1.) Philadelphia Phillies: Two World Series appearances in the past year, as well as a team that is a lock for a third appearance come October 2010. The acquisition for Halladay is awesome. The Phillies are incredibly well rounded and will be the team to watch this entire season in the National League.
2.) Atlanta Braves: The Braves have talent, as well as a team that will give some of the top-gun squads problems. They aren’t the powerhouse that they were in the 90’s, but a young squad that will keep A-Town rocking all season.
3.) Florida Marlins: Deep down, I am slowly becoming more of a fan of this team. Not just because I make sure I draft second basemen Dan Uggla every year in fantasy, but the fact that Florida has some hidden gems. They will compete, but I do not seeing them win more than 65-70 games this season.
4.) New York Mets: The Mets will always be second best to the Bronx Bombers, but with Jason Bay joining the team, I wonder how good they actually will be. Doesn’t Bay have knee problems?
5.) Washington Nationals: The Nation’s Capital has more problems besides health-care these days, which is a team that is awful and probably the laughing stock of baseball. I am super excited to see Stephen Strasburg pitch, but that will only be the exciting thing about this club.
1.) St. Louis Cardinals: Best player in baseball, (Albert Pujols), a great manager, (Tony LaRussa) and the best in the NL Central. Hands down, this will be one team that will rebound from their awful 2009 NLDS playoff performances and make a run toward being crowned champions.
2.) Cincinnati Reds: Believe it or not, more crazy and wild-picks! The Reds are a possible contender for the Wild Card and may even challenge St. Louis for the division, but time will tell. The Reds will make this division fun and exciting, but also allow us the fans to see if a dark horse can actually finish second or first.
3.) Chicago Cubs: This again will not be their year, unless some major trade occurs and the whole world turns upside down. Chicago has made some interesting moves this off-season, but only time will tell if Soriano, Lee and Ramirez can carry the grunt of the load.
4.) Milwaukee Brewers: Solid team, great players and possibly a bad season are to come. Again, I don’t see the Brewers trading or making any moves that would impact their chances in winning this division. Fielder will have another career year, but that will be the high point for Wisconsin. Better hope the Green Bay Packers keep your city interested for the next few months!
5.) Pittsburgh Pirates: One of the weaker squads in this so-called JV conference, (the National League), but possibly a team with some potential. Could the Pirates star to build for the future, we shall see.
6.) Houston Astros: The Astros are terrible and should receive an award for being as bad as the Blue Jays, Indians, A’s and Nationals. Luckily, the Texans are starting to become a legit team, so root for them Houston!
1.) Los Angles Dodgers: Possibly the last year for “Manny-Wood,” so why don’t they just go out and win. Dodgers will be competitive, but will have competition. Look for the offense to lead this team all season.
2.) San Francisco Giants: I like this Giants team. A clear sleeper or dark horse, choose your wording, but with some good pitching and hitting that will occur, consider thinking of sporting some orange and black for now on fans, it will be Halloween in San Francisco ever day.
3.) Colorado Rockies: There is a lot of hype in the Rocky Mountains these days, especially in Denver. The Rockies are solid all around and look very competitive on paper, yet, I am not buying this early excitement. An injury or two could derail the Rockies for the 2010 season.
4.) Arizona Diamondbacks: Talented pitching and some great young-guns that will make life interesting in the desert. Although, a terrible bullpen will be their Achilles heel this season.
5.) San Diego Padres: The Padres are a terrible team. Youth and inexperienced with haunt them again this season, as well as if they decide to wear their ugly throwbacks or camouflage uniforms. Also, Adrian Gonzalez will be traded, which will mean less tickets will be sold and possibly fewer fans each game. Don’t expect any fireworks this season Padres fans.