Monday, October 05, 2009

2009 Baseball Predictions -- Results

Ugh! So much blogworthy stuff out there right now. And only 150,000 words a day to cover it all. God I hate feeling squeezed like that.

With the 2009 major league baseball season coming to an end this weekend -- except for the big playoff / play-in game between the Tigers (no chance) and the Twins (lock) in Minnesota on Tuesday -- I thought for today I would take the time to go back and look at the predictions I made for each team's over/under in total team wins back at the very beginning of the 162-game season. A little over halfway through the season I cracked these things out and saw that I was 20-9-1 at the time with my picks, a more than solid win rate as it was. But now that the whole season is completed I can go back and review how I did overall, and maybe make a decision whether it's worth putting my money where my mouth is on some of these futures picks in 2010. So today I figure I will close the book on my 2009 regular season baseball predictions, and then tomorrow after the big Monday Night Football game I can do my Winners and Losers report for NFL Week 4, another fun time. So here were my predictions posted back in April of this year, along with how I did for each MLB team:

Boston Red Sox. My prediction: Under 94.5. Actual wins: 95. Thanks to a late-season cooloff, this was a loser at the halfway point that turned into a close one for me by season's end, but the Sox's win on the final day of the season did me in after all as I really messed up most of the league's strongest team's predictions for the year.

New York Yankees. My prediction: Under 94.5. Actual wins: 103. This was one of my worst performances of the whole league. As I've written about here many times, this year's Yankees are in my view easily the best team in the major leagues since the late 90's Yankees that won 115 regular season games on their way to three World Series in four years. Here was one that I was very close on at the halfway point but which I ended up being way, way under with thanks to an extremely hot second half from the Bronx Bombers.

Chicago Cubs. My prediction: Over 92.5. Actual wins: 83. Whoops. I thought the Cubs would be good again this year after leading the majors in wins in 2008, but boy was I wrong. The Cubs sucked balls in 2009.

New York Mets. My prediction: Over 89. Actual wins: 70. And here, the other New York team was in fact my single worst prediction out of the whole lot here in 2009. The Mets finished the dismal 2009 season at 70-92, one of the three or four worst teams in baseball, and those who actually watched the Mets games this year know like I do that in reality they weren't even close to that good. Mets = worst franchise in baseball right now. I'd rather be a Royals or a Pirates fan than the Mets. Oh, and the Mets got swept by the league-worst Nationals in the last week of the season to boot. What a bunch of effing losers.

Tampa Bay Rays. My prediction: Under 89. Actual wins: 84. Winnah!

Your World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. My prediction: Under 88. Actual wins: 93. This was another winner at the halfway point that became a big loser after the Phils traded for Cliff Lee and acquired Pedro Martinez, going 16 games over .500 since the All-Star break to close out another huge season and a third straight NL East title. Talk about a bet I am very happy to lose.

Los Angeles Angels. My prediction: Under 87.5. Actual wins: 97. Another loser.

Arizona Diamondbacks. My prediction: Under 86. Actual wins: 70. This one's been in the bag for months.

Cleveland Indians. My prediction: Under 85.5. Actual wins: 65. Bag it. Cleveland turned out to be one of the worst teams in baseball, much to Vegas's surprise but not to my own. But thanks for the Cliff Lee trade though!

Los Angeles Dodgers. My prediction: Over 85. Actual wins: 95. This is another team that saw its pace of wins significantly slow down in the second half of the season, but fortunately in this case my prediction was still comfortably ahead of the Dodgers' win pace all throughout the season.

Atlanta Braves. My prediction: Under 84.5. Actual wins: 86. Here's another one that I was well ahead on at the midway point but ended up losing as the Braves rallied strongly all through the last couple months of the season and ended up putting up quite a run for the playoffs before faltering with just a few games remaining. The NL East ended up being stronger than expected, even with the Mets' inevitable suckitude, and the Braves were a big part of that success.

St Louis Cardinals. My prediction: Over 83.5. Actual wins: 91. Another easy winner.

Minnesota Twins. My prediction: Over 83. Actual wins: 86. Thanks to this team's usual late-season push and playoff run, a push at midseason turned into a win for my prediction for the Twinkies, who again will be featured in the lone play-in game this year on at home Tuesday afternoon.

Oakland Athletics. My prediction: Under 82. Actual wins: 75. Right on.

Milwaukee Brewers. My prediction: Under 81.5. Actual wins: 80. Here's a team that really slacked off in the second half, allowing me to pick up the three or so games I needed to turn a loser into a winner come season's end.

Detroit Tigers. My prediction: Over 81.5. Actual wins: 86. Another winnah!

San Francisco Giants. My prediction: Under 79. Actual wins: 88. Miss.

Cincinnati Reds. My prediction: Under 78.5. Actual wins: 78. That's a win by the narrowest of margins.

Toronto Blue Jays. My prediction: Over 77.5. Actual wins: 75. Here was another one where I was well ahead at the halfway point, but I failed to account for Jays' GM JP Ricciardi's ruination of his team's collective psyche by his utter butchering of the Roy Halladay non-trade situation, and this flub ended up costing his team about ten wins from their pace just before Ricciardi funked things up, and it also cost Ricciardi his job as he was deservedly shitcanned over the last weekend of the season. But again, I shouldn't complain much about this loss, since it resulted directly in the Phillies landing Cliff Lee. I guess I should be thanking J.P. for this one.

Chicago White Sox. My prediction: Over 77.5. Actual wins: 79. I just barely squeaked this one out after coach Ozzie Guillen's antics proved too much and eventually the team just stopped playing for him with about a month to go in the season.

Kansas City Royals. My prediction: Under 77. Actual wins: 65. That's a win.

Colorado Rockies. My prediction: Under 76.5. Actual wins: 92. That's a loss. Must remember for next year to factor in a 60-20 run in the Rockies' final 80 games of the season.

Florida Marlins. My prediction: Over 75.5. Actual wins: 87. Probably the easiest pick I made in all the major leagues, as this team has had better than .500 talent on their squad from day one.

Texas Rangers. My prediction: Over 74.5. Actual wins: 87. Easy win there.

Seattle Mariners. My prediction: Over 73. Actual wins: 85. Another win.

Baltimore Orioles. My prediction: Under 72.5. Actual wins: 64. Here is another one that was looking very close at the halfway point, but a second half even worse than the first half helped the Orioles easily fall short of the not-so-lofty over-under set for them last spring in Vegas.

Washington Nationals. My prediction: Under 72.5. Actual wins: 59. The Nats picked up the pace considerably in the second half -- thanks mostly to the hapless Mets handing game after game over to them -- but still finished far, far short of what the sharps in Vegas predicted for the sport's worst team.

Houston Astros. My prediction: Over 72.5. Actual wins: 74. Winner. And thanks for taking 4 of 6 from the Phillies in the final month of the season to help solidify this one, I really appreciated the stress.

San Diego Padres. My prediction: Under 71. Actual wins: 75. A winner at halftime turned to a loser here as the Padres managed to string together at least a few wins, while making sure they still sucked in the process.

Pittsburgh Pirates. My prediction: Over 69. Actual wins: 62. An absolutely pathetic second half to the season turned a nice win for me here into a solid loss by the end of the year, although for the life of me I can't explain why I thought the Pirates were going to win 70 games. Oh well, live and learn.

So there you have it, 18-12 overall on the season for a 60% win rate against Las Vegas. Still good, but not nearly as solid as my 20-9-1 margin shortly after the All-Star break had indicated. But then, I was never betting on the teams' win totals at the halfway point, at the all-star break or at any time other than after the final game of the regular season, so I won't make any excuses based on the teams' second-half performances. And 18-12 overall, while always a very strong performance against the Vegas oddsmakers, just seems a heck of a lot worse than 21-9 would have, that's for sure. So much so, that I'm not ready quite yet to jump right in with real money on the 2010 MLB futures market. At least not yet.

Later this week I will definitely get to the end of the major league baseball season in more general terms, but for now suffice it to say that Your World Champion Philadelphia Philles got a major, major break in my view by nabbing the second overall seed in the National League and yet still avoiding the Cardinals in the 3-seed in the NLDS thanks to the rule that divisional rivals the Dodgers and the Rockies cannot play each other in the first round of the playoffs. Thus, the #1-seeded Dodgers move from the 4 seed (Colorado) to the 3 seed (Cardinals) instead, leaving the Champs easily the worst of the four NL playoff teams this year in the Rockies, in particular in a short series. The Phillies have the clearly superior pitching, the clearly superior hitting, and they're at home for 3 of the 5 games of the series. While the Cardinals can and likely will give any team fits in any playoff series with their stellar top of the rotation, this year should give the Phillies a good chance for revenge after the Rockies eliminated Philadelphia from the playoffs back in the 2007 season.

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Blogger OhCaptain said...

Win Twins! It doesn't take knowledge or reason to be a homer. We just are.

4:30 AM  

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