2012 Maurice Fenichel Memorial MLB Predictions

2012 Playoff and World Series Predictions

American League:

Wildcard: Red Sox over Rangers
Division Series: Angels over Red Sox; Devil Rays over Tigers.
League Championship Series: Angels over Devil Rays.

National League:

Wildcard: Phillies over Giants
Division Series: Phillies over Cardinals; Dodgers over Braves.
League Championship Series: Phillies over Dodgers

World Series: Angels over Phillies

The American League BEAST

Any of the top three teams could as easily go to the World Series as miss the playoffs, even with the extra wildcard spot this year.  As happened last year, injuries could well determine who ends up where.   On this scale, the Devil Rays have the best chance to fare well, as they are, by far, the youngest of the three contenders, including the best young starting rotation in the league–but the worst offense of the three, by far.  Still, as the SF Giants showed two years ago, sustained starting pitching performances can carry a weaker offense.  That still leaves two potential wild card spots for the Yankees and the Red Sox, but with the loser of the Rangers – Angels division race expected to also contend for the wildcard (and with weaker division foes to accumulate wins against), it is overwhelming likely that the third place team in the AL East will miss the playoffs, perhaps with as many as 90+ wins!  Could the Yankees really fall out of the mix?  Boston is unlikely to repeat their massive injury woes of last year. While their closer already suffered a spring training injury, costing at least half a season, he’s still only a closer—and the Yankees have an old starting lineup.  The Yankees’ injury to Pineda, and questions about the rotation beyond CC Sabathia, portend danger for a long season, unless they trade some of their hyped prospects for in-season starting pitching help.  New Red Sox (and ex-Met) Manager Bobby Valentine has already stirred up Yankee-Red Sox trouble that is sure to continue brewing throughout the season, but he also brings an ethic and toughness (but no juice) in the clubhouse and acuity to the dugout that were absent from the tail end of the Francona years.  Red Sox players may not be as “happy” under Valentine, but, like the 2000 Mets, they will come to play.  And, if healthy, the Red Sox have a deepest lineup.  That, and a healthy rotation, may well get them one of the wildcard spots.

Toronto will slug with the best of them, and could well contend in another division, but not this division, not this year.   Baltimore continues the Wilponization of the AL East.

American League Central

A division of one have, and four have-nots.   It is difficult to imagine Detroit not running away with this division, with the rest of the division in future mode.  The White Sox have a surprisingly solid starting rotation but no other team here has a Verlander at the top of their rotation or the double-superstar prowess of Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

American League West

A cross between the East and the Central, the West is as powerful at the top as the East, and as weak at the bottom as the Central.  Los Angeles and Texas may fight it out for first all year, while Seattle and Oakland languish 20+ games behind.  Japanese import Yu Darvish is the “wildcard”.  If he dazzles as expected, and contends for the Cy Young, Texas can easily win the division and make yet  another World Series run. If he falters, Texas will still be great, but not the best.  Texas has a deep rotation and the deepest lineup in the division and perhaps the league.  However, the Angels have more workhorse stud starting pitchers than any team in baseball.  Baseball had 14 pitchers last year who pitched 223 or more innings, and the Angels have four of them.  Oh, and they added as good a hitter as we may ever see, Albert Pujols.   That’s a recipe for success, and Pujols may indeed win his second consecutive World Series.

Standings:

AL EAST

Devil Rays
Red Sox — Wildcard
Yankees
Blue Jays
Orioles

AL CENTRAL

Tigers
White Sox
Indians
Royals
Twins

AL WEST

Angels
Rangers — Wildcard
Athletics
Mariners

American League MVP: Miguel Cabrera.  If they pitch to Cabrera ahead of newly acquired Prince Fielder, then instead of last year’s 108 walks, he could hit 50 homers.
Runner up: Home Run Champ Jose Bautista could win the award if he had a team to back him up.

American League Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Angels, who takes advantage of the weak-sister offenses of the Athletics and Mariners in the West.

Runnerups: Verlander, Wilson.

American League Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore, Tampa Bay’s latest young stud.

Runnerups: Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes.

National League East

Almost did it.  Almost picked the Mets for last.  But just could not do it. So, next to last.  Yes, the Mets can beat out the Nationals. Sure, with young phenom Steve Strasburg having returned to dominance after surgery and hitting phenom Bryce Harper soon to become an OF fixture for years to come, this might be the last time the Mets can beat out the Nationals until the Mets fix their finances.  But here’s to hoping they can.  What’s more interesting is whether the old and injured reigning division champ Phillies can hold on for one more division title, and title run, before being supplanted by young upstarts Braves and Marlins.   The Braves have the pitching to tangle with the Phils, but the Marlins do not.

National League Central:

The World Series-winning Cardinals lost their best player since Stan Musial in Pujols, and their veteran manager in Tony LaRussa, but they added a resurgent Carlos Beltran, and the  rest of the division is a  mess.  The Reds and Brewers have enough young talent to contend for a while card spot, while the Pirates, Cubs and soon-to-be-departing Astros are just fodder for the top of the division.

National League West

This division could be up for grabs.  Was Arizona’s 2011 success was largely due to the fumbling of the rest of the division? In 2012, the Giants and Dodgers have the pitching to charge for a division title, with the loser in line for the extra wildcard spot.   The Giants have a deep rotation, but a weak offense.  The Dodgers can match talent of any team’s top five players, but they lack depth. But they do have Don Mattingly running the show. And this could be the year that Donny Baseball gets his revenge for the Yankees rejecting him as manager in favor of Joe Girardi. Imagine if Mattingly get the Dodgers into the post-season and Girardi fails to do the same for the Yanks?

NL EAST

Braves
Phillies–Wildcard
Marlins
Mets
Nationals

NL CENTRAL

Cardinals
Brewers
Reds
Cubs
Pirates
Astros

NL WEST

Dodgers
Giants–Wildcard
Diamondbacks
Rockies
Padres

 

National League MVP:  Matt Kemp

Runners Up: Tulowitsky, Votto,

National League Cy Young:  Halladay
Runners up: Cliff Lee, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw.

Be Sociable, Share!

Subscribe / Share

Article by Roysaidit

Authors bio is coming up shortly. Roysaidit tagged this post with: , , , Read 143 articles by