Baseball Prospectus – Prospectus Today: NL Preview

1. If the Braves finish behind the Expos, I’ll eat my hat.

2. Why in the world the Cardinals — four good but fragile players, a two-man pitching staff, and the worst supporting cast this side of your average NBC sitcom — are predicted (not just here, but in their silly computer system) to win the 92+ games needed for the wildcard is totally beyond me.

The pick against the Braves seems to be based wholly upon the idea that nothing is going to go right and several things are going to go wrong, that nobody on the team except maybe John Thomson is going to be better than he was last year, that several players will be worse, and that the Braves will give 300 ABs to Adam LaRoche even though they think he’s going to stink. (I find that particularly difficult to believe.) Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins is suddenly going to turn into a star, Pat Burrell is going to rebound even though nothing has changed for him, and Larry Bowa isn’t going to destroy anyone’s will to live.