Every year I like to publish my predictions. Mainly because last year at one point I was looking really smart by picking the Red Sox to meet the Brewers in the World Series…that didn’t work out though. I like to look back at the end of the year and review my predictions so I can say “what in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks was I thinking?”
So here are my 2012 predictions – feel free to make fun in the comments section below.
West: San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres.
The Giants get Buster Posey back and their pitching staff is amazing. They overtake the Diamondbacks in the division because the Snakes pitching staff regresses and Ryan Roberts remembers that he is Ryan Roberts. The rest of the division doesn’t change. Sorry Rockies fans, I just can’t see the Rockies finishing near .500 with their pitching staff.
Central: Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros
The Reds pitching will be better in 2012 and their offense is the best in the NL Central. St. Louis makes it a tight race with Milwaukee sort of hanging in but the Reds ultimately win the division. The Cubs and Pirates will both finish well under .500 but the Astros will finish the year as the worst team in baseball.
East: Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, New York Mets
Josh Johnson is healthy for the entire year and while Carlos Zambrano will not return to Big Z circa 2008 he will pitch better under fiery Ozzie Guillen. Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton will power the offense and the team will win the division just barely over the Phillies. The Phillies will look a lot more like the Giants teams of the past few seasons in that their pitching is amazing but without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley the offense lacks compared to recent versions of Philly being an offensive juggernaut. The Nationals are much improved and hang in the race with the Braves. The Mets are awful, even with a healthy Johan Santana.
The Phillies and Cardinals win the Wild Card spots but the Giants pitching and improved offense carries them back to the World Series.
West: Texas Rangers, Anaheim Angels, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics
The AL East has been the best division in baseball for quite a few years but the Angels and Rangers are making the AL West very strong. The West isn’t as strong top to bottom as the East but the Angels and Rangers will compete with anyone. I think this is a close battle all year and maybe requires a 163rd game at the end of the year to decide the winner. Both the Rangers and Angels make the playoffs. Seattle and Oakland duke it out for the worst teams in baseball.
Central: Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox
Tigers run away with this division winning it by 10+ games. The Royals are much improved and with Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau healthy for the year the Twins are better, too. Justin Masterson continues to not strike anyone out and the balls put in play do not result in outs as often and it results in the Indians having an awful rotation (Ubaldo Jimenez included).
East: Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles
That’s right, the Red Sox finish fourth. Who pitches for them? The Rays beat out the Yankees to win the division. The Rays starting staff is crazy good and the addition of Carlos Pena helps out their lineup as he hits 35 home runs with an on-base percentage near .400. Don’t worry Yankee fan, they win the WC spot and CC will win that game and get them into the Divisional Series.
Along with the Yankees, the Angels win the last Wild Card spot. The Rays and their pitching win the American League and meet the Giants in the World Series.
The Rays can match the Giants pitching staff but the Giants cannot match the Rays offense and the Rays win the World Series in six games.
There is a very quick explanation of my predictions of how the year will end. Don’t take me to Vegas.
A few days ago I published the voting results for BSB that was submitted to the ESPN SweetSpot and I will quickly give my rationale behind my selections for the individual awards for the 2012 season.
MVP: Joey Votto, Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Stanton, Justin Upton, Jose Reyes
Votto is a beast, plain a simple. Dude can rake and posts an on-base percentage over .400. He is playing on a team with a real shot to win their division and possibly even the pennant. While Tulo is a favorite of mine it isn’t very often a player wins an MVP award on a losing team (except Alex Rodriguez in Texas). Tulo and Votto usually put up similar WAR and Votto edges Tulo in the voting. Two Marlins find themselves in the top five with Upton getting a lot of votes to as he has a 30/30 season in Arizona.
Cy Young: Cliff Lee, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke
Lee takes the top spot in the Phillies rotation and just dominates all year. Kershaw has another great season but regresses slightly and keep in mind if he regresses slightly he is still one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Rookie of the Year: Shelby Miller, Trevor Bauer, Devin Mesoraco
I love big arms and Miller and Bauer each have one. Miller throws gas and with Chris Carpenter already hitting the DL in St. Louis I believe Miller will be up by June and dominate. Bauer is a great story, love watching youtube videos of him, and his story alone will put him in the running for ROY.
MVP: Evan Longoria, Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista
Longoria breaks out, if that is possible, with a 40 home run season and the best defense in baseball at third base. With the Rays winning the AL East he wins the award in a landslide. Gonzalez, Pujols, Cabrera and Bautista round out what is essentially the leader board in the AL in home runs.
Cy Young: David Price, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez
After winning both the Cy Young and MVP last year Verlander puts up another great season, but the Rays are just too hard to ignore in2012. Price strikes out 10 batters per nine innings, keeps his ERA under 3.00 and edges Verlander for the Cy Young.
Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish, Matt Moore, Mike Trout
Darvish is the new pitcher everyone will be intrigued by in 2012. For an Asian player he is rather large and while he and Moore both put up similar numbers this time the Rays player does not win the award. Darvish is a story favorite for the mainstream media and wins the award mostly on his story than his stats – but his stats are really, really good!
There are my predictions for 2012. Thoughts? Post them below.