It’s that time of the year again to make predictions for the upcoming Major League Baseball season.  Anyone who knows me is well aware that I’m a huge baseball fan, so this is all in fun. 

Just so you know, last season I predicted the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees in the World Series.  Well, we all know how that turned out.

Please don’t go rushing to your friends in Las Vegas and make some bets (but if you do and win some money, you know where to find me).  Okay, I’m kidding.  Here’s what I think will happen in the 2012 MLB season.

National League East:

1. Philadelphia Phillies

2. Florida Marlins

3. Atlanta Braves

4. Washington Nationals

5. New York Mets

This could end up being the toughest division in baseball.  I could see any of the top three teams winning the division.  The Phillies have the best pitching, the Marlins have the most powerful line-up and the Braves are the most balanced overall.  Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the Nationals hang around until September. 

The Phillies would be the easy choice if Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were healthy, but with the status of those two all-stars up in the air, it’s anyone’s division.

If Howard and Utley don’t come back by early summer, I could see the Marlins or Braves winning it, but with the Phillies pitching and experience, it’s hard to see them not claiming the division.

National League Central

1. Cincinnati Reds

2. St Louis Cardinals

3. Milwaukee Brewers

4. Pittsburgh Pirates

5. Chicago Cubs

6. Houston Astros

The defending champion Cardinals lost Albert Pujols and ace Chris Carpenter is not healthy.  Plus, they no longer have Tony LaRussa pulling the strings.  Meantime, the Brewers lost Prince Fielder.

The door is open for the Reds to finally breakthrough and claim the crown.  They have some pitching questions, but with that offense, I expect them to have enough.  Look out for the up-start Pirates.  I think Pittsburgh finishes above .500 this season.

National League West

1. Arizona Diamondbacks

2. San Francisco Giants

3. Los Angeles Dodgers