National League - 2012 Baseball Projections

By Jonathan Lee

NATIONAL LEAGUE

WINS

LOSS

WIN%

MAKE PLAYOFFS

WIN
DIVISION

Philadelphia Phillies

95.7

66.3

59.1%

88.6%

74.8%

Cincinnati Reds

92.1

70.0

56.8%

76.4%

50.6%

San Francisco Giants

89.3

72.7

55.1%

66.2%

50.9%

St. Louis Cardinals

89.3

72.7

55.1%

63.4%

33.0%

Atlanta Braves

87.5

74.5

54.0%

54.0%

20.5%

Milwaukee Brewers

85.4

76.6

52.7%

41.6%

15.7%

Colorado Rockies

84.7

77.3

52.3%

40.2%

24.0%

Arizona Diamondbacks

83.5

78.5

51.6%

34.3%

20.0%

Washington Nationals

78.1

83.9

48.2%

11.6%

3.0%

San Diego Padres

75.1

86.9

46.3%

5.0%

2.3%

Miami Marlins

74.9

87.1

46.3%

5.8%

1.3%

Los Angeles Dodgers

74.9

87.1

46.2%

6.4%

2.8%

New York Mets

73.7

88.3

45.5%

2.6%

0.4%

Chicago Cubs

73.0

89.0

45.1%

2.4%

0.6%

Pittsburgh Pirates

69.2

92.8

42.7%

0.7%

0.1%

Houston Astros

65.7

96.3

40.5%

0.1%

0.0%

Unlike the AL, the National League playoff race is wide open.  Eight teams have legitimate shots at the post season before the season begins with at least a 34 percent chance of continuing to play deep into October.  Those same eight teams also have at least a 15 percent chance of winning their respective divisions.  The birth of an extra Wild Card spot will clearly bolden competition in the NL.

As expected, the Philadelphia Phillies are the clear favorites due to their pitching rotation.  Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels are the true difference-makers in the playoff race.  Despite injury and age concerns with players like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, Philadelphia should be carried by its pitching.  The Braves look to be the biggest challengers in the NL East, but still project to be eight games behind in the standings.  Atlanta is 54 percent likely to make the playoffs and 20.5 percent likely to win the division.  Washington is a favorite darkhorse pick by many this year, but AccuScore sees the team at least a year away.  The Nationals make the playoffs in 11.6 percent of simulations.

In what should be a competitive NL Central race, Cincinnati leads the way.  The Reds win the division 50.6 percent of the time.  They have less than a projected three-game lead over the defending World Series champion Cardinals.  St. Louis is 33 percent likely to win the division, and would be the most likely Wild Card team (63.4 percent playoff probability).  Milwaukee benefits from having Ryan Braun for the full season making the playoffs in 41.6 percent of simulations.  Houston, Pittsburgh, and Chicago are the three worst projected teams in the National League which should boost the win total of the top three teams in the Central.

The NL West should be another competitive race between the Giants, Rockies, and Diamondbacks.  San Francisco is the 50.9 percent likely to win the division while Arizona is forecasted at 20 percent with Colorado at 24 percent.  Each team has issues however with the Giants offense still weak overall, Arizona tasked with repeated last year’s surprise performance, and Colorado relying on youth and an iffy pitching rotation.  The Dodgers are an unknown quantity at this point with probably the best hitter and pitcher in the NL in Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, but little else surrounding them.  It remains to be seen how much the new ownership can change the roster this season to make a playoff push.  San Diego has one of the best farm systems in the majors, but that won’t benefit the big club this season.  The Padres are just five percent likely to sneak into the postseason.