Drei’s 2015 NL Forecast

With Opening Day 3 days away, here are Drei’s NL Division Picks…

NL East

One word to describe the starting 5 for the Nats… SCARY. Stephen Strassburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez. That’s a hitters nightmare. The main concern in the nations capital will be the health of the lineup. with their key players, Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman playing in 100 games or less in 2014. This team is still pretty deep talent wise and should run away the the NL East…

The Marlins, notorious bean counters of the past, have made some off-season noise by signing Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $325 million contract extension. Their young outfield of Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich is being looked at by some as the best in baseball. This is a young team on the rise, but still behind the Nats when it comes to depth and talent. especially in the starting rotation, Jose Fernandez is expected to return to the rotation in June…

The Mets are making slow strides to respectability, but there is something to say about a rotation who’s Opening Day ( Bartolo Colon ) starter will be 42 in May. 

The Braves and Phillies, once the class of the NL East, have reversed roles with the Nats and Fish. The loss of Evan Gattis and Justin Upton wont help an already struggling Braves offense. The Phillies are a far cry from their run of 2007-11. How Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz, names that could work well if every year was 2008,  are still wearing the peppermint pinstripes can only speak of other teams reluctance to deal with GM Ruben Amaro

NL Central

After going 21 consecutive seasons without a winning record, the Bucs have made it to the playoffs in 2 straight. After suffering through a long stretch of futility, one could not blame a Bucs fan for raising expectations.  Their outfield trio of Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, led by Andrew McCutchen boast an highly talented outfield. Gerrit Cole looks to take over the role of the ace. The Cards are the overwhelming favorite to win their 3rd straight NL Central crown. However, there is always that one team that puts a wrench to what the bookends have to say. The Bucs have played the Cards well the last couple season, why not Pittsburgh ?

The Cards are poised to make another post-season run for the 5th consecutive season. The fact that the Red Birds biggest run producer, Matt Holliday, was 10 RBI’s short of the century mark speaks says a lot about the pitching, led again by veteran ace Adam Wainwright.

In Back to the Future 2, the Cubs would win the 2015 World Series. Well, it’s 2015, and we’re still waiting for flying cars… All kidding aside, the Cubs could be another sleeper in the National League with the addition of Jon Lester to their rotation…

Both the Brewers and Reds have too many holes in their pitching to seriously contend. The Brewers, at one point in 2014 the NL’s best team, suffered a major meltdown down the stretch and while still backed by a potent offense led by Ryan Braun, will need the pitchers to step up if they are to contend once again in the Central…

And Finally…

The NL West

Since Don Mattingly took over the managerial reins in 2011, the Dodgers have improved their win total by an average of 4 games. Should that trend continue into this season, the Blue Crew should finish with 98 wins, and yet, he seems to be on the hot seat every season…

Much was made of the Dodgers off-season moves, unloading Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, and Hanley Ramirez and in return getting Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal. The outfield could be loaded once again, but with Kemp gone the real estate should not be as crowded. Joc Pederson has had a huge spring and many are tabbing him as the projected starter in center field. Andre Ethier has stated he would like to start, but his salary and lack of production the last 2 seasons has been an issue throughout the league. Could there be a platoon in left field between Dre and Carl Crawford ? Is this the year Yasiel Puig shows that he truly belongs to the big stage ? 

The rotation, anchored by the 1-2 punch of Kershaw and Greinke, will once again be a huge strength. The question among the pitching will be the bullpen and their ability to get the ball to closer Kenley Jansen, a major factor to their first round exit last year…

The Padres may be the divisions most improved ball club, and the additions of Kemp, Justin Upton, and the addition of James Shields to an already highly regarded pitching staff led by Tyson Ross, could have the Friars in contention for a spot in October…

Having won the World Series now in 3 of the past 5 seasons, it seems the Giants still can’t convince the “experts” that they are contenders. When looking at their lineup, you could see why they still have their doubters. However, given their recent history and their rotation, anchored by big game Madison Bumgarner, as much as the truth hurts Dodger fans, you still cannot count the Giants out of the race. It will be interesting to see though how the loss of Pablo Sandoval affects their lineup…

Drei’s NL Playoff Forecast

Wild Card

Cards over the Padres… I’m really starting to like the one game, winner take all Wild Card format

NLDS

The Cardinals have a recent history of breaking hearts in October, but this time, Washington proves too much for the Red Birds to handle. Nats over Cards

The Bucs are going to be improved once again, and with their 3rd straight playoff appearance, Bucs fans will be partying like it’s 1992. However, the end result won’t be as drastic. The series will be close though, but don’t expect Adrian Gonzalez to reprise the roll of Sid Bream. Dodgers over the Bucs

NLCS

This really has the makings of a low scoring affair that could very well go the full 7. If the bookends have their way, all excitement will be focused on the nations capital, with Kershaw and Strassburg toing the hill. After all, the nations capitol could use some much needed positive excitement right ? Dodgers over the Nationals. This time, Kershaw comes through in the clutch….

And now, for Drei’s World Series pick ( I’m sure you know where this is going…)

World Series

At this time last season, these we’re my World Series picks i’m sticking with it. Many feel the Dodgers are an improved team from last year, while the American League seems to be up for grabs. Then again, with so much parity ( There’s that word again folks ) in baseball this season, there really is no clear cut favorite to win it all, though the Dodgers and Nationals appear to be the favorites, while some believe this to be the Mariners year. The Tigers are not looked upon by many to even win their division, however, they still do return enough of their offensive firepower to be able to contend and with practically every team in the American League playing on an even field ( At least it seems that way ), Motown should see some more October baseball.

It’s been 27 years now. There are enough Dodger fans out there young enough asking what was it like to have experienced a World Series victory. My sister, born in 1989 and soon to bring in a new Dodger fan to our family, reminds me every year of the fact she is one year removed of the Dodgers winning one in her lifetime. For the third year in a row now, Drei says it’s time… Dodgers over the Tigers

1988 1988 Fun Facts… Reagan’s last term… Bobby McFerrin’s ” Don’t Worry Be Happy” tops the charts…The Iran-Iraq war would come to an end… The Cosby Show had the #1 spot on the Nielsen Ratings for the third straight year, back when Bill Cosby, ah, nevermind…

Extra Innings…

Legendary Dodger Stadium peanut vendor Roger Owens, prior to the Dodgers final exhibition game before the Angels…

It’s time to add another ring… LETS GO DODGERS !!!

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6 thoughts on “Drei’s 2015 NL Forecast”

    1. Probably not, given that I too happen to be a Dre, only with an I at the end…LOL. Yeah, blogging can be time consuming especially when you got a lot of other stuff on your table already. This is only my second post since January so we’ll see what happens…

      Liked by 1 person

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