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Our picks for the 2012 baseball season

Albert Pujols could inject live into the Angels’ playoff hopes.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Albert Pujols could inject live into the Angels’ playoff hopes.

The Boston Globe’s team of baseball reporters offer their picks for how the 2012 MLB season will play out. Teams listed in predicted order of finish:

PETER ABRAHAM, baseball reporter

AL East

1. Tampa Bay — Athleticism and pitching are a winning combination in the post-steroids era.

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2. New York

3. Boston

4. Toronto

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5. Baltimore

AL Central

1. Detroit — In a weak division, the Tigers are loaded with Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder.

2. Cleveland

3. Minnesota

4. Kansas City

5. Chicago

AL West

1. Los Angeles — Albert Pujols adds offensive punch to their good pitching. Just what Mike Scioscia needed.

2. Texas

3. Seattle

4. Oakland

Wild cards: Yankees, Rangers

NL East

1. Atlanta — Last year’s goats will slip by the battered Phillies.

2. Philadelphia

3. Miami

4. Washington

5. New York

NL Central

1. Cincinnati — Joey Votto is still in this division, back, unlike Pujols and Fielder.

2. Milwaukee

3. St. Louis

4. Chicago

5. Pittsburgh

6. Houston

NL West

1. Arizona — Old-school Kirk Gibson is building a powerful team.

2. Los Angeles

3. San Francisco

4. Colorado

5. Houston

Wild cards: Phillies, Dodgers

World Series — Angels over Braves

DAN SHAUGHNESSY, Globe columnist

AL East

1. New York — Unless the Steinbrenners buy Manchester United.

2. Tampa Bay

3. Toronto

4. Boston

5. Baltimore

AL Central

1. Detroit — The cars aren’t the only Motown product getting better.

2. Kansas City

3. Minnesota

4. Chicago

5. Cleveland

AL West

1. Los Angeles — Slightly more aggressive than Boston during the winter.

2. Texas

3. Seattle

4. Oakland

Wild cards: Tampa, Texas

NL East

1. Miami — Lots of guys taking their talents to South Beach.

2. Philadelphia

3. Atlanta

4. Washington

5. New York

NL Central

1. Milwaukee — Do the Brewers allow beer in the clubhouse?

2. St. Louis

3. Cincinnati

4. Chicago

5. Pittsburgh

6. Houston

NL West

1. San Francisco — Buster, Melk-man, Kung Fu Panda — who doesn’t love those names?

2. Los Angeles

3. Arizona

4. San Diego

5. Colorado

Wild cards — Philadelphia, St. Louis

World Series — San Francisco over Detroit

MICHAEL VEGA, baseball reporter

AL East

1. Tampa – One through five, the rotation is the best in the division, quite possibly the league.

2. New York

3. Boston

4. Toronto

5. Baltimore

AL Central

1. Detroit — Prince Fielder provides offensive punch to go with a rotation led by the flame-throwing Justin Verlander.

2. Cleveland

3. Minnesota

4. Kansas City

5. Chicago

AL West

1. Los Angeles — With the acquisitions of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, Angels are well-positioned for a run to the Series.

2. Texas

3. Oakland

4. Seattle

Wild cards – New York, Texas.

NL East

1. Philadelphia — Strong starting pitching will be complemented by a strong closer in Jonathan Papelbon.

2. Washington

3. Miami

4. Atlanta

5. New York

NL Central

1. Cincinnati — All the ingredients, with hitting (Joey Votto) and pitching (free agent Mat Latos).

2. St. Louis

3. Milwaukee

4. Pittsburgh

5. Chicago

6. Houston

NL West

1. San Francisco — In a contract year, Tim Lincecum got bigger and stronger over the winter, which bodes well for the Giants.

2. Arizona

3. Colorado

4. Los Angeles

5. San Diego

Wild cards – St. Louis, Arizona

World Series — Angels over Phillies.

TONY MASSAROTTI, Globe columnist

AL East

1. New York — May be the last rodeo for an aging group.

2. Boston

3. Tampa Bay

4. Toronto

5. Baltimore

AL Central

1. Detroit — Cabrera-Fielder tandem is the Ramirez-Ortiz of the present day.

2. Cleveland

3. Minnesota

4. Chicago

5. Kansas City

AL West

1. Los Angeles — AL’s best starting rotation now has Pujols for run support.

2. Texas

3. Oakland

4. Seattle

Wild cards: Angels, Red Sox

NL East

1. Philadelphia — Not as imposing as they were, but still darned good.

2. Miami

3. Washington

4. Atlanta

5. New York

NL Central

1. Milwaukee — Division has deteriorated, but Brewers still the best.

2. St. Louis

3. Cincinnati

4. Chicago

5. Pittsburgh

6. Houston

NL West

1. San Francisco — If Buster Posey stays healthy, offense will be good enough.

2. Arizona

3. Los Angeles

4. Colorado

5. San Diego

Wild cards: Marlins and Diamondbacks

World Series — Angels over Phillies

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