Philadelphia Phillies 103-59
In the National League the Phillies have no rivals, as their pitching staff with the addition of Roy Halladay is clearly the best, and their lineup is perhaps the best in all of baseball. The Phillies are the clear favorites to repeat as National League champions, as day in and day out they put the best team on the field for a 162 game season. However, as with anyone the playoffs could become their waterloo as winning the division so easily could leave them vulnerable if they run into a hot pitching staff in the NLDS.
2010 BASEBALL PREVIEW
EASTERN DIVISION
LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS
National League
Albert Pujols Cardinals
Ryan Howard Phillies                   
Ryan Howard Phillies  
Nyjer Morgan Nationals
Jimmy Rollins Phillies
Roy Halladay Phillies
Tim Lincecum Giants
Tim Lincecum Giants
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers
Alfonso Soriano Cubs
Barry Zito Giants
Nyjer Morgan Nationals
Jonathan Sanchez Giants
Jason Bay Mets
Chad Billingsley Dodgers
Roy Halladay Phillies          Kelvim Escobar Mets                  Lance Berkman Astros
Johan Santana Mets
Brian Wilson Giants
Jason Heyward Braves
Bruce Bochy Giants
Ryan Howard Phillies
Tim Lincecum Giants
Ryan Howard Phillies
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Predictions Made by Frank Fleming on April 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm ET
Florida Marlins 83-79
The Marlins have some pieces needed for a good team, but with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball they don't have the complete unit to seriously contend for the playoffs. Look for both Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson to continue to develop into stars as the Marlins look forward to their new stadium opening in a few years. However, for 2010 the Marlins will continue to thread water as they will struggle to stay above .500.
Atlanta Braves 88-74
In Bobby Cox's final season as manager the Braves hope they can make a run for the postseason. If all the pieces fall into place, there is no reason not to believe the Braves could be playing in October. While catching the Phillies is unlikely, the Braves can certainly challenge for the Wild Card. However, there are too many questions in the pitching staff as they will need both Tim Hudson and Billy Wagner to regain their old form if they are to have a chance.
Washington Nationals 73-89
The Nationals hit rock bottom last season, and have no place to go but up. If one takes a closer look, they will notice that the Nats were much more competitive after Jim Riggleman took over as manager last season. Stephen Strasburg will eventually make his debut and provide some excitement as the Nationals will begin to take on the look of a young club on the rise as they will find a way to escape last place with a winning record after the All-Star Break.

CENTRAL DIVISION
St. Louis Cardinals 88-74
You can mark it down now, Albert Pujols will have another strong season, and the Cardinals will be one of the best teams in the National League. While they may not be as spectacular as the Phillies the Cardinals have a solid pitching staff led by Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. However, if they are to make a serious run in the playoffs they are going to need a second or third bat step up and assist Pujols, so teams won't be able to win just by pitching around the Cardinals MVP.
WESTERN DIVISION
EASTERN DIVISION
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
New York Mets 57-105
Coming off a horrible season, the Mets are asking their fans to stick their finger in their ears, close their eyes and yell la la la at the top of their lungs as they pretend 2009 did not happen. However, the trend of injuries and puzzling decisions from incompetent management continues. Hitting rock bottom may be the only thing that saves the Mets, as changes are clearly needed for what may be the most poorly run team in all of MLB, as despite one of baseball's highest payroll the Mets resemble a train wreck.

Cincinnati Reds 86-76
The Reds are thee ultimate darkhorse in the National League as they have all the indications of a team on the rise. With players like Jay Bruce and Joey Votto the Reds have a young talented team that could make a run for the Central Division Title. On the mound they also have some talented young arms that if they could find a way to win consistantly could take the Reds back to October. Look for them to stay in the race until the bitter end, as the lack of a veteran to carry them down the stretch will prevent them from over taking the Cardinals.

Houston Astros 70-92
One look at this roster, and you come to the conclusion that they should be renamed the Houston Oldstros, as they are a veteran laden team with not a real chance of competing as almost everyone is on the back nine of their career. The Astros are a team that needs to look at rebuilding and could be a candidate for a team that will be looking to sell off stars for the pennant race, as the Astros fall to the bottom of the National League Central.
Chicago Cubs 84-78
After a disappointing 2009, the Cubs will be looking to bounce back as they challenge the rival St. Louis Cardinals for the Central Division. The two key players in the lineup will be Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto who each had terrible seasons last season. If both regain their form the Cubs could reach October. However, they will also need some help on the mound, as Carlos Zambrano needs to become more consistent and the Cubs will need a reliable closer, with this many questions it's hard to imagine them getting over the hump.
Milwaukee Brewers 75-87
Complete with his 89 cubic foot walk in refrigerator, Prince Fielder sometimes resembles a beer league softball play slugger. Which fits as the Brewers will try to win as a beer league bashing team does by scoring lots of runs. However, in MLB the key to any real success is pitching and the Brewers pitchers resemble slow pitch softball. Runs will be a plenty, but wins will be rare in Milwaukee in 2010.
Pittsburgh Pirates 63-99
Have a glove, have a bat, willing to work for minimum wage the Pirates might be the team for you as ownership lives by the Scrooge model, it is better to finish in last place and make a small profit then to win and make the fans happy by spending money. Until the Pirates stop throwing dimes like they are man hole covers the Pirates are doomed to languish in last place.
San Francisco Giants 90-72 (Wild Card)
Offense sells tickets and pitching wins pennants. The Giants clearly have the pitching led by Tim Lincecum who at 25 has already won two Cy Young awards. However, offense continues to be the worry by the bay. If the Giants can find some steady hitters they could be the most dangerous team in the National League as the Giants have the best starting five. Look for them to hit just enough to slip in as the Wild Card, and from there it will be Katy bar the door as the Giants pitching could take the Giants all the way to the Fall Classic.
San Diego Padres 66-96
Padres fans should try to enjoy Adrian Gonzalez while they still can, as the Padres slugger could be one of the biggest names available at the trade deadline, as the Padres are clearly a team that is rebuilding. There may be some talent here, but it's hard to find as Gonzalez is the only legitimate star on a team of mediocrity. Which is why trading him could be the key for getting the Padres the foundation they need to start focusing on the future.
Los Angeles Dodgers 84-78
In divorce there are no winners, and it is often the children who wind up suffering. With the Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt locked in an ugly divorce from his wife, the Dodgers have suffered as they were unable to find the help they needed for their pitching staff. The Dodgers may have a solid line up but their lack of a reliable number one starter will prevent them from repeating in the West, as the divorce battle could keep them from adding the help they need down the stretch to stay in the playoff chase.
Arizona Diamondbacks 77-85
The Diamondbacks have already been dealt a body blow, as ace Brandon Webb's elbow has yet to recover from surgery. Without Webb the Diamondbacks are going to find it tough to compete in the Western Division again. They still are a young talented team, but they just don't have the pieces needed to make a serious run at the playoffs, and will be hard pressed just to reach .500.
Colorado Rockies 93-69
The Rockies second half turnaround under Manager Jim Tracy has fans in Denver excited for the Rockies as they look to take over the Western Division title. There is no reason to doubt the Rockies could win the West as they have a solid lineup led by Troy Tulowitzki and an underrated pitching staff anchored by Ubaldo Jimenez. While Todd Helton's who may no longer have the power he once possessed is still a steady professional hitter.
New York Yankees 98-64
In an effort to get younger the Yankees said good bye to Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, both of whom were key parts of their 2009 Championship. At the same time they welcome in Curtis Granderson who has a swing made for Yankee Stadium. They still have CC Sabathia and have a healthier A-Rod and all the money that is need to get a big piece down the stretch if needed, it won't be as easy as it was in 2009, but the Yankees look like a good bet to win #28 in October.
Boston Red Sox 93-69 (Wild Card)
The Red Sox lineup suddenly does not have the strength it once had, as David Ortiz continues to decline, while the loss of Jason Bay could leave a hole in the middle. However, with the addition John Lackey the BoSox now have one of the best rotations in all of baseball as they lock horns with the Yankees once again for supremecy in the American League. Look for the two to battle all year for the division and meet again with a trip to the Fall Classic on the line..
Toronto Blue Jays 61-101
The Blue Jays are a victim of the American League East as they had a solid team that was not able to compete with the big market boys. In a fair world the Blue Jays would be in the American League Central where they would have had a chance. Now they no longer have Roy Halladay and are starting from scratch. The players they got in return could turn out to be All-Stars, but it won't show this season as the Blue Jays could have a hard time just avoiding 100 losses.
Baltimore Orioles 77-85
The Orioles have not posted a winning record since 1997. They won't post a winning record in 2010 either but there is light emerging at the end of the tunnel as the Orioles young stars are developing into solid MLB players. Look for big years from Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. However, in the American League East it will be nearly impossible for them to improve much in the standings, although they should be able to escape last place.
Tampa Bay Rays 89-73
The Tampa Bay Rays are likely the third best team in the American League, the problem is they are also the third best team in the Eastern Division, and that will leave them on the outside look in come October. The problem with the Rays is their pitching is a step below the Yankees and Red Sox, and they don't have the resources to get help down the stretch. However, with Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford they have a powerful lineup that can compete with anyone.
Cleveland Indians 68-94
The Indians have traded Cy Young winners during each of the last two seasons, and are left with a pile of rocks they hope they can use to quickly make the Indians contenders again. However, championship teams are not built over night in baseball and the Indians will have a tough time just battling the Royals to avoid finishing in last place.


Minnesota Twins 86-76
Moving into Target Field the Twins had the look of a team that could make a serious run at a championship as they added Orlando Hudson, Jim Thome and J.J. Hardy to an already solid lineup. However, the loss of Joe Mauer will be tough for them to overcome, as the Twins bullpen has been one of the keys to their success in the past. Do not count them out yet, as Manager Ron Gardenhire has pulled rabbits out of the hat before to get the Twins into October.
Detroit Tigers 80-82
The Tigers led the American League Central most of the season last year, before a late tail spin had them in a one game playoff in Minnesota. That playoff would be the end as the Twins went on to the ALDS. The Tigers have made several changes and not all of them are good, as their pitching staff has many question marks after the trade of Edwin Jackson. If they are to win the Central they will need Rick Porcello to build off a strong rookie year.
Chicago White Sox 87-75
If they can get a healthy Jake Peavy the White Sox will have one of the best starting five in the American League. In a division so tightly packed at the top it could the key to them winning the Central. However, if the White Sox are to truly make a serious run they will need to find some reliable hitters, as Carlos Quentin is coming off a disappointing season. The Central could come down to the final days of the regular season again, which would give the Sox an advantage with their pitching.
Kansas City Royals 72-90
The Royals have an ace and little else. It will be tough for Zack Grienke to equal his 2009 success that saw him win the Cy Young, while posting a 2.16 ERA. However, he should be good enough to give the Royals a chance to win every five days. It's the other four games that will be the problem as the Royals continue to resemble a AAA team over the rest of their roster.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 88-74
The Angels have perhaps the best Manager in baseball with Mike Scioscia. However, the losses of Chone Figgins, Vladimir Guerrero and John Lackey could be difficult to overcome, especially the loss of Lackey as the Angels though having a solid group of starters are lacking the surefire ace that is needed to win a pennant. Again they should not be counted out as they will challenge the Mariners all season, for first place and could again make October if someone emerges as a definitive stopper at the front of the rotation.
Texas Rangers 85-77
The Rangers have the lineup capable of winning, but can they get enough pitching to compete in the American League West? It seems that question has become a permanent part of the Rangers franchise as they often have a team full of sluggers, but do not have the pitching needed to take the next step. That will be the result once again this season as the Rangers are in the race all season, but when it comes down to pitching they will fall well short of reaching the promised land.
Seattle Mariners 91-71
With the addition of Cliff Lee, the Mariners have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. One concern could be the addition of Milton Bradley who has been able to drag teams down if he is not happy. However, as long as the Mariners get off to a good start that should not be too much of a concern. Look for 2010 to be the year Felix Hernandez takes over and establishes his dominance as he leads the American League in several categories while leading the Mariners to the Western Division title.
Oakland Athletics 73-89
The Athletics are putting allot of faith in a pair of pitchers that did not pitch in 2009. Sure Ben Sheets and Justin Durchscherer have had success in the past, but coming off injuries it will be hard to imagine they can regain their old form soon enough to make the A's a factor in the Western Division. Look for a long season by the bay for Moneyball.
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