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2012 MLB Predictions: NL West

Manager Kirk Gibson and the Arizona Diamondbacks were one of the biggest surprises in Major League Baseball after winning the National League West in 2011 just a year after finishing in last place in 2010.  Justin Upton had a great season finishing 5th in MVP voting and shows no signs of slowing down.  Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy was a 20 game winner and will be the key to Arizona’s success in 2012.

The Diamondbacks will make it to postseason play but not as division champions however.  The 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants will reclaim the NL West crown in 2012.   It’s hard to bet against Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain at the top of the rotation, along with the emerging Madison Bumgarner to boot.  It will be tough to score runs against this team.

The Giants have struggled to score runs themselves, and they’ll be expecting some offensive production from their catcher, Buster Posey.  Posey only played 45 games last season before he injured his leg in a home plate collision.  He’ll be the key for San Fran this season.

If the Giants can make it to October, they will be a very dangerous team to oppose.

The rest of the division:  Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres will not make it the postseason in 2012, although there’s no reason to think that the Rockies and Dodgers can’t compete for a wildcard spot.

The San Diego Padres are in a rebuilding phase and they’ll finish last.