I'm not writing the Mets off completely. They certainly can't be ignored, as they will bring their powerhouse rotation into a second straight October via the Wild Card. Their reliance on another monster season from Cespedes worries me offensively, as I don't see him coming near his career year in 2015. No team is going to want to face this team with their rotation of #1's. They are built for October.
Miami will reap the rewards of beating up on Philly and Atlanta, but will have a tough time competing with Washington and New York. Miami needs a healthly Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, a continued breakout of Dee Gordon and much more to all go right for them to rise above the middle of the pack.
Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte is a great place to start for a franchise trying to collect enough young talent for the future. Freeman may not be around to see any more playoffs with Atlanta, and Inciarte certainly could be spun for more value as Atlanta is clearly in re-build mode for the foreseeable future. Any veterans or non-core young players who put together a good year will be shopped at the deadline.
Philadelphia has finally bottomed out after trying to drag out their veteran core for 3 years longer than they should have. At least they are now in a position to fully tank and start collecting picks and prospects. They should easily be a bottom 3 team in all of baseball.
The Pirates are probably sick of the Wild Card after being bounced in the last 2 Octobers due to the wild card format. This year will be no different as they ride their pitching staff and perennial MVP Candidate Andrew McCutchen. The Cubs have more depth and talent to let Pittsburgh overcome them for the division, and St. Louis will be in it until the end.
St. Louis lost too much talent to the Cubs in Jason Heyward and John Lackey for them to earn their seemingly ritualistic postseason ticket. 86 Wins seems right for this veteran and proven Cards team, but it won't be enough this year. They will play a big role in September in the alignment of the National League playoff picture, but will barely miss out on the 2nd wild card.
Hopefully the Reds let Billy Hamilton steal every time he gets on base and mic up Brandon Phillips each game, because that's the extent of Reds excitement this year. I guess a Joey Votto trade would be fun to see how much young talent they could inject into their system, but who knows if they will pull the trigger on saying goodbye to their franchise player. They should.
The Brew Crew boasts one of the best catchers and most underrated players in the game in Jonathan Lucroy, and then a roster full of nobodies. I'm sure the beer selection is great, though Miller Park is not on the list of 17 stadiums I've been to, so I don't know for a fact. The beers better be flowing after Lucroy is sold off for prospects, because this team is weak and I'm sure fans would rather attend Packers mini-camp in the summer.
The Dodgers front office has diversified their talent levels across the team's depth, but I think they will sorely miss Zach Greinke behind Kershaw. Their rotation is already missing pieces and could be in real trouble if Kershaw misses any time. Carl Crawford and Joc Pederson are question marks who may be yanked around between starting jobs and bench time all year under new manager Dave Roberts. This is a good, not great team. Los Angeles already has too many injury concerns to surpass the Giants in 2016
Arizona is a lot of hype that I'm not buying into. Goldschmidt and Grienke are two of the best players in Baseball but they gave up a lot of talent and resources in making their offseason moves. Any strides they've made in bolstering the rotation will be lost with the removal of Ender Inciarte from CF and lead-off after being dealt to Atlanta (among other players) for Shelby Miller.
San Diego admirably went all-in for 2015 and fell short. They gave up a lot of future resources for the one year run, but do have Wil Myers and some prospects from the Kimbrel trade remaining. Unfortunately their pitching isn't as good as 2015 and their offense doesn't show any more upside than 2015. I'm all aboard the Jabari Blash bandwagon and think Yangervis Solarte will emerge as one of the most underrated players in the game, but it won't be enough to keep them in contention with the surrounding roster. Myers living up to the hype, Tyson Ross & Andrew Cashner returning a haul of prospects in trades are some developments which could accelerate any future success for the Pads.
Colorado has a lot of good positional players, but lack pitching (per usual). Nolan Arenado is a superstar hidden in Colorado. Pay more attention to that guy, fans. I'm having doubts about picking the Padres over them after looking into their rosters a bit further, but I'm going to stick with my spreadsheet standings and deal with the consequences later.