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NL East Team Strategy Guides


Washington Nationals

Current Outlook

With one of the more enticing rosters in the game, the Nationals are a team that may can grow to love. With the star-studded names of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, why wouldn’t you want to control the most exciting, young team in the majors? They’re ready to make noise now, and are a couple moves away from calling themselves contenders.

Key Players

Stephen Strasburg – Tommy John surgery won’t have any affects on Strasburg in the game, so getting him back up to speed won’t be an issue. Strasburg will be the best pitcher in the majors after two years, so keep him going strong. When he is on the mound, it should mean auto win.

Adam LaRoche – LaRoche is having a solid year out there in the real world, but in the game he is nothing more than your average first baseman. If you can get a solid stat line out of this guy, it should quietly help beef up your playoff odds.

Bryce Harper – He may not be ready in real life, yet, but he is when it comes to our virtual reality. Harper is one of the top rated players, not just prospects, on the Nationals. His power and contact remain off the charts, and there is nothing but room for improvement. Get him thrusted into your lineup now, and reap those benefits.

Game Plan

This team is prepared to win the division starting now. One thing though, as mentioned above, first base is an issue. With Pujols and Fielder choosing different options, the Nationals were left high and dry. Try making a trade involving one of your starting five (trust me, you can spare one in this stellar rotation) for a power hitting first baseman.

Future Outlook

The Nationals have made all the moves and picks that they needed to become contenders. They have the pitching, a decent amount of hitting and a weaker division; three things that can add up to a playoff appearance. But by doing what they’ve done, they have washed up their farm system. With most of their young studs making impacts in the majors, they get a pass. But still, if you don’t win now, it’s all a waste.

Team Ranking

The Nationals are the easy pick for most exciting team in a video game right now. One could say they’re the MLB’s version of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now it’s up to you to take the helm and lead them to the promise land.

7 (Contenders)

Philadelphia Phillies

Current Outlook

One year ago it was all but certain the Phillies would win the World Series. Well, they didn’t, and somehow have gotten worse in the past year. Raul Ibanez is gone, and he provided a punch in the offense. Oswalt made an exit too. So can they regroup with the other three pitchers and the offensive power behind Ryan Howard?

Key Players

Ryan Howard – Howard is the Phillies’ only hope of offensive force. Easily the strongest hitter in the lineup, Howard needs an MVP-type season to keep the Phillies on top of the baseball world.

Cole Hamels – After impressing the world in the World Series a few years ago, Hamels dipped off a little bit. By bringing him back to the talent level his rating gives him, he should be in the mix with Halladay and Lee.

Hunter Pence – Pence is another bat that needs to produce. After being acquired last season, he hasn’t lived up to what he was supposed to be: a .300 hitter early in the lineup.

Game Plan

You have the pitching to win it all. If you can play NL-ball all season, even in the playoffs, your offense shouldn’t be an issue. Taking Game 1 in each series will be big as well, since Lee should have Game 2 on lock.

Future Outlook

The farm system in Philadelphia is about as impressive as Eastern Washington. If the Phillies had any good studs in the minors, they surely gave it up to bring Pence to town. It just reinforces the win-now mentality.

Team Ranking

It’s a shame this team has no depth behind its stars, because one injury or error could derail the Phillies. If anyone needed to be perfect, it’s them. But again, if anyone can be perfect, it’s Halladay and Lee. Behind those two pitching, plus Hamels, it should be a decently easy trip back to the playoffs.

7 (Contenders)

New York Mets

Current Outlook

Always known as the “other” New York team is practically a curse. The Mets, though loaded on paper, have been underperforming for years. But thankfully roster ratings don’t take in account injuries too much. With a decent pitching staff and an OK offense, the Mets could squeeze into a wild card, but don’t be upset if you miss out.

Key Players

Johan Santana – Santana is still considered one fo the better pitchers in the MLB. Unfortunately, injuries hae hindered his abilities the past few seasons, but with a high rating in the game, Santana is posied to be the 20-win starter Mets’ fans were expecting.

Ruben Tejada – Tejada is a young, 22-year-old shortstop with decent upside. But what makes him important are the shoes he is filling. Jose Reyes left to join the party in Miami, so Tejada is the new leadoff batter. He won’t match the absurd numbers Reyes can reach, but his contributions will be just as important.

David Wright/Jayson Bay – It’s a toss up between these two big-name hitters. Both Wright and Bay were supposed to be the middle-of-the-lineup powers. If you can have both of them hitting above .300 come September, you should be in position to inch your way towards that berth.

Game Plan

The Mets are stuck in the middle right now. They aren’t anywhere near contending for a championship, but the farm system isn’t super stacked either. The best direction to take the organization is forward. Simply tae advantage of any and all opportunities you can put your hands on. Who knows, you may find a hidden gem in someone else’s farm.

Future Outlook

The Mets are pretty washed up when it comes to the farm system. Outside to up-and-coming relievers (Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey), they don’t have much to look forward to in the future. Wheeler is supposed to be a dominant reliever, and he has the A potential to back it up. Use either of them at your own discretion.

Team Ranking

When the Mets blew the huge division lead a few years ago it put them in a downward spiral. Since then, they have been practically irrelevant. But with some high ratings on solid players, sneaking into the layoffs isn’t out of the question. If you start flopping left and right, that’s when you need to change your gameplan and start rebuilding. Good luck controlling these guys.

5 (Middle of the road)

Atlanta Braves

Current Outlook

For some reason, the Braves always seem to do really well. They will have one off year, then reel off 15 consecutive division titles. Must be nice living the good life, especially when your offense is anchored by Jason Heyward. The Braves won’t go down without a fight, and they expect to be back on top come playoff time.

Key Players

Jason Heyward – Though obvious, Heyward is the key to Atlanta’s offensive success for years to come. Currently, the Braves have him hitting sixth in the lineup, but you should move him up to fourth or fifth, depending on how well McCann and Uggla are performing for you. We want to see 40 homers with this guy.

Michael Bourn – Another trade acquisition from last season will have major implications this year. Bourn will be your leadoff guy, and with the lineup you have behind him he should be close to leading the majors in runs.

Tim Hudson – Hudson is a key player for different reasons. With Hansen and Jurrjens prepared to leapfrog him in the ratings, the 36-year-old veteran is the perfect trade chip. Trading Hudson for some young prospects, or another bat, could make the Braves even more dangerous.

Game Plan

The Braves have quietly become the favorite to win the division, and possibly the National League, once again. They have strong arms and bats that should carry them over the 90-win mark. Right now, you play to win the World Series.

Future Outlook

Julio Teheran is a 6’2 beast waiting to get his call. The A-potential right hander has the stuff every club wants in a No. 1 guy. His presence also gives you another reason to ship out Hudson. Arodys Vizcaino is another A-potential pitcher in the club; keep an eye on him. Also, catcher Christian Bethancourt could make some surprising improvement in AAA, which could give you a tough decision at the position.

Team Ranking

The Braves are, simply put, World Series contenders. They have all the tools in all areas of their farm system. Behind the strong arms of the top three pitchers, and the ones waiting in the wind, Atlanta should have no problem keeping one of the lower team ERAs in the majors.

9 (Dynasty)


Miami Marlins

Current Outlook

They have a new ballpark, logo, manager and city. Does it all add up to a winning season? It could, but the window is a very small one. Thanks to the additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle, the Marlins might be able to surprise some people in the division.

Key Players

Jose Reyes/Hanley Ramirez – These two from one of the most intriguing thirdbase-shortstop tandems ever formed on a diamond. They are both capable of hitting over .340 and having 30-30 seasons, yet they each know how to slack off and get injured. Keep both of them healthy and competitive and you might have a MVP on hand.

Michael (Giancarlo) Stanton – Mr. I-Like-Weird-Names needs to start producing now. Stanton is billed as a power hitter that should be hitting at least .280, but hopefully .300. With his insanely high rating (too high in my opinion), those stats aren’t out of reach. It’s up to you to make it happen.

Steve Cishek – Cishek is only 25 and already one of the top arms in Miami’s weak bullpen. Behind the offense and the Buehrle/Johnson combination, most games should be at hand once you pull the starter. But without a bullpen, kiss the season goodbye. Use Cishek’s sinker – it’s quite good.

Game Plan

The only ones who are going to be using Miami are the fans, so keep it realistic. You just spent a bank load on bringing in the top free agents, so obviously it’s win-now mode. You might even be able to throw away Choate for a solid prospect come deadline time. Just keep your eyes peeled.

Future Outlook

Miami’s farm system is one of the lacking ones. Outside outfield prospect Christian Yelich, who is suited for AA right now, your best players have already been called up to the big leagues.

Team Ranking

The Marlins get props for going the flashy route, but it could really hurt them in the near future. Without any success in year one, morale will drop and questions of rebuilding will start swirling around. So you’re in one of the toughest, more balanced division in baseball, and you need to win around 85 games. You might need a drink.

6 (Middle of the road)


MLB 12 The Show Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Armor and Sword @ 04/17/12 12:05 PM
Well I got my work cut out with the Miami Marlins. I knew going in our farm system was weak. So I like the challenge of finding some A prospects. I am gunning for a WS berth now. If however I fall short I may look to make a bold move with Hanely in my second season. He could bring in a nice assortment of players/prospects and i am not a fan of his lazy work ethic.

It should be interesting to say the least.
 
# 2 Sheamazin @ 04/17/12 12:38 PM
Has Harvey and Wheeler list as dominant relievers. Not sure if thats a typo. But these guys could be the Mets #1 and #2 starters in the very near future.
 
# 3 Anthonyg7575 @ 04/17/12 12:43 PM
Atlanta a 9? (Dynasty?)...... Reigning NL East champs? They haven't won a division title since 2005...
 
# 4 wisdom less13 @ 04/17/12 01:48 PM
Wheeler is being billed as a starter. The METS also have several decent arms in Familia, Mejia, and even Chris Young (for about five starts) in the minors. And in no way is Jose Reyes a 30-30 threat. Maybe 20-50, but he will hit .200 if he was going for 30 home runs. Good read, though...
 
# 5 smearz @ 04/17/12 03:28 PM
This is what happens when someone who lives as far away from the eastern seaboard as possible previews the NL East. How could you call a team that choked so bad last year "simply put, World Series contenders"? They need to show potential to make the playoffs before they can be considered to have "dynasty" potential. Couple things on your Phillies preview - first of all the Phillies have won 5 straight divisions. Then, Ryan Howard needs to heal from a disasterous achillies injury before he can be your MVP-type power source. Honorable mention to Chase Utley needing to get healthy for you as well. Cole Hamels had a bad 2009, but where have you been the last 2 years? He had his best pitching season last year, by far, and this year will most likely top that. After joining the Phillies last year, Hunter Pence hit .324 with 11 HR in 207 AB. I think he lived up to his potential pretty well actually. Not trying to start stuff here, just pointing out some things. The Mets/Nats/Marlins previews are spot on I think.
 
# 6 seanjeezy @ 04/17/12 03:41 PM
When did Wheeler and Harvey become relievers lol. If anything, Mejia and Familia are destined for the bullpen, one has a serious injury history and the other has bad control and only two pitches.
 
# 7 Helios12787 @ 04/17/12 06:16 PM
If you look at it from a GAME perspective (which is what these strategy guides are meant to give advice on) then some of the statements make more sense. I mean I for one don't see myself as the GM of the REAL Atlanta Braves or nationals or whoever.

Braves are a world series contender ingame. Plain and simple. Their roster is stacked from top to bottom with good-great players. Only glaring weakness in the starting lineup is pastronicky but even he does pretty well.

Considering everyone in the starting lineup has the potential for 20+ homeruns in-game (minus 2 plus pitcher) I would say that has world series contender all over it. Combine that with a very good / deep pitching staff and one of the best setup/closer duos in the game and I'm not one to complain.

Remember people, its a game not real life. Don't treat articles like this like they are.
 
# 8 sieve @ 04/18/12 11:45 AM
"Hunter Pence Ė Pence is another bat that needs to produce. After being acquired last season, he hasnít lived up to what he was supposed to be: a .300 hitter early in the lineup."

Last I checked, Hunter Pence hit .324 with Phils last year and is hitting .333 so far this year.
 
# 9 BenGerman @ 04/18/12 02:10 PM
I'm not so sure about the assessment of the Phillies here. As Sleve said before me, Pence hit .300+ post acquisition last year, so I'm not sure where that comment came from. Our pitching is going to be good for the next 3-4 years for sure.

We have an adequate farm system when you considered Dom Brown, May, Greene, and Biddle. Pence and Victorino are still playing at a very high level, and Rollins is no slouch. We may struggle to produce runs, but we definitely have the pitching necessary to make another division championship run.
 
# 10 The Yurpman @ 04/18/12 03:14 PM
I'm sorry but these are horrible "strategy guides".
 
# 11 bemo03 @ 04/18/12 03:46 PM
Who is Jayson Bay? Wheeler and Harvey are SP not Relievers... The best direction to take the organization is forward? Ok.
 
# 12 BostonsDaBest @ 04/21/12 04:21 PM
When I used the Marlins, I signed Oswalt, Damon, Derek Lee, Varitek, and the 4 best relievers available. Then I benched Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez. Finally, I traded John Buck for A.J. Pierzynski. When all was said and done, I had the 4th best hitting, best pitching, second best defense, and second best overall tram in baseball. Then I crushed the Cards 8-2. My only regret was not trying to trade Stanton for Jose Bautista before I ran out of money for players.
 
# 13 MattP598 @ 04/21/12 04:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smearz
This is what happens when someone who lives as far away from the eastern seaboard as possible previews the NL East. How could you call a team that choked so bad last year "simply put, World Series contenders"? They need to show potential to make the playoffs before they can be considered to have "dynasty" potential. Couple things on your Phillies preview - first of all the Phillies have won 5 straight divisions. Then, Ryan Howard needs to heal from a disasterous achillies injury before he can be your MVP-type power source. Honorable mention to Chase Utley needing to get healthy for you as well. Cole Hamels had a bad 2009, but where have you been the last 2 years? He had his best pitching season last year, by far, and this year will most likely top that. After joining the Phillies last year, Hunter Pence hit .324 with 11 HR in 207 AB. I think he lived up to his potential pretty well actually. Not trying to start stuff here, just pointing out some things. The Mets/Nats/Marlins previews are spot on I think.
What does the Braves choking last year have to do with this season?

Face it, the Phillies have sold their farm system and now they are getting old fast. Their lineup is no where near as scary as it was even last year, much less a couple years ago.

As for the Braves, Freeman was a rookie last year, Heyward is still 22 years old, they will have Bourn for a full season, one of the best bullpens in baseball, and a great young pitching staff. There is no reason to think they won't improve on their record from last year. I can't say the same about the Phillies.
 
# 14 BallerSoup @ 05/01/12 05:58 PM
You guys are aware these strategy guildes are for the video game and not real life right?

Jose Reyes may not be a 30-30 guy in real life but he can in a video game.

Braves arent WS Contender in real life but can be in a video game. Braves are loaded with talent and have all the makings of a Dynasty.
 
# 15 il blood il @ 05/01/12 07:56 PM
i would like to see someone hit 30 homers with reyes in a video game, without cheating with sliders..
 

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