It's that time again! Time for me to post my 2012 predictions. I'm doing this a month early in order to post this before we all find out about the decision on Ryan Braun. So here we go....
Keep in mind folks, I predicted that the Brew Crew would make it to the NLCS only to fall short to the Phillies. Well, I was half right at least.
NL Wild Card game: Reds over Cardinals
NLDS: Reds over DiamondBacks
NLDS: Brewers over Reds
NLCS: Brewers over Reds
AL Wild Card game: Red Sox over Rangers
ALDS: Red Sox over Angels
ALDS: Tigers over Rays
ALCS: Tigers over Red Sox
Tigers over Brewers
Their rotation may not be as good as 2011 but they'll have the best bullpen in the NL. Their prediction relies heavily on Jason Heyward and if he corrects that sophomore slump.
It will be tough for Lee & Doc to repeat what they did last year. However, Hamels will continue to improve off of a career season. Their aging line-up will be the biggest question mark and if Howard will not only be ready for the first month--but will he stay healthy?
Ya ya ya...Ozzie and his ban of misfits. Their rotation's success will go as far as Josh Johnson's health. Adding Buerhle and Bell to the closers roll will help. If they can get 100 games out Jose Reyes, I'll be shocked. Also, I can see Hanley having a huge year both at 3B & SS.
Strasburg and Zimmerman will be on a pitch count and under close observation most of the season. They have the (tied for) second best bullpen in the NL. If Ryan Zimmerman can stay healthy and Werth decides to play, they may overtake the Marlins.
This team is in the worst shape possible. It's like they took a shitty team and made it even shittier. Complete disaray. I can see them trading off Wright at the deadline.
Sure, they lost out on Prince (120 RBI) and Braun will be feeling like he has to over do it all season to prove he didn't juice. However, they have the 3rd best bullpen in the NL as well as a top 3 rotation. Their infield additions should vastly improve their defense and they'll turn to some small ball in order to make up for the lack of power.
With the second best bullpen and an improved rotation (addition of Latos) the Reds and Crew will be battling back and forth all season long-or-at least from the All Star break on. Jay Bruce will have an MVP-caliber season while Votto should also have similar 2011 results. They probably made the best off-season additions in MLB.
New skipper and ol' weak knees in the outfield (Beltran) will prove to be too big of a void to overcome from losing Alberta. If Wainwright bounces back and Carp continues to eat innings, they'll be fine. But that bullpen will never be able to repeat without Duncan heading their hurlers.
This team will hope to finish 2nd at the All Star break and then fall apart in the second half. Clint Hurdle has a stud in McCrutchen, but I don't expect their rotation to compete.
Holy hell, this team is horrible. Bud Norris will be most likely be traded in July and possibly look for Wandy to follow.
Justin Upton will compete with Jay Bruce for NL MVP. They have outfield depth with Parra (gold glove winner last season) as their 5th fielder. Ian Kennedy will have a down season, count on it.
Confusing moves this offseason. Tulo will have his a-typical season and Cargo should hopefully provide enough umph to help them all season. Their rotation will be their weakness as will their pen.
Kemp will still have a big season, but don't expect the 2011 CY Young to have a repeat performance. Ethier will be traded by July.
Biggest question mark is Brian Wilson and his health, as well as Posey's. Cain, Lincecum, and Baumgardner will be solid as usual. But not enough power in their lineup.
Their park does them know favors offensively, but with the loss of Adams & Bell, someone will step up and be the go-to closer, then flipped at a high price.
They'll have the best rotation in the NL with Hellickson and Moore pounding out the strikezone. Expect to see a come-back season by Pena and Upton.
Crawford will bounce back and Gonzo should bat just fine in that comfy park. Their rotation will be the biggest question mark.
An aging infield that will be anchord by Cano. Expect Tex to have a subpar season. Michael Pinieda will get destroyed in that park and possibly f-up his arm beyond repair.
Lawrie will come back down to earth playing a full season in the Bigs-- because he's a meathead. Romero will compete for the AL Cy Young and Drabek will also dish out the pain.
Hardy's 30 HR season will be a flash in the pan. There's absolutely nothing to get excited about here. Although it will be interesting to see how Hamels does (Guthrie trade).
Miggie & Fielder, 'nuff said. Verlander will continue to be the top pitcher in the league.
Far fetched? Perhaps. Odorizzi will compete for ROY if he's called up in time.
The bottom 3 teams here are pretty even. Brantley will have a huge season as will Kotchman.
Mauer and Morneau could suprise us all and the Twinkies could have a huge bounce back season. But their rotation is weak sauce with too many holes.
Adam Dunn will rebound, that's the only good news for this team.
Pujols will have a huge season batting in the AL West and at DH. Their rotation will be one to reckon as well.
Yu Darvish will implode and the 46MM will be money foolishly waisted. No clear cut ace here.
Cespedes will flop and Man-Ram will come back from his 50 gamer with guns a blazing....er....ok, maybe he'll get injured right away.
Jesus Montero will be the AL ROY
NL Cy Young - Zack Greinke
AL Cy Young - Rickie Romero
NL ROY - Anthony Rizzo
AL ROY - Jesus Montero
NL Manager of the year - Mike Matheny
AL Manager of the year - Bobby Valentine