With the 2016 MLB Season just around the Corner beginning on Sunday the 3rd of April 2016, we think it’s time to take a look and the National League, its divisions and make some predictions.
For those that Bet on MLB at SBG Global, it appears that the National League this season is going to be stronger than the American League. And if we were to select the top teams today we would pick the Royals and Astros as the top teams.
So let’s start with the National League East and our No. 1 Nationals of Washington, a team that now has some top players in the MLB, and it is believed that this season they will qualify for postseason play. Their pitching staff rotation with Scherzer, Gonzalez and Strasburg is got to be one of the best in the MLB.
In addition they have a strong team on all sides, and in this 2016 spring season they have the best record in the MLB through this past Monday the 28th of March 2016.
Then as No. 2 we have the Mets of New York who will have a tougher season than 2015, and since we chose the Nationals to win the NL East, then we pick the Mets to take the wild card. Yes, they lost a key player and apart from injuries their roster has its strong points and weak ones, but they have an advantage over opponents due to the strength of their solid bull-pen.
At no. 3 we have the Marlins of Miami who with their new manager D. Mattingly at the helm, we think they will finish close to this No. 3 spot in the league. Their offense will be led by G. Stanton and D. Gordon, and their rotation assisting with their duo of J. Fernandez and W. Chen, and yes the pitching staff has some question marks outstanding, but regardless we see the Marlins finishing the season in 3rd place.
At No. 4 we vision the Phillies of Philadelphia and it’s amazing that not too many seasons ago the Phillies and the Braves were the elite of this division. Yes those were the days when they had Halladay, Hamels and Lee, and now their stars are Nola, Morton and Hellickson.
However, we believe that the Phillies pitching rotation has the potential to keep them from finishing any lower than 4th along with the assistance of their 3rd baseman M. Franco who is expected to have a great season.
At No. 5 we see the Braves of Atlanta who could possibly be a contender for a losing record, and fans are amazed on how fast the Braves have dropped in the rankings. But fans have to except the facts that the Braves have a weak roster for 2016. They have a group of veterans and some un-tested younger players.
Next we look at NL – Central Division starting with our No. 1 Cubs of Chicago and fans are wondering if this is their year, after the team has had years of futility, and now they have a very promising team with a pitching rotation that can go up against the best.
Last season the Cubs were a surprise to all, but look for their Manager Madden to continue his magic while this season winning t his Division Title. If they win their division then who knows what comes next.
Then we have our No. 2 and wild card pick the Pirates of Pittsburgh, who are coming off a 20 years of losing games, the Pirates have 3 consecutive years making the playoffs. They have struggled getting past the 1st round, but they have the talent with one of the better outfields in the MLB.
Plus their pitching staff with G. Cole and Liriano on the roster. But, for them to take the next step up in the League, they need to strive to make it through the NLCS.
And our 3rd pick is the Cardinals of St. Louis who we have to leave them not making the playoffs, but in the American League they could make the playoffs. However, with them playing in the best division in Major League Baseball this season they will not make it to the playoffs. A major problem is their injuries to starters including their pitching rotation. With the Pirates and Mets getting the Wild Card slots, the Cardinals will be left out.
Our No. 4 pick is the Brewers of Milwaukee who for the ultimate 11 years have struggles, and last year struggling to get some 68 wins, this crew of Brewers seem to be foaming in the wrong path to success. I they are to avoid a last place slot this season they will need their catcher J. Lucroy to have a good season and for their pitching rotation of Nelson, Garza and Peralta to improve.
Our last pick in this division is the No. 5 Reds of Cincinnati who will likely join the Braves in the NL basement. Management has cleaned out their roster in the last year, and now has a questionable starting roster, with an iffy pitching rotation.
Then we come to the West Division of the National League with our No. 1 pick being the Giants of San Francisco and the fans are already planning their World Series festivities. But we don’t quite go that far, but do believe they will make the postseason playoffs for their 4th time in the ultimate 7 seasons. The team has some weaknesses, but with their possible MVP’er in catcher B. Posey and strong left handed pitcher M. Bumgarner which may be the best 1-2 combinations in the MLB they should be in the postseason play once again.
Then we have our No. 2 Diamondbacks of Arizona whom with Z. Greinke will give the D-Backs a good chance to succeed in the National League. They have a solid roster that is getting stronger with Peralta, Goldschmidt and Pollock in the middle of their lineup. Also, most overlook their strong bullpen, and their relievers in Ziegler and Clippard who come on strong in the late innings. Thus, the top 3 teams in this division could be in a dogfight, and the D-Backs should end up 2nd.
Then we have the No. 3 Dodgers of L.A. and we place them in the 3rd spot this season, and that would mean it will be their 1st time since back in 2011 that they did not finish in 1st or 2nd place. This season we have seen the Dodger bullpen struggling, as after Kershaw the rotation is questionable. However, their offense in late innings may keep them in the games, but need Y. Puig to excel and youngsters J. Pederson and C. Seager to step up their offensive performances.
At No. 4 we have the Padres of San Diego and found it difficult to score this team as we are looking at a team with a strong pitching rotation in A. Cashner, J. Shields and T. Ross a trio that is bound to stand out this season. However, their offense has to begun performing as to expectations to date.
Finally we have our No. 5 Rockies of Colorado whose fans will get to see a lot of runs crossing the plate at Coors Field this season, since the team has one of the best rosters in the MLB. Despite their strength on offense, their pitching staff from their records looks to be atrocious. Yes the Colorado baseball fans can expect some high scoring games this season.