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Last week I declared that the Cubs would be making the playoffs. This week, I thought I’d write a little bit about who else might be there from the National League. Here’s what I’m thinking:

NL East

This thing is still wide open. I’m going to go with the Phillies. But here’s another prediction. The team that wins the NL East will not advance past the first round of the playoffs. Philly and the Mets just don’t have the horses. The Mets bullpen is a mess and Philadelphia’s acquisition of Joe Blanton was too little too late. In many ways I still think the Fish from Miami are the best team of the bunch, but their young sticks and arms seems to have fallen off.

NL Central

Wrote about this last week. Division Winner: Cubs. Wildcard: Brewers.

It’s possible that the Brewers could still catch the Northsiders for the Division title, but I think these two teams are getting in. The Cardinals, with both Carpenter and Wainright have a shot, but with the former on the mend again, I just don’t think they can catch either of the other teams…

NL West

In discussion with friends, two things are mentioned about the West. First, the division is so bad that no one should be allowed to go. Secondly, no one root root rooting for the Cubbies wants to play the Dbacks. Some fans go as far as to say they want the Brewers to win the division so the Cubs can play the East. Listen, the Snakes are scary with Webb, Haren and Cub-Killer Randy Johnson, but this is not 2007.

This is a completely different Cubs team.

The fact is, the Cubs may have to play the Diamondbacks in the first or second round. They may still stand in the way of the Holy Grail. To be the best, you gotta beat the best, or at least your nemesis.

Let’s put Ted Lilly’s glove throwing memory behind us and prepare. …