My 2012 Picks (Whaddaya Think?)

As Carlito Brigante said back in the day, “with all due respect, past and present, and without further to-do,” below you will find my 2012 MLB predictions and a few comments. Your thoughts, constructive and otherwise, are appreciated.

American League East: Tampa Bay, New York, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore

Collectively there is more talent on the Yankees, but the Rays have the fountain of youth on their side. If you think sticking the Jays ahead of the Sox is daring, wait until 2013, when general manager Alex Anthopoulos’s roster cracks the 90-win mark.

AL Central: Detroit, Kansas City, Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota

The Tigers might not even be the fourth-best team in the league, but they are, by a very healthy margin, at the top of this (mostly) sorry lot.

AL West: Texas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle

The Rangers will have another impressive season but may have to fend off Albert Pujols’s Angels in the final days.

AL Wild Card Winner (Play-in): New York

Predicting the winner of a one-game playoff is a mug’s game. Hence, I flipped a coin.

AL Champion: Detroit

As noted above, there are better teams than the Tigers. I chose Detroit simply because, by having the easiest route to the postseason, they have the greatest likelihood of capturing the pennant.

AL MVP: Evan Longoria

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez

AL Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish

National League East: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, Miami, New York

This banged-up and aging Phillies squad will struggle to win 92 or 93 games, barely enough to hold off the Braves. Meanwhile, DC residents will be overjoyed watching meaningful baseball games in September — anyway, more important than the games the Redskins will play.

NL Central: St. Louis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Houston

The Cardinals will miss Pujols’s offensive production, but it may be offset in part by the return to the rotation of Adam Wainwright. The Reds and Brewers will make the division race fun to watch.

NL West: Los Angeles, Arizona, Colorado, San Francisco, San Diego

Going out on a limb with this pick, I suspect the new owners of the Dodgers will acquire trade-deadline talent, pushing them to the top of the standings. While falling short, the D’backs will demonstrate that last year’s first-place finish was no fluke.

NL Wild Card Winner (Play-in): Atlanta

See AL Wild Card Winner above.

NL Champion: Philadelphia

There are several good teams in the National League but none that stand out. The Phillies remain the best of this group.

NL MVP: Joey Votto

NL Cy Young: Cliff Lee

NL Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper

World Series Champion: Detroit

The Phillies have a stronger rotation overall but, even sans Victor Martinez, the Tigers have a far more impressive lineup. Detroit will triumph in seven games.

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