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2012 MLB Predictions & Projections

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The major change in baseball this season is the addition of a second wild card team. While I do support this change, I think the way that they went about it is 100% wrong. The last day of last season was arguably the best/most exciting night in baseball history. It was an incredible hour where the playoff picture came into focus in a seemingly made for Hollywood sequence of  events. It was amazing not because of the outcomes, but because it was organic and wrapped up everything great about October baseball into one September night. If you have yet to hear about the change, from this year forward there will be two wild card teams per league who will be forced to square off in a one-game playoff to determine which actually makes the  playoffs. A pennant race coming down to the final day of the season is about as exciting as it gets. On the flipside, forcing two teams, who have battled for 6 months into a contrived bit of made-for-tv forced drama seems both wrong and unfair. Flash-forward to September. Let’s say the Rays win 100 games this season, but finish 2nd in the East to the Yankees who won 102. Let’s also say the next highest non-division winner is the Tigers with 87 wins. The Rays will then be forced to take on the Tigers and Justin Verlander in a win-or-go-home scenario to determine their fate. Good luck with that… Baseball isn’t a single game sport, it’s a series sport. It should be a 3-game series. Beating a team twice in three games proves a lot more than a potential fluke win or a situation where their ace is superior to yours, but the rest of the team matchups are slanted heavily in your favor. I understand the reasoning for the change; first to generate more revenue, and second to reward division winners. Well what if the aforementioned Rays are the 2nd best team in the America League, but also the 2nd best team in their division? Is that fair to them? If baseball insists on a one-game playoff, they should at the very least re-seed and make it between the two playoff teams with the least amount of wins (but I would overwhelmingly vote on the 3-game playoff if asked). Odds are something will be changed when a team like the Yankees or Red Sox are eliminated  in this scenario. Until then, we have yet another instance (like selective use of replay) where Selig takes two steps forward followed immediately by one step back.

Without further ado, here are my playoff predictions and award projections for the 2012 season:

American League National League
AL East NL East
New York Yankees 90-72 Philadelphia Phillies 91-71
Tampa Bay Rays 88-74 Florida Marlins 86-76
Boston Red Sox 87-75 Atlanta Braves 86-76
Toronto Blue Jays 78-84 Washington Nationals 82-80
Baltimore Orioles 66-96 New York Mets 70-92
AL Central NL Central
Cleveland Indians 88-74 Cincinnati Reds 86-76
Detroit Tigers 88-74 St. Louis Cardinals 86-76
Kansas City Royals 81-81 Milwaukee Brewers 82-80
Chicago White Sox 75-87 Chicago Cubs 77-85
Minnesota Twins 74-88 Pittsburgh Pirates 75-87
Houston Astros 62-100
AL West NL West
Los Angeles Angels 94-68 San Francisco Giants 87-75
Texas Rangers 89-73 Los Angeles Dodgers 84-78
Oakland Athletics 72-90 Arizona Diamondbacks 83-79
Seattle Mariners 71-91 Colorado Rockies 81-81
San Diego Padres 71-91
Wild Card Wild Card
Tigers over Rangers Marlins over Cardinals
Division Series Division Series
Yankees over Indians Phillies over Reds
Angels over Tigers Marlins over Giants
ALCS NLCS
Angels over Yankees Phillies over Marlins
World Series
Angels over Phillies
Postseason Awards
AL MVP Albert Pujols
NL MVP Joey Votto
AL Cy Young Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young Clayton Kershaw
AL Rookie of the Year Matt Moore
NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper
AL Home Run Leader Albert Pujols
NL Home Run Leader Giancarlo Stanton
AL Batting Champ Miguel Cabrera
NL Batting Champ Joey Votto
AL Comeback Player Adam Dunn
NL Comeback Player Adam Wainwright
AL Rising Star – Pos Dustin Ackley
NL Rising Star – Pos Starlin Castro
AL Rising Star – P Jeremy Hellickson
NL Rising Star – P Brandon Beachy

 

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