The NL North is very difficult place to pick a winner. They seem to take turns winning the division here.
New York has a really nice line up and top end starting pitching.
Fargo also has a really good one two at the top of their rotation but that lack the line-up depth to be a sure shot winner. They do have a good group of both side of the ball pretty well though.
Buffalo has the best starting pitcher in the world and follow him up is a really solid rotation. Maybe the second best in the NL even... Maybe. Defense is a killer and could hurt their pitching a bit. From what I can see they are playing with-out a usable everyday short-stop.
Montreal has a very consistent team with no huge holes but lacking high end star power.
NL North Standings
Buffalo with 88-93 wins
Fargo with 88-93 wins
New York 86-91 wins
Montreal 79-84 wins
In the History of Kaline Philadelphia has reigned over the East winning 15 times. They have top end starting pitching a that is getting older and older. They still have some big sticks in the line-up but age is taking a toll on them too.
Boston is almost ready to push the gas and make a run at the champ but they might be a season away from that still. They have some really good hitters and some nice looking guys in the minor league that will be really good starters.
Washington D.C. on the surface looks to take a big ratings drop until you scan their AAA team . They have a few guys there that should be making the ML debut sometime this season. The have an ace to front their rotation and also hold a respectable 2-3 starter as well. They have a good enough line-up to score some runs. Defense is also respectable and will hold its own.
Richmond has some very large defensive issues. No true SS, CF lacks range, 2nd basemen can't turn the double play if he manages t even get to the ball, Corner OF lacks arm and Range(close on Range though). But they hit here. They should score some runs this season for sure. Starting pitching should give them a chance to win some games too.
NL East Standing
Boston 83-88 wins
Philadephia 81-86 wins
Washington D.C. 71-76 wins
Richmond 67-72 wins
Houston has represented the NL in 3 of the last 4 world series winning one. You could argue that the best rotation is playing here in Houston. The window is still open but ML service time is catching up and contracts are getting rather large. They have a line-up that will score runs in bunches. A bullpen that can shut teams down late. Defense is in the bottom third in the world.
Wichita is a starving team with some amazing contracts on the books. Some of the worst I have seen. Poor ownership over the last few season have made this team a long term rebuild. Tons of money can come off the books after this season but there is also a arbitration nightmare to deal with. this is another team that as too look for the future and the current owner has an great track record so lets hope he sticks around and see it though. All in all this is a team that is looking at next season draft already. Two picks in this years draft could help speed things up.
Charleston has some things that I like. and well not starting pitching. The bullpen should hold teams off in the late innings. Fielding should be in the top third of the world. On offense they hold the next 110 million dollar man as well as a great line-up 1-8. Maybe the fielding will help the pitching out enough to put them over the top Sly Stallone style.
Charlotte seems to me to be in a bit of a reload mode not rebuild. They have some prospects that might need more seasoning in the minors before they make an impact on the ML squad. Up and down their current 25 man this seems to me to be about as average of team in Kaline. Budget is in good shape too.
NL South Standings
Houston 100-105 wins
Charleston 89-94 wins
Charlotte 79-84 wins
Wichita 58-63 wins
The NL West seems to come down to the last series of the season every season.
Sacramento went on a little spending spree this off season picking up one of the best position players in the league. They are very strong defensively in the key positions. Every time the team plays the send out a pitcher that can get the win. A good to great rotation. Add in the bullpen and you have a ton of wins. Their bullpen is top five or better. The team is set up well 1-8 in the line up and should be in the five offensively as well.
Vancouver has a history of .500 teams. I think this years team maybe be a little better than that. Solid pen to keep games close late. Good enough hitters to score a few runs. Great defense behind middle of the road starting pitching.
Salem could use an upgrade at starting pitching. The bullpen should be average Defense is pretty much middle third. They will hit and hit and hit. Solid eyes up and down the line up with good splits and power.
Las Vegas is old and on the decline with the whispers of rebuild. The team might win a few games this season but I don't see them as a factor this season. They really don't do any one thing that well.
NL West Standings
Sacramento 98-103 Wins
Salem 83-88 wins
Vancouver 81-86 wins
Las Vegas 55-60 wins