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San Diego Padres Season Predictions | 2012 Season Betting Preview

2012 MLB Handicapping: San Diego Padres

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers had an “almost” NL MVP winner and a Cy Young winner in 2011, that’s pretty much all they had. Amid the continued ownership turmoil, the team made very few acquisitions during the offseason to better their 82-79 third place finish.

The San Diego Padres surprised everyone in 2010 by actually being in contention for the NL West right until the final game. But then the wheels fell off the bus in 2011 as the Padres lived up to their previous preseason billing as the divisions’ basement dwellers finishing 71-91.

The team traded away their best pitcher a year after trading away the best bat the team had had since Tony Gwynn, and they are now in full rebuilding mode

To boot, San Diego did very little in the offseason to shore up an anemic offense that had just one double digit home run hitter and no one batter that slugged over .500 in 2011.

The Padres finished with the fewest team home runs, fewest team total bases and third fewest team doubles.

So where will San Diego end up this year?

Let’s take a look.

Padres Assets

It all begins, and pretty much ends with the Padres pitching staff. Led by Mat Latos, the Padres had seven pitchers start for the team at least 14 times and all but one of them finished with an ERA under 4.00. So as a team the Padres once again did well.

However, the Padres traded Latos to the Cincinnati Reds during the offseason and also lost Heath Bell who has been their best and most consistent closer in recent history. Subtract Aaron Harang, Wade LeBlanc, Chad Qualls, Mike Adams and Pat Neshek as well, and the once stingy rotation looks a little insipid. Nevertheless, you have to add Edison Volquez who the Padres received in return for Latos, who has been a solid pitcher for the Reds in the past.

GTBets

While it may not look first-rate, fans can expect more of the same as the Padres should be able to hold teams to small run totals, especially at spacious PETCO ballpark.

Also coming over in the Latos trade was Yonder Alonso, a solid slugging first baseman whose bat control and power should allow him to hit those big PETCO gaps regularly for doubles.

Padres Weaknesses

While the Padres may keep opponents from racking up large numbers of runs, they will struggle tremendously to score any runs of their own after losing Rob Johnson, Anthony Rizzo, Brad Hawpe, Jorge Cantu, Alberto Gonzalez and Ryan Ludwick, all players who could hit at least for average and who saw 40 or more games of action for the team last year.

The team however signed Carlos Quentin, Mark Kotsay and Micah Owings and all of them are solid contributors, but nothing that would indicate the Padres will finish at .500 or better in 2012.

2012 PREDICTION: The San Diego Padres are a pitching team–period. And for the next couple years will continue rebuilding. For now, don’t look for San Diego to be anywhere close to contending for the NL West until their prospects become starters, and hopefully blossom into the stars they’re hoping them to be.

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