Monday, October 04, 2010

2010 MLB Predictions -- Revisited

On Tuesday, April 6, I posted my over-under predictions for all 30 major league baseball teams for 2010. Today, with the MLB regular season having come to an end over the weekend in typically exciting and down-to-the-wire fashion, I am here to analyze the results of my 2010 predictions, as I know there were a number of second-half streaks from teams like the Mets, the Phillies, the Angels, the Dodgers, the Rays and a few others that will put into jeopardy my ability to have picked their season correct back before it all began, when it was still snowing out in Colorado earlier this year. So following are my original predictions for each major league baseball team this year, and how my prediction held up in the end:

Arizona Diamondbacks 82.5. I am going to go under on this one. Although the Padres are bad, and Dodgers and the Giants should be just strong enough I think to keep the D-Backs under .500 on the season. Actual 2010 wins: 65. Easy win for me.

Atlanta Braves 85.5. Wow is everybody hot on the Braves this season. They have a good quality staff of young pitchers, and the lineup is as strong as it's been in years. I think 85.5 is a tough number to hit in an NL East where basically every team improved compared to last season, but I am going to go out on a limb and go just barely over on this one. Actual 2010 wins: 91. Another win to start off the alphabet right.

Baltimore Orioles 74.5. Same as it ever was with this team, which seemingly hasn't been good in a decade. The AL East is once again stacked, and even with the Blue Jays being worse, I am going to pick slightly under this number for the O's. Actual 2010 wins: 66. That's another win, but give new O's manager Buck Showalter another month or 6 weeks at the helm earlier this season and I probably drop this one.

Boston Red Sox 94.5. Now this is a huge number for a team that plays in the same division as the Yankees and the Rays. The Red Sox should clearly be an improved team in 2010, with one of the (if not the) best starting rotations in the sport today, and they are going to pile on teams like the Orioles and Blue Jays all season long. As high as that number is, I guess I'm going to join the crowd and take the over on the Sox for 2010. Actual 2010 wins: 89. That's a loss.

Chicago Cubs 83.5. Wow has this team fallen since being predicted to win the division as recently as a year ago. When manager Lou Piniella loses his players and they stop listening to his message, though, things are not likely to turn around quick in my book. I'll take the under here despite the Cubs playing in a very lackluster division once again this year. Actual 2010 wins: 75. Another solid win for the predictions.

Chicago White Sox 82.5. This number seems low to me for a White Sox team that I expect to compete for the AL Central crown after the Twins' Joe Nathan's season-ending Tommy John surgery last week. It is likely that the winner of this division takes the title with fewer than 90 wins, but still the Sox should be able to get over this number by season's end. Actual 2010 wins: 88. Win!

Cincinnati Reds 79.5. The Reds are another team that everybody is talking about being on the upswing in 2010, but in this case I am not really seeing what makes them stand out in the NL Central. They might improve on last year's win total of 78, though, in what again is likely to be a division featuring a battle of several mediocre teams, so I will take the over here although I do not expect the Reds to get much above the .500 mark by September. Actual 2010 wins: 91. And it's another easy win.

Cleveland Indians 74.5. The Indians are an easy pick for a perennial under, and this year is no exception in my book, in particular with how much younger the team got thanks to some trades made last year and during the offseason. Actual 2010 wins: 69. Bag another win!

Colorado Rockies 84.5. Now here is another team that everybody loves in 2010 but whose train I am jumping right on to as well. The NL West is open for the taking in my opinion, and nobody played better in the last two-thirds of the season in 2009 than the Rockies. I'll take the over as I expect this team to get to the upper 80s if they can continue last season's momentum. Actual 2010 wins: 83. There's a loss for one of the most disappointing teams in baseball in 2010 after the way they ended the 2009 season.

Detroit Tigers 80.5. I like the Tigers ok this year, and think they should get over this number. Detroit has a very good, proven manager in Jimmy Leyland, their starting pitching is young and hard-throwing, and the addition of Johnny Damon so far by all counts is going as smoothly as could be hoped. I look for this team to clear .500 and be in the race in what I think is a wide-open AL Central in 2010. Actual 2010 wins: 81. Now there's a squeaker win if I ever saw one.

Florida Marlins 80.5. I don't really know what to do with the Marlins, who have some great talent on both offense and defense, but who seem to be the only team in the NL East who did not appreciably improve their squad since 2009. Just under .500 is probably more or less spot-on so this is a tough line to pick for me, but I'll go against the grain and take the under for Florida this year after correctly picking them as an easy "over" pick in 2009. Actual 2010 wins: 80. There's another squeaker for ya, but I'll take it.

Houston Astros 74.5. Houston is going to be terrible again in 2010 as they have little going for them on either side of the ball these days. It's a low number but I'll still take the under and hope for the worst as the season rolls on. Actual 2010 wins: 76. Here's one that got away from me in the second half of the season as the Astros went on a bit of a roll.

Kansas City Royals 71. Here is another really tough team to pick. The Royals are within a game or so of the lowest over-under total for the 2010 season, and they're going to end up one of the worst-record teams in the league by the time all is said and done. 71 is such a tough number to go "under", but other than Zack Grienke there is really nothing else much to speak of on this team either in the lineup or in the rotation. I will take the under here but I can't be the least bit surprised if they end up "surging" to 73 or 74 wins on the year. Actual 2010 wins: 67. Another win.

Los Angeles Angels 84.5. This is without a doubt the lowest number the Angels have had heading into the season in about a decade, and they have rarely disappointed, finishing with at least 89 wins in every year since the team won the World Series back in 2002. Despite losing their #1 starter to the Red Sox in the offseason, I am going to go with Mike Scoscia, clearly one of the top two or three managers in the game today, to find a way to steer his team to over 84 wins once again in 2010. Actual 2010 wins: 80. There is another disappointing loss that was well on its way to a victory at the midway point this season.

Los Angeles Dodgers 84.5. This is also the lowest number the Dodgers have had in a few years, and represents 12 wins fewer than the team's 96 wins in 2009. My guess is that this reflects some expected resurgence in the Colorado Rockies and perhaps some expected further dilution in the talents of one Manny Ramirez after last year's post-season slump and now a full year off of his female fertility hormone pills. I buy into that, but I have tremendous faith in Joe Torre as a manager, and while I am not positive the Dodgers will win the division for a third straight season, I think they can get over 84 wins by September. Actual 2010 wins: 80. Another loss that was a win two months ago.

Milwaukee Brewers 80.5. Milwaukee is a team that a lot of people like heading into the 2010 baseball season, and that line at 80.5 simply means if they finish .500, the "over" wins the bet. I'll take the over and expect to clear this one in the final week of the regular season. Actual 2010 wins: 77. Another loss from another team that was on pace to cover the number at the All-Star break.

Minnesota Twins 84.5. This would have been the easiest "over" in the world before closer Joe Nathan injured his elbow and was announced recently to be missing the entire 2010 regular season. That's a big blow to a team that has perhaps the best manager in the AL today along with Angels' head man Mike Scoscia. Without Nathan I think the Twins will come in very close to this 84/85 wins, but once again I will put my money with the head coach and go with a very close over here. Actual 2010 wins: 94. It seems no matter how high the number gets, picking Minnesota to go over has become just about the best bet in baseball these past several years.

New York Mets 81.5. This is actually I think a very good number for the Mets' 2010 season, as they should be significantly improved from last season's 67 win total. Fewer injuries should combine with the addition of Jason Bay on offense to get this team back near the .500 mark by the end of the year in my expectation. That said, this Mets squad under abject losers Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya has so much no-heart that I would be remiss if I did not go with the under and take my chances that we're looking at another stupendous Mets collapse in 2010. Actual 2010 wins: 79. Here a midpoint loss that turned into a win for me thanks to yet another dismal second half out of the Mets.

New York Yankees 95.5. The highest over-under number of 2010 clearly belongs to the World Champion Yankees, and even though the loss of Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon will clearly impact this team, as will the improvement of the Red Sox just up Route 95, they should still have little trouble making it over the mid-90s in wins. As we saw last season, $250 million a year just buys you way too much talent to do otherwise. Actual 2010 wins: 95. Here's a shocking loss for me from a team that was way, way ahead of pace at the All-Star break.

Oakland Athletics 79.5. I'm not impressed with almost anyone on the A's staff or in the A's lineup these days, and for the second straight year I think the team is giving too much respect to the A's front office with their over-under line. I'll go under and expect more of a mid-70s performance out of Oakland this season. Actual 2010 wins: 81. There's a loss from the AL West runner up in 2010.

Philadelphia Phillies 92.5. The Phillies are clearly the team to beat in the National League heading into 2010, and this line requires the team to equal or better 2009's season win total of 93. Although the Phils themselves look to have improved with the addition of Placido Polanco at 3rd base and swapping out Cliff Lee for the consistent domination of Roy Halladay, the Mets, Braves and even the Nationals all look stronger heading into this season, and I think that could leave the Phillies just under this number for 2010 in their bid to become the first NL team to appear in three consecutive World Series since the Cardinals in the 1940's. Actual 2010 wins: 97. Happiest loss I've ever taken in an over-under bet.

Pittsburgh Pirates 69.5. Once again the Pirates are looking at the lowest number in the majors, but this once is just a tad too low to me. I'll take the over for the Pirates and look for them to post a number in the low 70s by the time September has come and gone. Actual 2010 wins: 57. That's a horrible loss for me.

San Diego Padres 71.5. The Padres will be one of the worst teams in baseball for the second straight season, and this year I'm expecting them to win under even the pathetic 71.5 games they are predicted to take. Actual 2010 wins: 90. My biggest embarrassment of all the picks this season.

San Francisco Giants 82.5. The Giants' starting rotation remains one of the best in baseball, and this alone ought to keep the team around the .500 mark despite having some major troubles on offense once again in 2010. With the Dodgers and Rockies both looking to start out strong and stay strong during this season, however, I am going to pick the Giants to finish ever so slightly under 82.5 wins on the year. Actual 2010 wins: 92. Another embarrassment for me, as I got the NL West basically all backwards on the year and it shows in my over-under predictions for these teams.

Seattle Mariners 83.5. The Mariners are another team where I do think the crowd is spot-on in betting the over. Things have not started out as great as hoped for this team after making a number of major moves over the past several months, with Cliff Lee already beginning the season on the DL, but in the end I expect solid hitting and a very strong starting rotation to help the Mariners to eke out just over 83.5 wins in the 2010 regular season. Actual 2010 wins: 61. My other most embarrassing pick of the 2010 baseball season.

St. Louis Cardinals 88.5. The Cardinals continue to have probably the best one-two punch among starting pitchers in the league with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, and they also have probably the best one-two hitting combination in Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. I see this team winning over 88.5 games as the one great team in an otherwise generally mediocre division once again. Actual 2010 wins: 86. Yet another win at the halfway point that turned to a loss as the team swooned harcore in August and September.

Tampa Bay Rays 89.5. People are hot on the Rays this year as this appears to be this particular nucleus of players' last chance to capitalize before this group's window is closed. They've got great hitting and very solid pitching as we've seen the last two seasons, but with the Yankees and Red Sox running as hot as I'm sure they will this season, I simply cannot expect 90 wins from a third team in the division as well. I'll go under here and look for a number more in the mid to upper 80s for the 2010 Rays. Actual 2010 wins: 96. And again, yet another miss for me.

Texas Rangers 84.5. Once again I will take the over with the Rangers, who I think have a good little team on both sides of the ball and should be able to win mid-80s for a second consecutive season. Even if their manager is a cokehead. Actual 2010 wins: 90. Winnah!

Toronto Blue Jays 70.5. Under. I suspect the Blue Jays will make a concerted run as the majors' worst team in 2010 as former GM Larry Ricciardi really left the organization in a shambles upon his firing after last season and the team also got younger thanks to some key moves during this past off-season. Actual 2010 wins: 85. This is another team I was completely wrong about right from the get-go. I guess even I did not realize just how bad J.P. Ricciardi was for this team before he was mercifully let go last season.

Washington Nationals 70.5. Lastly, last year's NL-worst Nationals are expected to do a little better this season, and I suppose that could happen since the team won just 59 games in their 2009 campaign. But I just can't pick them to improve by 12 games in a division where the Phillies got better, the Braves got better and the Mets will have far more talent on the field with regularity than they did last year. This one has got to be an under for me. Actual 2010 wins: 69. Another squeaker win.

So, good results in the first part of the alphabet with my 2010 predictions, but then equally hideous results in the latter part, and several teams which went on major heaters or coolers in the final two months of play to really wreak havoc on my results. The overall numbers for my predictions for this year are 14 correct, and 16 incorrect. Considering that I was running about 3 teams over .500 on these two months ago, there is just no way to view my baseball predictions this year as anything but a disappointment.

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Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I have to give you props for this post. You sucked. You admitted it. Normally you just disappear.

3:21 AM  
Blogger pokeroso said...

S.D. S.D. S.D. We didn't make the playoffs but if we don't totally implode in the off season and get some hitting we will be sitting pretty.

Second SirFWALGMan saying you didn't disappear this time. Way to own up your picks.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

The Blue Jays are not all about their former GM. TOR continues to be respectable in baseball's toughest division.


2:13 AM  

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