MLB Preview 2012

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Collaborative Posts

Although ALL is the only real baseball fanatic out of this Sports Pundit ménage à trois known as Five2, we all decided to jump in and weigh on some predictions for this upcoming 2012 MLB season. I’m sure this will be just as scrutinized, possibly even more than our NBA top  10 list . 

CHEEKS

AL East winner: Boston Red Sox

Everyone seems to have forgotten that prior to faltering down the stretch, the Red Sox sported a top-3 record and that injuries to their pitching staff contributed to the collapse. Healthy pitchers plus a very formidable lineup will result in a division championship.

AL Central winner: Detroit Tigers

The Tigers were the better team in this division last year and they have added Prince Fielder. Plus, no Central Division opponents significantly improved.

AL West winners: Texas Rangers

I still think that the Rangers starting rotation is still division winner worthy because Yu Darvish will be an adequate replacement for C.J. Wilson (an overrated pitcher in my opinion).

AL Wild Card Winners: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim & New York Yankees

NL East winner: Atlanta Braves

I’m picking them to win simply because I am concerned with Philly’s injuries issues (i.e. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley—one of my favorite players but goddamn (!!!) is he always nicked up)

NL Central winner: Milwaukee Brewers

This division is pretty much a toss up between the Brewers and the Cardinals. I picked the Brewers because I like their pitching staff more. The loss of Fielder and Pujols cancels each other out.

NL West winners: San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey is back (!!!) and the Giants still have the best pitching staff in this division. Point all you want to the Giants’ offensive woes but let’s not forget that the Diamondbacks also struggle to score runs. Aside: how the hell will the Giants be able to afford Cain AND Lincecum?

NL Wild Card Winners: Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins

The Phillies have too much talent on their pitching staff to not make the playoffs. The new additions of Ozzie Guillen, Mark Buerhle, and Jose Reyes will make a big difference.

AL MVP: Josh Hamilton (if he stays healthy!)

NL MVP: Matt Kemp

AL Cy Young Award Winner: Jered Weaver

NL Cy Young Award Winner: Tim Lincecum (think Felix Hernandez circa 2010)

World Series Champion: Phillies over the Red Sox

EDITOR IN CHIEF

AL East: New York Yankees

The Yankees improved the one thing they needed to improve from last year: Starting Pitching. For some reason I believe the sentimental value of having Andy Pettite makes a difference. The Red Sox will take a step back and the Tampa Bay Rays are still lagging behind the talent the Yankees have. The Yankees are quite frankly getting old, but for this year, they’ll be able to keep it together.

AL Central: Detroit Tigers

They have last year’s Cy Young award winner and this year’s MVP on their team (will get to this later). That is a recipe for greatness. They will win this division Sleepwalking.

AL West : Texas Rangers

Don’t count out the defending AL Pennant winners just because they didn’t make a huge free agent splash. They will be contenders again. They still have some of the best young hitters in baseball. Forget what conventional wisdom says, you’ve got to hit and boy can Texas hit.

AL Wildcard: Tampa Bay Rays

No real explanation besides an anti- Boston Red Sox, anti-Bobby Valentine stance.

AL Wildcard: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

They paid the most money for their free agents, they’ve got at least make the playoffs…right?

NL East: Miami Marlins

Philadelphia will take a slight step back, but I believe the addition of Reyes and a quirky fun player-friendly manager will get these guys coached up and motivated to be winners this year.

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals

Don’t disrespect the champs.

NL West: San Francisco Giants

Lincecum and Matt Cain are probably the best 1-2 punch in the NL. After saying 1-2 punch, I will immediately end my analyses.

NL Wildcard: Philadelphia Phillies

Too much talent, they’ll overcome Howard’s injury with having the best pitcher in baseball on their team and a great rotation and bullpen to back them up

NL Wildcard: D-Backs

Just spit-balling here.

World Series: New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies. THE YANKEES, THE YANKEES WIN THHUUUUUUUUUUUHHHH YANKEES WIN

(Because these are the only two teams I know anything about)

AL MVP: Prince Fielder

NL MVP: Joey Votto

AL Cy Young: C.C. Sabathia

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay

ALL II

 

AL East Winner: New York Yankees

Yanks have the most complete team despite the injury to sophomore sensation Michael Pineda.  The offense can overcome the shortcomings of the four and five starter positions which are very good for any other team in the league.  I hate acknowledging Yankees greatness.

AL Central Winner: Detroit Tigers

It really shouldn’t be close with perennial contenders (White Sox and Twins) rebuilding and Cleveland and Kansas City missing depth throughout the lineup.  Detroit’s offensive upgrades may be mitigated by the large ballpark and MASSIVE reductions on defense.

AL West Winner: Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim

My reservations about the Tigers do not exist with LAA, the team I expect to finish with 99 wins – tops in baseball.  Upgrades to the offense and pitching make them favorites to go far in the playoffs.

AL Wild Card Winners: Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays

Both teams have the potential to go over 90 wins with a solid offense (Carl Crawford will play much better) and in the case of Tampa Bay a well-developed pitching staff.  Disrespect to the two time World Series appearing Rangers?  Rangers don’t have a big time starter and lack major depth to outpace either team.  Wouldn’t be surprised if they made it but don’t expect it.

NL East Winner:  Philadelphia Phillies

No overreaction here from their early exit following a 100+ win season.  The division will make huge strides but the pitching power is still in the Phillies favor.  Missing Howard early will complicate things but the Marlins (led by Reyes and Zambrano?) and Nationals two years away won’t be real threats.

NL Central Winner: St. Louis Cardinals

This division will be competitive but the teams will not be impressive.  Cards have the best set of pitching which bodes will in a division void of a dominant power hitter (Votto?).  Cards will win from the incomplete team in Cincinnati and the missing depth of the Milwaukee bats (What is Aramis Ramirez going to bring to the table besides strikeouts?)

NL West Winner: Arizona Diamondbacks

Two team race won by the D-Backs thanks to having a more competent offense.  Signing Matt Cain to the big dollars and expecting Tim Lincecum to pitch at Cy Young levels still leaves with an offense comparable to the 2010 Seattle Mariners.  Arizona may not have the pitching to win a world series after Ian Kennedy but they do have young bats that can produce in the West.

NL Wild Cards: San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds

Although I hate their offense, elite pitching in this does matter more in that weak division.  The Reds will be good enough to get wins and lose a playoff game.  Not much to say to be quite honest.

World Series Prediction: Angles over Phillies (but on second review, I really like the Diamondbacks…NL baseball at its finest!)

AL MVP: Evan Longoria (slightly better than Pujols)

NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki

AL Cy Young: “King” Felix Hernandez

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw


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