The On Deck Circle

Baseball History, Commentary and Analysis

National League Predictions For 2015

There is but one potentially great team in the National League, the Washington Nationals.  They are the only team in the Majors that I could imagine winning as many as 100 games in 2015. There are about another half-dozen N.L. teams I can see making the playoffs, depending on the breaks they receive.  The weakest division in the N.L., even with the inclusion of those Nats, is the N.L. East.  Like wages in right-to-work states, it is essentially a race to the bottom in that division.

N.L. East

1888 Washington Nationals team photo

1888 Washington Nationals team photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1)  Nationals – It’s a pretty ridiculous pitching staff when Doug Fister is your 4th starter.  Prediction:  98 wins.

2)  Mets – Young and ready to rise above .500, and Matt Harvey adds swagger.  If everything breaks right, a potential Wild Card contender.  Prediction:  83 wins.

3)  Marlins – In some ways, not really all that different from the Mets.  The return to form of Jose Fernandez is key.  Prediction: 81 wins.

4)  Braves – May not finish in last place only because the Phillies are still allegedly a Major League baseball team.  Prediction:  74 wins.

5)  Phillies – May not finish in last place only because the Braves might be even worse than expected.  Prediction:  69 wins.

N.L. Central

1) Cardinals – Does this team ever have a really bad season?  Not this year.  Should rather easily win the Central Division.  Prediction:  90 wins

2) Pirates – An outfield of McCutchen, Polanco, and Marte is one to salivate over.  Should take a Wild Card slot, even with some pitching issues.  Prediction:  85 wins.

3)  Cubs – Lots of people pick the Cubs to grab a Wild Card slot this year.  Could happen, but I’m betting their chances are better in 2016.  Prediction:  83 wins.

4)  Brewers –  Really didn’t do much to improve their team in the off-season.  Lost their de facto ace, Gallardo.  Should be consistently mediocre.  Prediction:  79 wins.

5)  Reds –  A franchise that appears to be moving in the wrong direction.  Will Joey Votto and Jay Bruce return to form?  Prediction:  73 wins.

N.L. West

1)  Dodgers – Look very strong on paper.  Would be hard-pressed not to at least make the playoffs, even if they somehow don’t win this division outright.  Prediction:  93 wins.

2)  Padres – Lots of upgrades in the off-season, but still not a shoo-in for a Wild Card slot, though I think they’ll grab one.  Prediction:  85 wins.

3)  Giants – The Giants are consistently the most difficult team for me to pick correctly.  Bumgarner is a monster, but tossed a huge number of innings last season.  Prediction:  83 wins.

4)  Rockies – Car-Go and Tu-Lo, Corey Dickerson, Blackmon and Arenado provide a solid core of offense.  If the pitching improves at all, this could be the surprise team of the N.L.  Prediction:  80 wins.

5)  Diamondbacks – Hard to envision this team not finishing in last place.  May even be the worst team in the entire Majors this year.  Prediction:  65 wins.

World Series prediction:  Nationals over the Red Sox in seven games.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “National League Predictions For 2015

  1. I know, it’s barely September, but you must be happily wrong about the NL East prediction right now. The Dodgers and Nationals seem to have lost their way, though LA might have the talent to win the West regardless.

    • The Nats starting pitching has been stunningly mediocre this year. At the beginning of the year, it had looked like they put together a historically good staff. But pitching is often very unpredictable. I’m just glad the Mets brass didn’t give up on the season at the half-way mark. Going out and making those trades really has made a difference.
      Cheers, Bill

  2. I’d agree with you by and large–I’d be tempted to flip the Marlins and Mets, though I think the Blevins and Torres acquistions are huge helps to the bullpen. The Cards over-achieved last year, and if Polanco can play and Marte can carry over his ridiculous second half from last year, the Pirates will win the division fairly easily. I’d also agree that the Nats are clearly the best team in baseball, but I would have said the same thing the last two years, so…

    • Hey WK, Interesting observations on your part. Just not that sure of the Pirates pitching over the long-haul, and the Cards always manage to plug in the right parts to win. Marlins and Mets could easily be switched, as you say. And Nats…yeah, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. Still, that starting pitching…yikes!
      Thanks for stopping by,
      -Bill

  3. Jason M. on said:

    Love your dig on the race-to-the-bottom wages in “right-to-work” states! However, even as a dedicated and devoted (and long-suffering) Mets fan, I just can’t see the Mets with 83 wins. Harvey may have swagger, but he also has 12 career wins, is coming off 18 months on the DL, and a seriously deranged pitching rehab schedule that leads his long-term arm health in doubt. Even as he and Parnell return from the Tommy John, Wheeler and Edgin are going to it. The pitching may be a tick better this year, but the offense is no better at all; David Wright is an overpaid ghost of his 2005-2008 self, and Michael Cuddyer and John Mayberry, Jr. are one-year Band-Aids to a painfully sputtering offense. 77 wins, I think. … of course, they might still wind up back in 2nd place, owing to the weakness of the rest of the division, but they certainly don’t smell like Wild Card contenders …

    • Hi Jason, Glad you liked the dig on “right-to-work states, one of which I currently live in. Unfortunately, I think it might be the future of America. (Not an optimist on that one.) As for the Mets, I felt like, after half-dozen years being a pessimist, I thought it was time to turn the page and look at the glass as being half full. I agree that Wright ain’t what he used to be, but they do play an awful lot of games against the down-bound train Phils and Braves this year, not to mention a weakened Yanks team in inter-league play, so I think they could tip a notch over .500. A lot will depend on the continuing maturity (on both offense and defense) of their young catcher Travis d’Arnoud. Should be fun, though.
      Thanks for the comment,
      Bill

  4. As a Dodgers fan, I hope you’re right about them making the playoffs. Now if Kershaw just doesn’t have to face the Cards…
    v

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