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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.

    2. New York

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    3. Boston

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    4. Toronto

    5. Baltimore

    AL Central

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

    2. Cleveland

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    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

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    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