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03-02-2013, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MurrayBannerman View Post
Except that's an average lineup when healthy. Regardless of Carlos Ruiz having another career year.
I disagree wholly. Rollins is a 30 SB leadoff hitter who can also hit 20ish HRs and hit .265-.270 and a ~.750 OPS, Revere is a young hitter who hit .294 last year with 40 SB, Utley and Howard are still 260-280 hitters with 30+ HR pop who struggled last year (and the past couple years in the case of Utley) due to injuries and Delmon Young is still a threat for 20 HRs, though his BB/K ratio has always been very bad.

And while the top 6 in the Nats lineup all had excellent years last year, all of them performed far over their averages. Desmond, Span, Laroche, Werth and Zimmerman were all 280+ average with .330-.360 OBP with Laroche, Zimmerman and Desmond hitting 25+ HR last year, but their career numbers put them closer to .250-.260 with 315-330 OBP and 15-25 HRs. I also expect a bit of an off-year for Harper, and even if he performs as well as he did last year, he might not be enough, IMO. They do have a nasty starting pitching rotation with Strasburg, Zimmerman and Gonzalez, but Strasburg is still a question mark at least, even if Zimmerman and Gonzalez are locks.

As well, I'm not impressed at all with the Braves top 2 of Simmons and Heyward at the top of the order, and BJ Upton is somewhat overrated, IMO. Even McCann, who I think is their second-best hitter after Justin Upton, had a poor year last year. Even worse, their rotation is quite weak with Hudson, Minor and Medlen, though if Medlin can continue with his starting numbers (0.97 ERA in 12 starts? ), that could be huge for them.

I'm still more impressed with what Philly has to offer, though I don't doubt that the Nats and Braves have the ability to win the division, too.

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