I am finalizing my 2012 prediction series by revealing my NL West standings and adding a few positive and negative predictions for each team. In case you missed it, I have already revealed my AL East Predictions, AL Central Predictions, AL West Predictions, NL East Predictions, and NL Central Predictions and we, as a staff, revealed some of our overall MLB predictions. Enjoy.
There is a lot to like about this club. Justin Upton continues to impress and has an MVP caliber season hitting .300/.375/.550 with 30+ homeruns and 20+ stolen bases. Willie Bloomquist will steal 25 bases. Daniel Hudson is not only the best pitcher on this staff but will be one of the five best in the National League with 225 innings of 3.15 ERA and similar FIP while striking out 180+ batters.
Joe Saunders will not be lucky again and his 2012 results will match his 4.78 FIP from last year. Jason Kubel came to Arizona because of his bat but his defense will be so bad that he barely reaches 1.0 fWAR. Paul Goldschmidt will hit .240/.320/.450 and be a bit of a disappointment.
Troy Tulowitzki will not win the NL MVP but he will hit .315/.400/.570 with 35 homeruns and 10+ stolen bases while also posting a +8 UZR and lead the Majors in fWAR. Michael Cuddyer takes kindly to his new digs and hit .290/.350/.475 with 25+ homeruns. Juan Nicasio will pitch 175 innings and post a 3.75 ERA and 150 strikeouts.
Jeremy Guthrie, happy to be out of the American League East, allows 30 homeruns and posts a groundball rate under 40% again. Jamie Moyer is a great story but he cannot keep his ERA below 5.00 before losing his rotation spot to Guillermo Moscoso who pitches in 100+ innings and challenges Ken Dixon‘s record 2.66 HR/9 (minimum 100 innings pitched).
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Matt Kemp will continue to rake and hit .300/.380/.550 and go hit 30+ homeruns and steal 30+ bases. Kenley Jansen will strike out 100+ batters in relief. Dee Gordon will lead the league in stolen bases. Clayton Kershaw will, again, post an ERA below 2.50 and strike out over 225 batters.
While Gordon leads the league in stolen bases he will also lead the league in times caught stealing. Only two players with a minimum of 400 plate appearances will post a wRC+ over 100 for the Dodgers. Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano both post ERAs in the 4.50 range.
San Diego Padres:
Cameron Maybin will be top 10 among position players in fWAR and hit .275/.345/.425 and hit 10+ homeruns, steal 40+ bases, and post a +10 UZR. He will be on my top 10 MVP ballot. Tim Stauffer will see his HR/FB rate decrease and he will pitch 200 innings with a 3.50 ERA and strike out 150 batters with a groundball rate over 52%. Huston Street will have an ERA below 2.00 and K/9 above 9.0 and be dealt at the trade deadline for a top prospect.
Dustin Moseley will see his ERA increase by more than a full run. Clayton Richard will see his ERA increase by at least a half of a run. Mark Kotsay will post a negative fWAR total. Carlos Quentin will hit less than 20 homeruns and his poor defense will cause him to lose playing time at the end of the year.
San Francisco Giants:
Matt Cain will flourish in his walk year and post a 2.75 ERA in 225 innings and be worth a career best 5.5 fWAR. Madison Bumgarner will post nearly identical numbers as Cain. Brandon Belt will become a full-time regular and finish the season with 20+ homeruns and 10+ stolen bases.
Melky Cabrera will revert back to his fourth outfielder ways and hit .250/.310/.370 and play horrible defense. He will struggle to be worth more than a replacement level player. The double-play combo of Emmanuel Burriss and Brandon Crawford will combine to hit .225/.280/.300 and be the worst offensive middle infield combo in baseball.
1. Arizona Diamondbacks (90-72)
2. Colorado Rockies (85-77)
3. San Francisco Giants (83-79)
4. San Diego Padres (75-87)
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (65-97)
-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and the Florida Marlins at ESPN’s SweetSpot site Marlins Daily. You can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert. Be sure to follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Aaron Harang, Arizona Diamondbacks, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Chris Capuano, Clayton Kershaw, Clayton Richard, Colorado Rockies, Daniel Hudson, Dee Gordon, Dustin Moseley, Emmanuel Burriss, Guillermo Moscoso, Huston Street, Jamie Moyer, Jason Kubel, Jeremy Guthrie, Joe Saunders, Juan Nicasio, Justin Upton, Ken Dixon, Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers, Madison Bumgarner, Mark Kotsay, Matt Cain, Matt Kemp, Melky Cabrera, Michael Cuddyer, Paul Goldschmidt, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Tim Stauffer, Troy Tulowitzki, Willie Bloomquist