2012 Predictions

My division and playoff picks for the year.

NL Central

  1. Reds
  2. Brewers
  3. Cardinals
  4. Pirates
  5. Cubs
  6. Astros

I think the Cardinals are the most talented team in the division, but there's a lot riding on injury-prone and aging players. The Brewers need to be worrying abot a depth problem as well, but they were able to survive it last year. While the Pirates faded badly last year, they were in first place in late July and if they're in it this year, there's the possibility of Gerrit Cole and/or Jameson Taillon coming up to give them a boost. For the Cubs, it would take a lot of injuries to teams above them and for Samardzija and Volstad to join Demspster and Garza in the 200 IP ranged and 110 ERA+ range or higher. Then hope Jackson and Rizzo can provide an offensive boost mid-season. Color me skeptical.

NL West

  1. Giants
  2. DBacks
  3. Dodgers
  4. Padres
  5. Rockies

Dbacks and Giants are a coin flip for me, but I didn't really believe much in the DBacks last year and think they fall back a little this year. The rest of the division is nothing to get excited about or worried about.

NL East

  1. Phillies
  2. Marlins
  3. Braves
  4. Nationals
  5. Mets

Phillies might struggle for runs to start the season, but they can afford to with their big 3. Don't see a big difference between them and Giants while they battle through the injuries and then the Phillies know reinforcements are coming. Marlins and Braves are certainly in the picture and Nats could be with a good amount of luck and how much Bryce Harper fever will end up energizing them.

Wild Cards: Brewers & Marlins

AL Central

  1. Indians
  2. Tigers
  3. Twins
  4. White Sox
  5. Royals

Tigers seem too easy a pick for a team that's going to be terrible defensively. Verlander has also pitched a lot of innings over the last few seasons. Royals still lack pitching for me to get too excited.

AL West

  1. Angels
  2. Rangers
  3. A's
  4. Mariners

This feels like it's gonna be a fun division down the stretch with the new rules and the likelihood that an AL East team takes one of the wild cards. I'm sure my homerism is showing on this one, but the Angels look very tough this season.

AL East

  1. Yankees
  2. Rays
  3. Red Sox
  4. Blue Jays
  5. Orioles

Red Sox didn't really do much to improve their starting pitching that was their downfall last year. The Pineda injury is a little worrisome for the Yanks, but they seemed stacked enough this year to withstand.

Wild Cards: Rays & Rangers

Tier Rankings

Elite: Phillies, Angels, Rangers, Yankees

Contenders: Reds, Brewers, Cardinals, Giants, DBacks, Braves, Marlins, Nationals, , Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, Rays

If Luck Would Have It: Pirates, Cubs, Rockies, Padres, Dodgers, Royals, White Sox, Twins, Blue Jays

Wait Until Next Year: Astros, Mets, Mariners, A's, Orioles,

Surprise Team: If you're not counting the Indians, I'd say the Twins with Mauer & Morneau can become interesting really quick.

Comments

Where's the Dusty hate?

Don't know if this has been posted yet, but Darryl and Ron reprise the Alec Baldwin/John Krasinski New Era spots for Chicago. Hilarious:

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-...

"the last time your leadoff man got to 2nd base was his high school prom"

Awesome!

Cubs lineup: DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Sori LF, Stewart 3B, Baker 1B, Byrd CF, Soto C, Dempster P

Pretty awesome that we have such a great backup 1b.

Not defending Baker at all, but how many teams have 1B backups that qualify as great by your definition?

I don't think teams have backup 1Bs, actually, since it's not a position that requires special defensive skills (although they come in handy at times).

This is why a guy like LaHair can be a 29-year-old rookie (or near-rook) and why it's important whether a guy like Vitters really projects as a 3B and doesn't have to get in line for scarce 1B jobs. It's also why I think it's smart for Wilken not to waste draft picks on 1Bs as a rule.

LaHair out, baker starting at 1b. Doesn't look like DL though, says he should he should be back in lineup by Sunday

Aw, hell... this will look foolish come September, but here goes:

1. Cardinals
2. Pirates
3. Cubs
4. Brewers
5. Reds
6. Astros

I think the cards, pirates, and cubs are all being understated by pretty much everybody. I also think the reds are in for a huge wake up this year. Also, the Astros are possibly the worst pile of shit I've ever seen.

3rd place Cubs is considered 'optimistic'... sigh.

"Do they still play the blues in Chicago, when baseball season rolls around." - Steve Goodman

Rob, check your NL wild card prediction. You have the Marlins finishing 3rd in the NL East behind the Phillies and Braves but have them and the Brewers as the wild card teams. Marlins couldn't be a wild card team if they finish 3rd behind a team that does not get the other wild card slot. Did you mean to have the Braves be the other wild card team instead of the Brewers?

thanks, meant to switch division spots for those 2.

Recent comments

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  • Sure, no marks and some inconsistencies in the witness's statements. But firing your gun into garage wall immediately after an argument and punching out your car window is still threatening and out of control behavior. There was certainly enough for MLB to think it warranted a 30-game suspension.

    Charlie 12 min 38 sec ago view
  • I'd prefer they be flexible with the closing situation depending on matchups. You're not really adding a lefty reliever if you use him strictly as a closer.

    Charlie 13 min 10 sec ago view
  • Stockpiling young talent isn't only for trading for someone like Chapman though. Even with an elite closer winning the World Series is basically a crap shoot so the key is to get to the playoffs as much as possible and not just mortgage everything on one year. Once you get there an elite bullpen certainly helps but the playoffs can be won by one hitter or starting pitcher getting hot (Murphy, Molina, Baumgardner) and a closer might not be able to stop that.

    johann 37 min 29 sec ago view
  • I'm also not crazy about press convictions. As the police report noted, there were no marks on the lady in question. There's a TMZ link (of course) to her police pictures, as well.

    I think the only way this trade goes real bad is if Cubbery intervenes and Chapman is suddenly bad for some reason.

    Old and Blue 40 min 50 sec ago view
  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 2 hours 29 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 2 hours 53 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 57 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 26 sec ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 20 min ago view