Each year I have fun making predictions for the coming season, and this campaign was no exception. I’m often quite happy with how they turn out since I probably put a little more effort into it than most industry insiders (that’s not a dig on them, I just probably take it a little too seriously for what it is because why not?). There are, however, the predictions that just turn out to be incredibly silly or “what were you thinking?” moments with the benefit of watching the schedule play out.
Here’s a look at what came close (or exact in a few instances) and what was way off.
Predicting that the “Red Sox will still be good but could be subject to a little burn out from their deep playoff run” was dead on. Kudos, me.
The Mets “just missing” the playoffs is exactly what I wrote in March. Their run came down to the last five days of the regular season, missing by just three games.
Foreseeing the breakouts of George Springer and Jack Flaherty. Ok, so Springer’s dates back to last year’s predictions when I had him finishing 2nd in the MVP, but I knew this type of year was coming from him. With Flaherty, all the signs were there, so despite a stumble out of the gate, he turned in a season worthy of Cy Young consideration (I had him finishing third in the preseason, he finished tied for fourth).
Having Rocco Baldelli in the Manager of the Year hunt was a good call as his team won the division easily. Congrats on the win, Rocco! Actually, had Aaron Boone winning, so he and Baldelli just flip-flopped my preseason picks. Two of my three picks (see The Bad for the third) in the NL (Dave Roberts and Dave Martinez) to be 2nd and 3rd finished 4th and 5th, respectively.
In continuing with awards – I had Atlanta’s Mike Soroka finishing third in the Rookie of the Year. He finished second. Eloy Jimenez was the pick to finish second in the AL’s award, he ended up fourth.
Max Scherzer was a top 3 preseason pick for Cy Young and he ended up top 3 in the actual voting. Likewise, I had Gerrit Cole finishing second in the AL, and that’s where he landed.
I ended the piece saying the O’s would have a 10-win improvement over 2018. That proved a little optimistic, but they did manage to be seven games better.
As far as standings and records go, the Yankees were just four wins off my prediction, with the Orioles (3), Indians (2), White Sox (exactly if they had lost their final cancelled game), Royals (2), Nationals (1), Mets (3), Marlins (1), Brewers (1) Reds (4), and Pirates (4) all coming close.
I had Yankees over Nats in the World Series so overall a win with one team getting there (Nats) and one team getting to the round just before the Fall Classic. I had
Calling the Braves the fourth-best team in the division now seems pretty foolish. History has shown breakout teams often regress the year following but not so with the Braves. It appears their young core will be ready to compete for years to come and should be considered the class of the division until proven otherwise. To be fair, I still had them finishing above .500 this season.
The Phillies were not the 2019 World Series champions as I’ve been touting since the Cole Hamels trade. It appeared then that the prospects they received back would propel this year’s team to a parade, but the fact is not one of those prospects is a contributor in 2019 (although Jorge Alfaro was part of the package that brought JT Realmuto to Philadelphia).
Having Gabe Kapler winning Manager of the Year. Enough said.
Other pretty bad misses on the awards include Danny Jansen in the AL ROY hunt, Chris Sale as the AL Cy Young winner, and James Paxton vying for that same AL Cy Young award.
With standings and records in the bad column, the entire AL West was way off save for the Astros finishing first (a no-brainer) but I still had them finishing with 14 less wins than they actually produced. Other big misses throughout baseball were the Rays (11 wins off), Red Sox (10), Twins (11), Detroit (25, yes 25 and I’m owning it), Braves (14), Cubs (10), Rockies (20), Diamondbacks (11), and Giants (10).
We live and we learn. You can’t win ’em all. Whatever other cliche there is. Predictions are fun while doing them, and they’re fun looking back on them. Can’t wait for next season!