Staff Predictions for the 2012 MLB Season

The MLB season starts tomorrow (not including those ridiculous Japan games) and the Yankees Fans Unite staff has made their predictions on the standings and awards for the 2012 MLB season. The awards will be posted tomorrow. We did the AL only since that’s what we focus on most with the Yankees.

AL East: Well let’s get this out of the way early since I know everybody is wondering. It is almost unanimous among the staff that the Yankees will win the AL East. Myself, Matt S, Mike D, Brian, Fish and Delia all have the Yankees taking the division. Mike P stands alone in taking the Rays. Mike P’s reasoning is that he thinks the Rays have the best rotation in MLB, enough hitting to support them, and they have great prospects to help them once August rolls around. Everybody who picked the Yankees likes the balance of their team among the offense, starting rotation, and bullpen and think they are no worse than their 97 win team from a year ago.

AL Central: This division the staff has unanimously picked the Detroit Tigers as expected. Everybody likes the firepower that Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Justin Verlander provide. Everybody is in agreement that the Indians, Royals, Twins, and White Sox provide no competition. I myself would be surprised if they do not win the AL central by close to 20 games. 

AL West: The majority of the staff thinks the Texas Rangers will repeat as AL West champions. Among them are Mike P, Matt S, Fish, Brian, Delia and Mike D. I am alone on buying the Angels hype machine to take the AL West. I think the starting staff of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, and Ervin Santana is a big advantage over Texas as I do not trust Derrick Holland and Colby Lewis to put up great years. Also, I think Pujols will improve everybody on the offense by his presence alone. Having perhaps the best manager in MLB in Mike Scoscia doesn’t hurt either. The rest of the staff is respecting that the Rangers have been to the World Series the last 2 years. Delia loves the addition of Yu Darvish. Mike P thinks they have the best lineup in MLB. Fish almost agrees with me as he sees both teams winning around 95 games. Mike D thinks the depth of the Rangers lineup will allow them to prevail. 

AL Wild Card: Fish: Angels over Rays Matt B: Rays over Rangers. Mike D: Angels over Red Sox. Matt S Rays over Angels. Brian: Angels over Rays. Mike P: Red Sox over Yankees Delia: Rays over Red Sox

Mike P is the only staff member who has the Red Sox making the playoffs and the only one who does not have the Yankees making even the ALDS. A one game playoff between the Yankees and Red Sox would be pretty epic. I can see why the staff is down on the Red Sox with holes at SS, RF, C, the back end of their rotation, and their bullpen. Myself, Matt S, and Delia believe that the Rays pitching will carry them in a one game playoff situation.  Fish and Mike D think similarly of the Angels. 

World Series:

Matt B: Tigers over Reds. Fish: Phillies over Yankees. Mike D: Angels over Phillies. Matt S:. Yankees over Diamondbacks. Brian:  Yankees over Phillies.  Mike P: Rangers over Diamondbacks.  Delia: Yankees over Phillies. 

The Yankees are the most popular World Series pick with Matt S, Delia, and Brian taking them. Obviously we all hope they turn out to be correct. We had a wide variety of picks to come out of the NL, which makes sense because of how wide open it is. The Phillies are the most popular pick followed by the Diamondbacks getting two votes. I am the only one predicting the Reds to come out of the NL. We also had a wide variety of teams to win it all with the Tigers, Rangers, Angels, and Phillies being picked in addition to the Yankees. I like the depth surrounding Cabrera, Fielder, and Verlander on the Tigers.

So what do you guys think? Give us your predictions in the comments.

About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on April 3, 2012, in Personal Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Oh wow am I going to get crushed here. I had no idea that noone else would like the Rays to win the East. I don’t think the Yankees are worse than last year’s team but I think the Rays are going to be really, really strong with that staff and Jennings being a starter for the whole season and those SS’s they have lurking who will be up this season.
    Let me stress, I want to be wrong and its my feeling that if the Yankees pick up a bat by the deadline or Teixeira goes back to the 2009 and earlier version of himself than they will win the division.
    I’m rather surprised at the total disrespect for the Red Sox. They were a damn good team last year from May-August. They still have Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Gonzalez. Youkilis is in a contract year so I expect focus from him. Crawford should be better than he was last year. They’re soft at SS but were never any good there anyway, same with RF. I think its wishful thinking to declare the Red Sox done and gone.
    To me Texas is the ultimate team. Best lineup in MLB since our dynasty teams. Long lineup that hits for average/OBP, power, and has speed. Also a monster farm system like Tampa.

    • Michael, I totally disagree with you, the Rays backed into the playoffs last year with the help of the Red Sox. The Rays have good starting pitching but really don;t have an ace pitcher. Their relief pitching is also a ? The Rays offense is their big weakness, they don’t score enough runs. The Sox have been a mess since the end of last year, no real 4 or 5 starter, SS, RF, and weak relief pitching. Injuries to Beckett’s thumb and Bailey could kill them. The Rangers are going to miss Wilson and the Angels seem to be a better team than them in the West this year. The Angels are the most improved team. They have the best starting pitching 1-4 in baseball with Santana being #4. The addition of Pujols is huge, they are the team to beat in my book in the AL with the Yanks in second. I would put the Rangers third, and the Tigers fouth, Rays 5th. All these teams could be better than the Phillies or any NL team. The playoffs are a crap shoot, where the best team usually doesn’t win anymore.

      • Doug I think Moore will be the ace. I think he’s one of the truly, truly special pitchers that come along once in a great while. He has every pitch you could want.
        I am aware of the Rays offense, but Longoria is VERY likely to return to form and Jennings will give it a boost. That dungeon is built for pitching(only Candlestick is more pitching friendly) and thats what they have.
        I understand the Angels hype, but like the Red Sox hype of last year I dismiss it as too much hype. The Angels are very weak in the order after Pujols and does he really bridge a ten game gap with the Rangers?
        I know Beckett and Bailey have thumb issues(good thing the Red Sox don’t need to hitch a ride to their games) but they still have firepower in the lineup.
        I’m going crazy waiting for the games to start.
        We’ve really beaten on everything that can be beaten on in the preseason and it will be nice to just see BASEBALL where we can draw opinions and inferences based on games that matter!
        I disagree about the playoffs too. Nothing changed in the playoffs at all from 1995-2011 except that we Yankee fans didn’t like having such good regular season teams the last decade who came away empty handed all but once. Its the same game, the same rules, just more pressure where home run dependent teams are exposed because they are facing the best pitchers instead of dregs.

        • Michael, the Yankee, teams weren’t the difference in the 90’s it was the pitching, Clemens, Cone, Wells, Pettite, Key, and El Duke. These pitchers were the difference, not the players on the field. Today’s Yanks can’t match them, Clemens one of the top 5 pitchers of all time, Cone and Pettite borderline HOFers. The new one game playoff is rediculious, and the playoffs have become random with the hot team winning not the best team. Short series of 5 games also make them less predictable.

      • Your right Doug they don’t have a true ace they have ,2 # ones,in Price and shields.Moore and Hellickson may be the 2 best young guys in the league.
        Question if you were making a staff using Tampa and the Yanks what would it be???
        Thats my list and it took about 3 seconds to come up with it.

    • I’m not declaring the Red Sox done but of all the contenders they have the most question marks. There are 6 very good teams in the A.L. and 1 can’t make the playoffs. With 3 of those teams from the AL East, and the improvement of Toronto and Baltimore ,I think these teams will beat up on each other a lot and it will be difficult to get 3 playoff teams from the East. IMO, the odd man has to be Boston due to it’s question marks in the rotation and the terrible decision to hire Bobby Valentine.

      In the NL, I didn’t have the balls to pick Washington but I love their team. Went with the Phillies because the rotation is sick and Howard & Utley will likely be back later in the season. Plus, the Phillies have the old Yankee mentality in that they seem to always make a big deal to patch up their weaknesses. If they make it to the WS, their big 3 will shut the Yankee offense down.

      • My sleeper would be Toronto, it will be interesting to see if they can last the whole season. I like this kid Lawrie and they seem to have but together a good pitching staff.

      • fishjam, I agree with you 100%, next year with the addition of the Astros to the West I can see both Texas and the Angels making the playoffs every year.

  2. looks like me and mike p. agree on arizona

  3. Matt I didn’t see what Zona did last year as a fluke and they got better for this year. I agree with Matt B about the Reds in the central but don’t think they have what it takes to win the league. I think the Phillies are insanely overrated and really lacking in bats. It will come down to Miami and Zona but I love the way Gibson manages and the blend that the Dbacks have.

  4. I was debating a lot whether to pick the Red Sox to make the play-in game or playoffs (I’m not calling the new tiebreaker a “playoff game”). I think they are getting disrespected because they were probably the best team in baseball last year from May to August, but they deserve it. Their back-end of the bullpen is unproven, young, and has had little or no experience in the big market (Melancon – cup of coffee with NY, and Bailey on the small market Oakland A’s)

    Their bottom half of the lineup is weak. Ross, Salty, Sweeney, Aviles? Come on. All of them won’t hit 300 or get on base a lot. Aviles had a nice second half with Boston, but he is injury prone. Their lineup is at best 6 out of 10, when you look 1 through 9.

    The pitching too has to be a concern. Bucholz hasn’t pitched since June, Beckett and Lester both were horrible against teams like the O’s and A’s down the stretch. And thne the 4 and 5 slots are gonna go to either unproven youngsters like Bard, or veterans off the scrap heap in Padilla, Aaron Cook, etc.

    Boston is by no means a bad team, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get to the play-in game or into the ALDS. But they’ll need to do a lot of improving, and a lot of overachieving, to make it happen.

  5. I think Jay Bruce is going to be huge this year. Big power bat and just entering his prime. I can see the rookie Cozart and Mesorasco improving the SS and C positions. And obviously they have a great right side of the infield in Phillips and Votto. Loosing Madson hurts but Champan and Marshall are a fine 8-9 duo. Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Leake, and Bailey is an underrated staff to. That’s my thinking on the Reds

  6. My second choice would be the Marlins. and watch out for Washington. They are a year away IMO

  7. Seems like everyone agreed that no wildcard will come from the central.

  8. Tampa has the best arms in the AL and they play the best D.Molina behind the dish is a huge upgrade over what the Rays had last year.Pena and Scott can increase HR ‘s bt about 40 and Rodney was added to the pen.

  9. My picks

    East – Yanks
    Central – Tigers
    West – Angels
    Wild cards – Rangers – Rays

    East – Phillies
    Central – Reds
    West – Dodgers
    Wild cards – Nats and Giants

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