December after 2 plus years, he said it felt like he was doing time.

        Very appropriate, of course, in Elmira.

  8. “…a sub-par outfield and overall lack of depth will ensure another sub-.500 season out in Queens.”

    EVERY season is sub-par here in the borough of Queens! This is regardless of whether we’re talking about the Mets, or the fact that it has the pushiest, rudest, most selfish “me first” type of people in the world.

    W.K. Kortas jokingly told me that the best part of my sister’s town, Binghamton, is that it’s not Elmira.

    Well, let me extend that. The best part of ELMIRA is that it’s not QUEENS!

    Glen

    PS As far as the Mets are concerned, “I LIKE IKE” (both the general and the first baseman). After Ike, R.A. Dickey was the only Met that I at all cared for, and the Mets foolishly traded him.

    • Hi Glen, I’ve only been to Queens to see Mets games at Shea, so I don’t have a strong opinion about it one way or the other. But I have been to Binghamton, and can’t say it’s a place I’d move mountains to live in. I like Ike Davis as well, and I’m also bullish on the young pitching, starting with Matt Harvey.
      Kortas has a great sense of humor, and he’s a gifted writer as well.
      Take care,
      Bill

      • W.K. He sure does have a great sense of humor.

        And he sure can write, as well. I agree with you, Bill. I’m not particularly a poetry buff, but I do like a lot of his poems.

        Glen

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