MLB: National League Power Rankings

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MLB: National League Power Rankings

Dale Zanine- USA TODAY Sports

Many people think of the National League as the historically weaker league compared to the American League, but that has not been the case recently. The National League representative in the World Series has took home the trophy in each of the last three series and seven out of the last 12, hardly the weaker league.

This year is no different, the National League has nine of their fifteen teams with a record a .500 or better, while the American League has only seven teams with such a record.

The National League has powerhouse teams like the Atlanta Braves that are dominating everyone so far in the 2013 season. Also, they have what could be this year’s surprise team, the Colorado Rockies, who are 12-4 early on in the season.

The National League Western division has the ability to dominate this season, with the Los Angeles Dodgers stocking up via free agency and trades, the San Francisco Giants coming off of their second World Series title in the last three years.

The Central has three teams that could win the division. The Cincinnati Reds are as good as ever, the St. Louis Cardinals have the ability to win another ring and the Milwaukee Brewers have one of the most talented lineups in the league.

The East might be a bit top heavy this year, but the Braves and Washington Nationals are probably two of the best teams out there and could contend for a pennant.

The NL is starting to shape up early, here are my National League Power Rankings through the first three weeks of the season.

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15. Miami Marlins

Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins are going to struggle this year, even they know that. With Giancarlo Stanton injured these struggles were greatly exaggerated and have led to the Marlins starting off with the worst record in the NL.

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14. Chicago Cubs

Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs might have a better record this year if they had a respectable closer. Carlos Marmol was removed from the role and Kyuji Fujikawa has not done much better.

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13. San Diego Padres

Jake Roth- USA TODAY Sports

The only thing that has gotten the San Diego Padres attention in 2013 is the brawl between Carlos Quentin and Zack Greinke. Petco Park is a beautiful stadium, too bad that is there is never anyone in attendance.

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12. Philadelphia Phillies

Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are old, but I said that about the Boston Celtics the year they won an NBA championship. Hopefully, Roy Halladay can figure his stuff out and lead the Phillies back to the playoffs.

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11. Milwaukee Brewers

Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers have been hit hard by the injury bug early this season, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez just to name a few. The Brewers can be a very talented team if they are healthy for the second half of the season.

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10. New York Mets

Howard Smith- USA TODAY Sports

I could talk about how Johan Santana missing the entire season will ruin the New York Mets’ chances to do anything this year, but I prefer to talk about how incredible Matt Harvey has been early on. Harvey is showing signs of a future ace with how dominant he has been.

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9. Los Angeles Dodgers

Jake Roth- USA TODAY Sports

Zack Greinke breaking his collarbone after plunking Carlos Quentin could be the defining moment of the Dodgers season, if they let it. Carl Crawford is still a star and he needs to show it for the Dodgers to start playing well.

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8. Pittsburgh Pirates

Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates could break their streak of seasons under .500 this year, but they need to show that they are more than a mediocre ball club if they want to do that.

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7. Arizona Diamondbacks

Chris Humphreys- USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks appeared to be in rebuild mode after they traded away franchise centerpiece Justin Upton, but the team has gotten off to a solid start due to very good pitching.

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6. San Francisco Giants

Jayne Kamin-Oncea- USA TODAY Sports

The NL West has potential to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball and the San Francisco Giants are going to need Matt Cain to figure it out if they are going to contend.

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5. Colorado Rockies

Christopher Hanewinckel- USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies could be this year’s surprise team to make the playoffs if they continue to play at this level. The Rockies are undefeated at home this year, something that will be very hard to sustain.

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4. Cincinnati Reds

Howard Smith- USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are possibly the most complete team in baseball, but they need to avoid injuries. Johnny Cueto is already on the disabled list and if they lose another pitcher they could be in trouble.

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3. Washington Nationals

Joy R. Absalon- USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals have the best pitching staff in baseball, hands down. They will need Bryce Harper to emerge into a superstar and lead this team back to the playoffs.

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2. St. Louis Cardinals

Jeff Curry- USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals have gotten some great contributions from Shelby Miller, who is showing signs of future ace. When Miller is your fifth starter, it says a lot about how good your rotation is.

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1. Atlanta Braves

Brad Mills- USA TODAY Sports

With the combination of the Upton brothers, the Atlanta Braves have emerged as the best team in the National League so far. Also, Paul Maholm is pitching like a legitimate number one starter.