As some of the predictions start rolling in from some of the major media sites, we will pass them along. This is the NL East as projected by the Star-Telegram.
1 Philadelphia Phillies: The pitching staff is MLB’s version of the Miami Heat, but with four of the game’s biggest stars. Even if the offense isn’t as good because of lingering knee problems for Chase Utley, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay anchor a staff that makes the Phillies the best team in the NL.
2 Atlanta Braves: Adding Dan Uggla was big for an offense that might have to rely on rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman to produce and Chipper Jones to stay healthy. Derek Lowe anchors a rotation that is solid but lacks a true No. 1.
3 Florida Marlins: The Marlins have the team with the most upside in the division. Outfielder Mike Stanton has the ability to be a superstar and Hanley Ramirez is as good as he wants to be. Adding Javier Vazquez should help an improved pitching staff that already has an ace in Josh Johnson.
4 New York Mets: Maybe they can be this year’s version of the Rangers. At least they’ve got the cash-strapped part down. But the offense has too many question marks, with shortstop Jose Reyes and outfielder Carlos Beltran at the top of the list. The rotation’s most reliable starter is R.A. Dickey. That’s not enough in the East.
5 Washington Nationals: The Nats made moves to offset the loss of Adam Dunn, overpaying for Jayson Werth and signing Adam La Roche. The offensive pieces are there for them to compete, but the pitching staff won’t allow that to happen.
The way I see it, the Florida Marlins may have a better ace at the top of the rotation, but overall I feel the Mets are infinitely better. And just as Michael Stanton has the ability to be a star, so does Ike Davis for the Mets, and we outnumber them in established stars with David Wright, Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan compared to just Hanley Ramirez for them.