Originally posted on Fantasy Baseball Tools  |  Last updated 4/2/12


One of the readers of the site had sent in a question asking for my biggest, boldest prediction for the 2012 fantasy baseball season. Answering that question is tough to do with so many different story lines playing out this season. Instead, I decided to take a look at each team to see what one big thing I could realistically see happening this season. Here is a look at my bold predictions for the National League West.

Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs each get 10+ starts for the Diamondbacks  (ARI) – the Arizona Diamondbacks will not need to trade for more pitching if they want to contend in the N.L. West as they can simply plug in Bauer and Skaggs early in the season if Josh Collmenter and Joe Saunders struggle which has a good chance of happening. Collmenter has posted an 11.81 ERA in 16 spring innings while Saunder has an ERA of 9.31 in 9 2/3 innings of work.

Juan Nicasio wins 15 games for the Rockies (COL) – Nicasio held his own in 71 2/3 innings last season despite making the jump from AA after just nine starts. His walk rate in the minor leagues was 2.0 per nine for his career and he should pick up his strikeout pace in 2012 as he pushes his strikeout rate closer to 8.0 per nine innings.

Dee Gordon steals 65 bases and finishes as the 5th ranked fantasy shortstop (LAD) – I am all in on Dee Gordon this season. I think he could steal as many as 70 bases and can single-handedly provide 40-50% of a fantasy team’s stolen base target. Add on top of that he should score 90+ runs hitting first in the lineup, hit anywhere from .285 to .300 and I think he is still undervalued in baseball drafts.

Andrew Cashner leads the Padres in saves with 20 (SD) – current closer Huston Street is a free agent after the season and will likely be on the trade block at some point this year. He also has one of the lowest save conversion percentages among all current closers and he carries some injury risk as well. Cashner has allowed one run in nine innings this spring with 13 strikeouts.

Matt Cain wins 20 games and wins the Cy Young Award (SF) – he has been the victim of poor run support the past few seasons and while the Giants have not done much to improve their hitting, a healthy Buster Posey, plus Melky Cabrera and more at bats for Brandon Belt should give Cain enough support to win 20 games and also take home the Cy Young Award.

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