I thought it would be cool to critique all of the other divisions kind of like I already did the NL Central. Here are my thoughts(not necessarily predictions) about the NL East(if anyone really gives a shit). I like to look at all of the teams from 2 different standpoints. Hitting & Pitching.
The Braves strength once again will be their starting pitching. Smoltz, Hudson, H.Ramirez, Kyle Davies, Jorge Sosa. That is strong in my view. The bullpen however is a question mark at best. They just don't have a strong closer, although Reitsma could be a pleasant surprise. Their hitting is decent. Andruw Jones leads the way with great power. Chipper Jones is still solid. Renteria should be pretty good. Marcus Giles is solid. Still not sure about LaRoche, McCann, Francouer, & Langerhans. All 4 of them could be productive or busts.
The Mets really stepped up in the offseason. Their pitching is pretty good, but not great. Pedro Martinez, Glavine, V.Zambrano, Trachsel, Heilman. Heilman could wind up being a stud. Wagner to close is very solid. Their hitting should be solid. David Wright has arrived & will be a bad ass! Add Delgado, Reyes, Cliff Floyd, Beltran, & LoDuca. This is a solid line up. Keep an eye on Xavier Nady as well. He may surprise.
The Phillies also look strong. However, I wonder about their pitching. The top of the rotation is pretty good. Brett Myers, Jon Lieber. After that? Lidle, Floyd? I believe their bullpen is better overall than their starting pitching. Madson, Fultz, Rhodes, Gordon are not bad. Their hitting will be very good. Look out for Ryan Howard. This guy can rake! Utley will also be very solid. Rollins is one of the best shortstops in the game at the plate & in the field. Abreu, Rowand, Burrell! Now that's an outfield! Lieberthal will be servicable behind the plate.
The Nationals will be better than people think. The top 2 pitchers in their rotation are very solid. Patterson & Hernandez. The rest of them, well, lets say meteocre. Chad Cordero has emerged as one of the best closers in baseball. Their hitting isn't bad. If Soriano accepts his new role with enthusiasm, we know he'll be solid with the bat. Can Vidro stay healthy? Nick Johnson could be good. Zimmerman will surprise some people this season. I still believe Jose Guillen is a very solid & underated player. He will hit. Schneider behind the plate is nothing special, but he isn't the worst catcher in baseball.
The Marlins? I'm not sure I can say anything about this team until I know who they have. Seriously, I think they'll be better than people think, but will probably still finish last in the NL East. Their pitching is very young & raw. Outside of Dontrelle Willis, what do they got? Willis will be solid. Josh Johnson? Jason Vargas? Sergio Mitre? Brian Moehler? Scott Olsen? Too hard to call. They might be better than we think! Borowski will be okay if he gets regular chances to close. Their hitting will be interesting. We all know Miguel Cabrera is a stud! I think Mike Jacobs, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Hanley Ramirez, & Eric Reed could all be sleepers. Keep an eye on Reggie Abercrombie as well.
1. Phillies(slight & only slight edge over Mets). Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu, Aaron Rowand, Pat Burrell. Lieberthal also may bounce back with a decent year.
2. Mets (David Wright, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Cliff Floyd, Paul LoDuca). Nady may be a surprise.
3. Braves (Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Edgar Renteria, Marcus Giles, Jeff Francouer) LaRoche, McCann, Langerhans may surprise.
4. Nationals (Alfonso Soriano, Jose "DL" Vidro, Jose Guillen, Ryan Zimmerman, Nick Johnson)
5. Marlins (Miguel Cabrera) Keep an eye on the young guys though. I have a wierd gut feeling about this team. Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham, Eric Reed, Jeremy Hermida, Hanley Ramirez, Reggie Abercrombie, all have great raw potential.
1. Braves (if Reitsma comes through as a closer) Smoltz, Hudson, Horacio Ramirez, Jorge Sosa, Kyle Davies is an underated & solid rotation.
2. Mets (Pedro Martinez, Glavine, Trachsel, V.Zambrano, Heilman). Wagner as the solid closer.
3. Marlins (Willis, & I just have a gut feeling about their starting pitching) I think Josh Johnson, Jason Vargas, Sergio Mitre, Olsen, & Moehler are going to fly under the radar & shock some people. Borowski is a decent closer, but not great.
4. Nationals (John Patterson has arrived! Livan Hernandez is still solid.) Chad Cordero - very good closer!
5. Phillies (After Myers & Lieber, what?) Their bullpen isn't bad. Madson, who actually could be a starting pitcher. Fultz, Rhodes, Gordon.