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2012 MLB Predictions: NL East

The National League East Division could very well be a four-team race and one of the most competitive divisions in baseball.  With the one exception being the New York Mets who will probably be amongst the bottom three teams in the league.

The Washington Nationals will win some games this year, no question about it.  Stephen Strasburg, however, won’t be able to pitch the entire season.  It will be interesting to see if the Nationals still chose to shut Strasburg down if they’re in the middle of a pennant race.

There are plenty of changes for the Marlins franchise in 2012.  A new name, stadium, uniform, manager, shortstop, and a few other changes are worth mentioning as well.  They added Heath Bell for the closer role and Mark Buehrle is an excellent number 2 starter.  Miami’s season, however, rests on the pitching arm of their ace Josh Johnson.

Two teams will make the postseason from the National League East.  The Philadelphia Philles and the Atlanta Braves.  The Philles and Braves both have solid starting pitching to rely on, especially at the top of their rotations.

The Braves will see Jason Heyward have a breakout year as Philly will struggle to score runs offensively without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the middle of their lineup resulting in the Phillies winning a wildcard spot.

Thus, the Atlanta Braves will rise up after one of the most historic collapses in Major League Baseball history and win the National League East in 2012.