Since news has come through that the Atlanta Braves have received Justin Upton, people are flurrying with opinions on how this will effect the National League in 2013.
For it to have a lasting effect, the move will have to be good enough for the Atlanta Braves to move ahead of the Washington Nationals. If it does, the St. Louis Cardinals maybe in some trouble.
I think it is fair to say, in as much of a non-bias way I humanly can, that the Reds are the favorites to win the NL Central in 2013. The Cardinals are heavy favorites to come in ahead of everyone else. But now that the Los Angeles Dodgers have set themselves up to push the San Francisco Giants, and the Braves are sitting right there with the Nationals, the National League Central runner up better be in high gear even with a two team wildcard.
It is important to not overreact to a trade, but Justin Upton can make the Braves a National League favorite. They are not, in my opinion they are fourth best right now. I feel that the Cincinnati Reds, Nationals and Dodgers, are all clearly better. But that can easily change in June after the Braves are three games ahead of the Nationals and are competing for the number one seed in the league.
The move makes baseball a more fun sport to watch. Now we have seven teams (Reds, Dodgers, Nationals, Braves, Giants, and Cardinals) that will be jockeying all season long. Then there will surely be a surprise club that will shake everything up. It should be a great season of NL baseball.
The point of this article is to point out that the Cardinals are in trouble. They better play their best baseball throughout the season or they will miss the playoffs. They are the sixth best team in a league that allows five teams into its postseason.