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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