Rowland predicts, v. 2.014

From the blogger who told you Freddie Freeman was as good as gone and Ryan Langerhans reminded me of a young Paul O’Neill …

NL East

1. Nats. I hate them as much as David Gregory pretends to love them, but there’s no denying their talent or depth (as I wrote in December, the Braves would regret not acquiring Doug Fister, and it wouldn’t have cost them much.) In fact, Gavin Floyd could make more money in 2014. On the plus side, their ‘pen is questionable. Relying on Rafael Soriano may be their undoing.

2. Braves. (WC) They have the look of an 86-76 team, but my heart says 91-71. There’s no margin for error; lose another starting pitcher and we’re looking at a .500 team, at best.

NL Central 

1. Cards. They may have the deepest pitching AND offense in the league. Hard to see them missing the playoffs.

2. Pirates. Starting Travis Ishikawa at 1B sends a bad message to your fans, but with even more young talent on the way they should be competitive for years.

NL West

1. Dodgers. They’re not as good as their payroll would indicate.

2. Giants. (WC) It’d an even-numbered year, so watch out.

AL East

1. Tampa. The Cards of the AL, minus the depth.

2. Baltimore. (WC) Best line-up in the division; pitching could go either way.

AL Central

1. Kansas City. If Yordano Ventura pitches to his stuff, watch out.

2. Detroit (WC) When smart franchises make bad decisions (Cabrera extension, Fister trade).

AL West

1. Angels. By default.

2. Oakland. Like the Braves, beset by injuries to their rotation but lacking the resources to add an Ervin Santana.

 

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7 comments

  1. Dodgers or Cardinals over Tampa Bay (whom I love, as a team) in the World Serious. I think we go 87-75, miss the WC by 2 games because of the pitching depth. I don’t think we’ll make the trades we need to offset them. Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana are not the answer but the young guys will do well.

    I hope I’m wrong all the way around.

  2. This team won 96 games last year. With a manager with an IQ over 100 we probably would have won 98 to 100.

    Medlen gets replaced with Santana. Santana at his best is probably Medlen at his worst. Medlen had a subpar year (for him) last year. Santana had a good year last year and from what I understand, he changed his style of pitching. I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that he can repeat last year. If he does, this change is, at worst, a slight downgrade.

    Beachy was an ace, but he was a non-factor last year.

    Hudson gets replaced with Wood. I’ll take that tradeoff.

    Maholm gets replaced with Floyd. I’ll take Floyd.

    Teheran and Minor should be better this year.

    Moreover, CF and 2B can’t possibly be worse than they were in 2013. Heyward is going to explode.

    The bullpen is the biggest question for me, but I’m confident that the Braves will win the division again. The Nats, as they were last year, are vastly overrated.

  3. Roadrunner, I hope you’re right, and everything you say could in fact happen. But can this team withstand another injury, esp. to the pitching? The lack of depth is what worries me.

  4. Graham, Schlosser, and Hale will be the internal candidates. They’re going to need to trade some prospects for an established starter at some point.

  5. There’s a new ballpark that they’re going to need to fill. The team has been making money hand over fist. Liberty will fork over a little more to have a championship caliber team in there.

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