Frank’s 2012 MLB Predictions: Blue Jays are Playoff-Bound; Chase Utley Plays First Base

2012 MLB Season Predictions
Posted by Frank Klose

Miguel Cabrera's minor setback and adjustment to third base make Jose Bautista my MVP choice 

American League

AL East winner – New York Yankees

AL Central winner – Detroit Tigers

AL West winner – Texas Rangers

AL Wild Card Teams (2) – Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays

AL MVP – Jose Bautista

AL Cy Young – David Price

AL Rookie of the Year – Matt Moore

AL Manager of the Year – John Farrell

Comments: I think that Bobby Valentine and the Boston Red Sox will be a disaster.  I also feel that the Toronto Blue Jays team that blew 25 saves last year will be in much better shape with Sergio Santos as closer, Francisco Cordero setting him up, and the addition of the ageless Darren Oliver and return of Jason Frasor.  If they could have won just 12 of those 25 games, the Blue Jays team would have won 93 games.  I think Jose Bautista will win this year's AL MVP, edging out Miguel Cabrera, who is dealing with the minor face injury and adjustment back to third base.

National League

NL East winner – Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central winner – Cincinnati Reds

NL West winner – Arizona Diamondbacks

NL Wild Card Teams (2) – Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants

NL MVP – Matt Kemp

NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay

NL Rookie of the Year – Yonder Alonso

NL Manager of the Year – Dale Sveum

Comments: St. Louis got considerably weaker this season.  Without the veteran leadership of Tony LaRussa, Dave Duncan, and Albert Pujols, and are without a healthy Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainright. The Cardinals have Kyle Lohse as their opening day starter, and Carlos Beltran hardly begins to make up for Albert Pujols.  Jason Motte is still mostly unproven.  The Arizona Diamondbacks are still good; the Braves and Giants still have major flaws.  I think the Phillies are the clear favorites in the NL for three reasons:  Roy, Cliff, Cole.

World Series matchup – Texas Rangers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

World Series champion and # of games – Texas Rangers in 6

Comments: The Texas Rangers are probably bound for another World Series matchup.  I do believe that Yu Darvish will find success in the major leagues and the Rangers’ offense will get them over the top in both the AL and in the World Series.

Phillies predictions

Total number of Phillies wins – 93

What date does Ryan Howard return to the Phillies lineup (if at all) – Mid-late June

What date does Chase Utley return to the Phillies lineup (if at all)? – He will start playing first base early May.

Which Phillies ace has most wins and how many – Roy Halladay – 20 games

To follow up "Good game, let's go eat," what will be Hunter Pence's next catchphrase? – I think he’ll try too hard and say many stupid things.