Sports
by Mr. T on April 4, 2012

Arizona Diamondbacks: 86 Games
Mr. T's Pick: Over

After a tremendous year last year, the Diamondbacks are likely to fall back to earth somewhat. They’ll still be a strong team, however, given there hasn’t been that much improvement around them in the NL West.
 


Atlanta Braves: 86.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

The NL East will be quite formidable this year and the Braves aren’t necessarily keeping up with the upstarts in the division. Tommy Hanson and Brandon Beachy are good young arms, but Julio Teahran and Randall Delgado haven’t lived up to expectations yet. That doesn’t help with a lineup lacking a real stud.

Baltimore Orioles: 69.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

While Matt Weiters might finally improve into the player he was expected to become, look for the Orioles to struggle again as the clear cellar-dweller of the AL East
 

Boston Red Sox: 89.5
Mr. T's Pick: Over

Boston fans will remember how last season fell apart, but it’s worth noting that a few of Boston’s better hitters (Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford) didn’t have great seasons. Closer Andrew Bailey is already hurt, but the Red Sox have capable replacements.

Chicago Cubs: 73.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

There will be brighter days in Wrigley Field, but it will take some time. Expectations should be very low as Theo Epstein reinvents the franchise.
 

Chicago White Sox: 75
Mr. T's Pick: Over

I expect the White Sox to be invigorated without manager Ozzie Guillen’s dominating personality in the locker room. If Adam Dunn can bounce back from the depths of awful and Chris Sale provides a stable arm in the rotation, it’s possible that Chicago could contend for the division.
 

Cincinnati Reds: 88
Mr. T's Pick: Over

The NL Central is weak right now and the Reds are poised to take advantage. With Milwaukee and St. Louis figuring to have worse seasons, the newly added Mat Latos should be able to anchor a decent pitching staff that knows it has the bats behind it.
 

Cleveland Indians: 78.5
Mr. T's Pick: Over

The Indians are still a team in flux, but they should be a little better than the projected Vegas win total. They’ve got a reasonably good top four in the pitching rotation and their offense should be better if everyone stays healthy.


 
Colorado Rockies: 81.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

The Rockies have some strong young arms, but somehow wound up with Jamie Moyer as a No.2 starter. Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and the under-the-radar signing Michael Cuddyer will make sure the offense produces as expected.


 
Detroit Tigers: 92.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

Have you looked at their starting pitching? It’s really not that good. Definitely not good enough to secure 95 wins. The defense is also a question mark. While I expect them to win a weak division, I really don’t expect them best last year’s win total.
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Houston Astros: 63
Mr. T's Pick: Under

Can you name five players on the Astros? How about three? No, the Killer B’s retired a long time ago.


 
Kansas City Royals: 79
Mr. T's Pick: Under

The Royals are really close to being a factor in the AL Central, but their young arms aren’t quite there yet. They will be better than last year and Vegas has based that expectation into a respectable win total. Expect a .300 / 30 / 110 stat line out of Eric Hosmer.


 
Los Angeles Angels: 92.5
Mr. T's Pick: Over

Unlike the Tigers, the Angels actually have a tremendous pitching staff to go along with their newly signed first baseman. Kendrys Morales is back from his gruesome home plate injury and should provide Albert Pujols protection in the middle of the lineup.


 
Los Angeles Dodgers: 81
Mr. T's Pick: Over

The new ownership group is great and all, but this core of Dodgers are historic underachievers. I still can’t believe the Dodgers employ James Loney, a first baseman who’s never hit more than 15 home runs in a season. That’s bottom-barrel production from a power position.
 


Miami Marlins: 85
Mr. T's Pick: Over

The Marlins are making their move to greatness just in time for a new stadium. It’s no coincidence that they signed Jose Reyes with the newfound money, but they’ll need Hanley Ramirez to bounce back to his regular production in order win the NL East. I believe he’ll do so. Look for Carlos Zambrano to return to relevance in the warm weather and comfortable surroundings.

Milwaukee Brewers: 85.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

Ryan Braun may have escaped ramifications from a positive performance-enhancing drug test, but the offense will struggle without Prince Fielder behind him. The starting pitching is good, but they won a surprisingly small number of games last year. I expect them to be solid, but come in just slightly under their expected win total.


 
Minnesota Twins: 73.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

Minnesota will look to rebound following last year’s disappointing season, but there are question marks about how effective Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau will be. Their pitching staff leaves a little bit to be desired as well.

New York Mets: 71.5
Mr. T's Pick: Under

Things have been bad for a while in Flushing, but this year will be rock bottom. They’ll play hard, but injuries and errors always seem to rear their ugly head. At least Mets fan have someone to cheer for in Lucas Duda.


 
New York Yankees: 93
Mr. T's Pick: Over

The Bronx Bombers reinforced their pitching in the offseason, but one of those arms, Michael Pineda, is already down for at least a month. They’ll need to get quality innings from Hideki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova because we know they can hit. The problem will remain, however, that they need to find more ways to score or risk another early October exit.


 
Oakland A's: 73
Mr. T's Pick: Under

Oakland got rid of their two best pitchers and their biggest addition was a young unproven Cuban import. I’m not sure if Yoenis Cespedes could roll crepes at Magic Pan, but I’m sure he’ll have plenty of time to try doing so as the offseason will come quickly.{pagebreak}

Philadelphia Phillies: 92
Mr. T's Pick: Under

The middle of Philadelphia’s lineup is beat to sh*t. Without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, look for the Phillies to struggle scoring runs early in the season. They have pretty good pitching, but such a glaring weakness will be an issue against a vastly improved division.


 
Pittsburgh Pirates: 74
Mr. T's Pick: Under

The reason Pittsburgh was able to score 72 wins last year was because they started out extremely hot and then fell back to Earth. If they start only slightly slower, that 74-win mark seems out of reach.
 

San Diego Padres: 74
Mr. T's Pick: Under

They have no offense and  lost Matt Latos. I love Corey Luebke, but he can’t pitch every game. These guys will be competition with the Astros for the worst record in baseball.


 
San Francisco Giants: 87.5
Mr. T's Pick: Over

The Giants fell apart after losing Buster Posey last year, but he’s back and the core around him in mostly the same. If Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval can stay healthy for a whole season, the Giants should win the NL West.


 
Seattle Mariners: 72.5
Mr. T's Pick: Over

At least the Mariners finally realized they needed hitting and acquired Jesus Montero. Don’t expect a big jump on their win total, but they should be able to get to 73 wins.


 
St. Louis Cardinals: 84
Mr. T's Pick: Under

Albert Pujols is gone, Chris Carpenter is hurt, and Adam Wainwright needs to completely regain his strength following surgery. The Cardinals were somewhat lucky to be as good as they were last year, so I expect a regression to the mean this year.

Tampa Bay Rays: 88
Mr. T's Pick: Under

The Rays have some great arms, but their lineup wasn’t great last year following the departure of Carl Crawford. While the Yankees and Red Sox both improved, the Rays somewhat stood pat and will likely be competing for third place.


 
Texas Rangers: 92
Mr. T's Pick: Over

Yu Darvish appears to be the real thing and should slot right in for C.J. Wilson. As the young arms continue to improve, Texas should be a well-rounded attack that contends for the AL crown again.


 
Toronto Blue Jays: 82.5
Mr. T's Pick: Over

Toronto is probably a couple years away from making major moves, but the fact they won 81 games last year is quite remarkable given the opposition in the division. Canadians are already obsessed with Brett Lawrie, but look for Colby Rasmus to be a welcome hitting surprise now that he’s further removed from his time in St. Louis.


 
Washington Nationals: 84
Mr. T's Pick: Over

The offseason acquisition of Gio Gonzalez was a tremendous one for the Nats, who are almost ready to compete for a division title. The wild card is hitting, but we all know Bryce Harper is right around the corner.
 

Best Bets: Detroit, Los Angeles Angels, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Diego.
NL East: Miami Marlins
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds
NL West: San Francisco Giants
NL Wild Card: Philadelphia Phillies
AL East: New York Yankees
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
AL West: Anaheim Angels
AL Wild Card: Texas Rangers
World Series: Anaheim over San Francisco