In the final round of MLB predictions we’ll look at who our staff at Venom Strikes thinks will make it to the World Series and ultimatey win it all in 2012.
In our previous prediction pieces we’ve looked at the AL Division winners and wildcards, the NL division winners and wildcards, the AL Awards and NL Awards. On the day the D-Backs open, we’ll look at whether or not we think the Diamondbacks have enough win the whole thing this year.
Tyler Roberts: Arizona Diamonbacks defeat the Los Angeles Angels
Tyler likes the pickups of Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson to put the Angels over the top in the American League. In 2011, the Angels were a good, not great team, that boasted a talented rotation and sub-par lineup. To resolve their offensive woes, the Angels went out and got arguably the best hitter in the game in Pujols. CJ Wilson is a nice addition to a rotation that also features Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Irvin Santana. Tyler, though, thinks your own Diamondbacks will knock them off in the World Series. The Diamondbacks are among the favorites to represent the NL in the World Series, although few experts actually pick them to win it all. They’ll need solid years again from Ian Kennedy and Justin Upton, in addition to monster years from Paul Goldscmidt and Trevor Cahill to win it all this year–however, there’s good reason to believe that all of the above can happen.
Thomas Lynch: Texas Rangers defeat St. Louis Cardinals
In a rematch of the 2011 World Series, Thomas likes the results to reverse this season, feeling that the 3rd time is a charm for the Texas Rangers. Texas has among the best lineups in baseball with Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre and are a solid defensive team with Beltre and Elvis Andrus. They can pitch too. Despite losing Wilson to LA, they added All-World starter Yu Darvish–who might actually be an upgrade. Thomas likes the Cards to make it out of the NL despite losing Albert Pujols. The Cards are hoping that the signing of Carlos Betran will limit the loss Pujols. They still have Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman and extended catcher Yadier Molina and will get starter Adam Wainright back after losing him for the entire 2011 season. They’re hoping Chris Carpenter’s injury isn’t significant, but they have rotation depth in Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook.
J. Levi Burnfin: Tampa Bay Rays defeat Philidelphia Phillies
Levi thinks the Tampa Bay Rays will take the next step from surprise playoff team to World Series Champ. They definitely already had the rotation for it in James Shields, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Jeff Niemann but the addition of top-prospect Matt Moore could ultimately be what puts them over the top. Their real key to success will be improvements from the offense. Having a completely healthy Evan Longoria in addition to the pick-ups for Carlos Pena and Luke Scott will help. The Phillies–after being a favorite to win in all in 2011–seem to be a team that’s easy to forget. They still have perhaps the best rotation in baseball in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, but overall they’re starting to age a little and might be in a win or else season.
Chris Czar: Detroit Tigers over Arizona Diamondbacks
In a battle of my two favorite teams, I like the Tigers to win their first World Series title in 28 years. With three of the biggest names in baseball–Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and free agent pick-up Prince Fielder–the Tigers would appear to be a three horse team, but they’ve got a good supporting cast as well including trade deadline prize Doug Fister, former D-Back Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. They have good hitters around Cabrera and Fielder as well in Delmon Young, Brennan Boesch and All-Stars Johnny Peralta and Alex Avila. Their bullpen is deep and they’re well managed. However, defense could be the Tigers achilles heel with only two above average defenders in the everyday lineup: Avila and center fielder Austin Jackson. A match-up with the D-Backs and Tigers would have a ton of storylines as D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson and bench coach Alan Trammell are legends in Detroit Tiger history.
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