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.