Letters of Intent
Young Eyes: The Playoff Speculation
NL East Edition
By Zach Swanson
As the dust almost all but clears, the question shifts from who goes where to how will the teams turn out in the regular season. I look at the possible playoff teams, surprises and busts in this six-part series.
The NL East could go two ways: either it turns into a landslide victory for the Washington Nationals at the top of the division, or someone shocks the world and pulls a rabbit out of the hat.
The Washington Nationals truly look like that all-dominant team this year, as the pitching staff of Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister is one to be rivaled with any of the other great pitching staffs in history. Along with a solid infield and healthy Bryce Harper, the Nationals are the team to beat not just in the division, but in the league in it’s entirety.
The Florida Marlins could be the only team to rival the powerhouse, as another strong season from Giancarlo Stanton and a speedy return from ace Jose Fernandez could put the Fish back in a strong spot. Acquisitions over the offseason such as Mat Latos and Ichiro Suzuki could bring their team to a better spot to make the playoffs.
The New York Mets could also surprise and take a playoff spot. They have a solid, young staff led by Jacob deGrom and, when he returns, Matt Harvey, along with star players in Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Juan Lagares.
Absolute: Dare I say it? Nationals.
Surprise: Would it be a surprise if the Marlins do it? Not as much as if the Mets made the playoffs.
Bust: Braves and Phillies (sorry Ruben).