Once again, you can consider these to be equivalent to clairvoyant looks into the future. I almost never get anything wrong.
2. Florida Marlins. They've been a scrappy bunch the last several years, and I think this is the year they finally make the leap. Their rotation of Josh Johnson, Javy Vazquez, Ricky Nolasco, Anibel Sanchez, and Chris Volstad would be the best in many divisions, assuming they stay healthy, and there's enough offense here to keep them in Wild Card contention. Whatever you think of Hanley Ramirez's attitude issues the guy is an incredible player and gives Florida a huge advantage by having such an offensive powerhouse at such a traditional weak position. Mike Stanton is an absolute future star.
4. New York Mets. The division between the 3rd team and 4th team in this division is absolutely immense, because the Mets are absolute garbage. Let's put it this way: R.A. Dickey will be prominently involved, and he might actually be the second best pitcher on the entire squad behind Mike Pelphrey - and that's not a compliment to Dickey, these guys are brutal. There's still some minor jump up potential here based on a decent offense with David Wright, breakout candidate Ike Davis, and contract year guy Jose Reyes, plus Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran. The offense should be ok, but that pitching staff is terrifying.
5. Washington Nationals. I wanted to rank them ahead of the Mets because the Mets are terrible, but I just couldn't after looking at what they're rolling out there. Livan Hernandez is still here, and so is Jon Lannan, Jason Marquis, and they added Tom Gorzelanny as starter #5. Sweet, that should make all the difference. There's a decent young base here with closer Drew Storen, starter Jordan Zimmerman, 3B Ryan Zimmerman, SS Ian Desmond, and, of course, SP Stephen Strasburg and minor leaguer Bryce Harper (Brian Harper's son), but with The Stras out until late this year or next this won't be the year they put it all together.
1. Cincinnati Reds. Love this team. Absolutely and completely love them. Young and talented pitching staff with multiple candidates to breakout (Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, Edinson Volquez), the hardest throwing man in all of MLB (Aroldis Chapman), and a young group of position players who are either already stars (Joey Votto), look to be right on the cusp (Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips), or are still just in the "potential" phase (Drew Stubbs). They aren't really the type of team who I'd consider a serious World Series contender unless multiple guys on that staff breakout this year, but they'll win this division.
3. St. Louis Cardinals. Adam Wainwright is so good at throwing a baseball that his injury knocks St. Louis from division favorite to division also-ran. Any team with Albert Pujols can't be completely counted out, but the rest of the lineup is either old guys on the downslope of their career or David Eckstein clones. Honestly, I have no idea why a team with David Freese, Skip Schumaker, Ryan Theriot, and Tyler Greene would possibly be interested in signing Nick Punto since all five of these guys are basically clones of each other and they all suck. Maybe LaRussa's gone all demented and is starting some sort of bizarre collection, and at the all-star break he's going to encase them all in wax and open some sort of Eckstein Wax Museum. That's be pretty sweet, actually.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates. Is this the year the Pirates finally turn it around? Well, if by turn it around you mean don't finish in last then I say yes, although that's more of a testament to the shittiness of the Astros than the improvement of the Pirates. I mean, you can at least see that they're trying to turn it around: Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, and Jose Tabata are a nice young core but after that it's very blah - and that's the upside. Assembling young arms is a good strategy, but someone needs to tell these guys that it really only helps if at least some of them have some talent.
6. Houston Astros. Kind of the opposite of Pittsburgh in that the starting pitching is at least ok (Wandy, Bret Myers, JA Happ, and Bud Norris) but the lineup is just brutally brutal. The middle infield pairing of Clint Barmes and Bill Hall should make you feel better knowing there's actually a worse combo than what the Twins are trotting out there, I've never even heard of their third baseman, and their first basemen is a rookie who was traded three different times before he managed a major league at-bat. And they still have Carlos Lee, who continues to kill team morale by constantly pawing through teammates' lockers looking for snacks.
1. San Francisco Giants. It's hard to believe any team that was so reliant on it's starting staff can repeat, but in this case you have to pick the Giants because 1. The NL West sucks, 2. At least one of those pitchers (Madison Bumgarner) is still waiting to breakout, and 3. there only losses off the roster of "significance" were Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria. They might have the worst hitting outfield in history, but they should still be good enough to win this crappy division, especially since they have a rich man's Joe Mauer in Buster Posey.
2. Colorado Rockies. I wanted to pick the Rockies to win the division but I just can't. Troy Tulowitzki is a pimp and Carlos Gonzalez is awesome, but then it's crickets. Todd Helton is old with the power of Drew Butera but is still starting somehow, Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart are starting to look like they're "potential" and that's about it, Dexter Fowler is Carlos Gomez with a slightly better batting eye, and Seth Smith should be a pinch hitter. They also have Ty Wigginton. Yeah. The pitching is alright and could probably clean an office building or hotel like nobody's business, but that lineup is just really, really icky.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks. You could basically flip a coin between Arizona and San Diego right now because both of these teams are equally depressing and shitty. I'm giving the nod slightly to Arizona because they at least have a few players who could have huge years: Justin Upton (although I feel like we're saying this every year for the last several), Miguel Montero (not a huge year overall, but at least for a catcher), and Daniel Hudson (if his post-trade results were real). They also have a middle infield with some pop in Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson, even if they field as well as Roger Dorn.
5. San Diego Padres. The list of exciting players on this team is Mat Latos and Cameron Maybin. That's the entire list unless you really like nondescript but effective closers who are going to be traded at some point or mediocre-to-poor starting pitchers who were featured in really awesome books. All I know is a team with zero offense just got rid of the man responsible for about 106% of that offense. Plus their middle infield combo is Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson. Ouch.
The last thing I want to mention here is what should/could be considered a national travesty. Take a look at this picture and guess who this is:
No, it's not the female joker (and I don't mean Harley Quinn), no matter how much it may look like it. It's actually Rose McGowan, formerly the super hot and busty star of Scream and Jawbreaker. This is what she used to look like:
Why? Why would you kill that? Even setting aside her formerly awesome boobs which have suddenly disappeared, check out this side-by-side of her formerly beautiful face:
Good lord, why? This is the kind of thing that convinces me that the devil actually exists. I'm actually near tears right now. I'm going to go cry myself to sleep and probably masturbate.