2012 MLB Season Predictions: Lindsay Guentzel
East: Tampa Bay Rays: If the Rays can get their bats fired up early, they will have no problem sweeping through the A.L. East on the wind of their stacked lineup.
Central: Detroit Tigers: This kills me, but besides adding Prince Fielder, they have Justin Verlander returning with some major hardware and Miguel Cabrera set up to have a shattering year. The Tigers will be hard for any team to beat.
West: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Loved the addition of C.J. Wilson. But they shocked the baseball world when they brought in slugger Albert Pujols. The excitement of a revived club will show results on the diamond for the Angels and will help them cruise through the season.
Wild Card 1: New York Yankees: Age and injury setbacks will hurt the Yankees, but they always figure out a way to get it done and make the playoffs.
Wild Card 2: Cleveland Indians: Everyone needs to have a crazy sleeper pick and the Indians are mine. Their rotation should be solid, Travis Hafner is due for some hits and Jason Kipnis will set himself up for a solid career in the big leagues.
Pennant: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: There is just so much excitement buzzing through Los Angeles and Angels Country that it seems only fitting for Pujols to take his new lineup to the World Series.
MVP: Miguel Cabrera: 2011 was a career high for Cabrera and with Verlander coming back stronger than ever, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to rake in the points offensively.
Cy Young: Jered Weaver: Weaver is going to shine with the Angels’ lineup leading the way, giving him a little cushion to perfect some of the weaknesses he’s shown in the past.
Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish: The attention Yu Darvish has received isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. The Japanese superstar ranks up there with the acquisitions of Pujols and Fielder and I see the Rangers doing everything they can to make Darvish shine.
East: Atlanta Braves: I’m a softy for the Braves and with the pressure of Chipper’s retirement resting on their shoulders, I see Atlanta successfully getting through September without any gaffes.
Central: Milwaukee Brewers: Even with Fielder gone, the Brewers will be able to put something together like they did during their quest for the playoffs last year.
West: Arizona Diamondbacks: Justin Upton will lead the pack of sluggers for the Diamondbacks with newbie Jason Kubel and hopefully-healthy Stephen Drew and Ryan Roberts.
Wild Card 1: San Francisco Giants: With one of the best starters and one of the best closers in baseball, the Giants will have no problem making it to the Postseason on a Wild Card ride.
Wild Card 2: Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies have found themselves in first the last five years and a lot will be riding on whether or not Chase Utley is in the lineup. Regardless, they’re in the Postseason.
Pennant: Atlanta Braves: It’s about time for the talent on Atlanta’s roster to finally get in sync and there isn’t a more perfect time for that to happen.
MVP: Troy Tulowitzki: Tulo will without a doubt have one of the most impressive years in the National League, garnering runs and attention as the Rockies’ cleanup hitter.
Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw: A back-to-back Cy Young is Clayton’s to take, especially with weak lineups in the National League West.
Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper: Harper’s call-up might not happen right away but his performance in the Arizona Fall League makes it hard to believe the Nationals won’t be calling for him early in the season.