The window of a golden era is rapidly closing on the Phillies, but it isn't pinching fingers just yet. As long as Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard can stay reasonably healthy, this could be Philly's most well-rounded club since 2008. Expect the Phils to return to the top of the NL East, but both the Braves and Nats should be good enough to secure wild-card slots.
The loss of the Astros to the AL makes it tough for two NL Central teams to reach the postseason, so it's winner-take-all between Cincy and St. Louis. The Reds will prevail.
On paper, the Giants are still baseball's best. But something always goes wrong when you're trying to repeat. If LA can substitute heart for hype, the Dodgers will unseat their rivals for West honors.
Giants working on dynasty
Juan C. Rodriguez
From west to east, let's go with Giants, Cardinals, Reds, and Nationals.
The defending World Series champion Giants are working on a dynasty thanks to a starting staff that includes a past Cy Young winner in Tim Lincecum and a pair of Cy Young candidates in Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.
The Cardinals have Adam Wainwright atop their rotation again and already have shown they can win without Albert Pujols. Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos appear impervious to their hitter-friendly home ballpark in Cincinnati. New leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo easily should score 100 runs. The Nationals have two of the game's young stars in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.