The sports writers for Southern California-based GPS tracking systems company Tracking System Direct have already unveiled their 2012 predictions for both the American League and National League. The division and wildcard winners have been selected, and the experts believe that the team representing the AL will be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, while the Philadelphia Phillies will be the contestant from the NL. With both teams bringing superstar names from big city markets, baseball fans will be guaranteed a thrilling World Series. The only question remaining is what team did the analysts pick to hoist the championship trophy come October?
After opening the season with a number of key players such as Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the disabled list, the Phillies were able to pull-off the late season rally to win the division. However, it is not power that will define the 2012 Phillies, but rather pitching.
After a couple tastes of postseason baseball, Roy Halladay will lead the pitching staff of the Phillies by example. This will result in both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels stepping up their games in October. The three-man power rotation would be a challenge for anytime, even the offensive juggernaut of the Angels.
With a number of seasoned veterans knowing what it takes to win a World Series, the Phillies will bring experience and tremendous pitching into October against the Angels. The only question is if it will be enough to cool off the power bats of the Angels that are led by Albert Pujols.
All of the hype surrounding the Angels after a free-agent spending spree during the Winter will not phase the team from Los Angeles determined to win. With Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales in contract years, they will bring their best all season and postseason long. The Angels will also have arguably the best hitter in baseball in Albert Pujols allowing everyone to see better pitches, boosting batting average across the board. The Angels can and will hit their way through October.
As good as the Angels offense will be, the depth of the starting rotation will allow every pitcher to get ample amount of rest in critical playoff games. With Weaver, Wilson, Haren and Santana all putting up solid numbers while eating innings, all of the pitchers will have the rest needed to battle a quality club in the Phillies. Not to mention, closer Walden will have a much more impressive sophomore season, controlling his 100mph fastball for strikes.
On paper, the Angels will look like the favorite going into the 2012 World Series. They will bring a deeper squad, and an offense that destroys the baseball. However, the tenacity of Roy Halladay an his quest for a ring will be the narrative of the 2012 World Series. Halladay and the Lee-Hamels combo will hold the offense of the Angels in check for most of the series (although this sports writer does see at least one 12-3 blowout win for the Angels) in what will be a very close and low-scoring World Series. The Angels will likely get that blowout victory after being down 3-1 in the series, but even a huge win won't be enough for the halos...until 2013.
World Series Winner: Philadelphia Phillies 4-2