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2014 Previews: The National League East

Mar 31, 2014, 9:13 AM EDT

Bryce Harper AP AP

For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2014 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East.

The Nats were supposed to win it all last year. Will they this year? The Braves have punched at least three holes on their Dr.JamesAnderews SuperSaver Card. Will they punch two more and get a free labrum surgery? The Mets signed a couple of free agents for once. Does that mean anything? The Marlins were a laughingstock last year, will they surprise this year? And will the Phillies be a laughingstock this year?

Below are our team-by-team previews for the NL East as well as our HBT Extra feature on the division:

Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies

  1. chill1184 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    1. Nationals
    2. Braves
    3. Mets
    4. Marlins
    5. Phillies

  2. renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    No doubt Braves will win the Pennant this year.

    • cincinata - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Not without that closer who needs arm surgery. This is a good division, however, I still think that Wash. is overrated as is the phenom Harper. As good as he is, he is not going to carry this team. They still kook to the Zimmerman boys for that. Harper is good not doubt. But he will not carry the team as Albert did in St. Louis. He is not that good. Still, they may win the division again, and in payoffs, anything can happen. The Nat’s should wind the division over Atlanta and Philly.

      • renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        Closer? you mean Kimbrel? I wouldn’t worry about that though considering the offence they have in the lineup.

      • cincinata - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        We will see. Isn’t it Kimbrel who needs Tommy John? If I am mistaken, I just heard some rumor. I think you are counting too much on hitting which was I think an exception last year. I don’t think this team will hit consistently at last year’s level. Similar to the Reds actually. I don’t expect Bruce or Phillips to reproduce what they did in 2013, but they still have Votto and now Ludwick is healthy.

      • renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        I see no news Kimbrel’s going to have Tommy John though. Where have you heard this rumor might I say?

      • cincinata - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        I may be mistaken about Kimbrel. Sorry. Is anyone going to have Tommy John on the Braves? Maybe I am thinking of another team. (Maybe wishful thinking)

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        I may be mistaken about Kimbrel. Sorry. Is anyone going to have Tommy John on the Braves?

        It’s not Kimbrel, but pretty much every other Braves pitcher does.

      • cincinata - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        I just called my friend in Atlanta. He said it was Medlen who MIGHT need surgery. That is not too good either. Also, he said that they have a big problem with pitchers on the DL. So, they may not even need Kimbrel if losing after 8. Still does not look good for Atlanta and the staff. Sorry for the mix up however, the sentiment is the same. Atlanta, you be in trouble (for now).

  3. gothapotamus90210 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    The Braves will be lucky if they are .500 this year. I’m not sure why everybody is still on the Braves’ bandwagon after the plethora of injuries to their pitching staff. Vegas still has them 16-1 to win the World Series.

    • renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      I believe in them, Not to mention everyone in our College campus believes in them too. Their pitching rotation may not be as good as before but there offence is certainly a thing to be reckoned with.

      • gothapotamus90210 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        You have to be trolling.

      • arrow43050 - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        An entire college campus believes in one team? Why would the rest of the teams bother trying and now the experts know who they have to pick? By the way, what “College” [sic: unnecessary capitalization] is this, Wassamatta U? People are usually “on” a college campus not “in” it and the team’s OFFENSE not its offence is what people here in the U.S. usually worry about generating runs.

      • renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        No I’m not. But dunno with you if you’d call this trolling though cause I have never trolled so far in the internet before.

      • renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        You wanna know why arrow43050? Cause this is the 1st team I introduced to them when I taught them about the MLB.

      • gothapotamus90210 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        You would’ve been better off admitting you’re trolling because you’re coming off like a 4th grader with the language in your posts.

      • renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Whoa dude… That is uncalled for, English is not my 1st language by the way so i hope you’d find that understandable.

      • biasedhomer - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Their offense is average. Uggla and BJ Upton are negative values, they lost McCann, Justin Upton and Heyward are overrated, and Chris Johnson will regress to career norms.

      • gothapotamus90210 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        I didn’t know, but now that I know, I don’t care, either. I stand by my comment.

    • schmedley69 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      This renaado guy was calling anyone who said anything negative about the Braves an “idiot” in another thread.

      • renaado - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        What page was that again?

      • schmedley69 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        Sorry, had you confused with someone else. It was realgone2 who was calling people idiots.

  4. therealtrenches - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    At this point, picking against the Phillies is like shooting fish in a barrel while wearing a Captain Obvious uniform. It’s not rocket science. And while they probably should finish last, don’t be surprised if they don’t. Arguably, any team with Hamels, Lee, and Burnett starting and Papelbon closing is always going to present opponents with a challenge.

    Their choice to hang onto the old core for yet another year is not as horrid as the haters make it seem. Throughout the history of the game, many other teams that have done that have not received nearly as much criticism because they didn’t reach the heights the Phillies did a few years back, didn’t suffer so many injuries, and the decline was more gradual. They also didn’t have such easily hatable fans.

    And haters, beware: in 2016, the big contracts begin to clear out. Meanwhile, Brown, Asche, and Ruf will continue to grow and mature. Then, the TV contract comes and replenishes the coffers even more. Their future is not so bleak as it seems.

  5. Barry's Triceps - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    1. Nationals
    3. METS
    4. Braves
    5. Marlins

    The Braves are that injured.

    I think the Phillies.might pull out one more 89 90 win season if people can stay healthy. Predictions are supposed to be bold, eh?

    But what if that Nats win 89-90, then my prediction with the Phillies doesn’t look so bad if the Phils get like 83-87 wins.

  6. natstowngreg - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    No one is “supposed” to win it all. Or, is this just a little Opening Day trolling (not that there’s anything wrong with that…).

    The 2013 Nats, from ownership down to fans, made the mistake of believing their 2012 clippings. Then, they underperformed the majority of the season. Despite that, they missed the playoffs by only 4 games.

    The 2014 Nats are one of several teams with the best chances. Decent health and no relapse of mediocrity for long stretches, can make up the 4 games. Though the Braves, despite the pitching injuries, aren’t going away.

    Of course, the important thing is that real, games-counting baseball has returned. The long winter of our discontent is over.

  7. Old Gator - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    I understand that the Feelies have serious problems – all those years of packing their auricles, ventricles and arteries with horrible horsemeat and Velveeta™ sandwiches finally catching up with them, and all – but when you look at the febrile concatenation of wuzzes, wannabes and other assorted scrapheap refugees populating the Feesh lineup, despite a very promising young peetching staff it’s hard to imagine how this team is going to score many runs. Why in Buddha’s name would anyone try to pitch to the Iron Giant with a lefthanders-only platoon utility infielder batting cleanup behind him even if the guy has had a couple of decent years in limited use (and could never crack a starting lineup for any length of time anyway)? This team is going to finish up another lost planet season with a bunch of starters at or around 3.00 ERAs with .500 records or worse. It’s hard to imagine the Feelies actually being worse. Yeah, I know, this is beisbol and weirder things have happened. Still, you’d almost have to be a double amputee to be as punchless as this lineup looks like it’s gonna be.

  8. greymares - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Craig made you pick the Braves 2nd. right ? The game is still 75% pitching and the Braves have none they are basement bound.

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