The Red Sox open their 2012 season tomorrow in Detroit so it's once again time to roll out the annual TheBostonInsider MLB preview.
Five Baseless Predictions
1. The Yankees will ride a monster season from CC Sabathia and win the A.L. East with 109 wins.
Sabathia will lead one of the best pitching staffs in the game and the lineup will score 1000 runs which will translate to the best record in the regular season and a division title but come October it won't be enough to get the job done.
2. The cash spent on a new ballpark, manager, and star players will be a dramatic failure in Miami.
The new ballpark should keep the Marlins competitive over the long-term but the money spent on bringing in Ozzie Guillen, Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Carlos Zambrano will fail to get the team into the playoffs.
3. The loss of Prince Fielder in the Brewers lineup and the bad memories of his PED incident will lead to a poor season (and more bad memories) for Ryan Braun.
Braun, the reigning N.L. MVP, will struggle to replicate his success of 2011. That will mostly be due to the absence of Fielder but his struggles will lead to talk that he was a product of performance-enhancing drugs.
4. Carl Crawford will bounce back from a poor 2011 season and offseason wrist surgery to help the Red Sox win one of the A.L. Wild Card spots.
My biggest mistake in predicting the 2011 season was my choice of Crawford as A.L. MVP. I don't think Crawford will ever have that type of season in Boston but we should see him make a significant impact on the 2012 Red Sox.
5. The Yankees will be searching for replacements for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera after the season.
Age catches up to us all and it will be no different for Yankee icons and future Cooperstown residents Jeter and Rivera. They will catch most of the blame for the Yankees postseason failures this year and will not be with the club this tim next year.
Division Predictions (* = Wild Card)
2. Red Sox *
4. Blue Jays
5. White Sox
2. Rangers *
2. Nationals *
3. Braves *
A.L. Wild Card Playoff
Red Sox over Rangers
Red Sox over Angels
Yankees over Tigers
Red Sox over Yankees
N.L. Wild Card Playoff
Braves over Nationals
Reds over Braves
Phillies over Diamondbacks
Phillies over Reds
Phillies over Red Sox
A.L. MVP - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
N.L. MVP - Joey Votto, Reds
A.L. Cy Young - CC Sabathia, Yankees
N.L. Cy Young - Roy Halladay, Phillies
A.L. Rookie of the Year - Jesus Montero, Mariners
N.L. Rookie of the Year - Bryce Harper, Nationals
A.L. Manager of the Year - Bobby Valentine, Red Sox
N.L. Manager of the Year - Dusty Baker, Reds