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The National League East last year turned into a three team race with the Braves, Phillies and World Champion Marlins. The Phillies look to dominate this year moving into a new park. The Marlins look to keep their well-earned respect. On the otherhand the Braves look to start a new area with the likes of
Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa. The Mets have added to their big-budget and need to regain their sunway series form of 2000. Meanwhile Le Expos are just looking fora home. In a strong pitching and power htiting dominated division, one team must emerge and my pick and #1 favorite right now goes to the Phillies.
The Braves have won 12 straight division titles and were the dominance of the NL during the 90's. Their proais dwidndles now.  A new-line staff and good core lineup must carry this team.  J.D. Drew must make a huge impact replacing Sheff but the Braves will still compete and 1st place is there's to lose as the Phillies will try to unseed them.
The Phillies led by a great rotation with Millwood at the helm a strong bullpen and Wagner to close it out could win just with pitching. But add Abreu and Thome and potent power offense and this team is awesome. The Phillies also have wild-cards or X-Factors in their New park, Citizen's Bank, and the volatile Larry Bowa.
 
The Marlins are the defending Champs and are the team to beat. Faces like Pudge are gone , but the smae overall of the 1997 offseason didn't take place. They have Miguel Cabrera and D-Train as new up and coming stars. They do have question marks in the bulklpen, but the Marlins are still good enough to contend and will finish either 2nd or 3rd depending on how well the offense produces behind a young staff led by WS MVP Beckett.
 
The Expos have no true home playing in both Olympic and Hiram Bithron Stadiums. There new home should be the Capitol in my opinion. But for now without Vlad and Vazquez they have Vidro and Hernandez to lead this team. Unfortuantely with a bunch of aging veterans like Everett they are just a step behind the other teams in the East and will probably finish in the cellar, but only a few games back.
 
The Mets should be much more competitive this year with new additions Mike Cameron and Kazuo Matsui. While the rotations seems a little shaky despite Glavine at the helm, Braden Looper shores up the semi-strong bullpen. Mike Piazza must continue to produce while youngsters like Jose Reyes start to develop. New pitching coach Rick Peterson must make men out of a boyish staff. The Mets will finish in second or third place, as they battle the Marlins and low-budget rival Braves.
E A S T - RACE W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA STRK L10
Atlanta 101 61 .623 - 55-26 46-35 907 740 Won 1 7-3
Florida 91 71 .562 10 53-28 38-43 751 692 Won 1 7-3
Philadelphia 86 76 .531 15 49-32 37-44 790 697 Lost 1 3-7
Montreal 83 79 .512 18 52-29 31-50 711 716 Won 1 6-4
NY Mets 66 95 .410 34.5 34-46 32-49 641 753 Lost 1 3-7

PREDICTED 2004 FINISH:

ESPN IMAGE ESPN IMAGE ESPN IMAGE ESPN IMAGE ESPN IMAGE

Team-by-Team Outlook:
 
Atlanta Braves:
Manager:Bobby Cox
Lineup:
          Furcal-SS   Giles-2B  Jones-3B    Jones-CF     Drew-RF  LaRoche-1B
Thomas-LF  Estrada-C   
Rotation:
               Wright      Hampton      Thomson
Bullpen:
            Smoltz          Cruz     Alfonseca    Grybowksi  Reitsma  
Martin       Colon          Capellan   Meyer        Ramirez         Ortiz
Byrd
Bench:
           Marrero       DeRosa    Franco       Green     Betemit
Added:
Lost: DeWayne Wise, Tim Drew, Travis Smith,
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

Florida Marlins:Marlins Homepage
Manager:Jack McKeon
Lineup:
           Pierre-CF Castillo-2B Cabrera-RF   Lowell-3B Encarnacion-LF Connine-1B
LoDuca-C  Gonzalez-SS
Rotation:
            Burnett       Willis        Pavano      Beckett          Valdez
Bullpen:
           Manzanillo Mota        Perisho         Bump        Howard
Seanez     Benitez    Treanor        Weathers
Bench:
          Easley       Mordecai      Harris           Redmond   Aguila           Cordero
Dillon            Wathan
Added:
Lost: Aaron Small, Billy Koch, Ramon Castro
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

Washington Somethings:Livan Hernandez
Manager:Frank Robinson
Lineup:player
                           photo
          Wilkerson-LF Izturis-SS  Carroll-2B    Rivera-RF   Church-1B Sledge-CF  
Batista-3B    Schiender-C
Rotation:
           Hernandez    Kim             Aramas  Downs         Patterson
Bullpen:
          Biddle          Tucker         Ayala    Cordero       Vargas         Eischen
Majewski      Beltran      Ohka     Rauch
Bench:
          Mateo        Chavez      Pascucci       Harris   Labandeira
Added:
Lost: Einar Diaz, Dan Smith
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

New York Mets:
Manager:None
Lineup:       
           -SS Keppinger-2B  Piazza-C  Flyod-LF  Cameron-CF  Hidalgo-RF
Phillips-1B/C   Wright-3B
Rotation:
             Glavine      Trachsel   Leiter          Fortunato    Benson   Zambrano
Bullpen:
            Looper        Franco      Bottalico     Stanton Bell                Yates
Feliciano     Seo         Heilman    DeJean
Bench:              
           Valent     Garcia        Hietpas    Brazell         Diaz
Reyes        Matsui
Added:
Lost: Manager Art Howe, hitting coach Don Baylor, 1B coach Gary Pettis, 3B coach Matt Gallante, trainer Scott Lawrenson, Gerald Williams, Vic Darrensbourg, Wilson Delgado
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

Philadelphia Phillies:Brett Myers goes for his third win this month on Sunday.
Manager:Larry Bowa
Lineup:
           Byrd-CF    Polanco-2B Abreu-RF Thome-1B  Glanville-LF   Liberthal-C 
Rollins-SS    Bell-3B
Rotation:
              Padilla       Milton          Myers       Lidle     Millwood
Bullpen:
           Telemaco  Cormier       Worrell      Hernandez  Geary        Jones    
                  
Rodriguez    Howard       Madson       Wagner  Aaron Fultz
Bench:
           Pratt          Perez   Utley            Michaels       Collier    Burell
Added: Aaron Fultz,
Lost: Shawn Wooten, Brian Powell, A.J. Hinch
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

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