Creating Best Lineup from NL East

Creating the Best Lineup from NL East

giancarlo stanton
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Let's take a look at what the best the NL East has to offer.

1. Ian Desmond - SS

Ian Desmond
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1. Ian Desmond - SS

Ian Desmond
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Although he's hitting .043 points below his career average at .226, Ian Desmond is still second in HR (10) among MLB shortstops and third in RBIs with 32. It's tough to find a power hitting middle-infielder with speed, but Desmond has both.

2. David Wright - 3B

David Wright
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2. David Wright - 3B

David Wright
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David Wright hasn't hit 30 home runs since 2008, so while the home run total this year (4) is disappointing, it shouldn't be surprising. He's still going to hit .300 and drive in around 90 RBIs while playing great defense.

3. Freddie Freeman -1B

Freddie Freeman
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3. Freddie Freeman - 1B

Freddie Freeman
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The Atlanta Braves were wise to extend the contract of their big young first baseman. Freddie Freeman has been as consistent as they come, averaging .285, 23 HRs and 93 RBIs from 2011-2013. He is on track to continue that trend this season.

4. Giancarlo Stanton - RF

giancarlo stanton marlins
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4. Giancarlo Stanton - RF

giancarlo stanton marlins
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This is by far the easiest decision in this lineup. After a somewhat disappointing 2013 campaign, Stanton is off to a monster start to 2014. The ball is exploding off his bat; he's hitting .311 with 15 HRs, 51 RBIs and an OBP above .300. If the Miami Marlins can stay relevant in the NL East, Stanton is going to get a lot of MVP consideration.

5. Justin Upton - LF

Justin Upton
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5. Justin Upton - LF

Justin Upton
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Another Brave finds his way into the lineup with solid numbers across the board. Although Justin Upton is still striking out way too often, his 13 HRs and 33 RBIs with a .301/.380/.575 is enough to make up for it.

6. Chase Utley - 2B

Chase Utley
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6. Chase Utley - 2B

Chase Utley
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The 35-year-old Chase Utley continues to produce at a high level and is head and shoulders above the rest of the players at this position in the division.

7. Marcell Ozuna - LF

Marcell Ozuna
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7. Marcell Ozuna - LF

Marcell Ozuna
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

One of the reasons for the Marlins' early success is that Stanton is getting some protection in the lineup. 23-year-old Marcell Ozuna, in his first full season as the starting CF, has cracked 10 HRs and driven in 35 while hitting .268. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Ozuna is part of that dynamic young outfield in Miami with Stanton and Christian Yelich, but odds are the Marlins won't keep this group together for too long.

8. Evan Gattis - C

Evan Gattis
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8. Evan Gattis - C

Evan Gattis
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The Atlanta Braves didn't panic when catcher Brian McCann left for the New York Yankees in free agency, and Evan Gattis is the reason why. The powerfully built right-hander has crunched 10 home runs and is hitting .30 better than Brian McCann.

9. Stephen Strasburg - P

Strasburg
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9. Stephen Strasburg - P

Stephen Strasburg
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This spot would've gone to Jose Fernandez, but obviously because of the Tommy John surgery he can't be put in here. Stephen Strasburg isn't a terrible fill-in, and while Braves fans may be clamoring for Julio Teheran, I went with the guy who has better swing-and-miss stuff. Strasburg's 90 Ks are fourth in all of baseball.

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