2012 MLB Preview: National League

March 27, 2012

All right, it’s National League time…

NL East

1. Philadelphia Phillies

2. Miami Marlins

3. Atlanta Braves

The Braves need to get more out of the offense than what was produced last year. The East will be one of the toughest divisions in baseball, and if you can’t score, you can’t win. I still have faith that right fielder Jason Heyward can become the productive power hitter that we saw flashes of during his rookie season, but the clock is ticking. He will need to bounce back from the sophomore slump of 2011 if Atlanta wants to surprise people.

Atlanta has the bullpen and starting pitching to compete, and the Marlins are a landmine that could explode at any time. Things set up rather nicely for the Braves to snag a Wildcard spot if they can get some offensive production. However, that if is huge.

4. Washington Nationals

5. New York Mets

NL Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals

2. Cincinnati Reds

The Reds have the potential to be very, very good this season. However, preseason expectations may scare Cincinnati, as they could have been very, very good last season and just weren’t. The pitching staff was bolstered thanks to the addition of Mat Latos (to the starting rotation) and Ryan Madson (to the bullpen). Latos could end up being a great deal for the Reds, but it could also backfire if he ends up getting hurt or becomes unsatisfied for some reason.

The Reds should be fine offensively, and on paper the same could be said of their pitching. Time will tell whether or not the pitching will truly be there. If it is, Cincinnati could find itself on top of the division at the end of the season. If not, another disappointing year is imminent.

3. Milwaukee Brewers

4. Pittsburgh Pirates

5. Chicago Cubs

6. Houston Astros

NL West

1. San Francisco Giants

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

If there is a team in the league that could come out of nowhere like Arizona did last season, it is the Los Angeles Dodgers. It wouldn’t be a similar rise, though. The Dodgers aren’t a group of no-name youngsters that will surprise people with solid pitching. Los Angeles’ pitchers are actually well known, led by reigning Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw, and have shown the ability to shut down the opposition. The key will be for Chad Billingsley to remain strong for an entire year, not just one half of the season.

On offense, the Dodgers have some nice pieces, led by outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Like Billingsley, Ethier will need to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 campaign if the Dodgers want to make a run at a playoff spot. Ever since Frank McCourt took over there had been a cloud over this club, but with McCourt and his troubles gone the sunlight is ready to poke through that cloud if the Dodgers play to their potential.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

4. Colorado Rockies

5. San Diego Padres


Most Valuable Player- Joey Votto (Cincinnati)

Cy Young- Roy Halladay (Philadelphia)

Rookie of the Year- Drew Pomeranz (Colorado)

Hank Aaron- Joey Votto (Cincinnati)

Comeback Player of the Year- Buster Posey (San Francisco)

Playoff Predictions


Cincinnati over Miami

Divisional Series

Philadelphia over Cincinnati

San Francisco over St. Louis

Championship Series

Philadelphia over San Francisco

Now that you know my ALCS and NLCS winners, here is my World Series prediction:

World Series

Philadelphia over Tampa Bay in six

So, there you are, my 2012 MLB predictions. If you have any questions or would like to comment, please leave a message in the comments section or email me kbecks@aroundthecorn.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I’m ready for another great season of baseball! Just not starting at six in the morning…I’ll wait until Sunday night.

– K. Becks

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