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The Flyby : Midseason Check-In on Predictions

Pre-season, we made predictions. Today, let’s dive in.

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners
Pretty much everyone in the predictions thought Price was going to be amazing. Whether he is or isn’t, I’m sure there’ll be a spirited debate.
Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

So, it turns out, we got no responses for FanPost Friday. Woops. Our bad. The good news is, we have a contingency plan, and that contingency plan is all the embarrassing predictions we made in the pre-season. Rather than drag this out, let’s see how the three prognosticators are doing halfway through the season.

Nick Armstrong - Fan Post Friday

Rather than explain what they said, I have linked to the original FanPost Friday that had all the recaps at the very top. No need to say the same thing twice.

So how are they doing?

He’s certainly hit on it being a two-team race in the AL East, and also on the weaknesses of the Rays and Orioles respectively. He stated that the Orioles would be sneaky, but somehow, I don’t think they meant that the Orioles would have the worst record in baseball. They also said Sale, Price, and Porcello would all be great. I’m sure there’s plenty of debate as to whether David Price is great, but I’m not touching that right now.

Outside of the AL East, they predicted a lot of other things too. They went so far as to predict Shane McClanahan would be the top pick to the Tigers (which was wrong, it was Casey Mize, McClanahan fell to the Rays at #31). They have the central division leader correct to this point, because everybody besides the Indians is awful.

In the AL West, Armstrong felt the Astros would win the division by a long shot. The Mariners are right there, I imagine to everyone including Armstrong’s surprise. The Angels are not the second place team, but have actually fallen to fourth, behind even the Athletics. While I was pulling for Tim Lincecum, I have to say that the whole “being one of their (Rangers) best” thing was pretty wrong. He was actually released by the team recently. Very sad.

Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
So, Lincecum not only didn’t fulfill the prediction, but he never threw a pitch for the Rangers in the majors.
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

In the NL East, he led with his worst prediction: “the worst team is clearly obvious: Atlanta”. The Braves currently lead the NL East, with the Phillies of all teams right behind them. The Nationals, pre-season favorites they were, are hanging in there, but with every passing week, it looks more and more likely that Bryce Harper’s potential last season in DC will not feature a playoff appearance.

The rest of his divisional stuff is worth a read, because a lot of it was how common thought, league-wide was. But for the most part, they were pretty wrong, because as it turns out, you can’t really predict baseball.

Moving on to the latter half of his post, he predicted the standouts would be Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, and David Price. On the first two, he was 100% right, both have been great. But on David Price, the jury is still out. On the one hand, he pitched two months straight to a tune of a sub 3.00 ERA, and was looking more and more like the pitcher we paid for. But all the same, games against the Yankees count, and they have brutalized him since coming to Boston.

He predicted big years for Shohei Ohtani, Clayton Kershaw, and Christian Yelich, only one of which is really close to being healthy (and even then, Yelich has missed his share of games), so I have to mark this one as incomplete for now. The one thing I feel confident in, is saying that Shohei Ohtani most certainly did “not” drop the bat, and might be a supremely special player that has gone beyond even the loftiest of expectations.

Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Turns out, a lot of us were wrong about Ohtani’s bat. It stands as one of the biggest shocks of the baseball season.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

In all, I’d give these predictions a C+, halfway through the year. The majority of them were at least in the ballpark, with a few complete misses in there, but a passing grade, with room for improvement, and an acknowledgement that sometimes, baseball requires a good deal of luck to be right.

gosawks - It’s Their World

Let’s just start with the AL East. It’s the stuff we all care about. As with Armstrong, and most fans, this has indeed been a two-team race. While the Rays are pretty much out of the playoff race, it should be noted that as I write this they are the only team in the division outside of the top two to actually have a record of at least .500. The X-factor in the division race, as gosawks says, is David Price. How oddly prescient. You could very easily argue that he has been the X-factor in multiple regards this season. This gets bonus points from me.

Outside of the AL East, they predicted the presence of two other super powers: the Astros and the Indians. In this regard, this is half-correct as I don’t think anyone is going to be calling the Indians a super power this season. The Twins will not be taking the second wild card. Outside of this, however, his playoff teams are in order: Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, and Astros. The only one absent are the surprise Mariners. I’ll give them mostly full marks for guessing the NL playoff teams to this point, because there’s always a chance the Cubs/Brewers and D’Backs/Dodgers switch places in the standings. Will take some work, but they could have four of five playoff teams right. The biggest obstacle to that is the Philadelphia Phillies, who presently hold a wild card spot.

Miscellania: Mookie didn’t hit a dinger on opening day, but he does have 20, so I’ll let it slide. Rafael Devers has indeed struggled, and struggled mightily at that. He’s turned it around a bit since, but this is definitely right. Xander isn’t leading the team in hits, but he has been a vital contributor. Pedroia is definitely not going to be starting 60 games this year, barring divine intervention. Shohei Ohtani hasn’t struggled as a hitter. It’s arguable he’s been a better hitter than pitcher, and he’s been so good the team is actually rushing him back from injury in an attempt to fight for the second wild card. Everything else is a work in progress.

I give these predictions a B+ to this point in the season. A good amount of playoff teams are correct, and various statement are true. The big knocks that keep this from being an A are the Ohtani prediction, and the Price one. Gotta shoot your shot. This time, it just missed.


I really just want to let a submission that was mostly submitted (at least in part) as a joke to speak for itself, so please give it a read.

For world domination, 95-67 is pretty weak. So the Sox decided to do Ricochet! one better and are on pace for 106 or 107 wins, depending on how you round. Safe to say, the team is defying even the loftiest expectations, and the joke is closer to reality than the reality predictions were.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees
Through J.D. Martinez, all things are possible, such as a Rafael Devers grand slam against the Yankees.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The predictions are great, and some of them are actually pretty close. I definitely recommend a look because I think we all need to learn to just have more fun with things.

I’m giving the predictions a B, because while not quite as dead on as gosawks, they are pretty close. The main knocks keeping it from not being an A are the predictions that: 1. #FireCora doesn’t exist. 2. Eduardo Nuñez improving greatly. 3. Price being amazing.

In all, a solid group of predictions. Can’t predict baseball, but they came about as close as you can probably hope, half way through the season.

I left a few of my own mini-predictions at the bottom, so I’m going to grade myself too.

  1. Fun year. Check.
  2. Offense surprising. Certainly surprising me. Check.
  3. Chris Sale winning a Cy Young. Questionable. At least plausible, though Luis Severino probably has the lead right now.
  4. Red Sox battling for first place. So far? Check.

I’m going to give myself a B as well, because I didn’t predict very many things, but I have gotten the few I predicted right.

Let’s see how it holds up in the second half.