Baseball is back! And it is safe to safe to say I haven't been this excited for a season in a long time. The Yankees season (of course) is always the focus of my spring/summer and if all goes well, fall (and my life pretty much), but with the addition of the extra wild card, the infusion of young talent in the game, the increasing competitive balance, and the movement of several big names, the league as a whole is intriguing. And after one of the greatest World Series in years, there is an added interest from casual fans. In typical DP fashion, we're going to take a look into the crystal ball and attempt to predict, of course with some wild guesses, the 2012 MLB Season.
Red Sox: 87-75
Blue Jays: 84-82
White Sox: 70-92
AL Hitting Leaders: Miguel Cabrera (.334 Avg); Jose Bautista (46 HR); Prince Fielder (131 RBI); Brett Gardner (49 SB)
NL Hitting Leaders: Matt Kemp (.328 Avg.); Giancarlo Stanton (41 HR); Matt Kemp (125 RBI); Michael Bourn (67 SB)
AL Pitching Leaders: Justin Verlander (23 Wins); Jered Weaver (2.51 ERA); Justin Verlander (261 SO)
NL Pitching Leaders: Roy Halladay (18 Wins); Roy Halladay (2.71 ERA); Clayton Kershaw (265 SO)
All-Star Game MVP: Nelson Cruz (Tex)
AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore (TB); Runner Up: Yoenis Cespedes (Oak)
NL Rookie of the Year: Yonder Alfonso (SD); Runner Up: Bryce Harper (Was)
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Adam Dunn (Chi Sox)
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey (SF)
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander (Det)
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay (Phi)
AL MVP: Robinson Cano (NYY)
NL MVP: Matt Kemp (LA)
Mets Attendance 2.5 Million: Over - Mets will be better than what everyone expects, but will still finish last.
35 Home Runs for A-Rod: Under - 30 homers max. Major offensive years are well behind A-Rod.
40/40 for Matt Kemp: Under - Kemp will be a 40/40 guy, and possibly, as he's reaching for, a 50/50 guy.
20 Errors For Miguel Cabrera: Under - Cabrera has better hands than some are giving him credit for.
180 Strikeouts for Yu Darvish: Under - There has to be a learning curve, right?
14 Wins for Neftali Feliz: Under - Feliz will grow into a solid starter, but 14 wins is a bit high right now.
20 Home Runs for David Wright: Over - CitiField fences are in. The right-center gap is no more. Expect a big year from Mr. Wright.
900 Total Runs for Rangers Offense: Under - Rangers offense is scary, but not 1927 Yankees scary.
50 Home Runs for Jose Bautista: Under - 50 is a tough number post steroids.
20 Wins for Justin Verlander: Over- He's probably surpassed Halladay and Felix Hernandez as the best pitcher in the game.
70 Games for Manny Ramirez: Over - Barely over. Ramirez will need time to adjust and adapt. May even platoon in DH spot depending on Oakland's season.
Mariano Rivera 1 More Season: Under - Sadly, I think this season is it for my favorite athlete ever.
Date for Bryce Harper Call-up: May 28th, 2012
First No-Hitter Thrown by: Justin Verlander
First Cycle Hit By: Jose Reyes
Biggest Name Traded: AL - Shin-Soo Choo NL - David Wright
First Manager Fired: AL - Eric Wedge NL - Freddie Gonzalez
Johnny Damon signs with: Oakland A's
Vladmir Guerrero signs with: Minnesota Twins
AL Wildcard - Angels over Rays
NL Wildcard - Reds over Nationals
ALDS - Angels over Tigers
ALDS - Yankees over Rangers
NLDS - Cardinals over Reds
NLDS- D'Backs over Phillies
ACLS - Angels over Yankees
NLCS - D'Backs over Cardinals
World Series: Angels over D'Backs
World Series MVP: Albert Pujols (Who else?)