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Which NL teams will advance to the playoffs?

April 03, 2012
  • Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies will take another shot at the National League supremacy.
Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies will take another shot at the… (Matt Slocum / Associated…)

Writers from around Tribune Co. are continuing their discussion about the upcoming Major League Baseball season, looking into their crystal balls to predict which National League teams will make it into the postseason. Join the conversation by leaving a comment of your own.

Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times

The Phillies should repeat as East champions as the Big Three of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are incomparable. With Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips, the Reds have the most consistent lineup in their division. The addition of Mat Latos gives them a front-line starter. They should win the Central. The Diamondbacks won the West last season and made some unspectacular but solid upgrades. They are the favorites in the West.

The Marlins made significant moves over the off-season, paying big money for the likes of shortstop Jose Reyes, starter Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell. They could claim one of the two wild-card spots. The Dodgers could make a late run to land the other wild-card entry as their new owners will be looking to make a statement by making a huge move at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The Phillies went into playoffs last year as the clear favorite but failed to win a series. That won't happen again.

Juan C. Rodriguez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Going from left to right, Justin Upton will carry the Diamondbacks to the NL West title. Upton should battle guys such as Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki for NL MVP honors. Even if Ian Kennedy regresses, the Diamondbacks’ rotation will be solid.

The Central is wide open. You can make a case for the Cardinals, Brewers and Reds. I’ll take the Brewers. Braun doesn’t need Prince Fielder to put up big numbers, and Yovani Gallardo is my Cy Young pick. The Cardinals will edge the Reds for one of the wild cards.

Philadelphia’s supremacy may be coming to an end, but not this season. The Phillies will win the division again, and the Nationals will nip the Marlins for the wild card. Your NL champions: Milwaukee Brewers.

Mandy Housenick, Allentown Morning Call

The Phillies' path to a sixth consecutive NL East crown got much tougher with injuries to an already challenged offense and from off-season improvements by the Nationals and Marlins. The Phillies' pitching will prevail and they’ll win a loaded division, but the wild-card winning Braves, who will beat the Cardinals in the one-game playoff, will make everyone forget about their September collapse a season ago.

The Brewers have quality starting pitching and still enough offense to win the Central. The Diamondbacks will have a solid season, but won’t be able to get past the Giants in the West.

Look for an NLCS featuring the Braves, anchored by one of the game’s best bullpens, and the Giants, whose big three almost rival the Phillies'. But it’s the Braves, with a hungrier-than-ever Chipper Jones, who'll get to the World Series.

Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune

It’s one last go-round for the aging, but proud, Phillies. With their pitching, they can find a way to overcome injuries and age. But this season won't be easy for the Phils, who will have to hold off the Braves and Marlins in the NL East.

Both will make the new two-team wild-card playoffs, along with the Brewers from the Central and Diamondbacks from the West. But pitching wins, and the Phillies still have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

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