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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Phillies 2012!

The season begins tomorrow in Pittsburgh. The Phillies go after a sixth consecutive National League Eastern Division title, on the road to a third World Series appearance and their ultimate goal, a second World Series championship in five years. I think there's a lot to worry about, especially early on with both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley out with injuries. If games are close because the offense is struggling, the Phils will need their bullpen to do the job and I'm not sure they're up to it right now. Then again, it seems like the bullpen has always a concern and somehow things work out.

They seem to have dodged a bullet by letting Ryan Madson go away and signing Jonathan Papelbon to be the closer. Madson had Tommy John surgery and is out for the season after signing for one year with Cincinnati. But if the guys in front of Papelbon can't hold leads for the monster starting rotation...anyway, although it's tempting (particularly for those national "experts" I love so much) to say that Atlanta or Washington or Florida Miami will overtake the Phils, I'm going to do with the Phils what I did with the Braves for all those years in the 1990s and early 2000s: keep picking them to win until they don't. So I present my picks for the divisions and wild cards (yes, two...ugh...). I again present my disclaimer that I don't have a deep awareness of what's going on with each team, so these are very uneducated guesses:

NL East
1. Phillies
2. Miami
3. Atlanta
4. Washington
5. New York Mets

NL Central: St. Louis
NL West: San Francisco
NL Wild Cards: Miami, Arizona
AL East: New York Yankees
AL Central: Detroit
AL West: Los Angeles Angels
AL Wild Cards: Texas, Tampa Bay

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