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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  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 4 min 51 sec ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 5 min 29 sec ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 11 min 56 sec ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 15 min 28 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 19 min 4 sec ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 28 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 29 min 52 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 35 min 38 sec ago view
  • QuietMan 43 min 36 sec ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 26 min ago view