Mlb Tickets – 2010 National League Predictions

January 6, 2011
National League East
by leigh_east_photoman

Here are my predictions for the National League in 2010:

East Champion – Philadelphia Phillies: In my opinion, they’re the best team in baseball and the favorite to win it all this season.  I think that qualifies them as the favorite in the East.  Their lineup, headlined by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, is stacked, and they acquired arguably the best pitcher in baseball this offseason in Roy Halladay.  If Cole Hamels can bounce back from a rough 2009 campaign, the Phils will run away with the division.  The Braves will be better than most people think and could challenge for the Wild Card, while the Marlins are also pretty solid.  The Mets don’t have the pitching to contend and the Nationals’ season will be centered around developing Stephen Strasburg.

Central Champion – St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals should win the Central again in 2010.  They’ve got the best hitter in the game in Albert Pujols and a fantastic one-two punch atop their rotation in Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.  With Dave Duncan as the pitching coach, the Cards are bound to have some other hurlers overachieve as usual.  Retaining Matt Holiday was a big move this offseason and I expect a bit of a rebound season from Ryan Ludwick.  This isn’t a great team by any means, but they won’t receive a ton of competition from the rest of the division.

West Champion – Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers are the favorite to win what I believe to be the best division in the National League.  Clayton Kershaw is a stud and is already one of the most unhittable pitchers in the league.  He’s still learning to keep his pitch count down, but he looks bound for greatness.  I expect Chad Billingsly to pitch more like the guy we saw in the first half of 2009, which will give the Dodgers a strong top of the rotation.  They’ve got some nice bats in Matt Kemp, who is becoming a star, and Andre Ethier, and they’ve got a great manager and a really good closer as well.  The Giants, Rockies and D-Backs should all be solid, but not good enough to wrestle away the division crown.

Wild Card – San Francisco Giants: This prediction comes with the expectation that they’ll chase a big bat around the trade deadline.  They’d be wise to go after someone to anchor their lineup, because their pitching can only do so much.  Tim Lincecum is one of the best pitchers in the game and Matt Cain is among the filthiest number two starters around.  Also keep an eye on Jonathan Sanchez, who performed well in the second half last season and could fan a lot of batters in 2010.

National League Champion – Philadelphia Phillies: They’ve gone to the World Series two seasons in a row and I have no reason to think they won’t make it a third.  They’re just too stacked offensively and the addition of Halladay makes them genuinely scary.

Most Valuable Player – Ryan Braun, Outfield, Milwaukee Brewers: Braun has put up big stats ever since he’s arrived at the big league level.  This season, I think he takes it up a notch and posts a huge year.  I’m thinking something in the ballpark of .325, 43 and 130, as well as 20 or so stolen bases.

Cy Young – Roy Halladay, Starting Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies: Most teams in the National League have seen very little, if any, of him, so I expect him to torch teams in the first half.  Even after they’ve faced him a few times, hitters are still going to be baffled.  I would be surprised if he didn’t win 20 games.

Rookie of the Year – Jason Heyward, Outfield, Atlanta Braves: He’s a physical beast and will be starting from day one.  His performance will probably overshadow what Buster Posey does in San Francisco and he’ll show the baseball world that he’s destined to sell loads of <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>MLB tickets</a> for the next decade and beyond.

Manager of the Year – Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants: He’s doing a great job in the Bay with limited offensive weaponry.  Having Tiny Tim helps, but Bochy will deserve the nod if the Giants make the postseason.

This article about <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>MLB tickets</a> was written by Morgan C. Dunn in association with <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>StubHub</a>, a leader in the sports tickets, concert tickets, theatre tickets and special events tickets market.

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