For the first time in more than a decade, I am going into a Twins season with very little optimism that they can be contenders. Even last year I figured the 2011 season was possibly a fluke and they could rebound with some nice free agent additions. But I was wrong. This year, it seems most fans in the Twins blogging community are pretty much in agreement that it’s going to be a long, ugly year. But the good news is their farm system is one of the very deepest in the game and within 3-5 years they should be a legitimate contender again… maybe sooner.

So, for my Twins, who I am devoting another season of cheering for the 21st time, I am predicting a final record of 67-95. I think offensively they’ll be just fine with Aaron Hicks actually an upgrade in center and Mauer and Morneau at 100% for a full season. But the pitching is just too weak. Terry Ryan’s “upgrades” of Correia, Pelfrey, and Worley don’t seem like quite enough.

As for the rest of baseball…

AL East
1. Blue Jays 93-69
2. Rays* 90-72
3. Red Sox 85-77
4. Yankees 81-81
5. Orioles 71-91
AL Central
1. Tigers 105-57
2. Indians 83-79
3. Royals 77-85
4. White Sox 74-88
5. Twins 67-95
AL West
1. Angels 96-66
2. Rangers* 87-75
3. Mariners 83-79
4. Athletics 70-92
5. Astros 53-109
NL East
1. Nationals 100-62
2. Braves* 98-64
3. Mets 76-86
4. Phillies 72-90
5. Marlins 63-99
NL Central
1. Reds 95-67
2. Brewers* 90-72
3. Cardinals 89-73
4. Pirates 80-82
5. Cubs 67-95
NL West
1. Giants 91-71
2. Diamondbacks 89-73
3. Dodgers 83-79
4. Padres 74-88
5. Rockies 65-97

AL Wild Card Game: Rays over Rangers
NL Wild Card Game: Braves over Brewers

ALDS: Tigers over Rays, Angels over Blue Jays
NLDS: Nationals over Braves, Reds over Giants

ALCS: Tigers over Angels
NLCS: Nationals over Reds

World Series: Nationals over Tigers

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
NL MVP: Joey Votto, Reds
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia, Yankees
NL Cy Young: Matt Cain, Giants
AL Rookie: Aaron Hicks, Twins
NL Rookie: Adeiny Hecchevaria, Marlins
AL Manager: Terry Francona, Indians
NL Manager: Ron Roenicke, Brewers

I asked Lauren and Baxter for their predictions.  Lauren was undecided and Baxter seems to favor his home state Rangers over the Braves in the World Series. He originally said Rangers over Astros but I had to remind him they were in the same league now.