MLB 2018 Preview: Projecting the National League
The new MLB season gets under way on Thursday, but who will be the last team standing in October?
The National League is wide open this year. As good as the Los Angeles Dodgers are, the Washington Nationals are really good, too, and the Chicago Cubs are primed for a bounce back.
So how is the season going to pan out? Here at Omnisport, we see things going a little differently than you might. So take a look at our projections for the 2018 season.
Projecting the National League in 2018
NL East: The Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Atlanta Braves are getting better, but they will not be good enough to compete with the Nationals, who will win their division for the fifth time in eight years.
NL Central: The Cubs got better, but the Milwaukee Brewers may have done even more this offseason. Milwaukee will win its first division title since 2011.
NL West: The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies are coming, but the Dodgers' rotation is just too consistently good. Los Angeles wins.
Wild Cards: The Cubs will get into the playoffs as they will also threaten to win their division. They will be joined by the Diamondbacks, whose top two of Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray will lead them back to the playoffs for the second straight year.
NL Champ: The Nationals will finally win a playoff series, but they will lose to the Dodgers in the NLCS.
World Series: Los Angeles will pull from its experiences in the 2017 World Series and knock off the Cleveland Indians in six games.
NL MVP: The Rockies will not make the playoffs, but it will not be because of Nolan Arenado. Colorado's third baseman will win the MVP and threaten to hit .350.
NL Cy Young: The Cardinals' Carlos Martinez was always compared to Pedro Martinez as a prospect, and he will join the Hall of Famer as a Cy Young winner with 200 innings, 250 K's and a sub 2.50 ERA.
NL Rookie of the Year: The hot pick is Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna, but our pick is Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro. He has Gary Sanchez power with Yadier Molina's arm, and he is under nearly as much pressure as Acuna to produce.
Comeback Player of the Year: The Pittsburgh Pirates' Jameson Taillon suffered a cancer scare and a less-than-stellar season with a 4.44 ERA. He will drop that to at least 3.50 and toss close to 200 innings as he will take over as the Pirates' ace for years to come.