Posts Tagged ‘Washington Nationals’

Stephen Strasburg May Be Next Big MLB Killer

June 7th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on Stephen Strasburg May Be Next Big MLB Killer

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After a third of the MLB betting campaign has been complete, RHP Stephen Strasburg is finally ready to make his much anticipated debut at the MLB level on Tuesday night as the Washington Nationals play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates. As the #1 pick in last year’s MLB Draft, Strasburg blew through Spring Training and had even some of the best hitters in the game baffled by his precision and power on the bump.

In the minor league level, no one was really able to touch this right hander. He went 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. His K/9 of 10.57 in 55.1 innings of work has almost been comical. Many believe that the quality of players that he is about to be facing in the Pirates on Tuesday night is worse than what he was taking on in Double and Triple-A.

Though they’re probably right, a few things must be considered before immediately jumping on the Strasburg bandwagon.

Yes, Stephen Strasburg has had all sorts of success at both the collegiate and the minor league levels, but this will be the first time that he has had 50,000 peering eyes, national television cameras, and hundreds of media members hungry to see how he performs. The Pirates do have some scouting tape on him from minor league appearances against their affiliate teams, and unlike at the minor league level, where scouting tape isn’t handed out all over the place, at the MLB level, the second that Strasburg takes the mound, there is going to be a scout for every single team dissecting every last little thing that he does.

Strasburg Mania could only be worse if he were a Yankee. After all, the oddsmakers have lined the rookie as a -200 favorite in his first MLB betting outing this week. Granted, this is a home game, it will inevitably have a playoff type of atmosphere to it, and many expect to see Strasburg mow down a miserable lineup, but regardless of the situation, laying -200 is something that the oddsmakers consistently want you to do in baseball.

One must also remember that this is a Washington team with a bullpen that really hasn’t looked pristine 100% of the time. Closer Matt Capps looks like a human being on the mound again, and the wins have dried up just a tad for RHP Tyler Clippard as well. Manager Jim Riggleman’s main goal in this first start of Strasburg’s, and in all of his outings, isn’t necessarily to win games. Riggleman needs to take care of Strasburg’s right arm and assure that he doesn’t get worn out by throwing too many pitches or taking on too many innings of work.

That being said, five shutout innings would still only take up half of the game. Someone for the Nats is going to have to close the door. Plus, if the offense can’t get on course (and why should we feel comfortable with the 20th ranked offense in the bigs?), are you really going to want to be laying -200 with this team against anyone in baseball in any situation?

Strasburg might be the next big thing, and he might come out and totally dazzle us all on Tuesday night, but the bottom line is that he isn’t an arm that is worth backing at these types of prices that we are going to see on him on the MLB betting lines. Buyer beware, as the market on this kid simply isn’t going to be much more ridiculous than it is right now.

MLB Betting: Top 10 Money Making Pitchers (through 5/8)

May 9th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on MLB Betting: Top 10 Money Making Pitchers (through 5/8)

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As we enter another Sunday of MLB betting action, we’re taking a look at some of the best pitchers that baseball has to offer that have made us money over the course of the season. Be sure to keep your eye on these hurlers as the MLB wagering season continues!

1: Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (6-0, +$630) – No one wants to mess with the Yankees with anyone on the mound right now, but Pettitte has been particularly lethal. The Bronx Bombers have won nine straight times that they’re southpaw has taken the hill dating back to the playoffs last year. Keep an eye on Pettitte though, as he is already scheduled to miss his next start with some elbow inflammation.

2: Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies (6-0, +$600) – Mr. No Hitter has been a hefty chalk every time that he has taken the baseball for Manager Jim Tracy, but so far, he is passing every test with flying colors. The righty has just been sick this year, giving up just four earned runs over 41.1 innings and striking out 44. Jimenez could be the best pitcher in baseball.

3: Scott Olsen, Washington Nationals (4-1, +$577) – It’s not often that you see a pitcher for the Nats on this list, but Olsen is one of the two that is very deserving of his spot as a top money maker. Not many expect to see Olsen as a favorite when he pitches, as he hasn’t be a chalk since 2008 when he was with the Florida Marlins (and ironically, was pitching against these Washington Nationals that day). However, after three straight great starts in which he allowed just one earned run in total, many are going to start considering Olsen as a threat to make some real money.

4: Livan Hernandez, Washington Nationals (4-1, +$533) – The ageless wonder that is Livan Hernandez continues to find ways to win games in spite of the fact that he has more walks (13) than strikeouts (11) on the season. However, with only one loss to his credit, and that coming to Jimenez and the Rockies, it’s hard to ignore than Hernandez has been a great option for MLB bettors this year. You have to go back to last September to find the last time that he allowed more than three earned runs in a game.

5: Kyle Davies, Kansas City Royals (4-2, +$523) – It’s not often that you see a pitcher go 4-2 and be on a list like this, especially after allowing nine earned runs in a start, but the oddsmakers have already made Davies a +150 or higher pup in four starts this year. The Royals’ righty was really clobbered at Texas this week, and his descent back to earth may be just beginning.

6: Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets (5-1, +$488) – Speaking of guys that are bound to come back to earth at some point, what about Mike Pelfrey? New York’s best right-handed starter is nothing more than a career 5.00 ERA type of guy, but he did toss 24 straight spotless frames this year and picked up three wins (and a save!) to show for it. Since then, though? Nine earned runs in 11.1 innings. Buyer beware.

7: Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants (5-1, +$465) – The very, very rich left arm of Barry Zito’s may finally be paying dividends for the Giants. The southpaw is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA this year, and he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game. Remember when Zito was the laughing stock of baseball and pitching out of the bullpen? That’s not the case anymore, and MLB betting fans would be wise to hop on this bandwagon before it either careens into a ditch or the oddsmakers catch on.

8: Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals (6-1, +$463) – Save a start against Milwaukee back on April 11th, Carpenter looks just as unhittable now as he was last season when he was a candidate for the Cy Young Award. There’s nothing not to like here from one of the top righties in baseball, as he is 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA and has 47 strikeouts against 13 walks in 45.0 innings. Oh, and if anyone thinks that opposing batters are hitting .276 against him for the year, they’re crazy. Carpenter may just be getting revved up.

9: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (6-1, +$455) – The problem with betting on Halladay is that the oddsmakers are just going to punish you to no end if he loses. That’s if he loses. At 6-1 with a 1.45 ERA, no one is touching Halladay this year, as he has to be the front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award this year through seven starts. Here’s something to watch, though. Halladay has thrown at least 100 pitches in all of his starts this year, including 118 and 119 respectively in his L/2 starts.

10: Carlos Silva, Chicago Cubs (5-1, +$423) – Not a bad consolation prize for getting rid of CF Milton Bradley, huh? Silva hasn’t been lights out this year, but his offense has produced just a slew of runs for him (7.5 per game). No one is going to complain about a 3.50 ERA from a guy who really is no better than a fifth starter on a regular basis. The price tags remain reasonable on Silva as well in spite of the fact that he is pitching for the Cubs, who are normally shaded by the oddsmakers.

Top 10 MLB Betting Money Makers (Through 5/4)

May 5th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on Top 10 MLB Betting Money Makers (Through 5/4)
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The Major League Baseball season is roughly 25 games old for most teams, and here at Bankroll Sports, we take a look at the top ten teams that have made your bankroll fatter during the first part of the MLB betting season.

1: San Diego Padres (+$810) – The Pads are still living off of the success of that eight game winning streak that they had two weeks ago. No one really believes that they are going to be able to contend this season. The time is going to come in the very near future that this squad becomes an automatic fade almost every time out, especially on the road where they won’t finish anywhere near the .500 that they’re at right now.

2: Washington Nationals (+$805) – The Nats are just a game back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the top spot in the NL East standings, and they’ve surprisingly now won 21 of their L/33 games overall dating back to last year. The bullpen is making the difference, as the unit has a 4.05 ERA, while closer Matt Capps is 11/11 in save chances. Until the oddsmakers catch on, this could be a sneaky team to continue backing, especially at home where Washington is 8-6 on the season.

3: Tampa Bay Rays (+$785) – The team with the best record in baseball is also amongst the top money teams as well. Thank Tampa Bay’s road efforts for that, as the Rays are 10-1 and +$1,040 away from Tropicana Field, which is a drastic switch from the year that they went to the World Series when they were just mutilating teams on their home turf. Tampa Bay is for real, but this money making opportunity might be gone by now, as it seems as though the books have figured it out, making it hefty favorites, particularly at home.

4: New York Yankees (+$650) – It’s amazing that the Evil Empire seems to find a way to make money every single season for MLB betting fans, and this year will probably be no exception. At 18-8 through 26 games, the Bronx Bombers are on fire, and if they keep up their 9-2 start at Yankee Stadium, it’s going to be very difficult to line their games this year.

5: St. Louis Cardinals (+$595) – Manager Tony LaRussa’s team already has its playoff travel plans booked, as it is five games in front of Cincinnati and Chicago in the NL Central standings. However, that doesn’t mean that this will be a money making team on a regular basis this year. The Cards are frequently overrated by the oddsmakers, and the reason that they are in such great shape right now is thanks to a 10-3 home record.

6: Minnesota Twins (+$585) – The Twins have been the model of consistency this year for MLB betting fans, as they are +$315 in their new home, Target Field and +$270 on the road. Considering just how weak the rest of the AL Central is, there’s no reason to think that Minnesota won’t continue to rack in the bucks for its bettors, especially if that pitching staff can keep it together without a legitimate #1 ace to turn to.

7: Toronto Blue Jays (+$355) – Don’t fall into this trap! The Jays are consistently a hot team until the calendar turns to May, where they inevitably will fall off the face of the earth once again this year. Toronto just doesn’t have the talent to stick around with the rest of the teams in the division over 162 games, and what will probably end up happening is that the oddsmakers will start to believe in the Jays just in time for their annual swoon.

8: San Francisco Giants (+$350) – It’s amazing that the Giants continue to make money, especially considering the fact that RHP Tim Lincecum’s starts almost always have -250 price tags attached to them at home. Even yesterday on the road against a competent Florida team, the G-Men were laying -175. Lincecum didn’t pitch well enough to warrant those odds, but San Fran survived. Buy with caution.

9: Detroit Tigers (+$330) – The Tigers have sort of flown under the radar this season, and the oddsmakers may not totally be on to the them just yet. It feels like every season, Manager Jim Leyland has these boys competing at the highest level, and as long as they are viewed as nothing more than an average team, they’ll continue to make money for us.

10: New York Mets (+$220) – Except for when LHP Johan Santana is on the mound, it feels like the Mets are underdogs every time that they take the field. That’s a great sign for MLB betting aficionados though, as New York has proven to be a decent club, even without OF Carlos Beltran in the lineup. If the center fielder comes back healthy and ready to go, the boys from the Big Apple could be a very dangerous money making team until the books start to figure them out.

Weekly Sports Betting Rap Sheet (4/19/10)

April 19th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in General Handicapping   Comments Off on Weekly Sports Betting Rap Sheet (4/19/10)

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It’s playoff time once again for the men of the hardwood and on the ice! Here at Bankroll Sports, we’re still taking our best shots at the teams, players, and situations that really cost us sports bettors in a big way in the week that was.

Rap Sheet Picture of the Week
Montreal Canadiens G Jaroslav Halak, who blew a three goal lead and gave up this game-winner 31 seconds into overtime.

All of the home teams in the NHL playoffs should be ashamed of themselves. Not a single one of the are hitting the road up two games this week. However, the team we really need to take a stab at right off the bat is the Montreal Canadiens. The rest of the NHL hates you right now, Montreal. After all, the Habs were up 1-0 in the series after stealing Game 1 at the Verizon Center, and they held a 4-1 lead following LW Andrei Kostitsyn’s third goal of the game with just over two minutes to play in the second period. G Jose Theodore had already been ran out of the game and replaced by G Semyon Varlamov, and the Habs looked primed to take a 2-0 lead back to the Great White North. Not so fast, my friends. They were outscored 4-1 during the next 20 minutes of hockey, and then just 31 ticks into the overtime, C Nicklas Backstrom connected for the game-winner, his third goal of the game. Enjoy being bounced from this series in five games, Montreal. You had your chance to slay the giants in the playoffs, and now you’re going to pay the ultimate price for not succeeding.

Give it up for Jason Marquis, ladies and gentlemen! The right-hander has been an absolutely abortion of a signing for the Nationals on the outset of this season, as he has given up at least six earned runs in each of his starts and is 0-3 to show for it. On Sunday though, he had one of the more embarrassing starts that any pitcher has seen in this ’10 MLB betting campaign. Marquis gave up a single to Rickie Weeks, a single to Craig Counsell, a single to Ryan Braun, plunked Prince Fielder, walked Casey McGehee, plunked Jim Edmonds, and gave up a single to Gregg Zaun, and was promptly removed without recording an out. Seven batters faced. Seven batters scored. Solid job, Marquis. Your numbers for the year now? 8.1 innings pitched, 18 hits, 20 runs (19 earned), 2 HRs, 7 walks, 3 plunks, 3 strikeouts, a WHIP of 2.88, a batting average against of .419, and an ERA of 20.52. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Hey, Kevin Garnett, you haven’t cost us any money yet, but we totally see this one coming. For whatever reason, you decided to elbow G Quentin Richardson in the face with 40 seconds to play in a game in which your Celtics stormed back from a 61-47 deficit halfway through the third quarter to win by nine. Now, the NBA’s sheriff, Commissioner David Stern, is inevitably going to suspend you for Game 2 of this series (if not longer). Isn’t your team already woeful enough at home with you in the lineup that you can’t afford to take yourself out of a playoff game for no good reason? C’mon KG, you’re better than this.

MLB Betting Free Picks: Baseball Season Win Totals

April 3rd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in MLB Baseball   1 Comment »
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New York Yankees Over 95.5 Wins: Let’s just analyze the Yankees in a really quick nutshell, because no one wants to admit outside of the Bronx that they’re betting on the Yankees to do well. But this was a team that won 103 games last season and is just better this year than it was a year ago. Yes, both DHs Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui have moved on, but new DH Nick Johnson can really tear the cover off the baseball, and replacement OF Curtis Granderson could go 30/30 by taking potshots at those short porches in left and right field at New Yankee Stadium. Add RHP Javier Vazquez into the mix, and the recipe is just far too ripe to pass on the boys in pinstripes.

Kansas City Royals Over 72 Wins: Now here’s a team that we like and like quite a bit. Before we even look at anything that the Royals did in the offseason, just take a look at the rest of the division. The Twins certainly are not a better team than they were a year ago, as SS Orlando Cabrera and closer Joe Nathan are both gone. Detroit lost both SP Edwin Jackson and OF Curtis Granderson and only got back SP Max Scherzer of any note in return. Chicago is still a time bomb waiting to happen. Just from that standpoint alone, Kansas City should find a few more wins in divisional play. That being said, this is clearly a better team than the one that won 65 games last year. C Jason Kendall will bring some stability to a pitching staff that really hasn’t had a competent defensive catcher ever, and OFs Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel should be notable upgrades on what was playing in the outfield last year for this team. We tend to think that KC can compete, though we’d just be happy to see it reach 73 ‘W’s.

Pittsburgh Pirates Under 69.5 Wins: Newsflash: The Pirates aren’t very good. They’re not going to get any better this year either. The Bucs are almost certainly the worst team in baseball. Their pitching staff isn’t anything to write home about, and their lineup is basically 2B Akinori Iwamura and a ton of guys that are barely old enough to drink a beer, let alone rent a car. Everyone in Steeltown knows that another 100-loss season could very well be on the horizon, and there’s nothing stopping us from saying that they won’t touch a 70-win barrier that they haven’t reached since 2004.

Houston Astros Under 73.5 Wins: This is almost a bit of a prospective futures bet than anything else. What we’re hoping for out of the ‘Stros this year is that 1B Lance Berkman and OF Carlos Lee both get traded. If that’s the case, this is a team that will almost certainly rival Pittsburgh for the gutter in the NL Central. Let’s also realize that Milwaukee and Cincinnati are both going to be competing with the Cubs and Cardinals for divisional supremacy, so it is very possible to see two teams finish with at least 100 losses in the same division, particularly in one with six teams. Houston’s pitching staff is just woeful beyond SPs Wandy Rodriguez and Roy Oswalt, and taking SS Miguel Tejada out of this lineup is only going to make things that much worse for a team that didn’t have much of an offense last season either.

Washington Nationals Over 72 Wins: Are we insane for backing the Nats after they lost 103 games last season? It’s possible that we’ve gone a tad bit crazy, but we think that the boys from DC are in for a much better year this year than they had in ’09. Adding SP Jason Marquis to the front end of the rotation will help out John Lannan quite a bit, as will the inevitably moment that SP Stephen Strasburg comes up from the minor leagues. The lineup hasn’t been the issue with this team. 1B Adam Dunn and 3B Ryan Zimmerman can mash, no doubt, and OF Nyjer Morgan is expected to produce big things at the top of the order. But the staff ranked 28th in the majors last year with a 5.02 team ERA and absolutely must get better.

2009 National League East Preview

March 1st, 2009 by Rodney James (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in MLB Baseball   1 Comment »

The National League East Division looks to once again be set for a competitive race from start to finish. Last season, the divisional race came down to the last few games, only to see the Philadelphia Phillies win the division, and go on to not only win the National League crown, but also World Series Champions. The National League East is the only division in Baseball to see four of its teams in the World Series since the Wild Card came into play. Year after year the NL East continues to be put a rank below due to being part of the Junior Circuit, but in 2009 with some teams revamping their rosters, the NL East looks to put a group of teams together that could rival any other division in Baseball.

atlanta bravesThe Atlanta Braves from their Orlando Florida facility are still trying to figure out what happened to them in the free agent period, in which they were linked with numerous big names. Despite losing some of the names they were targeting(A.J. Burnett, Rafael Furcal), they were able to ink some quality players to fill the gaps. The Braves signed Derek Lowe and picked up Javier Vazquez in a trade from Chicago. Those two pitchers will look to anchor the Atlanta pitching staff, which lost John Smoltz to Boston in free agency. Tim Hudson will continue to be the staff ace, and with Atlanta continuing as suitors for the services of Jake Peavy, Atlanta’s rotation could be a force to reckon with. Youngster Tommy Hanson may get an opportunity to slide into Bobby Cox’s rotation. Hanson dominated the Arizona Fall League going 5-0 with a 0.63 era. Hanson is just 22 years old and has a mid 90’s fastball, along with a solid change-up. Offensively, the Braves will look to Jeff Francoeur to pick up his numbers from 2008. Francoeur appears to be the every day starting right fielder with Matt Diaz and Brandon Jones battling it out this spring for left field. Neither Diaz or Jones had a spectacular 2008 season, so Atlanta hopes for breakout seasons from both of these youngsters. Kelly Johnson will be the starting second basemen, and while he has a solid bat in the line-up, his defensive presence at second base is just marginal. Chipper Jones had an excellent 2008 season winning the batting title by hitting .364 with 22 homeruns and 75rbi’s. The 36 year old Jones will start his 16th full season in the major leagues as the starting third basemen once again for Atlanta.

florida marlinsThe Florida Marlins will look to improve upon their 84-77 record of 2008. The Marlins, as they train in Jupiter Florida appeared to have gotten younger over the off-season. Being one of the youngest teams in baseball in 2008, it would seem difficult to become even younger, but Florida did just that. Florida dealt away Scott Olsen, Josh Willingham, and Mike Jacobs. They picked up youngsters such as Emilio Bonifacio, but he may have to play a new position to get quality time as a starter in 2009. Dan Uggla mans second base(same position as Bonifacio) for the Marlins. Of course the offense begins and ends with star shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Florida locked Ramirez up for six years and $70 million. The Marlins do not plan to add to their payroll, which will mean cutting ties with Dan Uggla, when that time comes. Cameron Maybin will look to get his opportunity to become a starting outfielder in the major leagues. Maybin is 22 years old. He will most likely be the lead-off batter for the Marlins, but that seems to be a lot of pressure put on a kid that has played in just 32 games in the big leagues. In the pitching department, Josh Johnson has turned into a staff ace, and will fight for 20 wins in 2009, with Ricky Nolasco coming in at #2. The rest of the staff is very young and inexperienced. The bullpen lost Kevin Gregg to Chicago, and will  now turn to Matt Lindstrom to close out games. Scott Proctor, Leo Nunez and Logan Kensing also appear to be fighting for late inning roles out of the bullpen. 

New York MetsThe New York Mets appeared to have the best off-season in the division. A year after winning 89 games, but coming up short in both the division and the wildcard, New York made quite the splash in the free agent department. The Mets signed Francisco Rodriguez to nail down games, and also J.J. Putz, who appears to be thrown into the set-up man roll for New York. The Mets training facility in Port St. Lucie sure got a new look Mets bullpen, as during the off season they dumped seven members of that pen. Joe Smith, Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis were among the crew not re-signed by New York. The Mets picked up Freddie  Garcia and Tim Redding to go along with a rotation with Johan Santana and John Maine at the top and Oliver Perez as a solid lefty. Santana’s health may be an issue early in the season as he is dealing with coming off knee surgery on his left knee. Rookie Fernando Martinez may get an opportunity to be in the starting lineup, as an outfielder, as New York was not able to pick up Manny Ramirez or Bobby Abreu in the off-season. The Mets will have to go with Martinez, or they could settle with anyone of the following: Fernando Tatis, Nick Evans or Daniel Murphy. The question for New York is, can guys such as Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, along with Jose Reyes and David Wright stay healthy enough, and be productive enough for an entire 162 game slate?

philadelphia philliesThings are a little more upbeat in 2009 at the Phillies complex in Clearwater Florida. But the jubilation will quickly turn to business as the Philadelphia Phillies under Charlie Manual will look to repeat their 2008 World Championship. Philadelphia did not make a huge splash in the free agent market, but two moves they did make may prove to be very keen, as they locked up both Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels to long term deals. With Howard in the line-up and Hamels at the front of the rotation, Philadelphia should continue to stay, at the least, very competitive. Now add in Chase Utley,  the age-less Jamie Moyer and Brad Lidge and you are once again looking at a championship caliber ball club. The Phillies did not re-sign Pat Burrell, and instead signed Raul Ibanez to a three year deal. Chan Ho Park was added to help Hamels and Moyer out in the rotation. Joe Blanton and Brett Myers will hold the three-four positions within the rotation, with youngsters such as J.A. Happ and Kyle Kendrick battling with Park for the final spot. The Phillies have three major league ready catchers in Carlos Ruiz, Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino, but they all may take a back seat to youngster Lou Marson. Marson is a 22 year old that hit .308 for Team USA during the 2008 Olympics. Utley may miss a portion of the start of the season, after having off season hip surgery. Marcus Giles was signed to a minor league contract and may see time at second base to keep Utley’s position warm. J.C Romero will serve a 50 game suspension to start the season, which will inevitably hurt the back end of the bullpen. Finding a serviceable left hander may not be an easy task for the defending champs.

washington nationalsThe Washington Nationals open up their spring training slate in Viera Florida coming off a 59-102 season in 2008. The Nationals signed Adam Dunn to a two year $20 million contract. Dunn will look to be the Nationals most dangerous hitter in their lineup. Dunn has hit 40+ homeruns in five straight seasons. Washington also picked up Daniel Cabrera and Scott Olsen. Both of these pitchers have loads of talent, but also are unproven. They also both have a shot at being the staff ace, after last seasons ace Tim Redding left the team. Redding won 10 games for Washington in 2008. Jordan Zimmerman, a 22 year old starting pitcher may get an opportunity to get some starts for the Nationals. The Washington front office would like to see Zimmerman remain at AAA for one more season, but injuries and lack of production may force their hand earlier than desired. The outfield is a bit of a log jam for Washington. Five guys appear to be battling for three positions. Willie Harris, Lastings Milledge and Austin Kearns got the majority of time last season, but if Willingham is healthy, he will see a great deal of time. Elijah Dukes has talent, but it has yet to convert to quality numbers at the professional level. Willie Harris has the advantage of being very versatile, and could possibly move to another position, such as second, short or third.

Who will win the National League East in 2009?

  • Atlanta Braves (36%, 39 Votes)
  • New York Mets (29%, 31 Votes)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (22%, 24 Votes)
  • Florida Marlins (10%, 11 Votes)
  • Washington Nationals (3%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 108