2013 National League East Predictions

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NL East

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Brett Davis- USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, the National League East housed two of the best teams in all of Major League Baseball--through the regular season. Things will likely be unchanged in 2013 as the best just got better.

The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals will be locked in battle all season long for supremacy in the division as well as the league. Injuries and other unforeseen circumstances could change things quickly, but the question is will the other three teams even be good enough to catch up?

The Philadelphia Phillies still have a decent offensive core with veteran pitchers capable of producing shutdown starts. Depth questions remain in the case of age catching up quickly this season--much the way it does in the American League East for the New York Yankees.

The fire sale executed by the Miami Marlins last winter leaves the team much too weak to climb above .500 and may join the Houston Astros as a 100-loss organization. The Marlins are a few years away from contending again.

And what can you say about the New York Mets? Nothing jumps out at you with this team--they are just...there. Likely headed for a record in the neighborhood of .500 though don't be surprised if they struggle to win 70 games.

So here in the following slides are my picks for placement in the division but first I present you with my all-NL East team:

1B- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta
2B- Chase Utley, Philadelphia
3B- Ryan Zimmerman, Washington
SS- Ian Desmond, Washington
C- Brian McCann, Atlanta
OF- Justin Upton, Atlanta
OF- Bryce Harper, Washington
OF- Jason Heyward, Atlanta

SP- Steven Strasburg, Washington
SP- Cole Hamels, Philadelphia
SP- Kris Medlen, Atlanta
MR- Tyler Clippard, Washington
SU- Mike Adams, Philadelphia
CL- Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta

-Michael Augustine is a writer for Rant Sports covering the Saint Louis Cardinals. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your circles on Google Plus

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5- Miami Marlins

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Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

High- Help from prospects push the team towards .500 and a brighter future.

Low- A second round fire sale is prepared well before the trade deadline.

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4- New York Mets

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Scott Rovak- USA TODAY Sports

High- The pitching staff comes up big and the offense catches fire at the right time to give the team its first winning season in five years.

Low- Everything about the team turns out flat and they finish dead last.

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3- Philadelphia Phillies

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Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

High- The Phillies old-timers suddenly turn back the clock and the team makes a push for a wild card.

Low- The team breaks down early and injuries doom the team to a sub-.500 record.

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2- Atlanta Braves

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Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

High- The pitching staff becomes unhittable while the offense develops into a juggernaut the Nationals cannot hold back.

Low- The big-name free agents hamper the offense and the pitching can't meet expectations, resulting in no playoffs.

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1- Washington Nationals

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Brad Barr- USA TODAY Sports

High- The team is every bit as good as expected while pushing towards 110 wins.

Low- Harper suffers a sophomore slump and the pitching doesn't deliver on its potential slipping the team out of contention.

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