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Arizona Sports 620’s MLB Predictions

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The 2012 MLB season is here! Well, technically it was
here last week when the A’s and Mariners opened up
America’s Favorite Pastime in Tokyo, but we, as steadfast
traditionalists and unabashed patriots, chose not to
acknowledge that.

Members of Arizona Sports 620’s staff (and a few
outside the staff) were asked to give their predictions on
what will transpire between now and early November on
baseball diamonds all over the country.

So here they are, the bold (and in some cases, outlandish)
baseball predictions of the staff of Arizona Sports 620.

And when it’s all said and done, we’ll take a look back
and, well, laugh hysterically at each other.

National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks: 13 votes

San Francisco Giants: 1 vote

Who exactly are you calling a homer? Not Doug Franz,
the only member of our esteemed panel not to pick the
hometown team to repeat as division champions.


National League Central

Cincinnati Reds: 10 votes

Milwaukee Brewers: 3 votes

St. Louis Cardinals: 1 vote

It’s pretty apparent that most feel the loss of Albert
Pujols and the retirement of manager Tony LaRussa will be
too much for the defending World Champion Cardinals to
overcome. And the masses also feel the same way about the
Milwaukee Brewers replacing slugger Prince Fielder at
first base with Mat Gamel. Question: will D-backs fans
boo Gamel for no reason by default when the Brew Crew come
to town?


National League East

Philadelphia Phillies: 9 votes

Miami Marlins: 2 votes

Atlanta Braves: 2 vote

Washington Nationals: 1 vote

The Phillies are still the sexy pick here, even though
Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will miss the beginning of the
season and will be replaced with Ty Wigginton and Freddy
Galvis. The new-look (and new name) Miami Marlins and the
Atlanta Braves each got two votes, while Arizona Sports
620’s Dave Burns is picking the Washington Nationals, a
team with exactly one playoff appearance in 44 years of
existence, to win the crown.


National League Wild Cards

San Francisco Giants: 7 votes

Miami Marlins: 5 votes

Atlanta Braves: 4 votes

Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 votes

Philadelphia Phillies: 2 votes

St. Louis Cardinals: 2 votes

Arizona Diamondbacks: 1 vote

Cincinnati Reds: 1 vote

Colorado Rockies: 1 vote

Milwaukee Brewers: 1 vote

Washington Nationals: 1 vote

Quite the array of teams, but let’s remember Bud Selig
has unveiled his “expanded” playoff format, which means
one Wild Card team will get to play one whole extra game.
The boldest Wild Card pick belongs
to KTAR.com writer Carter Nacke, who has the Nationals. By
the way, the teams that nobody thinks are
playoff-bound? The Mets, Astros, Cubs, Pirates and
Padres.


National League Pennant Winner

Arizona Diamondbacks: 5 votes

Philadelphia Phillies: 5 votes

Atlanta Braves: 1 vote

Miami Marlins: 1 vote

Milwaukee Brewers: 1 vote

San Francisco Giants: 1 vote

The Diamondbacks’ additions of Jason Kubel and Trevor
Cahill without losing any key position players from last
year’s NL West champion team was enough to sway five
voters into thinking the Fall Classic will return to
downtown Phoenix.


National League MVP

Justin Upton, Arizona: 6 votes

Hanley Ramirez, Miami: 2 votes

Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado: 2 votes

Joey Votto, Cincinnati: 2 votes

Matt Kemp, Los Angeles: 1 vote

Hunter Pence, Philadelphia: 1 vote

So this is the year for Justin Upton according to six
of
our voters. Here’s a scary thought: Upton is only 24-
years-old and is entering his 6th big league season. It’s
also interesting that nobody picked Ryan Braun to repeat
as MVP. Hmmm.


National League Cy Young Award

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles: 5 votes

Roy Halladay, Philadelphia: 3 votes

Cliff Lee, Philadelphia: 3 votes

Zack Greinke, Milwaukee: 1 vote

Josh Johnson, Miami: 1 vote

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco: 1 vote

Kershaw is the favorite among our panel, but we found
it interesting that all but one of our panelists picked a
previous Cy Young winner. Only ArizonaSports.com’s Adam
Green went with a first-timer, Josh Johnson of Miami.


National League Rookie of the Year

Yonder Alonso, San Diego: 4 votes

Julio Teheran, Atlanta: 2 votes

Zack Cozart, Cincinnati: 2 votes

Bryce Harper, Washington: 2 votes

Trevor Bauer, Arizona: 1 vote

Shelby Miller, St. Louis: 1 vote

Tyler Pastornicky, Atlanta: 1 vote

Drew Pomerantz, Colorado: 1 vote

Alonso is no longer blocked behind Joey Votto at first
base in Cincinnati, and should have a chance to flourish
with a young San Diego ball club, although it’s
interesting to note the Padres haven’t had a Rookie of the
Year since Benito Santiago won the award in 1987. And even
though he didn’t make the Opening Day roster, KTAR.com
writer Clayton Klapper believes Trevor Bauer will win the
senior circuit’s rookie hardware.


National League Manager of the Year

Dusty Baker, Cincinnati: 3 votes

Kirk Gibson, Arizona: 3 votes

Ozzie Guillen, Miami: 3 votes

Don Mattingly, Los Angeles: 3 votes

Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee: 1 vote

Jim Tracy, Colorado: 1 vote

Even voting for the defending skipper of the year in
Gibson, and Guillen who’s saddled with the pressure of
guiding the young, talented and suddenly free-spending
Marlins back to NL prominence. Oh, and Dusty and his
toothpicks got 3 votes as well.


American League West

Los Angeles Angels: 9 votes

Texas Rangers: 5 votes

This promises to be one of, if not the most intriguing
division race in baseball. And by the looks of our
results, the A’s and Mariners are playing
for third place.


American League Central

Detroit Tigers: 14 votes

This promises to be the least intriguing race in
baseball. The Tigers ran away with this division a year
ago and then went out and added Prince Fielder via free
agency in the offseason. Does Detroit have a magic number
already?


American League East

New York Yankees: 8 votes

Tampa Bay Rays: 4 votes

Boston Red Sox: 1 vote

Toronto Blue Jays: 1 vote

Doug Franz of Doug and
Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 is taking the Blue Jays, while
Charlie Feinerman, author of “Touch ‘Em All” on
ArizonaSports.com, likes the Red Sox to bounce back from
their chicken-and-beer-fueled collapse from a year ago.


American League Wild Cards

Tampa Bay Rays: 7 votes

Texas Rangers: 7 votes

New York Yankees: 6 votes

Los Angels Angels: 4 votes

Boston Red Sox: 3 votes

Minnesota Twins: 1 vote

With their 6 Wild Card votes, every panel member
believes the Yankees are headed to the postseason for the
17th time in the last 18 seasons. Only Doug & Wolf
producer Jeremy Foster strayed from the flock and picked
the Minnesota Twins to claim a Wild Card.


American League Pennant Winner

Los Angeles Angels: 5 votes

New York Yankees: 4 votes

Detroit Tigers: 3 votes

Boston Red Sox: 1 vote

Tampa Bay Rays: 1 vote

More balanced voting here, but nobody thinks the Texas
Rangers, who have been hard-luck bridesmaids the last two
years, can make it three trips to the Series in a row.


American League MVP

Albert Pujols, Los Angeles: 5 votes

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit: 4 votes

Robinson Cano, NY Yankees: 4 votes

Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay: 1 vote

Can Albert Pujols join Frank Robinson and become only
the second player in baseball history to win the Most
Valuable Player Award in both leagues? Five of our panel
members: Dave Burns, Charlie Feinerman, Doug Franz,
Clayton Klapper and
Jules Tompkins,
our 2012 Big League Dream Job winner, all believe he can.
Incidentally, Robinson turned the feat in his first year
in the American League, 1966.


American League Cy Young

Justin Verlander, Detroit: 5 votes

Jered Weaver, Los Angeles: 4 votes

Felix Hernandez, Seattle: 2 votes

CC Sabathia, NY Yankees: 2 votes

David Price, Tampa Bay: 1 vote

It’s hard to argue with Verlander, who looked nearly
unhittable in 2011, posting a 24-5 record with 250
strikeouts and a 2.49 ERA — which all topped the American
League. The boldest pick belongs again to Adam Green, who
thinks this is David Price’s year to have his name etched
on the Cy.


American League Rookie of the Year

Yu Darvish, Texas: 6 votes

Jesus Montero, Seattle: 4 votes

Matt Moore, Tampa Bay: 3 votes

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: 1 vote

It looks like a three-horse race for this award
according to our panel. Darvish is looking to join Ichiro
Suzuki, Kazuhiro Sasaki and Hideo Nomo as the only
Japanese-born players to win the award, while Moore is
looking to make it two Tampa Bay pitchers in a row.
Jeremy Hellickson won the hardware in 2011.


American League Manager of the Year

Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay: 5 votes

Joe Girardi, NY Yankees: 2 votes

John Farrell, Toronto: 2 votes

Jim Leyland, Detroit: 1 vote

Bobby Valentine, Boston: 1 vote

Ron Washington, Texas: 1 vote

Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels: 1 vote

Eric Wedge, Seattle: 1 vote

Maddon, Leyland and Wedge all have at least one of
these awards on their mantle. And interesting to note:
Dave Burns has the Angels sweeping all four major AL
awards (Pujols, Weaver, Trout, Scioscia). Arte Moreno
says the check is in the mail, Dave.


Breakout Player

Tyler Bassett, KTAR.com Editor: Giancarlo Stanton,
Miami

Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns & Gambo: Mike Trout,
Los Angeles Angels

Jarrett Carlen, Arizona Sports 620 Technical
Director
: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona

Daria Del Colliano, ArizonaSports.com Editor: Julio
Teheran, Atlanta

Charlie Feinerman, Arizona Sports 620
producer/reporter
: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta

Jeremy Foster, Producer of Doug & Wolf: J.D.
Martinez, Houston

Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug & Wolf: Brandon Belt,
San Francisco

John Gambadoro, Co-host of Burns & Gambo: Eric
Hosmer, Kansas City

Bryan Gibberman, Arizona Sports 620 producer: Elvis
Andrus, Texas

Adam Green, ArizonaSports.com Writer: Brennan
Boesch, Detroit

Clayton Klapper, KTAR.com Writer: Stephen
Strasburg, Washington

Vince Marotta, ArizonaSports.com Editor: Jemile
Weeks, Oakland

Carter Nacke, KTAR.com Writer: Yu Darvish, Texas

Jules Tompkins, Arizona Sports special contributor:
Dustin Ackley, Seattle


First Manager Fired in 2012

Manny Acta, Cleveland: 4 votes

Ozzie Guillen, Miami: 2 votes

Bud Black, San Diego: 1 vote

Terry Collins, NY Mets: 1 vote

Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota: 1 vote

Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta : 1 vote

Brad Mills, Houston: 1 vote

Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee: 1 vote

Jim Tracy, Colorado: 1 vote

Eric Wedge, Seattle: 1 vote

Interesting that two panelists (Del Colliano, Nacke)
had Guillen, the biggest hiring acquisition of the
offseason, as the first skipper to be shown the door. And
four managers (Guillen, Roenicke, Tracy, Wedge) show up on
both
Manager of the Year lists and this one.


Most Home Runs in the Majors

Jose Bautista, Toronto: 2 votes

Prince Fielder, Detroit: 2 votes

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami: 2 votes

Joey Votto, Cincinnati: 2 votes

Jay Bruce, Cincinnati: 1 vote

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit: 1 vote

Robinson Cano, NY Yankees: 1 vote

Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado: 1 vote

Albert Pujols, LA Angels: 1 vote

Justin Upton, Arizona: 1 vote

Two of our panelists (Gibberman, Carlen) either are
buying into the massive power of young Stanton, or they
just wanted to type the name ‘Giancarlo’. Jose Bautista,
who has led the big leagues in round-trippers in each of
the last two seasons (with 97 total), only got two votes.


One Bold Prediction

Bassett: Kansas City finishes 2nd in AL Central.

Burns: The Dodgers will be in the NL West race and
will make a big acquisition at the deadline.

Carlen: Phillies will miss the postseason

Del Colliano: Marlins won’t be as good as everyone
thought.

Feinerman: Manny Ramirez will flourish in Oakland
after suspension

Foster: Houston Astros will be within 5 games of
.500.

Franz: The Toronto Blue Jays will win the AL East.

Gambadoro: Ryan Roberts of Arizona will have an
inside-the-park home run.

Gibberman: Pittsburgh will be over .500.

Green: Washington will be in playoff contention

Klapper: David Wright will be traded to a
contender.

Marotta: Justin Verlander will throw two no-
hitters.

Nacke: The Cubs will be decent.

Tompkins: The Red Sox finish 4th in AL East.


World Series Predictions

Bassett: Detroit over Atlanta

Burns: Los Angeles Angels over Arizona

Carlen: Miami over NY Yankees

Del Colliano: Los Angeles Angels over Philadelphia

Feinerman: Philadelphia over Boston

Foster: Tampa Bay over Arizona

Franz: Detroit over Milwaukee

Gambadoro: NY Yankees sweep Arizona

Gibberman: NY Yankees over Arizona

Green: Philadelphia over Detroit

Klapper: Los Angeles Angels over Philadelphia

Marotta: Los Angeles Angels over San Francisco

Nacke: Arizona over Los Angeles Angels

Tompkins: NY Yankees over Philadelphia

Almost half of our panel thinks the title is going back
to the American League with the Angels and Yankees each
garnering three votes. Carter Nacke is the only panelist
who thinks a parade in front of Chase Field is in the
future for the Arizona Diamondbacks.