FanGraphs Staff Predicts 2012

It’s Opening Night (last week was Opening Oh God It’s Early, I think), so with the season the brink of starting, we polled our staff and asked them to put down their selections for the playoff teams and the postseason award winners. Unlike last year, there was very little agreement among the group, and the consensus picks are often a plurality but not a majority. While there’s a pretty clear divide between the top six or seven teams and the rest of baseball, there doesn’t appear to be one dominant team that stands out from the group of contenders.

So, without futher ado, let’s get to the predictions:

AL West: Anaheim
AL Central: Detroit
AL East: New York
AL Wild Cards: Tampa Bay, Texas
AL Champ: Anaheim


Author AL West AL Central AL East AL WC #1 AL WC #2 AL Champ
Ben Duronio LAA DET NYY TEX TOR LAA
Bill Petti LAA DET TB NYY TEX LAA
Bradley Woodrum LAA DET TB NYY TEX TB
Brandon Warne TEX DET NYY LAA BOS TEX
Chad Young LAA DET TB NYY TEX TB
Chris Benson TEX DET TB NYY LAA TEX
Chris Cwik TEX DET NYY TB LAA TEX
Dan Wade LAA DET TB TEX BOS LAA
Dave Cameron TEX DET NYY BOS LAA TEX
David Laurila LAA DET BOS TB TEX LAA
Eno Sarris TEX DET TB BOS LAA TEX
Jeff Zimmerman LAA DET BOS TEX NYY LAA
Jesse Wolfersberger LAA DET TB TEX NYY TB
Marc Hulet TEX KC NYY TB DET NYY
Mike Axisa TEX DET NYY LAA TB NYY
Mike Petriello LAA DET NYY TEX BOS NYY
Paul Swydan TEX DET NYY TB LAA TEX
Ryan Campbell LAA DET NYY TEX BOS LAA
Wendy Thurm LAA DET NYY TB TEX LAA
Zach Sanders LAA DET NYY TB TEX LAA

Only six of our authors have the eventual AL champ coming from the AL East. Texas and Anaheim have changed the power balance of the American League, and along with Detroit’s easiest-path-to-the-playoffs expectation, you can fairly say that neither New York or Boston should be considered any kind of strong favorite to get to the World Series. That’s a nice change for most of the country.

NL West: Arizona
NL Central: Cincinnati
NL East: Philadelphia
NL Wild Cards: Atlanta, St. Louis
NL Champ: Arizona

Author NL West NL Central NL East NL WC #1 NL WC #2 NL Champ
Ben Duronio ARZ CIN PHI ATL STL ARZ
Bill Petti ARZ CIN PHI MIL STL CIN
Bradley Woodrum ARZ STL PHI MIL MIA PHI
Brandon Warne ARZ CIN PHI STL WAS ARZ
Chad Young SF STL PHI CIN WAS CIN
Chris Benson ARZ STL MIA PHI CIN ARZ
Chris Cwik ARZ CIN PHI MIL WAS ARZ
Dan Wade ARZ CIN PHI MIL MIA ARZ
Dave Cameron ARZ CIN PHI MIA STL MIA
David Laurila SF CIN PHI ATL MIL CIN
Eno Sarris SF CIN PHI ATL ARZ ATL
Jeff Zimmerman COL MIL PHI ATL WAS PHI
Jesse Wolfersberger ARZ STL PHI ATL CIN PHI
Marc Hulet SD CIN PHI ATL ARZ PHI
Mike Axisa ARZ MIL PHI STL LAD MIL
Mike Petriello ARZ CIN PHI MIA MIL CIN
Paul Swydan ARZ STL WAS ATL CIN ARZ
Ryan Campbell ARZ MIL PHI ATL CIN PHI
Wendy Thurm ARZ MIL PHI MIA SF ARZ
Zach Sanders ARZ STL WAS MIL MIA MIL

I have to say I’m pretty surprised by the Arizona support here. The NL West is something of a coin toss, and while the Diamondbacks have some nice pieces, I have them comfortably behind Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Miami in the NL pecking order. And yes, that’s me picking the Marlins to go to the World Series. Commence tomato throwing now.

World Champ: Anaheim

Author World Champ
Ben Duronio ARZ
Bill Petti LAA
Bradley Woodrum TB
Brandon Warne TEX
Chad Young TB
Chris Benson TEX
Chris Cwik TEX
Dan Wade LAA
Dave Cameron TEX
David Laurila LAA
Eno Sarris TEX
Jeff Zimmerman LAA
Jesse Wolfersberger TB
Marc Hulet PHI
Mike Axisa NYY
Mike Petriello NYY
Paul Swydan TEX
Ryan Campbell LAA
Wendy Thurm LAA
Zach Sanders LAA

18 of the 20 authors went with an AL team as the World Champ, with the Angels just edging out the Rangers as the most selected winner. It appears that everyone expects the AL West to be an absolute dogfight this year.

And finally, the awards. There was some agreement on the pool of players likely to win, but within those pools, no real favorites emerged. You could make a good case for a lot of people for most of the awards, and if you’re David Laurila, you can make a case for Jay Bruce and Ricky Romero as NL MVP and AL Cy Young winner respectively. Dude is going to look like a genius if those happen.

AL MVP: Albert Pujols
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
AL Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish
NL MVP: Joey Votto
NL Cy Young: Zack Greinke
NL Rookie of the Year: Devin Mesoraco

Author AL MVP NL MVP AL Cy Young NL Cy Young AL ROY NL ROY
Ben Duronio Miguel Cabrera Justin Upton Dan Haren Madison Bumgarner Matt Moore Trevor Bauer
Bill Petti Evan Longoria Joey Votto Justin Verlander Zack Greinke Matt Moore Yonder Alonso
Bradley Woodrum Evan Longoria Justin Upton CC Sabathia Cliff Lee Yu Darvish Devin Mesoraco
Brandon Warne Evan Longoria Joey Votto Justin Verlander Roy Halladay Yu Darvish Devin Mesoraco
Chad Young Albert Pujols Joey Votto Jered Weaver Roy Halladay Matt Moore Bryce Harper
Chris Benson Evan Longoria Justin Upton CJ Wilson Madison Bumgarner Yu Darvish Trevor Bauer
Chris Cwik Miguel Cabrera Justin Upton Felix Hernandez Madison Bumgarner Yu Darvish Shelby Miller
Dan Wade Miguel Cabrera Joey Votto Felix Hernandez Zack Greinke Yu Darvish Trevor Bauer
Dave Cameron Miguel Cabrera Troy Tulowitzki Felix Hernandez Cliff Lee Matt Moore Bryce Harper
David Laurila Adrian Gonzalez Jay Bruce Ricky Romero Stephen Strasburg Jesus Montero Anthony Rizzo
Eno Sarris Jose Bautista Ryan Zimmerman David Price Dan Hudson Yu Darvish Trevor Bauer
Erik Hahmann Evan Longoria Joey Votto CC Sabathia Cliff Lee Matt Moore Devin Mesoraco
Jeff Zimmerman Albert Pujols Joey Votto Jon Lester Zack Greinke Jesus Montero Devin Mesoraco
Jesse Wolfersberger Evan Longoria Joey Votto Justin Verlander Roy Halladay Yu Darvish Trevor Bauer
Marc Hulet Albert Pujols Matt Kemp Felix Hernandez Cliff Lee Jesus Montero Tyler Pastornicky
Matt Klaassen Albert Pujols Joey Votto Dan Haren Zack Greinke Matt Moore Devin Mesoraco
Michael Barr Albert Pujols Joey Votto Dan Haren Clayton Kershaw Jesus Montero Yonder Alonso
Mike Axisa Miguel Cabrera Justin Upton David Price Yovani Gallardo Jesus Montero Devin Mesoraco
Mike Petriello Albert Pujols Joey Votto Felix Hernandez Clayton Kershaw Matt Moore Devin Mesoraco
Paul Swydan Miguel Cabrera Justin Upton Felix Hernandez Clayton Kershaw Matt Moore Yonder Alonso
Ryan Campbell Albert Pujols Justin Upton Felix Hernandez Zack Greinke Yu Darvish Devin Mesoraco
Summer Anne Burton Albert Pujols Justin Upton Justin Verlander Clayton Kershaw Yu Darvish Trevor Bauer
Wendy Thurm Miguel Cabrera Joey Votto CC Sabathia Madison Bumgarner Matt Moore Bryce Harper
Zach Sanders Adrian Gonzalez Justin Upton Jered Weaver Zack Greinke Yu Darvish Yonder Alonso


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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Ryan
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Why are Dave’s picks different than his ESPN picks?

some guy
Guest
some guy
4 years 5 months ago

Guess he changed his mind somewhere along the way?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
4 years 5 months ago

good question. Well, dave?

Bradley Woodrum
Member
Member
4 years 5 months ago

WHY IS DAVE NOT ANSWERING?! WHY IS HE WITHHOLDING INFORMATION?!?!!? I SUSPECT SOMETHING SINISTER!!!!

ccoop
Guest
ccoop
4 years 5 months ago

If I were DC and asked to predict the future, I would pick different teams every time. It’s called playing the percentages. Read a book.

Jay29
Guest
Jay29
4 years 5 months ago

OK I read “The Hobbit.” Now what?

mrjavascript
Member
mrjavascript
4 years 5 months ago

Gallardo for NL Cy is a sneaky pick.

Person
Guest
Person
4 years 5 months ago

Dave, why do you hate the Dodgers, Rockies, Giants, Padres, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Pirates, Nationals, Braves, Mets, Mariners, Athletics, Royals, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Rays, Jays, and Orioles? You biased pr*ck!

Always Sunny in CP
Guest
Always Sunny in CP
4 years 5 months ago

Man, it’s weird seeing Pujols next to the words ‘AL MVP’

Jon
Guest
Jon
4 years 5 months ago

Because he’s so old?

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
4 years 5 months ago

No, because he’s usually in the NL

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
4 years 5 months ago

marc hulet is pretty bold…he picked KC and SD to win there divisions..hmm i wonder if prospect rankings and knowledge of that kinda of stuff played into that. also montero and pastornicky for ROYS is different than most…so is kemp

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
4 years 5 months ago

I guess Hulet thought he was still ranking the team’s minor leagues.

Roy Halladay
Guest
Roy Halladay
4 years 5 months ago

More guys pick Madison Bumgarner (4) to win the Cy Young over me.
you guys are trying too hard.

Sleight of Hand Pro
Guest
Sleight of Hand Pro
4 years 5 months ago

bravo. FG writers trying to outthink and/or outsmart the masses it seems

Jay29
Guest
Jay29
4 years 5 months ago

Yeah. The fact is that the Cy Young is still voted on by the BBWAA.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
4 years 5 months ago

No poop.

Bobby Valentine
Guest
Bobby Valentine
4 years 5 months ago

Winter is coming.

Vin
Member
Vin
4 years 5 months ago

*throws a tomato*

Bryce
Member
Bryce
4 years 5 months ago

By my count 11 authors think St. Louis will go to the playoffs , while only 8 think Atlanta will. Seems to me you’re doing the wildcard tabulation wrong.

TK
Guest
TK
4 years 5 months ago

Or division and wild card are two different things.

Bryce
Member
Bryce
4 years 5 months ago
TK
Guest
TK
4 years 5 months ago

Well, there are 8 prediction that the Braves will be WC1 and there are 2 predictions the Cards will be along with 6 predictions that the Cards will be Central winners. However, in only 3 of those cases can you assume that the writer believe the Cards will win WC1 if they don’t win the Central (the 3 cases where they list another Central team as WC1). In the other 3 cases, you cannot assume that the writer believes the Cards will win more games than the WC1, so adding those would be incorrect. Further, I have no idea why you think the WC2 selections of the Cards bolster their ranking for WC1. If they wanted to determine winners based on just an average of the writers’ perceptions, they should have just given a win total for each team, averaged them, and determined who the division winners and wild cards would be.

TK
Guest
TK
4 years 5 months ago

so basically 5/17 people think the Cards will at least win the WC1 if they don’t win the division (with not enough information for the other 3 that think they’ll win the division) and 8/20 people think the Braves will at least win the WC1.

JT
Guest
JT
4 years 5 months ago

LOL at Marlins winning the World Series (first tomato thrown)!!

Go BRAVES!!!!!!

los
Guest
los
4 years 5 months ago

LOL at 1997 and 2003. Those years were so hilarious.

ausmax
Guest
ausmax
4 years 5 months ago

the Marlins have never lost a post season series in their history. :)

tom s.
Guest
tom s.
4 years 5 months ago

nor ever won a division title.

Steve
Guest
Steve
4 years 5 months ago

Can someone explain why the Angels are such a favorite? They are very limited in their bats beyond Pujols. And what if Pujols struggles the first month or two to adjust to all the new and better pitching? After all, he isn’t going to be facing the Cubs and Pirates rotations now. It could cost them a couple wins in April & May which could cost them the division in what should be a close race all year with Texas.

billybob
Guest
billybob
4 years 5 months ago

’cause it ain’t about Pujols: it’s about that rotation.

jcxy
Guest
jcxy
4 years 5 months ago

because their rotation is as good–if not better–than philly’s last year.

plus the addition of pujols. plus the addition of morales. plus (maybe) swapping trout for wells at some point.

siggian
Guest
siggian
4 years 5 months ago

“…he isn’t going to be facing the Cubs and Pirates rotations now”

True, but he will be facing the Mariners and A’s, which aside from King Felix, is pretty much the same thing.

gonfalon
Guest
gonfalon
4 years 5 months ago

I dunno, Albert has a career .365/.451/.681 line vs. the Pirates. he’ll be hard pressed to match that kind of decimation this year against the A’s and Mariners.

Person
Guest
Person
4 years 5 months ago

Re: Eno Sarris. I like the idea of Ryan Zimmerman, MVP. (Which is why I’m addressing it.) But, he doesn’t have Washington in the playoffs. Would the voters actually pick him if the Nationals miss out? Now, I think if the Nats DO make the playoffs (a year earlier than most suspect), their best player will have a decent shot at the award, and Zimmerman will very likely be their best player if healthy.

PatsNats28
Guest
PatsNats28
4 years 5 months ago

I agree. Would he be deserving? Quite possibly. But I doubt that he can really win it.

dbake005
Member
dbake005
4 years 5 months ago

If the Nationals do make the playoffs or win the East, it wouldn’t shock me at all to see Zimmerman win NL MVP.

TK
Guest
TK
4 years 5 months ago

Zimmerman would need dramatically better offense to actually win the MVP. Deserves got nothing to do with it.

cable fixer
Guest
cable fixer
4 years 5 months ago

zimmerman has terrific counting stats, when healthy. 30+ hr power, 100+ rbi, etc etc are all within reach. he also plays terrific (+10) defense that certainly passes the smell test by traditional standards.

bstar
Member
bstar
4 years 5 months ago

But he’s simply not a real MVP candidate. The BBWAA is not going to award an MVP to a guy who wins the WAR title in the NL because of his high UZR(and that’s the only possible way Zimmerman is going to outWAR the rest of the NL). Hunter Pence, any of St. Louis’ Berkman/Holliday/Freese trio, or even Uggla with a monster HR year or McCann for the Braves would be better darkhorse candidates.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
4 years 5 months ago

Wendy Thurm couldn’t pick Kershaw, bless her.

Fletch
Guest
Fletch
4 years 5 months ago

She a Giants fan?

Christopher Benson
Member
Christopher Benson
4 years 5 months ago

she’s a big time SF fan.

Ignorant Tool
Member
Ignorant Tool
4 years 5 months ago

Not one vote for Detroit as AL Champs? Heh.

bada bing
Guest
bada bing
4 years 5 months ago

Simply put, this is too much of a mainstream pick.

*Pushes hipster glasses up*

jp_on_rye
Guest
jp_on_rye
4 years 5 months ago

I love all the MadBum picks for Cy Young!

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
4 years 5 months ago

Dave, when you are counting on Harper being called up by?

TomahawkChopper
Member
TomahawkChopper
4 years 5 months ago

@Bill Petti,

Do you really think the Reds, Brewers AND Cards will all finish with a better record than the 2nd best NL East team? I find that hard to fathom.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
4 years 5 months ago

Fathom?

Aren’t you supposed to say “couldn’t possibly fathom”? and then I say something about you not being able to handle the truth and then you say crystal or something?

Ted Williams Head
Member
Ted Williams Head
4 years 5 months ago

Arizona to win the NL? Hahahahaha!!! Why? It’s not like they added major pieces, they overachieved their pythag last year, and their best players are due for a bit of regression.

Angelsjunky
Guest
Angelsjunky
4 years 5 months ago

At 36, will Pujols be the oldest MVP ever, or at least other than Bonds*?

JeffMathisCera
Member
JeffMathisCera
4 years 5 months ago

Pujols is 32

Angelsjunky
Guest
Angelsjunky
4 years 5 months ago

Evidently your sarcasm detector is turned off.

bstar
Member
bstar
4 years 5 months ago

Love the obligatory * next to Bonds for no reason.

Mike Trout
Guest
Mike Trout
4 years 5 months ago

I’m not sure how Bryce Harper will win the ROY after hitting .177 with 8 HR in 250 PA.

Eno Sarris
Editor
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Re: My Gamel ROY pick, which everyone has been so kind to ignore — missed that he lost his eligibility. I was trying to be cute — I don’t like the Reds youngsters for hardware this year. Respectability maybe. I’d change my pick to Trevor Bauer.

jcxy
Guest
jcxy
4 years 5 months ago

his ineligibility for the award shouldn’t prevent a voter from voting for him anyway. rafael palmeiro, anyone?

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
4 years 5 months ago

Giants (Posey back and Belt proves himself), Brewers, Phillies. Marlins and Reds wild cards. Brewers to world series led by Gallatdo and Greinke.

Angels, Tigers, Yanks, Blue Jays and Rays wild cards. tigers to world series. Tigers win. Thought that went into this? Hardly any.

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
4 years 5 months ago

And biggest surprise. Mets .500.

jim
Guest
jim
4 years 5 months ago

surprised to see no one picked pomeranz for NL ROY

Ben Duronio
Guest
4 years 5 months ago

He’s my No. 2 behind Bauer.

scatterbrian
Guest
scatterbrian
4 years 5 months ago

Just so I have it somewhere prior to “Opening Day”:

TB, DET, TEX, *BOS, *LAA
PHI, CIN, AZ, *MIA, *MIL, *WAS (MIL/WAS tie, play one-game playoff for 2nd WC)

TB over BOS, TEX over DET, TB over TEX (Jennings MVP)
CIN over AZ, MIA over PHI, CIN over MIA (Dat Dude BP MVP)
TB over CIN (Zobrist MVP)

MVPs: Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Upton
CYs: Dan Haren, Cole Hamels
ROY: Matt Moore, Brett Jackson

gonfalon
Guest
gonfalon
4 years 5 months ago

I’m shocked, SHOCKED! there is no love for the Pirates in that table. :colbert:

bvillebaron
Guest
bvillebaron
4 years 5 months ago

I sure understand all the picks for Philadelphia to win the NL East, but no picks for Atlanta and several for Washington and Miami. What am I missing?

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