Not so fast my friends! The winner will be  picked in a moment. First, the prelim. The standings. Here are my picks for what should be a great 2012 baseball season. By the way, don't buy into the phoney notion that baseball is about 5 teams and that's it. Fact-baseball has better competitive balance then any other sport. Just look it up. There have been more teams to qualify for the Baseball playoffs in the last 20 years than in any other sport-yes that includes parity mad NFL and the NHL.

Okay, to this year's picks!!!! Gosh, I just love this day.

NL East-Sorry, fellow Met fans. We stink. I don't like saying that, but it is what it is. Bullpen is horrid. Lineup has more holes then OJ Simpson's alibi and the starting pitching, while not pitiful, raises questions and red flags. Will Santana stay healthy. Can big stiff Pelfrey get big outs? Or any outs? Here is how I see the East:

The chick pick is Philly or Miami. Not for me. Going on a small limb and taking the Washington Nationals. Manager Davey Johnson, a winner, says he should be fired if the 'Nats don't make the playoffs. I don't agree with that, but they will win. John Lannon couldn't make the staff, and he is pretty good. I hope Strasburg stays healthy. Their pitching is solid and I expect to see the exciting Bryce Harper early. Jason Werth will have  big year. 'Nats win the east, followed by the Phils, Marlins, Braves and my Metsies!

To the Central. Tough division. Taking the Red Legs. Worried that their closer Mark Madson went down for the year. Please make Chapman, the fireballing Cuban, the closer. Reds win the division, followed by the Brewers. Still, solid pitching- even without the Prince, this team will hit enough. 3rd through 6th-Cubs, Cards, Pirates, and (yawn) Astros. Watch out for the Bucs. Not great starters, but all durable and will eat innings. Reds win the central.

The West is also interesting. Going in this order: DBacks-Look at the top 3 starters. I think Daniel Hudson is heading for stardom. Ian Kennedy and new aquisition, Trevor Cahill. That's big time. The Giants also have a solid if not great staff. They finish 2nd. the Dodgers a close 3rd. Rockies 4th, and the Padres last.

Your Wild Cards: Brewers and Phils (yuk). I am taking the Reds to get to the World Series. Love the Latos trade. This club will score and pitch. Taking Cincy to get to the fall classic.

Now to the AL East: The big money division will feature the smallest spenders. The Rays still have the best pitching and I am staying with Joe Madden's club. The Yanks are old, but good. Didn't like the Pineda deal and like it less now. Yanks will still hit and the hammer of God (Mo Rivera) is still the best. Yanks 2nd. Boston could be a big bust if Bobby V is already disliked. Sox will take 3rd, but Toronto is better and will be competitive. The Orioles have a a lousy manager, bad ownership and a terrible team. Last place!

The Central is a one-horse race. Tigers easy!!!!! The rest is a  mixed bag of hope and pray. Taking Cleveland followed by Minny, then the Whitesox, and last again the KC Royals.

The West is a 2 team fight. love this Angels club and they win the division. Texas drives for their 3rd straight World Series Birth. Think the Josh Hamilton mess will not play well. His drug issues and contract situation could implode and take this team down, and their opening day starter is Colby Lewis. Angels win the division by 5 games. Who cares about 3rd and 4th? I suppose just for prediction purposes, Seattle then Oakland.

The AL Wild Cards will be the Yanks and I am taking a chance and picking the Indians. No Texas this year.

The World Series will be a match between the Reds and Angels. I am taking the Angels to win it all. Great club. No holes. Great signing with Albert Puljos. I think the LA Angels wins it all over the Red Legs in October.

Give me your picks and Lets Play Ball!

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