Gazing into the crystal (base)ball |

Gazing into the crystal (base)ball

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Major League Baseball’s 2012 season begins in earnest today. To ring in another summer of America’s pastime, the Post Independent’s Jeff Caspersen and Collin Szewczyk present their “well-informed” predictions for the new season:

American League

West champ: Texas Rangers

Central champ: Detroit Tigers

East champ: Tampa Bay Rays

Wild cards: New York Yankees, L.A. Angels

MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Tigers

Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore, Rays

National League

West champ: San Francisco Giants

Central champ: Cincinnati Reds

East champ: Miami Marlins

Wild cards: Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies

MVP: Buster Posey, Giants

Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner, Giants

Rookie of the Year: Yonder Alonso, Padres

World Series prediction: Rays over Reds in five games. A little out there, I know, but the Rays boast one of the deepest pitching rotations in all of baseball. David Price, James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson front a talented group of arms. Add in uber-prospect Matt Moore, my Rookie of the Year pick, and that’s a starting pitching punch no one wants to face in the playoffs. A healthy Evan Longoria and a full season for five-tool stud Desmond Jennings should sufficiently spark the offense. The Trop will be rocking in October. Just wait.

American League

West champ: L.A. Angels

Central champ: Detroit Tigers

East champ: N.Y. Yankees (sigh … )

Wild cards: Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox

MVP: Albert Pujols, Angels

Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Tigers

Rookie of the Year: Yu Darvish, Rangers

National League

West champ: Arizona Diamondbacks

Central champ: Cincinnati Reds

East champ: Atlanta Braves

Wild cards: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants

MVP: Joey Votto, Reds

Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Rookie of the Year: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

World Series prediction: Never has the world witnessed such a sight … an 11th-inning, walk-off, come-from-behind, three-run homer by rookie Anthony Rizzo in Game 7 of the NLCS lifts the Cubs to the World Series for the first time in 14,000 years. The losing pitcher, Brian Wilson of the Giants, then has his beard ceremonially shaved off at second base as Northsiders spill tears of joy into their Old Styles in the bleachers at Wrigley. In the World Series, the Cubs ride the bat of Rizzo (NL Rookie of the Year) and the speed of Tony Campana (52 stolen bases on the year) to best the L.A. Angels in six games, bringing the 2012 apocalypse into fruition.

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