The last couple of days I have previewed & predicted the American League and National League for the 2012 MLB Regular Season. I have given you my predictions for each division and the wild card teams for the 2012 season. So now it’s time to take those predictions and bring it into October Baseball where one World Champion will be crowned!
American League Division Winners: New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels
When I look at the top 3 teams in the American League I’d have to say its New York, Detroit and Los Angeles. They are all very evenly balanced and make up some of the elite in the American League. Anyone of these teams could easily be predicted as a World Series Champion coming out of the American League.
American League Wild Card Teams: Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers
ALDS: Los Angeles Angels defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1
New York Yankees defeat the Detroit Tigers 3-1
The Angels are a clear #1 seed in the AL playoffs in my opinion and should easily beat this Rays team in ALDS play. It always seems like that the Rays are good enough to make that last ditch effort to make the playoffs but are too spent from the path they took when it comes time for October Baseball. Things will eventually change for this Rays team but this season is not it as they continue to grow from challenges such as these.
New York avenges their loss in the ALDS to the Tigers from last season and finally defeat Jim Leyland in ALDS play. New York’s rotation is arguably deeper then that of the Tigers rotation and have a more even lineup that Detroit does. The woes of Miguel Cabrera playing third base and Prince Fielder becoming accustomed to a new team could hurt them in their first season playing together.
ALCS: Los Angeles Angels defeat the New York Yankees 4-2
It’s like “old times” yet again as the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees are my picks to meet in the ALCS. The Angels are the much better all-around team and can out match the Yankees on nearly every part of their game. “Pitching wins championships” is a moniker I really base my opinions all about and the 1-2-3 punch of the Angels will be very deadly this postseason.
Like I said in my American League preview blog, I really believe the Angels are and will be the best team in Baseball for 2012. Albert Pujols is going to want to make a statement that the Angels made the right move by signing him to that contract and he will be able to cement that by taking this team to a World Series. This is a very well balanced ballclub with a ton of promise as I have them advancing to the World Series.
National League Division winners: Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants
The National League is much deeper and competitive then it has been in recent years in my opinion so picking these three division winners was really tough. I believe Philadelphia is the easiest of the three teams to select but that may all change in the NL East next season unless the Phils’ make some big moves during or after this season. I really like what Cincinnati did with their pitching this season as their lineup is already very balanced and they didn’t have any real big off-season distractions like the Brewers & Cardinals did. As for San Francisco they would’ve been NL West champs last season in my opinion if Buster Posey never went down for the year, this team is just as good as they were when they won the World Series in 2010.
National League Wild Card Teams: Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers
In the first-ever National League Wild Card one game playoff matchup I have the Los Angeles Dodgers defeating the Milwaukee Brewers to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009 when the team was coached by the legendary Joe Torre. Los Angeles is going to be a very surprising team this season in my opinion as guys like Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw become bigger names then they already are. I’m looking for these two to be the catalysts for the Dodgers resurge in Major League Baseball.
NLDS: Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1
Cincinnati Reds defeat the San Francisco Giants 3-2
The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be that team who makes a late season push, wins the Wild Card and does really well when it comes to playoff time. I think that 2012 will be a statement year for Matt Kemp as he pushes his status in Major League Baseball from Dodgers star to the best player in the National League. Like I said before the Phillies are on the downside of this dynasty while the Dodgers are on the rise. This game could eventually mean the end of the tenure of Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia as well.
Cincinnati and San Francisco are two of my favorite teams to watch out for in the National League this season. They have great pitching, great hitting and two great managers. They are very similar teams when you take a look at them but I believe the Reds are slightly more balanced and that Joey Votto will be on a mission this season to take the Reds to the World Series. Votto is new Albert Pujols in the National League in that he can put a team on his back and carry them as far as he wants & I believe this will be his season to do such.
NLCS: Cincinnati Reds defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3
I am a big fan of these two teams in 2012. I feel like the Reds will become a top elite NL Central team in the wake of the Brewers and Cardinals off-season problems while the Dodgers will be the surprise team who makes the late season push into the playoffs. Both of team’s future is bright but I like the Cincinnati Reds to advance to the 2012 World Series to take on the Los Angeles Angels. Cincy has better top to bottom pitching and a better top to bottom lineup as well, these two historic National League teams should put on a great show in the NLCS.
2012 World Series: Los Angeles Angels defeat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 to win their first World Series Championship since 2002.
I have said it before and I will say it again, the Los Angeles Angels are the best team in Baseball entering the 2012 regular season in my opinion. They have basically a similar style of team that helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series last season but have a better rotation which helps support my constant theory that “pitching wins championships.” Albert Pujols will make this lineup better around him and help elevate young players like Kendrys Morales & Mark Trumbo to become better players.
As for the Cincinnati Reds I believe they don’t matchup as well to the Los Angeles Angels. For years they have been the “red headed stepchild” to Albert Pujols and it looks like that history will continue to repeat itself in my World Series prediction. Joey Votto will continue to have a monster performance in carrying this team on his back but they will fall short to being crowned World Champions against this very good Angels team.
For more Baseball talk join us every Sunday on “The Wheelhouse” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com!
Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday at www.wheelhouseradio.com
Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com
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