MLB Season Preview: National League team guide


The 2013 Major League Baseball season gets underway this weekend. Nick Shiambouros previews each team in the National League and assesses their chances of winning the  World Series...


Washington Nationals 10.0

The Nationals won the NL East last season, largely due to some outstanding pitching from the young rotation. They added closer Rafael Soriano to the rotation, but they  did not do much to address run production. They are legitimate contenders, but I am concerned about the lack of hitting.



Los Angeles Dodgers 11.5

The Dodgers signed pitcher Zack Greinke for $147 million over six years. This was a bold move from Los Angeles, who have adopted a money-is-no-object approach. They  appear to have few weaknesses and are live contenders. The price is right.



Cincinnati Reds 14.0

The Reds won the NL Central but fell to San Francisco in the playoffs. Cincinnati has outstanding pitching, which should carry them a long way. Johnny Cueto won 19  games for them last season. This is basically the same team as last year, which is a good thing. I think they will make the playoffs at the very least.



Atlanta Braves 17.0

Atlanta will have to adjust to life without the great Chipper Jones, who retired last year. The Braves signed B.J. Upton from Tampa Bay during the off-season, giving  them even more outfield strength. Upton is the complete player and will be a valuable asset to this talented team. Even without Chipper Jones in the lineup, I still  like their chances of making the playoffs.



San Francisco Giants 21.0

The defending champions come back with few changes to the roster. This team has talent, chemistry and a big heart. With players like Buster Posey, who signed a $167- million extension hours ago, the future looks bright. Posey hit .336 and launched 24 homers last season. I really do not understand why the Giants are priced so  generously. They must be backed at this price.



Philadelphia Phillies 22.0

The Phillies had a disastrous 2012 season, mainly after a spate of injuries during the first half of the year. Pitching remains as strong as ever with Cliff Lee, Roy  Halladay and Cole Hamels leading the way. If they remain healthy, they will be a threat to all.



St Louis Cardinals 25.0

The Cardinals had a cracking 2012 season. They sneaked into the playoffs by grabbing a wild card spot before losing to San Francisco in the NLCS. They are a balanced  team who should make another playoff run.



Pittsburgh Pirates 55.0

The Pirates capitulated in the second half of the season and finished with a record of 72-90. Another moderate season is in the cards. Not for me at any price.



Arizona Diamondbacks 60.0

There are no real stars on this team, but they do have ability. Chance for a wild card.



Milwaukee Brewers 60.0

The Brewers ended the season with a record of 83-79. This was a modest effort from a team with the mighty Ryan Braun in the lineup. Braun drove in 112 runs and hit 41  homers last year. Not without a chance.



New York Mets 95.0

The Mets dealt pitcher R.A. Dickey to Toronto during the off-season and, with him, ended any realistic chance of making the playoffs. This is what happens when you  trade your best pitcher.



San Diego Padres 130.0

Not enough depth to contend.



Chicago Cubs 190.0

Another rebuilding year for the Cubs. Even die-hard fan/actor John Cusack must be getting fed up with this.



Colorado Rockies 200.0

The Rockies won just 64 games last year. They have some talent, but they will be lucky to post a winning record.



Miami Marlins 210.0

This is one of the worst run teams in baseball. No chance.


(Source: Betfair)




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