Monday, April 2, 2012

2012 National League Predictions

Here are the rest of my predictions for the 2012 MLB season...

NL East
Atlanta Braves – The Braves come out on top of the best divisional race in baseball.  Freeman, Heyward, Uggla, and McCann is a solid middle of the order, Bourn/Prado are top-notch table-setters, they have the best closer in the game, and a plethora of young arms in the rotation.  Plus, they have the feel good Farewell-to-Chipper tour for karma purposes. TOMAHAWK CHOP!

Philadelphia Phillies – What a boring pick this is.  I so badly want to put them down as finishing fourth in this division, but I keep staring at that Halladay, Lee, Hamels trio and putting them back in the top two.

Washington Nationals – Can the young guns learn how to win games when it matters most after years and years of losing? Does anyone realize their CF is an Ankiel/Bernadina combo?  Will the Desmond/Espinosa combo get on base enough? Questions upon questions with this club.  I did read a great article this spring about how Davey Johnson’s teams have always made great strides in his second season, followed shortly thereafter by clashing with this owners and getting run out of town, but still.

Miami Marlins – This team could win the division.  They have the talent to go to the World Series.  They also have the volatility to land here in fourth place.  Reyes is brittle, Hanley is bitter about moving to 3B, Zambrano is insane, and Ozzie Guillen might be insane or might be a genius. 

New York Mets – I don’t see them as the worst team in baseball (the Astros, Cubs, and Orioles are offended at the notion), but they have no chance in what is suddenly the second-best division in baseball.

NL Central
1. St. Louis Cardinals – Subtract Pujols and add Wainwright and what do you get?  Another trip to the playoffs, that’s what.  Look, I don’t like it much either, but you can never bet against La Russa and Duncan, those guys get it done every year...reading…wait, what? Mike Matheny? Derek Lilliquist?  What the hell?  Oh well, every team in this crappy division has holes.

2.  Cincinnati Reds – Every article I’ve read has them as the division winner by default, and that makes me nervous.  I’m not sure that Mat Latos doesn’t spend his offseason smoking doobies and riding surfboards.  Votto now has to live up to the 4th largest contract in baseball history.  Rolen should join Chipper in a farewell tour.  To top it off, with the Madson injury, Dusty Baker has to juggle a closer-by-committee bullpen.  No thanks.

3.  Milwaukee Brewers – First off, has anyone ever spelled “Milwaukee” correctly on the first try? I went there two summers ago and teach writing for a living, and I still can’t do it.  Secondly, I wish I could get behind the Brew again this year just so we can re-run the “Fear the Beer” campaign.  Gold.  As for the baseball team, the Brewers have two aces in YoGa and Greinke, but their lineup beyond Weeks and Braun is kind of stanky.  Zing!

4.  Pittsburgh Pirates – The Bucs run back their 2011 season again – in contention in July, flirting with .500, but ultimately finish in fourth place with 70-75 wins to secure a 20th straight losing season.  Read that last sentence again and you might start to feel better about being a Red Sox fan with our two-year playoff drought.  Plus, there are too many guys named Clint playing key roles here (Barmes, Hurdle, and Oris….okay I made that last one up…get it?)

5.  Chicago Cubs – When the first names anyone mentions when talking about your team are the GM, assistant GM, and new manager, well that probably tells you something.  As in, there are no players (ok Starlin Castro, I hear you, you’re good.  Settle down.) worth talking about here.  Bleh.

6.  Houston Astros – Who are these f***ing guys?  Seriously, they have guys named Altuve, Bogusevic, Parades, and Schafer slated into their starting lineup.  Are they trying to get thrown out of the National League?

NL West
1. Colorado Rockies – It seems like every year a team finished to pick fourth or fifth in this division sneaks up and wins the sucker.  They have a nice mix of young talent (Tulo, CarGo, Fowler, Chacin, Nicasio) and veterans (Helton, Cuddyer, Moyer, Hernandez), they have all-stars, they have young arms-in-waiting, they have high altitude, they have most everything a prognosticator could ask for.

2.  San Francisco Giants – I would definitely take their top three pitchers over the Phillies at this point if I was building a team.  Bumgarner may be the best of the bunch this year (and Art agrees apparently).  But there is entirely too much pressure on Melky, Fat Panda, and Buster Hymen (oops, I meant ankle) to produce runs.  Pitching keeps them in it till the end (more on this below).

3. Arizona Diamondbacks – I love Justin Upton.  I love their young nucleus of starting pitchers (Hudson, Kennedy, and Bauer).  I love Kirk Gibson as a manager.  I don’t love the fact that they overachieved last year and the NL West is sneaky-good this year.

4.  Los Angeles Dodgers – I flirted with putting them in the playoffs.  Seriously.  They have the best pitcher and best player in the division, maybe in the entire NL.  They have a very good 8/9 inning combo with Kenley Jansen and Javy Guerra.  But ultimately they have too many light hitters and free agent imports named Juan.

5.  San Diego Padres – I think the Padres could be the best last-place team in the majors…so, they have that going for them. 

NL MVP – Troy Tulowitski

NL Cy Young – Yovani Gallardo

NL Rookie of the Year – Devin Mesoraco

NL Manager of the Year – Davey Johnson

NL Playoffs
The regular season ends with the Giants and Nationals tied for the second wild card, so there is a one game playoff to determine who plays in the wildcard one game playoff (I’m not even sure if this is possible, but whatever)
Giants over Nationals in play-in game
Giants over Phillies in wildcard round
Rockies over Giants in 7
Braves over Cardinals in 6
Braves over Rockies in 6

World Series
Red Sox over Braves in 6 – Sox finally get to celebrate on their home field and defeat the former Boston franchise in the process.  Headline reads: “Sox Stop the Chop”


  1. This is a family blog. Keep it clean Clint!

    JK laughed my a$% off. Isn't a Posey a part of the knee ligament?

  2. Here are some unsolicited comments about the Colorado Rockies from a Sox fan in Denver.

    The NL West is wide open ... so the Rockies can win it. Here are the reasons why they wont:

    1. Calling Moyer a veteran player is like saying my hair has a "little grey" in it. Maybe he is servicable, but he's gonna start as their #2, in Coors Field.

    2. Awesome things about Dexter Fowler: He oftens sports a high top fade and his entrance music is (or at least was) Poison by Bell Biv Devoe. Crappy things about Dexter Fowler: He can't get on base for weeks and he is an unagressive and often unsuccesful basestealer. Just what you want in your leadoff hitter. He is a really good CF in a vast Coors Field center field, but Cargo covers so much of left-center that he could make up for a less defensive player (Tyler Colvins ears are burning).

    3. Cargo likes trying to put his wrist through outfield walls.

    4. Tulo can't shake Bieber Fever.

    5. I can't believe that Nicasio isn't a tid-bit gun shy, he almost died for christsakes. He has looked brave this spring though, tough bastard.

    6. Jhoulys showed to camp looking like he developed a new love for cupcakes and base on balls.

    7. Todd Helton is too busy making annoying truck dealership commercials in unbroken in Carhartt apparel and applying Just for Men to his goatee.

    That being said go Rockies, and go NL All-Stars (I am selfishly hoping for Red Sox over the Rockies in a game 7 at Coors Field, don't worry you can stay at my house)

    1. Hey Cory!! How's it going buddy!! Great info from our newly appointed NL West expert. It's good to have people on the ground! I loved the comment about Moyer being old and you being grey (With Beth and Tommy for parents you were destined for grey) . But, I did see you on NESN at the Maine game vs BU and didn't think you looked too grey more like Salt n' Pepa (they were no BBD though and certainly not a part of the east coast family).

      Hope things are well out in Denver. Keep checking out the blog and leaving comments.

    2. Barry! Things are going great. Denver is a good baseball town so things are about to be going better. I will give you all the half-assed, half baked, half anything NL West commentary you need. I am also quite the expert on Coors Field snacks (Rocky Mountain Oysters anyone).

      Evidently tv cameras add 10 pounds and a lot of brown hair.

      Good work boys, I enjoy the site and you'll here from me.

      Go SOX (I am just staring at the clock on my computer at work waiting for 10:15 when I'm going to sneak out the side door and go home for the game)

  3. Thanks for the comment, Cory. I wish I had known some of this information before picking the Rockies to go to the NLCS! Especially the part about Jhoulys and cupcakes - I thought he might have a big season this year. Must be tough being a Sox fan in Denver - no Rem Dog in the Rockies.

    1. Don't worry Brandon there is a really good chance that I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm hoping you're right. It looks like Jhoulys managed to get fit and throw some strikes. It's not too bad being a Sox fan here. There are all kinds of bars that cater to different fan bases. There are at least 4 Boston bars (and it seems like 8 Chicago bars)that play games with volume and beer specials. When I left I was getting a little worn out by Remy, so I think the distance was good for our relationship, I appreciate him again. That is also helped by the fact that the Rockies broadcast team are stiffs, with the exception of a morbidly obese and probably illiterate a-hole who does the pregame wearing western ranchwear and a huge ten gallon cowboy hat and often says things that make me want to huck cans of banquet beer at the wall ... oh how I miss you Rem Dog!