Looking Back On The National League’s First Half Of The 2018 MLB Season

Before Opening Day, I had made predictions for each of the divisions all around the MLB. Let’s take a quick look at where we are at with all 30 teams in their respective divisions as the second half of the season begins today. Let’s look at the National League.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST DIVISION

Rhys Hoskins and Odubel herrera.jpeg

1. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (53-42)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

OF ODUBEL HERRERA: .275 AVG, 16 HR, 52 RBI

OF RHYS HOSKINS: .252 AVG, 14 HR, 56 RBI

PITCHING

SP AARON NOLA: (12-3), 2.30 ERA, 131 K

SP JAKE ARRIETA: (7-6), 3.23 ERA, 72 K

RP SERANTHONY DOMINGUEZ: 1.60 ERA, 9 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 3RD PLACE

Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies.jpg

2. ATLANTA BRAVES (52-42)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

1B FREDDIE FREEMAN: .315 AVG, 16 HR, 61 RBI

OF NICK MARKAKIS: .323 AVG, 10 HR, 61 RBI

2B OZZIE ALBIES: .281 AVG, 20 HR, 55 RBI

PITCHING

SP ANIBAL SANCHEZ: (4-2), 2.61 ERA, 62 K

RP ARODYS VIZCAINO: 1.65 ERA, 15 SV

SP MIKE FOLTYNEWICZ: (7-5), 2.66 ERA, 120 K

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 4TH PLACE

Juan Soto and Bryce Harper.jpg

3. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (48-48)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

3B ANTHONY RENDON: .285 AVG, 15 HR, 45 RBI

OF BRYCE HARPER: .214 AVG, 23 HR, 54 RBI

OF JUAN SOTO: .301 AVG, 9 HR, 28 RBI

1B MATT ADAMS: .288 AVG, 15 HR, 39 RBI

PITCHING

MAX SCHERZER: (12-5), 2.41 ERA, 182 K

SEAN DOOLITTLE: 1.45 ERA, 22 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 1ST PLACE

JT Realmuto

4. MIAMI MARLINS (41-57)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

OF DEREK DIETRICH: .288 AVG, 11 HR, 32 RBI

C JT REALMUTO: .310 AVG, 12 HR, 45 RBI

2B STARLIN CASTRO: .291 AVG, 7 HR, 37 RBI

PITCHING

RP ADAM CONLEY: 2.88 ERA, 30 K

RP DREW STECKENRIDER: 3.38 ERA, 1 SV, 50 K

RP KYLE BARRACLOUGH: 1.28 ERA, 9 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 5TH PLACE

Jacob deGrom

5. NEW YORK METS (39-55)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

2B ASDRUBAL CABRERA: .281 AVG, 17 HR, 52 RBI

OF BRANDON NIMMO: .253 AVG, 13 HR, 30 RBI

PITCHING

SP JACOB DEGROM: (5-4), 1.68 ERA, 149 K

SP STEVEN MATZ: (4-7), 3.48 ERA, 85 K

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 2ND PLACE

NATIONAL CENTRAL DIVISION

Willson Contreras and Javier Baez

1. CHICAGO CUBS (56-38)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

2B JAVIER BAEZ: .288 AVG, 19 HR, 72 RBI

C WILLSON CONTRERAS: .280 AVG, 8 HR, 35 RBI

PITCHING

RP BRANDON MORROW: 1.47 ERA, 22 SV

JON LESTER: (12-2), 3.14 ERA, 89 K

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 1ST PLACE

Jesus Aguilar and Lorenzo Cain

2. MILWAUKEE BREWERS (55-43)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

OF CHRISTIAN YELICH: .292 AVG, 11 HR, 43 RBI

1B JESUS AGUILAR: .298 AVG, 24 HR, 70 RBI

OF LORENZO CAIN: .293 AVG, 8 HR, 27 RBI

PITCHING

SP JUNIOR GUERRA: (6-6), 3.23 ERA, 96 K

RP JEREMY JEFFRESS: 1.34 ERA, 3 SV, 50K

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 3RD PLACE

Yadier Molina and Jose Martinez

3. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (48-47)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

1B JOSE MARTINEZ: .299 AVG, 13 HR, 56 RBI

3B MATT CARPENTER: .274 AVG, 23 HR, 51 RBI

C YADIER MOLINA: .282 AVG, 13 HR, 41 RBI

PITCHING

SP MILES MIKOLAS: (10-3), 2.79 ERA, 83 K

RP BUD NORRIS: 3.05 ERA, 17 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 2ND PLACE (MAKES WILD CARD GAME)

Felipe Vazquez.jpg

4. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (48-49)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

OF COREY DICKERSON: .306 AVG, 7 HR, RBI

OF STARLING MARTE: .285 AVG, 13 HR, 44 RBI

PITCHING

SP JAMESON TALLION: (6-7), 3.91 ERA, 103 K

RP FELIPE VAZQUEZ: 3.05 ERA, 23 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 4TH PLACE

Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Scooter Gennett.jpg

5. CINCINNATI REDS (43-53)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

3B EUGENIO SUAREZ: .312 AVG, 19 HR, 71 RBI

1B JOEY VOTTO: .289 AVG, 9 HR, 50 RBI

2B: SCOOTER GENNETT: .326 AVG, 16 HR, 63 RBI

PITCHING

RP RAISEL IGLESIAS: 2.36 ERA, 19 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 5TH PLACE

NATIONAL WEST DIVISION

Matt Kemp and Max Muncy

1. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (53-43)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

SS CHRIS TAYLOR: .253 AVG, 11 HR, 41 RBI

OF MATT KEMP: .310 AVG, 15 HR, 60 RBI

1B/3B/2B MAX MUNCY: .271 AVG, 22 HR, 41 RBI

PITCHING

RP KENLEY JANSEN: 2.33 ERA, 27 SV

SP KENTA MAEDA: (7-5), 3.12 ERA, 108 K

SP ROSS STRIPLING: (8-2), 2.08 ERA, 108 K

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 1ST PLACE

AJ Pollock, David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt

2. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (53-44)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

OF A.J. POLLOCK: .285 AVG, 12 HR, 38 RBI

OF DAVID PERALTA: .282 AVG, 16 HR, 53 RBI

1B PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT: .281 AVG, 21 HR, 52 RBI

PITCHING

SP PATRICK CORBIN: (6-4), 3.24 ERA, 149 K

SP ZACK GREINKE: (10-5), 3.15 ERA, 124 K

RP ARCHIE BRADLEY: 1.97 ERA, 3 SV, 42 K

RP BRAD BOXBERGER: 3.06 ERA, 24 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 2ND PLACE

Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.jpg

3. COLORADO ROCKIES (51-45)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

OF CHARLIE BLACKMON: .287 AVG, 19 HR, 45 RBI

3B NOLAN ARENADO: .312 AVG, 23 HR, 68 RBI

SS TREVOR STORY: .292 AVG, 20 HR, 68 RBI

PITCHING

RP ADAM OTTAVINO: 1.62 ERA, 67 K

SP KYLE FREELAND: (8-6), 3.11 ERA, 92 K

RP WADE DAVIS: 3.72 ERA, 27 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 2ND PLACE (MAKES WILD CARD GAME)

Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford

4. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (50-48)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

1B BRANDON BELT: .288 AVG, 5 HR, 31 RBI

SS BRANDON CRAWORD: .292 AVG, 10 HR, 39 RBI

C BUSTER POSEY: .288 AVG, 5 HR, 31 RBI

PITCHING

RP HUNTER STRICKLAND: 2.84 ERA, 13 SV

SP MADISON BUMGARNER: (3-3), 2.90 ERA, 41 K

RP TONY WATSON: 2.08 ERA, 45 K

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 3RD PLACE

Brad Hand.jpg

5. SAN DIEGO PADRES (40-59)

KEY PLAYERS:

OFFENSE

3B CHRISTIAN VILLANUEVA: .232 AVG, 19 HR, 43 RBI

2B JOSE PIRELA: .261 AVG, 3 HR, 27 RBI

PITCHING

RP BRAD HAND: 3.05 ERA, 24 SV

BEFORE OPENING DAY PREDICTION: 5TH PLACE

The biggest surprise in the 1st half for the National League is the fact that the Atlanta Braves sped up their process of becoming a playoff team to this year. Rookie all-star second baseman Ozzie Albies teamed up with all-star first baseman Freddie Freeman to lead the charge for a division title. Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler shook up at slow start to lead the team to first place before all-star break is the next best surprise in the NL. My new predictions as the second half kicks off, are the Braves taking the division in the NL East, the Cubs win in the NL Central and the Dodgers take the NL West. The wild card spots will be between the Phillies and the Rockies. I think the Rockies are dangerous and I wouldn’t underestimate them, but I wouldn’t rule out the D-Backs to keep it close.

2018 NL Central Division Predictions

2018 NL East Division Predictions

2018 NL West Division Predictions

Looking Back On The American League’s First Half Of The 2018 MLB Season

Are you happy or concerned with where your favorite teams are? What are your expectations for the second half of the 2018 season? Be sure to tweet your thoughts @TheUtilityMan17 on Twitter!

Lucas Talbot

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