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Predictions for 2012, Oscar-style

2/24/2012

Too much serious stuff around here. Let's tackle something a little more fun and lighthearted -- predictions for 2012, using Academy Award categories.

Best Cinematography

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox

Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

Jose Reyes, Miami Marlins

Winner: Matt Kemp

This award encompasses beauty, excitement and thrilling action. If he plays like he did in 2011, when he hit 39 home runs, stole 40 bases, played a mean center field and hit the ball a long way, it's hard to match the all-around cinema Kemp provides on a nightly basis.

Visual Effects

Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

Winner: Roy Halladay

This award goes to the pitcher who does stuff that doesn't seem real. Halladay gets such great movement and location on his pitches that he doesn't have to possess the high-octane velocity of a Verlander to be the best pitcher in the game.

Best Sound Editing

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

Ozzie Guillen, Miami Marlins

Logan Morrison, Miami Marlins

Nyjer Morgan, Milwaukee Brewers

Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds

Winner: Ozzie Guillen

Braun set an early standard with his speech on Friday, but this one is a clear winner: Ozzie in a landslide.

Makeup

John Axford (Picture), Milwaukee Brewers

Jon Niese (Picture), New York Mets

Jose Reyes (Picture), Miami Marlins

Delmon Young, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera (Picture), Detroit Tigers

Brian Wilson (Picture), San Francisco Giants

Winner: The Detroit Tigers

Niese got a nose job and Reyes cut off his locks, but we honor the Tigers for their willingness to wear their fat suits for the sake of putting on a good show.

Costume Design

Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs

Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers

Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

Jose Reyes, Miami Marlins

Winner: Albert Pujols

He's still wearing red, but seeing Pujols in an Angels uniform is still a dramatic visual that's hard to believe.

Best Director

Larry Beinfest, Miami Marlins

Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers

Jerry Dipoto, Los Angeles Angels

Dan O'Dowd, Colorado Rockies

Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals

Winner: Mike Rizzo

This looks to be a tough race, but Rizzo's addition of Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson to the Nationals' rotation could end up as the key moves of the offseason.

Best Supporting Actor

Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals

Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels

Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays

Winner: Ben Zobrist

Evan Longoria and the pitching may get all the attention, but Zobrist continues to reign as one of the game's most underrated stars, a player who gets on base, hits for some power, plays fantastic decision and can play multiple position. If the Rays make the playoffs again, he'll be a key reason why.

Best Actor

Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Robinson Cano, New York Yankees

Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers

Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Winner: Jose Bautista

This category is wide open yet again so we had to have 10 nominees, but this is the season Bautista wins the MVP trophy in a controversial decision over Cabrera.

Best Original Screenplay

Cleveland Indians -- Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo are healthy, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall develop into stars, Ubaldo Jimenez wins 20 games and the Indians shockingly win one of the AL wild cards.

Milwaukee Brewers -- After losing Fielder, Braun hits dramatic game-winning home run on Opening Day and goes on to win second straight MVP Award, and lead the Brewers into the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Rays -- In a story almost too unbelievable to believe, the underdog Rays again beat out the Red Sox on the season's final day to make the playoffs.

Texas Rangers -- Darvish proves sensational and is in the Cy Young hunt, Hamilton hits 30 home runs, Kinsler goes 30-30 again, and the Rangers stomp the Angels in the AL West.

Washington Nationals -- Strasburg wins the NL ERA title, rookie Bryce Harper hits 25 home runs, Ryan Zimmerman finishes second in MVP vote, and the Nats make the playoffs.

Winner: Washington Nationals

The Nationals become so popular that presidential candidates seek Harper's endorsement.

Best Picture

Detroit Tigers

Los Angeles Angels

New York Yankees

Philadelphia Phillies

Texas Rangers

The winner: Texas Rangers

Those are the teams with the five highest over/under win totals from various betting sites. Since four of the five teams are in the AL, that should theoretically make the Phillies the World Series favorites since their NL competition is viewed as less competitive. If I had to pick one team right now, however, I'd go with the Rangers. They have a deep rotation, solid lineup, depth on the bench and on the pitching staff, and they don't have potential age problems in the lineup like the Yankees and Phillies. They seem to have the most well-rounded team right now.