2014 NL East Preview
2013 Record: 96-66
Key additions: RHP Gavin Floyd, C Ryan Doumit
Key loss: SP Tim Hudson, C Brian McCann
Sportsbook Projected Win Total: 86.5
2014 Projection: The 2013 season saw the emergence of good young talent, especially in the starting rotation and a playoff spot. While they didn’t get to the World Series, the chop is definitely back in Atlanta. The young talent was so good, the Braves spent the back end of the off season locking up their player to long term extensions. They extended 1B Freddie Freeman, SS Andrelton Simmons, closer Craig Kimbrel, SP Julio Teheran, and OF Jason Heyward to long term deals. However, this was after they let Brian McCain and Tim Hudson walk for big money. I like bring in Gavin Floyd to replace Hudson in theory, but he might not be able to match Hudson’s production. In the end, the new direction for the club will pay off but for this year I expect them to take a slight step back. This is still a playoff team with good hitters, solid starting pitching and a good bullpen.
Final Record: 86-76
2013 Record: 62-100
Key Losses: OF Justin Ruggiano, 1B Logan Morrison, and RP Ryan Webb.
Key Additions: SS Rafael Furcal, 1B Garrett Jones, RP Carlos Marmol, C Jarod Saltalamacchia
Sportsbook Projected Win Total: 66.5
2014 Projection: As usual, the Miami Marlins watched as they let go their promising talent and held on to two studs (Stanton and Fernandez) to save face. Giancarlo Stanton has refused to sign an extension until he feels the organization is committed to building a winner. And who can blame them, one year after they traded away their big free agent signings in Reyes and company, this team is back to square one. They did bring in some player in Furcal and Saltalamacchia, but these are guys no one wanted. I think Saltalamacchia is a good pick up for this team and Jose Fernandez is one of the best young pitchers in the game. But the bright spots are few and far between for this club and their record will show it.
Final Record: 70-92
New York Mets
2013 Record: 74-88
Key Losses: None
Key Additions: OF Curtis Granderson, OF Chris Young, SP Bartolo Colon
Sportsbook Projected Win Total: 71.5
2014 Projection: The New York Mets have talent, but it’s on the way. We have watched this team struggle in the aftermath of the Maddoff mess. But Sandy Alderson trading away all the talent from previous playoff teams has given them a wealth of young talent. The Mets have the potential to have one of the best rotations despite no Matt Harvey in 2014 (please don’t try to come back this year). The addition of Colon is a gamble but for one year it could pay off. Wheeler is ready to be a front end guy and Dillon Gee should be able to build on his solid 2013 campaign. Jonathan Niese is the wild card, his recent trip back to NY for arm issues could be his lasting legacy, often injured but loads of potential. Any bat added to the Mets is a default upgrade over last year. Curtis Granderson is a big upgrade in the outfield, so is Chris Young. Granderson should be a 30-30 guy if he is healthy (which he usually is) and if he cuts the strikeouts down. I expect Ike Davis to be better this year; he has 30 homer potential but just needs to get off to a good start. As a whole this Mets team is better than 2013, but it might not be enough in the end. If FA Stephen Drew wakes up and signs with the Mets then they could get a bump. But until then, wait ‘til next year!
Final Record: 77-85
2013 Record: 73-89
Key Losses: RHP Roy Halladay
Key Additions: OF Marlon Byrd, SP A.J. Burnett, OF Bobby Abreu
Sportsbook Projected Win Total: 78
2014 Projection: The Phillies have been on the decline recently and everyone has noticed. After winning the division five straight years (2007-11), the Phillies have posted only 81 and 73 wins the last 2 years. This team has gotten older and the young talent has seemed to stop reloading the team. Ryan Howard and Cole Hammels must have any type of year for this team to contend. But I think Howard is a shell of himself and Chase Utley just trying to get healthy. I think the additions didn’t make a big splash and the Phillies could be headed to the bottom if injuries hit the City of Brotherly Love.
Final Record: 70-92
2013 Record: 86-76
Key additions: SP Doug Fister, OF Nate McLouth
Key loss: SP Dan Haren
Sportsbook Projected Win Total: 90.5
2014 Projection: High expectations can be a two sided coin. Washington had a great campaign in 2012 that end with the new franchise’s first playoff appearance. The bar was set high, and 2013 got of to an awful start. To their credit, the Nationals made a late push and were in the playoff hunt until mid September. So what’s different this year, the addition of SP Doug Fister for instance. He is a veteran pitcher use to high expectations from Detroit. He adds to a staff that already has Steven Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman. They should have one of the toughest rotations to handle, but the key to this year is first year manager Matt Williams. He’s an old school guy that should help this team get over the hump of the pressure. I see this team playing well into October.
Final Record: 94-68
*denotes Wild Card Team