Runs are fun.
Don’t let the spoilsport purists convince you otherwise.
Like many, I can “appreciate” a great pitcher’s duel.
But appreciation is a tepid gesture. It is an admission that defense will always and forever feel like the neutralization of something greater.
Scoring is the opposite. Scoring is the happening. Scoring is awesome.
For pure entertainment value, nothing beats runs—lots and lots of runs.
The teams on this list scored lots and lots of runs last year, and I predict they will do the same in 2012.
But before we get to them, here are the five that just missed the cut.
10. RAYS: A sneaky-good offense that goes unnoticed because they play in pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field. Curious to see how Desmond Jennings holds up in his first full season and what role they give Brandon Guyer.
9. ANGELS: Pujols is Pujols, and he brings instant offense to an aging lineup. Two big questions: How much do the Halos get out of Mike Trout, and how many at-bats do they give Vernon Wells, their highest-paid player?
8. DIAMONDBACKS: A team that’s seen its wRC+ increase each of the past five seasons as its young lineup matures. Adding Jason Kubel doesn’t hurt, either, at least not on this side of the ball.
7. REDS: Cincinnati’s window has arrived. Jay Bruce (25), Drew Stubbs (27), Joey Votto (28) and Brandon Phillips (30) are all in or around their primes. This offense has a ceiling in the top five if Devin Mesoraco and Zach Cozart are ready to contribute.
6. BLUE JAYS: Yunel Escobar, Brett Lawrie, Kelly Johnson and Colby Rasmus give Toronto above-average production at thin positions. And then there’s Jose Bautista, the best hitter in baseball.
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