Ray's 2014 Bold Predictions: National League Edition

Stacy Revere

Ray provides his bold predictions for 2014 for each National League team. Remember, these are BOLD predictions with a slim likelihood of happening.

I started posting my Bold Predictions articles a few years ago as a way to see how many of them could actually come true, or come close to happening. Every season, we see a player perform better/worse than the crowds expect, so these bold predictions are not likely to happen, but baseball does crazy things sometimes. I like to submit my bold predictions where the likelihood of it coming true is about 5% or so.

On Monday, I published my bold predictions for each American League team, and today you will find my bold predictions for each National League team.

You will find bold predictions from several of the Fake Teams writers throughout the week.

NL East

Braves

Now that I own him in the Tout Wars mixed auction league, Craig Kimbrel puts up his worst season as a big leaguer, blowing 8 saves and losing his job in July, and the Braves finish the season in third place, missing the playoffs.

Nationals

Jayson Werth is the best player on the Nationals once again, hitting .310 with 33 home runs, 98 RBI and 25 stolen bases, outperforming his draft day value, and the Nationals win the division by eight games.

Mets

Wilmer Flores takes over the Mets shortstop position in early May, and hits .295 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI and helping fantasy teams win their league championship this season. Oh, the Mets finish in second place, as Zack Wheeler is the second coming of Zack Greinke.

Phillies

Marlon Byrd surprises once again, hitting .285 with 26 home runs and 89 RBI, yet the Phillies end up with the worst record in baseball, after trading Cliff Lee to the Dodgers before the July 31st trade deadline. In return for Lee, the Dodgers give up Joc Pederson, Zach Lee, and Chris Withrow. Withrow becomes the Phillies closer after Jonathan Papelbon is dealt back to the Red Sox.

Marlins

Nathan Eovaldi is the best starter on the Marlins in 2014, winning 13 games with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 195 innings. After working on his secondary pitches in the offseason, he raises his strikeout rate to just over nine batters per nine.

NL Central

Cardinals

Matt Holliday experiences his worst season as a big leaguer, hitting just .245 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI in just 120 games. His performance is so bad he loses his starting left field job to outfield prospect Stephen Piscotty, who hits .290 with 8 home runs and 35 RBI in 55 games. The Cardinals lose the division to the Pirates on the last day of the season.

Pirates

Gerrit Cole is the right handed version of Clayton Kershaw, dominating the National League hitters, winning 16 games with a 2.50 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 215 innings, helping the Pirates win the NL Central.

Reds

Joey Votto finds his home run stroke, hitting .330 with 32 home runs and 114 RBI, finishing second in the NL MVP award race, but the Reds finish a distant third to the Pirates and Cardinals in the NL Central.

Brewers

Wily Peralta has a breakout season on the mound, winning 14 games with a 3.25 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 187 innings of work.

Cubs

Javier Baez is called up on April 20th after Starlin Castro goes down with another injury. Baez proceeds to win the National League Rookie of the Year award by hitting .275 with 28 home runs, 80 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 530 at bats.

NL West

Dodgers

Alexander Guerrero wrestles the second base job from Dee Gordon in May and ends up as a top 5 fantasy second baseman at the end of the season, hitting .285 with 19 home runs, 75 runs and 80 RBI.

Diamondbacks

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is a huge bust, hitting just .265 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI, as his strikeout rate rises to over 27%. He ends the year outside the top 15 fantasy first baseman after being the #3 hitter off draft board in 2014.

Padres

Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton got all the offseason hype, but it's Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera who wins the National League stolen base title. Picking up where he left off last season before his suspension, ECab hits .283 with a .350 on base percentage and 65 stolen bases.

Rockies

Rockies pitching prospect Jonathan Gray makes his major league debut on May 1st. Gray makes 24 starts, winning 12 games with a 2.97 ERA and a 28% strikeout rate.

Giants

Giants catcher Buster Posey disappoints Giants fans and fantasy owners, hitting just .260 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI. He fails to rebound from his horrible second half of 2013, causing some to wonder if playing catcher every day is affecting his performance at the plate.

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