The 2013 season will find the Washington Nationals dominating the National League simply because it is the best team.
National League East. Here is where the Nationals win. The team has dominant pitching with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. I like teams with dominant players and this one has gold gloves, Adam LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman, at the corners, as well. Zimmerman was the best player here for years until the Harper’s showed up. It is nice to have high draft choices, but this team has made perfect choices with theirs. They will not draft in the top twenty five for the rest of the decade!
The Braves will come in second unless the Phillies have outstanding years from pitchers Halladay, Lee, and Hamels. The offense is where the improvement must appear and I don’t think Ben Revere is the answer. I watcher this player closely and he has some flash in running speed that has a defensive benefit as well as the obvious offensive benefit, but the Charlie Manual will get tired of his lack of power and tendency to just slap the ball around will feel despair watching National League runners advance on his poor arm. So, I pick the Braves for second and this is due to Braves culture. They will play well and find players. By the way, team culture is a very important factor in team success.
The Mets and Marlins will clog up the bottom. See comment on culture above.
The National League Central will play without Houston this year, a burden on the Cubs, of course. This division has the Cardinals and Reds and I can’t pick one over the other with any certainty. This is a culture thing again and the Reds and Cards both excel at baseball culture. This can be seen at the lowest levels as their minor leaguers act like big leaguers from the first day. I will pick the Cardinals because I like Bill DeWitt, and the Reds have Joey Votto and some uncertainty after that. I also think the Cardinals will find young players to fill in.
The remaining teams are the similar Pirates and Brewers and then the Cubs, Talk about cultural issues.
The National League has culture issues as well. The Dodgers and Giants have been battling each other for 100 years. The Dodgers have spent enormously this year but that is no reason to grant them a cake walk with the Giants. I like the Dodgers as I like Ned Colleti and know he will make wise decisions, but I have learned to like Brian Sabean as well. So indecision arises .again and the Arizona pitchers, all kids, can take over the division. Therefore, I go with LA, SF less than five games in back and Colorado two or three behind SF.
The Padres will try to win 80 times and Colorado is a KPKP team,(see earlier post for explanation.
How about that for fearless prognosticating in a game where anything can happen. I may review this in June, just to see how I’ve done.
As to the culture thing, the Washington Nationals have changed its culture and that is due to its owner, Ted Lerner. I got to know him when his team was terrible and his comments indicated to me that he was a perfect owner. He is proving that in spades and deserves his success.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS BASEBALL AND PROJECTIONS MADE IN MARCH OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN OVER 162 GAMES IS AN EDUCATED GUESS. THAT’S WHY I WILL PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO EVERY DAY OF THE SEASON, CHEERS, CLARK