Phillies: PRETENDER. In a cut-throat NL East featuring the Nationals, Braves, Mets, and Marlins as major competition, I simply don't think the Phillies can rise above and take the division, or the Wild Card. They seem to have pieced together a fine offensive machine with the return of Jim Thome, and breakout seasons of Pat Burrell and Chase Utley. However, after Brett Myers, the starting pitching simply isn't there. John Lieber showed he was playoff capable last year in New York, but since April has watched his numbers take a swan dive; and anyone believing in the likes of Corey Lidle and Vincente Padilla as starters who can carry a team to the post-season need to check again. The Phillies have taken some nice steps towards pushing for a post-season run, adding Ugeth Urbina to shore up their bullpen alongside Ryan Madson and Billy Wagner, but at best, they're a year off.
Baltimore Orioles: Contender or Pretender?