2012 Yankees & MLB Preview/Predictions

Believe it or not the 2012 season is actually underway, but excitement and drama from the A’s and Mariners in Japan wasn’t quite there. Both the A’s and Mariners both sport clubs that are likely to finish 3rd and 4th respectively in the NL West. This year the power of great teams seems to be skewed towards the American League.

The playoff format should end up making the end of the season more exciting, but I disagree with the way they have designed it. A one-game playoff is just way too quirky and doesn’t reward teams for playing well all year. I say make it a 3-game series. Back the games up tight so we don’t lose those days and push back the other teams. You’d put strain on the two wild card teams by hurting their depth of starting pitching but would give a better chance for the better team to win. Baseball is a wild game and anyone can win anyway, a one game playoff for two teams that don’t finish with the same record necessarily doesn’t seem fair. It’s possible that you could have a 95 win team as the first wild card and an 85 win team as the second depending on divisions, and one-game doesn’t seem fair to the 95 win team which might be the second best team in their league. This becomes clear with unbalanced division like the AL East, which is far stronger than other divisions.

Lets move on to this year’s New York Yankee team. With Michael Pineda going to the DL with tendonitis the starting rotation is set for at least the next month. At this point the rotation is solid, and if each of the pitchers lives up to their potential then it could be very successful. The question becomes what happens when Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda are back? I’d suspect at least one rotation spot will open because of performance. It’ll be tough for everyone to pitch great for a month and not give one of those guys a chance. An injury can always pop up and it’s nice to know the Yankees have so much depth and hopefully things will work themselves out as the season progresses.

1. Sabathia

2. Kuroda

3. Hughes

4. Nova

5. Garcia

The bullpen is going to a strong suit in for the Yankees in 2012. They have potentially the best pen in the majors. Beyond the reliable Rivera, David Robertson was amazing last year, while Rafael Soriano is due to have a strong bounce back year after a mediocre 2011. Boone Logan and Mike Rapada will start as the Yankees lefties in the pen, while Cory Wade and a long reliever will finish off the rest of the pen. The Yankees have a bunch of injuries in the pen right now that could end up helping them down the road. Joba Chamberlain, David Aardsma, and Pedro Feliciano all could end up back with the team in the second half of the season providing some extra valuable experience.

The Yankees on the other side should be pretty set and strong. A starting lineup that will look the same as last year with the exception of Raul Ibanez replacing Jorge Posada, and a bench that will be as well. Andrew Jones, Eric Chavez, Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli should be a nice supporting cast. The depth is there to support extended injuries just in case, and the Yankees should score runs as well as anyone in the Majors.

Overall if the starting rotation does well and the bullpen lives up to expectations this team should be as good as anyone in the majors. I think this is the strongest team they’ve put out on the field to start a season in quite a while. Injuries can always ruin any good team and the Yankees are still susceptible despite possibly having the deepest team in the majors.

The American League has six teams this year that really stick out. The depth of the league is the best its been in a while and one team is going to miss the playoffs that is very good. The Tigers appear to have the easiest path to the playoffs in the weaker AL Central. The AL East will once again sport the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays battling. Even a pesky Blue Jays team is almost lurking around. Finally the Rangers and Angels look strong out in the AL west. Here are my AL Predictions:

AL East:

1. Yankees 97-65

2. Red Sox 93-69

3. Rays 92-70

4. Blue Jays 80-82

5. Orioles 67-95

AL Central:

1. Tigers 94-68

2. White Sox 82-80

3. Twins 77-85

4. Royals 74-88

5. Indians 73-89

AL West:

1. Rangers 97-65

2. Angels 91-71

3. Athletics 73-89

4. Mariners 69-93

The National League is quite as deep and the gap between the leagues might be the biggest its ever been, especially at the top. The NL East is the haven for the best teams in the NL though. The Marlins, Nationals, and Braves are all up and coming to try and take down the strong hold Phillies. The NL Central will have the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers as top contenders but some teams lost some big pieces from last year. In the west the Diamondbacks will look to defend their surprise title and hold of the pitching heavy Giants and Padres. Here are the National League Predictions:

NL East:

1. Phillies 91-71

2. Braves 89-73

3. Marlins 88-74

4. Nationals 82-80

5. Mets 69-93

NL Central:

1. Reds 86-76

2. Cardinals 84-78

3. Brewers 83-79

4. Cubs 72-90

5. Pirates 71-91

6. Astros 65-97

NL West:

1. Giants 85-77

2. Diamondbacks 84-78

3. Rockies 77-85

4. Dodgers 76-86

5. Padres 73-89


1st Round:

Red Sox over Rays

Braves over Marlins

Division Series:

Yankees over Tigers

Rangers over Red Sox

Braves over Giants

Phillies over Reds


Rangers over Yankees

Phillies over Braves

World Series:

Rangers over Phillies

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