The first pitch of the 2010 season is less than a week away and Spring Training is wrapping up in both Florida and Arizona. With the start of the season so close, I decided it was necessary to give my prediction on the upcoming battle for supremacy in the East.

Predictions:

5th: Washington Nationals-

The Nationals first problem is that they play in the NL East, the second is that they just aren’t good enough yet to compete. They do have Stephen Strasburg to look forward too, and expect him to arrive in the nation’s capital sometime this summer.

4th: Florida Marlins-

Hanley Ramirez is a stud and the pitching is young but will only get better. Their bullpen has question marks though and their youth could be the reason they don’t compete for a Wild Card or even the Division Championship. Every year though, this team finds a way to be competitive with one of the smallest payrolls in the league. They’ll be right around .500 again this year.

3rd: New York Mets-

Unfortunately, this is about as high as the Mets belong, right now. If their pitching takes shape, and they avoid injuries, they’ll certainly finish higher. However, right now they are at best an 88 win team, and probably right around .500 as well. That doesn’t get it done in the NL East.

2nd: Atlanta Braves-

Even with the loss of Javier Vazquez, this is still one of the best rotations in the game. Throw in a healthy Troy Glaus to their lineup, and this team could be very good. With this expected to Bobby Cox’s last season at the helm, and quite posisbly Chipper Jones’ last season, Atlanta will do their best to make it one to remember for two of the Atlanta greats.

1st: Philadelphia Phillies-

As much as it pains me to do this, I can’t find any realistic reasoning why the Phillies can’t/won’t win the Division again. They have Roy Halladay at the top of the rotation and an outstanding lineup, top to bottom. Their only question mark is the bullpen and Brad Lidge. But that can’t get any worse than it was last year and they still found themselves in the World Series. Look for the Phillies to make another run at a championship this year.