A Look At Christmas Future

So, just for fun, let’s pretend the season begins today. Who is enjoying Christmas 2012 as the World Champions of Major League Baseball?

AL East

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Baltimore Orioles

I have to say this AL East is not the most dominant division in my mind anymore. Boston wins in 2012 because the talent is there, they will be healthier, and Bobby V won’t let them fold in September. But the Yankees won’t pitch like they did last year, the Jays are stronger, and while I have the Rays low right now, NEVER count them out! The O’s are still a year or two away.

AL Central

  1. Detroit Tigers
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Minnesota Twins
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Cleveland Indians

I am not impressed with this bunch at all. Tigers win by default since they have the best pitcher and hitter in the division. My controversial pick is Kansas City. I may be a year early, but 85-86 wins is not out of the question as that young team starts to come together.

AL West

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Anaheim Angels
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Oakland A’s

Somewhere in recent history the Rangers and Angels became the Yankees and Red Sox. Not sure how that happened, but it is fascinating to watch. There is no division in baseball with a wider gap between the top and bottom halves. Right now I give the Rangers the edge because they seem deeper in the lineup and bullpen, but a few more moves could change that.

NL East

  1. Philadelphia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Florida Marlins
  4. Washington Nationals
  5. New York Mets

MLB 2012 Most Interesting Division Award goes to the NL East. Hard to bet against the Phillies and their big 3 rotation, but the team is aging rapidly and will be without Ryan Howard for a while (perhaps the whole season). The gap between 1 and 4 is not as wide as it might seem. The Braves have made few moves but they are young and good and a little health will go a long way for a team that would have been in the playoffs under this year’s format. The Marlins and the Nationals are improved teams that already had good young cores. They are still works in progress so I feel it too early to deem them worthy of the postseason, but they are not far away. (Take note NL West).

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Cincinnati Reds
  4. Pittsburg Pirates
  5. Chicago Cubs
  6. Houston Astros

I love what the Cardinals have done this offseason, plus they are getting their ace back. No guarantee that Wainwright is as dominant as he used to be, but there are plenty of reasons to think this team will pitch better than it did in 2011. The Brewers are still good without Prince, but their fate really lies in whether Ryan Braun misses a third of the season or not. The Reds have made some moves, but I’m not a believer yet. The Pirates feel like they are treading water, the Cubs are in rebuild mode, and the Astros are terrible.

NL West

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. San Francisco Giants
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. San Diego Padres

The Diamondbacks have made some win now moves to capitalize on their big turn around, the Giants have…..ah, don’t want to think about that right now. The Rockies don’t impress me, the Dodgers have two great players and a lot of second basemen (good luck with that), and the Padres are back in rebuild mode (and are laying some ground work, btw).

The ShakeDown

In the AL, the Red Sox, Tigers, and Rangers win the divisions, with the Yankees and Angels claiming the Wild Cards. Angels win that battle and beat the Red Sox and face the Rangers in the ALCS. The Rangers, continuing in their quest to be the Buffalo Bills of MLB, win the pennant.

In the NL, the Phillies, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks win the divisions with the Braves and Giants taking the Wild Cards. The Braves win the WC showdown when Chipper Jones hits a pinch hit home run off Jeremy Affeldt in the 11th inning. The Braves go on to defeat the Cardinals and face the Phillies in the NLCS where the magic continues. Braves take the pennant.

In the World Series the Atlanta Braves defeat the Texas Rangers in 6 games, and the NL wins its third straight World Series.

Of course, I’m going to change my mind about all this next week when the Giants sign Prince Fielder. Ha!

(-SB)

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