EDITOR'S NOTE: CSN Insider Paul Gutierrez has covered major league baseball since 1995 in New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area and been a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America since 2000. A former chair of the BBWAA's Bay Area chapter and voting member for the Hall of Fame, Gutierrez peers into his crystal ball and offers his takes on the upcoming big league baseball season
1) Philadelphia Phillies -- Injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jose Contreras portend sluggish start.
2) Miami Marlins -- Ozzie Guillen on South Beach is must-see-TV. And Showtime's "The Franchise" agrees.
3) Washington Nationals -- Stephen Strasburg is back. So too are the out-sized expectations.
4) Atlanta Braves -- Chipper Jones' swan song not exactly how he planned it.
5) New York Mets -- Mr. Met selling off the HR ball and top hat in CF to meet payroll is only a bad rumorfor now.
1) Cincinnati Reds -- Joey Votto inks monster deal to solidify standing as monster player.
2) St. Louis Cardinals -- Pujols and La Russa are gone, but Carlos Beltran joins returning championship core.
3) Milwaukee Brewers -- And you thought the Ryan Braun-PED mess was a distraction in the winter.
4) Chicago Cubs -- Theo Epstein lifted one curse in Boston; can he lift another in Chicago?
5) Pittsburgh Pirates -- Andrew McCutcheon is another star in waitingin baseball's wilderness.
6) Houston Astros -- As punishment the Astros should be forced to wear the late '70searly '80s creamsicle unis.
1) Giants -- The next time Buster Posey plays a full big league season will be his first. And the Giants will benefit.
2) Arizona Diamondbacks -- Kirk Gibson intent on showing last year was no fluke.
3) Los Angeles Dodgers -- Cy Young king Kershaw and shoulda-been MVP Kemp mean more Magic days ahead.
4) Colorado Rockies -- Waiting for Carlos Gonzalez to do it over a full 162-game schedule.
5) San Diego Padres -- So this is where Huston Street plies his trade now.
NL Wild Card playoff -- Marlins over Diamondbacks (midseason trade acquisition and Cuban defector Cespedes has a monster game in Miami)
NL Division series -- Giants over Marlins (Giants pitching silences not only Marlins' bats, but Guillen's boasts); Phillies over Reds (Philadelphia nearly stumbles against Reds but rights itself for rematch of 2010 NLCS)
NLCS -- Giants over Phillies (Phillies blow out Giants in three games they win, but Giants eke out four wins first to advance to second Fall Classic in three years)
World Series -- Angels over Giants (Jeff Kent has said he regrets not starting a clubhouse fight with Barry Bonds after the Game 6 flameout in Anaheim 10 years ago to distract the Giants. No such fisticuffs are needed this time around, as Pujols puts on a Bonds-ian show in a repeat of the 2002 Fall Classic. Even if the Angels tempt fate by inviting Russ Ortiz to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.)
NL MVPDodgers CF Matt Kemp -- Even Rihanna thought something was fishy about Ryan Braun winning the award last year. Now, it appears as though Kemp has Eva Longoria in his corner. No, not the Rays third baseman.
NL Cy Young
Giants right-hander Matt Cain -- Some say six years and 127.5 million is a lot to pay for a guy with a career losing record. Until he breaks through with aplomb as the ace the Giants have always envisioned this season.
NL rookie of the year
Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran -- Sure, he gave up six homers in a Grapefruit League start against Detroit, but with injuries up and down the Braves' rotation, Teheran won't look over his shoulder.
NL manager of the year
Miami Marlins' Ozzie Guillen -- Double-switches will not be a problem for the always quotable Guillen as he makes the switch in league. And even if they are, will anyone notice?