Back in April, I posted the results of our pre-season predictions. Today, I’m here to show you how we’re doing halfway through the season, as we get ready to resume action.
First, I’m going to check in on how the standings are, as of now:
So how are the predictions going for everyone who took part?
On to Lansdowne Street
So far, halfway through the year, OtLS has called the leaders of the AL East, NL East, and NL West, but completely whiffed (like most everybody) on the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers.
The estimation on the Tigers, halfway through, looks off, as does the underestimation of the Twins. OtLS also seemed to believe there were two playoff level teams in the AL West, and an additional team at .500. However, at present, only one team from that division looks any good, and it’s the Houston Astros (a team he did predict would make the playoffs as a wild card team).
As good as Robinson Cano has been this year, the Mariners are almost in the basement and almost out of contention for a wild card spot. There are a lot of good players on winning teams in the AL playing better than Cano, so I’m going to go ahead and say it’s probably very unlikely that Cano wins the MVP.
However, Corey Kluber might be the only person in the AL who presently has a chance of legitimately catching Chris Sale in the Cy Young race. What started as a neck and neck battle between the likes of Ervin Santana, Dallas Keuchel, and Sale has seen Kluber emerge as the number two pitcher in the AL. There’s still a half-season to go, and if the Klubot is healthy there’s a decent chance he’s in the discussion at year’s end.
Andrew Benintendi probably isn’t winning Rookie of the Year. It’s through no fault of his own. Stupid sexy Aaron Judge.
In the interests of time, I won’t go down his NL award predictions, but definitely check those out too, for some fun reading. Most importantly, at the beginning of the year, he predicted the Dodgers would beat the Rangers in the World Series. Wrong Texas team, but otherwise, a possible outcome for sure.
painting_the_corners404 (now known as Patrick Brennan)
Brennan wrote a FanPost for us way back, but at some point, must have deleted it. So here’s a link to his Beyond the Box Score version of it. It’s the exact same article, just posted somewhere else on SB Nation.
Much like so many of us did, he overprojected the Tigers, and possibly the Mariners and Rangers, but for the most part Brennan had a good handle on who would be a playoff team. Only failing to get the leaders of the AL and NL Central, he even hit the nail on the head with his comment on the Brewers. Picking the Brewers as his sleeper team, even he ended up underestimating them possibly. If they can win 32 of their remaining 71 games (a .451 winning percentage, roughly on par with what the Pirates are presently mustering), then they will match his projections.
We should hope he’s right for the most part, because he picked the Red Sox to beat the Cubs in the World Series. While the Cubs have some work to get there (if the playoffs started today, they would miss the playoffs entirely), I can’t argue with us winning it all!
He predicted Trout would win the AL MVP (which seems relatively unlikely, given how long he’s been out this season), and that the NL counterpart would be Clayton Kershaw, who might somehow not be the best pitcher in his league this year. He also bought big into the Verlander resurgence, which has been an unmitigated disaster so far. If he somehow wins the Cy Young over Chris Sale, I’m going to stop watching baseball I think.
Were it not for the Brewers, SoxFanInDC would be in the running for some serious bragging rights, as they have every division leader right besides the NL Central.
Rather than bore you with his relative dominance in this game (spoiler, most of us are bad at predicting things!), I want to focus on his choices for awards.
Jose Altuve is an excellent player, and he might be the best threat to knock Judge off the MVP leaderboard. Altuve has been a huge reason for why the Astros have been so good, and even though Judge has been better, there’s a good chance that some voters will look the other way if Judge and the Yankees continue trending downward.
Yu Darvish has also had an excellent last season before he hits free agency, but it probably won’t be enough to gain a spot on the podium in this year’s class. Presently 8th among pitchers in fWAR, and lacking the strikeout game of Sale, Kluber, and Archer, there’s not much reason to believe he’ll threaten to get inside that top 3.
Corey Seager is one of the top 5 position players in the National League and there’s an easy argument to be made that he could be the best shortstop in all of baseball. His only crime is existing in a league where Paul Goldschmidt and Bryce Harper have a stranglehold at the top. But Anthony Rendon has been sneakily creeping past both. Rendon has put it together and is blending offense and defense. Whether that gets votes at the end of the year remains to be seen, but it would be a story for sure.
They also saw the Red Sox beating the Nationals in the World Series, which would probably be my preferred matchup as of now. Would be a lot of fun.
We can’t get through all of this without looking at how Matt’s doing with his predictions, can we?
Thus far, he’s pegged every division but the NL Central at the top, but, like the rest of the world, underestimated the Brewers. He also overestimated the Giants, who probably are a little shocked they are not only not competing for the Wild Card, but are in dead last in their division.
He pegged Mike Trout, Yu Darvish, and Andrew Benintendi winning the three major awards in the AL, and Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, and Dansby Swanson winning the NL versions.
On prediction day, he didn’t give me the AL pennant winner, but seemed pretty confident the Dodgers would win. I’m going to pretend he meant to say the Red Sox would be there, because a Red Sox-Dodgers series would be excellent.
Ed. Note: I’m 99 percent sure I had Cleveland making it out of the American League.
I’ll be honest, I might have underestimated the Rays. Just like I underestimated the Twins, Astros, Nationals, Brewers, and Diamondbacks. This is a list of 6 likely playoff teams, and of them, I only had the Nationals and Astros making the playoffs, and as wild card teams no less.
If these results hold, I’ll have gotten exactly three divisions right at the top, the AL East, AL Central, and the NL West. Rather than focus on underestimating, I should probably focus on how many teams I overestimated. I dramatically overestimated the Tigers and the Rangers, and also the Mets, Cubs, and Pirates.
In fairness to me, I couldn’t have predicted literally everything going wrong for the Mets, but it’s so Mets that everything has. I have expected far more than the Pirates have brought though, and am still kind of surprised they haven’t climbed into any sort of reasonable level of contention.
Considering I had the Mets in the World Series against the Indians, I think we can call me the biggest loser. The Indians might win the World Series, like I thought, but there’s no way the Mets will be there, at this point.
I didn’t put in any pre-season predictions on awards that could be seen in that post, but you can go here to see me and the rest of the staff discuss the 2017 season in our season preview. I had my picks for the three big awards (in the AL) being Mookie Betts, Jose Quintana, and Andrew Benintendi, so you can thank me for being wrong. Had I predicted Sale, there’s no way our season would be going well, just saying. Mookie’s having a “down” season, Quintana’s season is even more “down”*, and Benintendi has to compete with Aaron Judge, so I could not really have been more wrong.
*This was written before Quintana was traded to the Cubs.
In the NL, I predicted it would be Bryce Harper (who has returned to form, but isn’t likely to win at this point in time), Noah Syndergaard (who has been hurt for most of 2017), and Dansby Swanson (who is 26th, among rookie position players in fWAR, and not winning anything).
In short, if I predict something, expect it to be hilariously wrong.
So I’m going to predict the Sox lose every game the rest of the season, in the hopes that I am wrong again. Go Sox!