The National League reigned supreme last year as the Chicago Cubs took the World Series in grand fashion. The Cubs look good again. But they’re not the only team in town. Of course, it’s tough to predict the outcome of any sport’s season, but baseball with 162 games and 30 teams is especially tricky. We’ve put together stats, players, GMs and coaches, trends, and more to give you our 2017 National League Preview. Here’s how we see the East, Central, and West divisions in the senior circuit.
In the NL East, we like the Washington Nationals to take the East. That is if their starting rotation can stay healthy. There’s not a lot of deep in the pitching ranks. The Mets struggled with injuries last season, but GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins proved they could adjust. We expect NY to be competitive within the division. The Marlins will struggle, as will the Phillies. The Atlanta Braves are rebuilding earnestly and should provide some decent competition although we don’t see them in the post season.
Everyone agrees this is the Chicago Cubs division to lose. The Cubs have a great front office, superior coaching and a fine roster of players. Last year they topped the majors in ERA, wins, and OBA. On offense they were third in runs, RBI, and OPS and second in OB%. Expect more of the same this season. Their main competition in the NL Central will be the St. Louis Cardinals. Last year, they missed a playoff spot, which was unusual for the team. The Pirates will try to compete, but we don’t think they’ll have enough gas to do so, while the Cincinnati Reds have seen their rebuilding efforts stall. The Brewers are in the midst of a very active rebuilding campaign.
In the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to take on the entire field. They’ve got a top pitching staff and some dynamite hitters. The San Francisco Giants are also in good shape, especially with the addition of premium closer Mark Melancon. But their hitting is not as solid as they’d like it to be. The Colorado Rockies have the hitting and their pitching staff looks improved. They could be competitive. On the lower end of the spectrum, the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks will continue to struggle.
2017 National League Preview Final Word
Our 2017 National League Preview likes the Cubs to take it all. After that, we’re expecting the Dodgers to have the next best chance of winning the NL pennant. It would be a very exciting season if the Braves might forge ahead or the Rockies could pull off a major upset. The NY Mets will be contenders, as will the San Francisco Giants. Of course you can’t count out the Washington Nationals. The National League should have six teams at least in wild card contention as they head into September. It’ll be a wild ride.