MLB 2012 Predictions

Posted: January 24, 2012 in Fantasy Baseball

I always do this doomed article and I always catch tremendous flack for it. But this is how I see things shaking out, as they stand right now. And yes, all the records do add up to .500.

Starting in the AL West (no east coast bias here)

Los Angeles Angels 96-66
Texas Rangers 91-71
Seattle Mariners 74-88
Oakland A’s 66-96

Yes, I think Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson shift the balance of power in this division. Texas will rely heavily on two starting pitchers who have never started at this level in Yu Darvish and former closer Neftali Feliz. It might be close for much of the season, but expect those two to tail off late and cost them the division.

AL Central-

Detroit Tigers 94-68
Cleveland Indians 86-76
Chicago White Sox 82-80
Kansas City Royals 82-80
Minnesota Twins 67-95

The White Sox might be a dark horse here with Adam Dunn and Alex Rios coming off career-worst years, I expect both to be “better” but I can’t imagine they win 85+ games. I am interested in how Chris Sale does as a starter. The Royals youth will start to mature this year and KC fans can start to anticipate a contender in the next couple years.

AL East-

New York Yankees 99-63
Boston Red Sox 92-70
Tampa Bay Rays 89-73
Toronto Blue Jays 77-85
Baltimore Orioles 71-91

The Yankees added the only thing they needed, pitching. Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda make this team an immediate favorite to win another AL title. Meanwhile, Boston is too talented to stay third in this division. Be careful how much stock you put in the Rays pitching when you consider that beyond Evan Longoria, there isn’t as much offense as people think.

NL West-

Arizona Diamondbacks 86-76
Los Angeles Dodgers 80-82
San Francisco Giants 79-83
Colorado Rockies 73-89
San Diego Padres 62-100

What would the Giants look like if they had any offense at all? They don’t, so there’s no point in dreaming. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are good enough to get them close to .500 alone, but beyond that, you need bats. Arizona wins this division by default and is knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

NL Central-

St. Louis Cardinals 93-69
Cincinnati Reds 84-78
Milwaukee Brewers 78-84
Pittsburgh Pirates 75-87
Chicago Cubs 69-93
Houston Astros 58-104

The Brewers will miss Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder and they might just finish behind the Pirates, but Braun will be back in June, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. The defending champion Cards will be without King Al but will get injured ace Adam Wainwright back. They’re still dangerous, but if Lance Berkman can’t recreate his 2011 resurgence, then the division might be up for grabs.

NL East-

Philadelphia Phillies 102-60
Washington Nationals 86-76
Atlanta Braves 86-76
Florida Marlins 83-79
New York Mets 70-92

Right now, Prince Fielder looks headed for either Texas or Washington. If he goes to the Nationals, then this division might get wild. And if Marlins ace Josh Johnson can give them a full season, and Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez behave, the Marlins could be a big surprise as well. I don’t see hope in the Mets near future.

I promise you, I will be wrong about most of these predictions. But you never know. I think the White Sox, Marlins and Nationals are teams that might surprise people. On a lesser scale, the youth in Kansas City and Pittsburgh might outperform their respective maturity levels. I promise you one more thing… its going to be another wild and unpredictable baseball season.

Coming soon… positional rankings, sleeper/busts, and some offseason Q&A.

  1. Tom Garn says:

    Giants only needed 4 more wins to be the wild card last year. Missed NL west by 6 games I think. That is about 15 runs in the right spot. The offense will be improved provided no major injuries like last year. Should score another 40 to 50 runs. That should translate into 10 more wins at least.
    Phillies are getting older. Still should win the East. No way 102 wins though. Cards no Pujols + no LaRussa = maybe 81-81. Watch the Reds and finally the Pirates.

    • They lost Carlos Beltran… Cody Ross… How do you see them gaining 50 runs? And even then, how does that translate into 10 wins? I just don’t see ANY offense to take care of the great pitching. Lots of 2-1 and 1-0 losses for Lincecum and Cain this year.

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