Baseball Prospectus projects the 2012 San Francisco Giants to win the NL Western Division title with an 86-76 record.
It’s the same win-loss record the Giants posted in 2011, when they finished eight games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Baseball Prospectus projects the NL West to finish like this (these rankings are as of March 8)
San Francisco 86-76
San Diego 79-83
Los Angeles 78-84
Well, we like that fifth-place finish for the Dodgers. But BP is basically saying that the spread between first and second in 2011 will be the same between first and fifth in 2012. In other words, they project a very competitive 2012 season.
NL West Division champions have won at least 92 games in each of the past three seasons. But the Dodgers won the 2008 title with 84 wins. And the Padres won the title in 2005 and 2006 with fewer than 90 wins.
The low projected win totals can be attributed to BP’s prediction that the NL East will be solid with the Phillies, Braves, Marlins and Nationals having solid seasons. So that’s where they believe the wins will go.
But More Splash Hits believes it will take at least 90 win to win the West.