Bold Predictions Update

As is our tradition, the All-Star Break is a good time to look back at our preseason bold predictions. Most of them are still in the “too early to tell” phase as they were made with the whole season in mind, but there’s also a few that are already busted (sorry for doubting you, Robbie). We’ll catch up again at the end of the season.

Boston Red Sox–David Price doesn’t lead the team in wins or strikeouts.

Thanks to a slow start, Price’s nine wins are good for third on the Sox behind Steven Wright (10), and Rick Porcello (11). He very well may not lead the team in wins, but with 43 strikeouts more than anyone else on the team, none are likely to catch him there. Likely Bust.

New York Yankees–the bullpen strikes out fewer batters than last year’s did.

Yankee nonstarters struck out 596 batters in 530.2 innings (10.11 K/9) last season. This year, they have struck out 323 in 264 innings (11.01 K/9). This one is likely going to come down to the wire and may hinge on whether or not they trade any of Betances/Miller/Chapman. Wait and see.

Tampa Bay Rays–Players named Logan account for at least 25% of their home runs.

The Rays have hit 118 homers as a team and Morrison/Forsythe account for 18 of those, or 15.3%. Anything is possible, but this would require an extended hot streak. Likely bust.

Baltimore Orioles–They hit fewer home runs than last year’s club.

The 2015 Orioles hit 217 home runs. This year, through 87 games they have hit 137 home runs, the most in MLB, and well above last year’s pace. Still gonna call this one a wait and see.

Toronto Blue Jays–Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson all top .900 OPS again, and the Jays win fewer games than they did last year.

Donaldson has a 1.017 OPS, improving on his MVP season last year. Encarnacion has an .898 OPS and just needs a good game to bring him over. Bautista hit .230/.360/.455/.815 before landing on the DL with a foot injury. He would need to come back strong in the second half but it’s certainly possible.

As for the Jays themselves, they are 51-40, on pace to win 91, just below the 93 they won last year. This is still a wait and see.

Cleveland Indians–Francisco Lindor finishes top-5 in the AL in bWAR.

1. Mike Trout (5.7)
2. Josh Donaldson (5.5)
3. Jose Altuve (4.7)
4. Robinson Cano (4.6)
5. Manny Machado (4.2)
6. Mookie Betts (4.1)
7. Ian Desmond (3.9)
8. Jackie Bradley, Francisco Lindor, Kyle Seager (3.8)

Not quite, but not too far off, either. Wait and see.

Detroit Tigers–Justin Verlander posts a 5+ bWAR.

Verlander is at 2.2 bWAR, though he has a 3.05 ERA in his last 12 starts. A strong second half makes this one possible. Wait and see.

Minnesota Twins–They will have multiple hitters strike out 150 times.

The Twins are the only team to have never had a 150-K player. Coming into this year, Miguel Sano seemed an easy pick to break that barrier, having struck out 119 times in just 80 games last season. Sure enough, he has struck out 85 times in 60 games. But between Sano’s DL stint, Byung Ho Park’s demotion, and Brian Dozier reducing his K-rate by 6% from last season (Dozier set the Twins franchise record last year with 148 strikeouts), what seemed like an easy success is now in jeopardy. Wait and see.

Kansas City Royals–Chien-Ming Wang throws at least 100 innings.

Wang has thrown 36.2 innings. This one seems unlikely.

Chicago White Sox–They steal over 100 bases as a team.

The White Sox have stolen 41 bases, which is about league average. That said, this one is looking unlikely.

Houston Astros–Evan Gattis hits more than twice as many triples as Jose Altuve. Again.

Altuve has hit just two triples, but Gattis has hit a whole zero. It’s not impossible, but this one is looking like a bust.

Texas Rangers–Elvis Andrus puts up a .700 OPS.

Andrus is hitting .294/.349/.422/.771, all four of which are career highs, and he is topping .700 for the first time since 2012. A dropoff could put this in jeopardy, but this is a likely success.

Seattle Mariners–Robinson Cano hits fewer than 20 homers.

Whoops. Cano has already hit 21 homers. Bust.

Los Angeles Angels–Jered Weaver tosses 200 innings while allowing fewer homers than he did last year.

Weaver has thrown 100.2 innings and allowed 21 homers. Last year he allowed 24 home runs in 154 innings. He might well throw 200 this year, but if he does that, it sure is unlikely that he’ll only allow three dingers. Likely bust.

Oakland Athletics–Sonny Gray is the AL West’s best pitcher.

Ouch. Gray has been awful this year, pitching to a 5.16 ERA and leading the league in wild pitches. He’s allowed nearly as many runs and homers as he did all of last year in fewer than half the innings pitched. He’s not the worst pitcher in the AL West, but he certainly won’t be the best. Bust.

Philadelphia Phillies–They have a 12-game winner, twice what last year’s leader had.

The Phillies made history last year, as the first Modern Era team to not have a single player win as many as 7 games. One of the guys tied for the team lead with 6 was traded before the Break, so even though the Phillies were projected to be terrible this year, they should still have been able to field a 12-game winner. So far, Vincent Velasquez leads the team with 8 wins. Wait and see.

Atlanta Braves–Jeff Francoeur leads the team in homers and RBIs.

The Braves are bad, on pace to lose well over 100 games. That said, Francoeur is third on the team in homers, fourth in RBIs, and unlikely to take over either leader. Bust.

New York Mets–Their starters don’t lead the NL East in innings, wins, or strikeouts.

Mets starters have pitched 514 innings across 88 games, (17.5 outs per start), have won 33, and struck out 466. All three of those are second in the division to Washington starters, who have pitched 561 innings in 90 games (18.7 outs per start), have won 42, and struck out 588. It’s possible to dig out of those holes, but it’s not likely. Likely success.

Washington Nationals–Bryce Harper will top his HR and RBI totals from last year, but not his OPS or bWAR.

Last year, Harper hit 42 home runs and drove in 99, with an 1.109 OPS and 9.9 bWAR. So far this year, he has 19 homers and 52 RBIs, with an .891 OPS and 1.9 bWAR. Wait and see, but this one might well happen.

Miami Marlins–both Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton stay healthy all season.

So far, so good. Wait and see.

Cincinnati Reds–Joey Votto tops 150 walks.

Votto has walked 61 times. He will not top 150 walks. Bust.

St. Louis Cardinals–no pitcher wins more than 15 games, and they make the playoffs anyway.

Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright lead the way with 8 wins apiece, and the Cards are just one game back in the loss column behind the Mets/Marlins for the second wild card. This one is a wait and see.

Chicago Cubs–They fail to win 90 games as Jake Arrieta posts an ERA over 3.

Arrieta has a 2.68 ERA, not as good as his otherworldly 2015 but also not over 3. The Cubs themselves are 53-35, and despite their recent slide, they will very likely win 90. Almost certain bust here.

Pittsburgh Pirates–Andrew McCutchen doesn’t lead the team in average, home runs, or RBIs.

McCutchen is hitting .247/.319/.426/.745, all career lows. Of the 11 Pirates with 150+ PAs, his .247 average is dead last. He’s also tied for 3rd in RBIs, 12 behind leader Gregory Polanco. He does currently lead the team in homers with 14, though Polanco has 12. Wait and see on this one.

Milwaukee Brewers–They have an above average offense.

At 3.93 R/G and an 89 OPS+, the Brewers are well below average. Both those numbers are good for 12th in the league. Bust.

Colorado Rockies–They have a qualified starter with an ERA under 4.

Thank you Tyler Chatwood. His 3.29 ERA would be the third best in team history if the season ended today. He still pitches in Coors Field though, so wait and see.

Arizona Diamondbacks–Shelby Miller has his worst full season, but finishes with at least twice as many wins as he had last year.

Miller has been a disaster for Arizona, making 14 starts and going 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA, third worst in MLB this year (min. 60 IP), and landing on the DL. He won’t get to 12 wins, but he very well might top his six from last year. Bust.

San Francisco Giants–They have their worst even year since 2008.

The Giants currently have the best record in baseball, and are likely to win more than 88 games. Likely bust.

Los Angeles Dodgers–Clayton Kershaw tops his strikeout total from last year.

Kershaw has been amazing again, but his current DL stint makes it very unlikely that he will strike out 300. Likely bust.

San Diego Padres–They have a player hit 30 homers.

Since Petco Park opened in 2004, five Padres have hit 30 homers in a season. Chase Headley hit 31 in 2012, and Adrian Gonzalez did it in 2007 (30), 2008 (36), 2009 (40), and 2010 (31). That’s it. This year, Melvin Upton and Matt Kemp have hit 16, and Wil Myers leads the team with 19. Very possible for one or more of those guys to wind up with more than 30. Wait and see.

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2016 Bold Predictions

Welcome back, everyone, to another Opening Day. You might be wondering why You Can’t Predict Baseball attempts to do just that, but this has become a tradition around these parts, and believe it or not, this is our sixth iteration of bold predictions (see previous ones here, here, here, here, and here). Without further ado:

Boston Red Sox–David Price doesn’t lead the team in wins or strikeouts.

New York Yankees–the bullpen strikes out fewer batters than last year’s did.

Tampa Bay Rays–Players named Logan account for at least 25% of their home runs.

Baltimore Orioles–They hit fewer home runs than last year’s club.

Toronto Blue Jays–Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson all top .900 OPS again, and the Jays win fewer games than they did last year.

Cleveland Indians–Francisco Lindor finishes top-5 in the AL in bWAR.

Detroit Tigers–Justin Verlander posts a 5+ bWAR.

Minnesota Twins–They will have multiple hitters strike out 150 times.

Kansas City Royals–Chien-Ming Wang throws at least 100 innings.

Chicago White Sox–They steal over 100 bases as a team.

Houston Astros–Evan Gattis hits more than twice as many triples as Jose Altuve. Again.

Texas Rangers–Elvis Andrus puts up a .700 OPS.

Seattle Mariners–Robinson Cano hits fewer than 20 homers.

Los Angeles Angels–Jered Weaver tosses 200 innings while allowing fewer homers than he did last year.

Oakland Athletics–Sonny Gray is the AL West’s best pitcher.

Philadelphia Phillies–They have a 12-game winner, twice what last year’s leader had.

Atlanta Braves–Jeff Francoeur leads the team in homers and RBIs.

New York Mets–Their starters don’t lead the NL East in innings, wins, or strikeouts.

Washington Nationals–Bryce Harper will top his HR and RBI totals from last year, but not his OPS or bWAR.

Miami Marlins
–both Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton stay healthy all season.

Cincinnati Reds–Joey Votto tops 150 walks.

St. Louis Cardinals–no pitcher wins more than 15 games, and they make the playoffs anyway.

Chicago Cubs–They fail to win 90 games as Jake Arrieta posts an ERA over 3.

Pittsburgh Pirates–Andrew McCutchen doesn’t lead the team in average, home runs, or RBIs.

Milwaukee Brewers–They have an above average offense.

Colorado Rockies–They have a qualified starter with an ERA under 4.

Arizona Diamondbacks–Shelby Miller has his worst full season, but finishes with at least twice as many wins as he had last year.

San Francisco Giants–They have their worst even year since 2008.

Los Angeles Dodgers–Clayton Kershaw tops his strikeout total from last year.

San Diego Padres–They have a player hit 30 homers.

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2015 Bold Predictions Final Update

Hello, all! As is the case every year, we here at YCPB made some bold predictions before the 2015 season, which you can see right here. We checked in on our bold predictions during the All-Star Break, but now it’s time to see how they turned out!

Boston Red Sox: Pablo Sandoval hits fewer homers than he hit last year.
Sandoval hit a disappointing .245/.292/.366 in 126 games for Boston. He hit only ten homers after hitting 16 in 2014. Success

Tampa Bay Rays: They will have a 16-game winner.
The Rays did not have a 16-game winner. Chris Archer, who had a terrific season, led the team with 12. Bust

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis qualifies for the batting title with an .850+ OPS, and the Orioles win fewer than 96 games.
Davis had a tremendous bounceback season, hitting .262/.361/.572/.963 with 47 home runs, which led the majors. The Orioles, on the other hand, finished at 81-81. Success

New York Yankees: CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka combine to throw 350+ innings.

Sabathia and Tanaka both spent time on the DL, with CC ultimately making 29 starts and and Tanaka 24. They combined for 321.1 innings. Almost. Bust

Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion account for less than 30% of their total dingers

The Blue Jays had baseball’s best offense by a mile, scoring over one hundred runs more than anyone else. They also led the majors in homers, with 232. Bautista and Encarnacion accounted for 79 of those, or 34%. Close, but Bust

Cleveland Indians: Michael Bourn steals 40 bases.
Bourn is no longer the elite speedster he once was. He only stole 13 bases for Cleveland before being traded to Atlanta in early August, where he only stole four more bases, leaving him with a total o 17 on the year. Bust

Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander posts a 4+ bWAR.
Verlander was pretty good after coming off the DL, but since WAR is in part a counting stat, he had just 2.2 WAR. Bust

Minnesota Twins: Phil Hughes has a K/BB over 10 again.
Hughes walked 16 batters this year, exactly as many as he walked last year – but in 2015, he threw 54.1 fewer innings. His strikeout rate plummeted from 8.0 to 5.4, putting his final K/BB at a still very good 5.88. Bust

Chicago White Sox: Chris Sale throws 200 innings.
He did! The oft-injured Sale, who started the season on the DL, made a career high 31 starts and threw 208.2 innings. He also struck out 274, the second highest mark by an AL pitcher in the last 15 years. Success

Kansas City Royals: They finish under .500.
Or, you know, they’ll win 95 games and be the best team in the AL. Bust

Oakland Athletics: They will have the best rotation ERA in the AL West.
Oakland was pretty terrible in 2015, but that wasn’t their starters’ fault. Their rotation’s 3.91 was actually third best in the AL, but thanks largely to Dallas Keuchel, Houston finished second at 3.71. Close, but Bust

Houston Astros: Dallas Keuchel wins 15 games.

Keuchel won 20, becoming the first Astros pitcher to do so since Roy Oswalt in 2005. Success

Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz leads the majors in home runs again.
So close. Cruz had a huge year for a disappointing Seattle team, hitting .302/.369/.566/.936 with 44 home runs, finishing second to Chris Davis. Cruz is just the second Seattle player to hit 40 homers since Safeco opened, and the first since Alex Rodriguez in the ballpark’s first full year. Close, but Bust

For the record, the only Seattle players to OPS .900 since Safeco’s first full season:
A-rod 2000 (1.026)
Edgar 2000 (1.002)
Edgar 2001 (.966)
Bret Boone 2001 (.950)
Bret Boone 2003 (.902)
Richie Sexson 2005 (.910)
Nelson Cruz 2015 (.936)

Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz finishes in the top 5 in the AL in saves.
Yikes. Feliz saved six games for the Rangers before being designated for assignment and outrighted off the roster. He caught on with Detroit and finished the year with 10 saves, good for 20th in the AL. Bust

Los Angeles Angels: The infielders (C included) hit more homers than the outfielders.
This was an awfully close one. By defensive positions, home runs from C+1B+2B+SS+3B = 75, and home runs from LF+CF+RF = 76. However, this method only counts 26 of Albert Pujols’ 40 homers because 14 of them came as a DH. Going to still call this a bust, but a close one.

Philadelphia Phillies: They win 75 or more games.
Philadelphia was baseball’s worst team in 2015. They went 63-99. Bust

New York Mets: Matt Harvey doesn’t lead the team in wins, ERA, or strikeouts.
Harvey threw 189.1 innings with a 2.71 ERA and stuck out 188. Jacob deGrom led the team in ERA (2.54) and strikeouts (205). deGrom also threw more innings (191) than Harvey, but Bartolo Colon (!!) led the team with 194.2 innings. Who had Bartolo Colon as the IP leader for a division winner this year, especially when he put up only an 89 ERA+? Success

Washington Nationals: Their starters win fewer games than they did in 2014.
2014 Washington starters won 70 games as the team won 96 games. This year, the Nats finished a disappointing 83-79, and the starters won 61 games. Success

Miami Marlins: Henderson Alvarez strikes out 150+.
Alvarez only made four starts in 2015 before landing on the DL and eventually requiring shoulder surgery. He struck out nine hitters. Three of those were opposing pitchers. Bust, and how.

Atlanta Braves: Melvin Upton has an OBP over .300.
Upton had a .327 OBP, his highest in four years. Sure, he only played in 87 games, none of them for Atlanta, but we are counting this as a success nonetheless.

Chicago Cubs: They will finish with a top two record in the National League.

The Cubs won 97 games, more than any AL team, and more than the NL East and West champions. Unfortunately, it was only third best in their own division, one game behind the Pirates and three behind St. Louis. Bust

Cincinnati Reds: Aroldis Chapman will set a new career high in saves while having his worst season since he became full time closer in 2012.
Chapman had a terrific season, posting a 1.63 ERA. He saved 33 games, which was not a career high, but is nevertheless quite impressive considering the Reds only won 64 games. Bust

Pittsburgh Pirates: Andrew McCutchen goes 30/30.
McCutchen had a great year, but didn’t hit 30 homers (23) or steal 30 bases (11). Bust

Milwaukee Brewers: By OPS+, they have a top-three offense in the NL.
Milwaukee had a 90 OPS+, 12th in the league. Bust

St. Louis Cardinals: They will miss the playoffs as Wainwright puts up an ERA over 3.
Or, you know, they will lose Wainwright for the year after he throws just 28 innings (with a 1.61 ERA) and go on to win 100 games and be the best team in the Majors anyway. Bust

San Diego Padres: No one hits 25 homers.

Justin Upton led the team with 26. Bust

San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner posts a 3.50+ ERA for the first time.
Bumgarner did basically the same thing he did last year, finishing with a 2.93 ERA. Bust

Los Angeles Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw isn’t their winningest pitcher.
Kershaw was the first player since 2002 to strike out 300 batters in a year, but he finished with 16 wins compared to Zack Greinke’s 19. Success

Arizona Diamondbacks: They finish with an above league average team ERA.
Arizona finished with a 4.04 ERA to the NL’s average 3.90. They did have a 101 ERA+, but that wasn’t the prediction. Bust

Colorado Rockies: They have a team ERA under 4.50.
Final ERA: 5.04, worst in MLB. Bust

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading YCPB this year, both here and on Twitter! Stay tuned through the postseason and offseason.

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Weekly Roundup, 08/24/15-08/30/15

Today, Stephen Drew went 4-for-4 with two walks, raising his batting average above .200.
- Not to be outdone, relief pitcher Branden Pinder hit an RBI double.
– Pinder is only the second AL reliever to get a hit this year, after Buck Farmer.
— On Friday, Jonny Gomes (a position player) struck out Bryan Mitchell (a pitcher).
—- Didi Gregorius had six RBI in that game.
—– A Braves reliever batted – in the second inning.
—— Also of note in the second inning: the Braves intentionally walking Stephen Drew, while they were already losing 9-2.

Joe Kelly went 6-0 in August.
- This is the first 6-0 month by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro in 1999.
– This past week, the Red Sox faced Sale, Harvey, and DeGrom in order, and went 3-0. Those three pitchers went 19 innings and gave up a combined two runs.
— Catcher Blake Swihart hit an inside-the-park home run.

Both Tony Cruz and Brandon Moss homered in the same game.

Only eight times this year has a Padre hit two home runs in one game.
- Four of those times were against the Nats.
– The Padres have only played the Nats six times. (h/t @jesseagler)

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Weekly Roundup, 08/10/15-08/16/15

On Tuesday night, all fifteen home teams won.
- This is the first time all fifteen home teams have won on one day in major league history.

Congratulations to Matt Kemp on his cycle.
- Not only did Kemp get a cycle, it was the first cycle in Padres history.
– The Padres are, of course, despite playing their first game in 1969, the only franchise without a no-hitter. Even the Rockies (whose first season was 1993, and who play in Coors) have a no-hitter, though it was on the road.

Speaking of no-hitters, the Mariners certainly had a strange three game stretch on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. (They were off on Thursday.)
- On Wednesday, Hisashi Iwakuma threw a no-hitter against the Orioles.
– On Friday, they lost 15-1 to the Red Sox.
— On Saturday, they lost 22-10 to the Red Sox.
—- That means they went from a no-hitter to giving up 37 runs in two games.

In that 22-10 game, Jackie Bradley Jr.’s individual performance was quite notable.
- He hit three doubles and two home runs.
– That’s 14 total bases, which is the most by any player this season.
— Prior to this season, Bradley Jr. was a .196/.268/.280 hitter in 164 games and 530 PA.
—- Additionally, this 22-10 game was on August 15. That’s Ben Affleck’s birthday. The Red Sox hadn’t won on August 15 since 1997, making it 15 straight years they lost on that date.
—– The Red Sox had a season high 26 hits. Of course, the Orioles tied that record just the next day.

On Wednesday, both the Cubs and White Sox won on walk-offs.
- The last time both Chicago teams won on a walk-off on the same day was in 1995.

Evan Gattis now has nine triples this season.
- That’s second in all of MLB.

After getting swept in a four-game series in San Francisco, the Nationals are now under .500.

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Weekly Roundup 08/03/2015-08/09/2015

Lance McCullers, who allowed 21 earned runs over his first thirteen starts, gave up seven runs (six earned) in just 0.1 innings against Texas on Monday.

On August 4th, the New York Mets gained sole possession of first place in the N.L. East. They still have it.

Kendrys Morales tripled this week.
- As did Francisco Cervelli.
– Cervelli has four triples in 2015, and leads the Pirates in the category.
— Evan Gattis, also a catcher, has seven triples.

Zack Greinke had an interesting start on Thursday…
-He both homered and allowed as many runs as he has in his last nine starts going back to June 13th.
– Despite allowing six runs in six innings (all earned), he still got the win.
— Speaking of pitcher home runs, Francisco Liriano hit one this week as well.

Tyler Moore and Shane Robinson both made pitching appearances this week.
- Neither of them are pitchers.

On Sunday Jackie Bradley hit a triple, home run, and had five RBIs.
- He had 4 RBIs on the season entering today, and had never had a 4-RBI game before.

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Weekly Roundup, 07/27/15-08/02/15

This week, Lucas Duda homered off brothers Tyson and Joe Ross.
- He also hit nine home runs in eight games.
– It’s August 2, and the Mets are tied for first place.

Curt Casali of the Rays had two two-homer games in a row on Monday and Tuesday.

The Yankees played the Rangers and White Sox this week, and faced position players pitching twice.
- Adam Rosales pitched for the Rangers on Tuesday, and Adam LaRoche pitched for the White Sox on Friday.
– Brendan Ryan struck out against LaRoche.
— This was in the middle of a game where Ryan had three hits.
—- He also had two doubles in one inning on this road trip.

In the same game, Alexi Amarista hit a big game-tying home run in the top of the ninth, and Adeiny Hechavarria won it for the Marlins with a walk-off homer in the bottom half of the frame.

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Weekly Roundup, 07/20/15-07/26/15

Congratulations to Cole Hamels on his no-hitter.
- Of course, it came against the Cubs, who had the longest streak in baseball of not being no-hit going back to 1965.

Actually, since the All-Star Break, the Phillies have the best record in baseball.

On Monday, Nick Markakis finally hit his first home run of the year.
- He’s been batting cleanup for the Braves a lot of the year, too.

The offense-starved Mets broke Greinke’s scoreless innings streak.
- Pitcher Jacob DeGrom drove in that RBI, too.
– On Saturday, both the Mets and White Sox, two of the bottom three teams in terms of runs scored in all of baseball, scored over ten runs.

Evan Gattis has six triples this year.

David Ross pitched for the Cubs today.
- He’s a catcher.
– This is his second relief inning this year.

The Mariners turned this triple play.

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Bold Predictions Update

With two full days off before baseball starts up again on Friday, we figured it was a good time to check back in on our fifth annual preseason bold predictions. As always, they were made with the whole year in mind, so many of them can’t properly be evaluated yet. A bit under half of them are already nearly certain to fail, but hey, you can’t predict baseball. Without further ado:

Boston Red Sox: Pablo Sandoval hits fewer homers than he hit last year.

Sandoval hit 16 home runs last year, and has had a generally disappointing first half in Boston, hitting .265/.307/.384 with seven home runs and at least one post liked on Instagram while in the bathroom. This prediction was based on Fenway Park being more hitter friendly than AT&T, and so far it’s on track.

Tampa Bay Rays: They will have a 16-game winner.

A little background: Jake Odorizzi was tied for the team lead in wins last year with just 11. He was tied with David Price, who was shipped to Detroit at the end of July. As for this prediction, wait and see. Chris Archer has been fantastic and Erasmo Ramirez has shown surprising success since moving into the rotation in mid-May, but they have only 9 and 8 wins, respectively.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis qualifies for the batting title with an .850+ OPS, and the Orioles win fewer than 96 games.

The Orioles are 44-44, so it would take a tremendous second half for them to win 96, a number that was chosen because they won that many games last year. Davis needs to pick it up too, as he is hitting .235/.318/.469/.787. This is a likely bust.

New York Yankees: CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka combine to throw 350+ innings.

So far, they have thrown 167.1 innings. Tanaka missed some time due to injury, and Sabathia has been so bad that the Yankees pushed back his last start. This one is looking busted as well.

Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion account for less than 30% of their total dingers.

Toronto’s high-powered offense has clubbed 115 home runs, which is actually third in the AL. Bautista and Encarnacion have hit 35 of those, or…30.4%. Let’s wait on this one.

Cleveland Indians: Michael Bourn steals 40 bases.

Bourn has stolen just seven bases. Nope.

Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander posts a 4+ bWAR.

Verlander is sitting at -0.1 bWAR. This is another one that seems impossible.

Minnesota Twins: Phil Hughes has a K/BB over 10 again.

Hughes set a major league record last year with an amazing 11.63 K/BB. His walk rate is more or less what it was last year, but his strikeout rate has fallen off dramatically. His K/BB is a still excellent 6.1, but he’s got a long way to go to make us right about this.

Chicago White Sox: Chris Sale throws 200 innings.

Sale has thrown 112.1 innings, averaging 7 innings per start. So far, so good, but performance has never been the issue for Sale.

Kansas City Royals: They finish under .500.

Technically possible but extremely unlikely. The Royals are 52-34 at the break, so they’d have to lose 48 of their remaining 76 games to finish under .500.

Oakland Athletics: They will have the best rotation ERA in the AL West.

Oakland boasts the best rotation ERA in not just the AL West but the entire AL at 3.01. The second-place Rays have a rotation ERA of 3.33, so this prediction is looking good so far.

Houston Astros: Dallas Keuchel wins 15 games.

Keuchel leads the AL with 11 wins, and Houston is unexpectedly quite good this year. This one seems likely.

Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz leads the majors in home runs again.

Cruz has hit 21 homers, tied for 9th in the league, and six behind leader Giancarlo Stanton. He could do it with a big second half.

Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz finishes in the top 5 in the AL in saves.

Feliz threw 19.2 mostly bad innings before being DFAed and signing with the Tigers. He will not finish in the top 5 in the AL in saves.

Los Angeles Angels–the infielders (C included) hit more homers than the outfielders.

Their infielders have hit 43 home runs, while the outfielders have hit 42. They also have 11 home runs from the DH slot. This one is certainly possible.

Philadelphia Phillies: They win 75 or more games.

The Phillies are 29-62. To win 75 games, they would need to go 46-25 for the rest of the season. It’s mathematically possible, but considering the way they’ve played this season, it seems extremely unlikely.

New York Mets: Matt Harvey doesn’t lead the team in wins, ERA, or strikeouts.

Thank you, Jacob deGrom. deGrom leads the Mets in all three of those categories, though Harvey is only three strikeouts behind him.

Washington Nationals: Their starters win fewer games than they did in 2014.

Washington starters won 70 games last year. So far this year, they have 37 of Washington’s 48 wins, and 43% of their total games. They are on pace for just about 70 on the year, so we’ll have to wait and see where they end up.

Miami Marlins: Henderson Alvarez strikes out 150+.

Henderson Alvarez hasn’t pitched since May and has nine strikeouts all season. This one is looking all but impossible.

Atlanta Braves: Melvin Upton has an OBP over .300.

We made this prediction a day or two before Upton was traded to the Padres. His OBP with San Diego, in very limited playing time, is .294. Let’s wait and see on this prediction, though it won’t be with Atlanta either way.

Chicago Cubs: They will finish with a top-2 record in the National League.

The Cubs are certainly within striking distance of finishing with a top-2 NL record, and they could get there with a hot second half. But they’ve got a lot of competition, not least of all in their own division with the Cardinals and Pirates, who are two of the top three teams by record in all of baseball.

Cincinnati Reds: Aroldis Chapman will set a new career high in saves while having his worst season since he became full time closer in 2012.

Chapman has 18 saves, a tick less than half his career high (38, in both 2012 and 2013) in a bit over half the season. This is mostly because the Reds just haven’t been very good, sitting at 39-47. Chapman himself has a 1.69 ERA with strikeout and walk rates more or less in line with the rest of his career. This is a likely bust.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Andrew McCutchen goes 30/30.

McCutchen has hit 12 homers and stolen just five bases. 30/30 seems unlikely.

Milwaukee Brewers: By OPS+, they have a top-three offense in the NL.

With a team OPS+ of 91, they are not particularly close to the top three.

St. Louis Cardinals: They will miss the playoffs as Wainwright puts up an ERA over 3.

The Cardinals currently have the best record in all of baseball, and save a collapse they don’t look likely to miss the playoffs. Adam Wainwright is probably done for the season, and his ERA was only 1.44 at the time he went on the DL with an Achilles injury in mid-April. Neither of these looks like it will be true, but wait and see.

San Diego Padres: No one hits 25 homers.

Justin Upton leads the team with 14 home runs, and Derek Norris has 11. Wait and see on this one.

San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner posts a 3.50+ ERA for the first time.

Bumgarner has a 3.33 ERA. Stay tuned.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw isn’t their winningest pitcher.

Zack Greinke has eight wins to Kershaw’s six. He also has a 1.39 ERA.

Arizona Diamondbacks: They finish with an above league average team ERA.

Current ERA+: 94. They’d have to have an excellent second half.

Colorado Rockies: They have a team ERA under 4.50.

Their current team ERA is 4.82, but fun fact: only three Colorado teams have ever had a sub-4.50 ERA. Drop that down to 4.20 and it’s just Ubaldo’s career year 2010 team.
1993: 5.41
1994: 5.15
1995 (Coors Field opens): 4.97
1996: 5.59
1997: 5.25
1998: 4.99
1999: 6.01 (!)
2000: 5.26 (and a 110 ERA+)
2001: 5.29
2002: 5.20
2003: 5.20
2004: 5.54
2005: 5.13
2006: 4.66
2007: 4.32
2008: 4.77
2009: 4.22
2010: 4.14
2011: 4.43
2012: 5.22
2013: 4.44
2014: 4.84
2015: 4.82

A good number of these have a real chance of happening. As always, we’ll update again at the end of the season.

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Weekly Roundup, 7/6/15-7/12/15

Welcome to the All-Star Break! Our update on the preseason bold predictions will be out during the break, but first, the events of the week:

It’s been a banner week for pitchers at the plate. Jon Lester finally recorded his first big league hit after 78 hitless PAs, raising his career line to .014/.028/.014. He had the most PAs of anyone without a hit by a lot.

On Saturday, both AJ Burnett and Matt Harvey hit home runs. It was the second time in nine days that two pitchers had homered in a day. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 10/1/2012.

Cole Hamels allowed nine runs in 3.1 innings to the Giants, a new career high. He also allowed 12 hits, tying his career high.

Chris Archer also allowed nine runs, a career high for him.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit .079 with no homers for the Mets for being designated for assignment in May. He then went to the Angels, where he hit .136 with no homers before coming back to the Mets. On Sunday, he hit three home runs, equaling his total from last year. He also became the first Mets player to ever hit three homers in a home game.

On Friday, the Tigers led the Twins 6-0 with two outs in the 8th before Minnesota scratched a run across. Eight batters and just one out later, the Twins walked off 8-6.

Billy Butler reached on a dropped third strike.

The Blue Jays are somehow under .500 despite a +82 run differential.

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