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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ranking the teams in the National League

With pitchers and catchers reporting in about a week, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the Giants competition in 2012. I've already broke down the NL West by position but what about the NL as a whole? The Senior Circuit lost some talent this offseason. Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols left for mega contracts and future DH opportunities leaving Joey Votto (and a recovering Ryan Howard) as the only true slugging 1B in the NL. However, the NL should have a more competitive 2012 than it did last year when only 7 of the 16 teams ended the season with a winning record (by comparison, the AL had 6 of 14). I will post my predictions closer to the start of the regular season but for now, let's take a quick look at who the NL's contenders should be, who the sleepers are, and which teams don't look like they have a real shot.

CONTENDERS

Philadelphia
Atlanta
Florida
Milwaukee
St. Louis
Cincinnati
Arizona
San Francisco

SLEEPERS

Washington
Colorado
Los Angeles

WAIT FOR 2013

San Diego
Houston
New York
Pittsburgh
Chicago

I know some of these are controversial and I'll explain my selections more when I post my predictions but I see the contenders as being the Giants main competition. It's ridiculous to think that Opening Day is less than 2 months away and no one knows if there's going to be 8 teams or 10 teams vying for playoff spots and that can skew some things but for now, my contenders list are teams that I expect to be right in the mix in their division race while the sleepers could potentially compete for a wildcard spot or a division title if breaks go their way. The wait for next year gang might be putting some pieces together but it'd take a miracle for these teams to have a winning season, let alone a playoff type of drive. Every year a team comes out of nowhere which is what makes baseball (and sport in general) awesome but for now here's my power rankings for the National League in February. Keep in mind these will differ from my predictions as these rankings are based on talent on paper and how I view the teams objectively while my predictions will be more subjective.

National League Power Rankings

1. Philadelphia
2. Atlanta
3. St. Louis
4. Cincinnati
5. Arizona
6. San Francisco
7. Milwaukee
8. Florida
9. Washington
10. Colorado
11. Los Angeles
12. Chicago
13. Pittsburgh
14. San Diego
15. New York
16. Houston