Michael Ausiello
August 16, 2010 AT 03:33 PM EDT

Image Credit: Michael Yarish/Fox; Dana Edelson/NBC; Randy Tepper/Showtime;The proliferation of stunt casting has turned the typically mundane guest-acting races into major Emmy spectacles. To wit, for the first time in history I’m handicapping all four of the categories! (Note: The winners will be announced this weekend at the increasingly scrumptious Emmy appetizer known as the Schmemmys.)

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)

Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)

Kristin Chenoweth (Glee)

Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live)

Elaine Stritch (30 Rock)

Jane Lynch (Two and a Half Men)

Betty White (Saturday Night Live)

The Front-runner: White. The indefatigable Golden Girl is a virtual lock.

The Dark Horse: Chenoweth. No one expected her to win last year for Pushing Daisies. Maybe she’s got another trick up her sleeve?

The Most Egregious Snub: Elizabeth Banks (30 Rock and/or Modern Family). Take your pick. She was hilarious in both.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

Mary Kay Place (Big Love)

Sissy Spacek (Big Love)

Shirley Jones (The Cleaner)

Lily Tomlin (Damages)

Ann-Margret (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)

Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost)

The Front-runner: Tomlin. Her Damages widow was ruthless, desperate, and—here’s the amazing part—wholly sympathetic.

The Dark Horse: Spacek. Her role as Bill Paxton’s nemesis was one of the only bright spots in Big Love‘s disappointing fourth season.

The Most Egregious Snub: Sara Gilbert (Grey’s Anatomy). The Roseanne star displayed surprising dramatic chops as a terminal-cancer patient.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Mike O’Malley (Glee)

Neil Patrick Harris (Glee)

Fred Willard (Modern Family)

Eli Wallach (Nurse Jackie)

Jon Hamm (30 Rock)

Will Arnett (30 Rock)

The Front-runner: O’Malley. He loves his gay son. ‘Nuff said.

The Dark Horse: Arnett. Should voters deem O’Malley’s work too dramatic for a comedy category, Arnett could pull off an upset.

The Most Egregious Snub: Michael Sheen (30 Rock). He played Liz’s imperfect boyfriend perfectly. Voters will likely get a shot to right this wrong, since he’s expected back this season.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA

Beau Bridges (The Closer)

Ted Danson (Damages)

John Lithgow (Dexter)

Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)

Dylan Baker (The Good Wife)

Robert Morse (Mad Men)

Gregory Itzin (24)

The Front-runner: Lithgow. I don’t believe an explanation is necessary here.

The Dark Horse: It seems silly to name a dark horse when I know for a fact that Lithgow will win, but if I have to pick someone, I guess I’ll go with Danson. His Arthur Frobisher was almost as creepy as Trinity.

The Most Egregious Snub: Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights).  Emmy voters are going to feel really stupid when they finally get around to watching “The Son.”

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