Sunday, April 1, 2012

MLB Preview and Predictions

With the season opening on Wednesday in the United States, it is time for my MLB team record, MVP, Cy Young, and ROY predictions.

Team Records

AL East
New York Yankees: 97-65- Y
Tampa Bay Rays: 91-71- W
Boston Red Sox: 90-72
Toronto Blue Jays: 83-79
Baltimore Orioles: 69-93

The Yankees are the best all-around team in the East. They have a potent lineup and their rotation is an improvement from last year with a healthy Phil Hughes. The Rays pitching is too strong for them to not win a wildcard slot in the playoffs. This will a rebuilding season for the Red Sox, with an incomplete bullpen and their rotation having question marks in the 4th and 5th spots.

AL Central
Detroit Tigers: 95-67- Y
Cleveland Indians: 83-79
Kansas City Royals: 81-81
Minnesota Twins: 80-82
Chicago White Sox: 74-88

The Tigers will run away with the division title, being led by Verlander and Cabrera. Fielder will adapt to make Detroit his home and adjust to the ballpark dimensions. The Indians will stay competitive in hopes of stealing the last wildcard spot but will ultimately not make it. The Royals youth is still a big question mark. They have to build team chemistry and the rotation is still far away from being a powerhouse.

AL West
Texas Rangers: 94-68- Y
LA Angels: 91-71- W
Oakland Athletics: 73-89
Seattle Mariners: 70-92

The Texas Rangers will wrap up the American League West title after a long battle for first with the newly revamped Angels. The Angels rotation is scary good and the acquisition of Albert Pujols and a healthy Kendrys Morales will give the club a boost.

NL East
Philadelphia Phillies: 90-72- Y
Atlanta Braves: 88-74- W
Washington Nationals: 85-77
Miami Marlins: 83-79
New York Mets: 72-90

With Utley and Howard out to begin the season, the Phillies will rely on the strong rotation to win games. The Braves will come in a close second place, with a stacked bullpen and a rotation that impresses. The Nationals are continuing to build their young talent and by 2013, they will compete with the Phillies for the NL East crown.

NL Central
St. Louis Cardinals: 88-74- Y
Cincinnati Reds: 86-76
Milwaukee Brewers: 84-78
Pittsburgh Pirates: 77-85
Chicago Cubs: 74-88
Houston Astros: 65-97

In a weak NL Central, expect the Cardinals to come out on top. After losing Pujols they gave Molina an extension. Their young talent will shine and David Freese will continue where he left off in the 2012 Championship postseason. I originally had the Reds winning the division with the acquisitions of Mat Latos and Ryan Madson. With the closer's injury, I predict a shaky bullpen with Aroldis Chapman still not having a defined role with the club.
NL West
San Francisco Giants: 90-72- Y
Arizona Diamondbacks: 88-74- W
LA Dodgers: 85-77
Colorado Rockies: 81-81
San Diego Padres: 73-89

The Giants pitching staff is too strong to come in anywhere but first place. They improved their outfield tremendously with the trades that sent Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan to the Giants. The Diamondbacks will win the second wildcard with a very good offense and a decent rotation. I really like the Dodgers. They have a Cy Young award winner and an MVP candidate on the roster. They still have to address some needs in their bullpen and in the back of their rotation. The Dodgers will compete to win the division soon, but not in 2012.

2012 MVP Predictions:
AL: Robinson Cano
NL: Matt Kemp

2012 Cy Young Award Predictions:
AL: Jered Weaver
NL: Roy Halladay

2012 Rookie of the Year Predictions:
AL: Matt Moore
NL: Yonder Alonso

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