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-stew/era-commercial-pits-cubs-fan-ron-swanson-against-123856853.html

"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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  • JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
  • Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
  • Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
  • No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
  • solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
  • Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
  • un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
  • DAT TIE THO.
  • Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.
  • Just about to type the same thing.....Augh!
  • 5 times in the last 3 games, Cubs have taken the lead or tied the game in the bottom half, only to give up runs in the top half.
  • <p>I'd like to see stats on opposing pitcher batting average. It's probably not real, but seems like we give up hits all the time to f-ing pitchers.&nbsp;</p>
  • Tony Four Sacks # 27
  • Hammel has k'd Votto twice. /baseball
  • Sore Ribs doesn't worry me too much. Getting a "precautionary MRI" has me assuming he is going to be out at least a few days, possibly more.