- Brewers will miss the playoffs and it won’t be close.
I do NOT want to talk about it.
- The Yankees have 4 guys who hit 35 homers and Greg Bird leads them all
Ok, this prediction did not come true. Bird was a lost cause this year. But the Yankees did set the single season home run record, so let’s call it a wash? They had 5 guys hit 25 or more homers and Gleyber Torres hit 24 in just 123 games. And somehow Luke Voit hit 14 in just 39 games. That is some insane home run production.
- Billy Hamilton finally gets 60 steals
He finished with 34 steals. Considering he hit .236 with a .299 OBP that’s very impressive. Also, it is not even close to 60.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. makes it to the big leagues this year and helps push the Blue Jays into the playoffs
Although the Blue Jays had some injury woes and weren’t ever really in contention, Guerrero mashed in the minors and should have been called up. He will be called up next year (delayed because of stupid service time issues), and he will absolutely mash. Not so bold prediction: Guerrero wins the Rookie of the Year; Much more bold prediction: Guerrero finishes top 10 in MVP voting (maybe even top 5).
- The Mets make the playoffs and Noah Syndergaard wins the Cy Young
It would be great if Thor could stay healthy. He finished 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA in just 25 starts. With what DeGrom did all year and what Wheeler did at the end of the year, a healthy Thor and a healthy Cespedes could spell trouble for the NL East next year (big question marks). Especially with the addition of Cano at second and Diaz at the backend of the pen. I might have been a year early with the Mets prediction, but I think they will be at the least contenders next year. (Do I dare predict it…Mets win the East next year?? I can’t bring myself to say it…yet.)
- ASTROS WILL WIN 110 GAMES BUT WON’T REPEAT AS WORLD CHAMPIONS
This was probably my best prediction of the lot. They ended up with 103 wins and losing in the ALCS to the Red Sox. But for a while they were well on their way to 110 wins. But it is a long season, and injuries were tough on them as well. Especially to my AL MVP pick, Carlos Correa. In my analysis of the team preseason, I predicted a big year from the rotation and the pen. Well the Astros finished with the best team ERA in baseball at 3.11 and led the entire league in strikeouts as well. They had 10 more quality starts then the second best team in baseball, and their bullpen finished the year with a league leading 3.03 bullpen ERA. The gap in bullpen ERA between the Astros and the second place Cubs was larger than the gap between the Cubs and the 7th best bullpen ERA of the Diamondbacks. AKA the bullpen was dominant.
- BYRON BUXTON FINISHES IN THE TOP 5 IN MVP VOTING
LOL. This was a lost year for Buxton who had injury and contact issues all year and played more games in the minors than the majors.
- DANNY SALAZAR WILL FINISH IN THE TOP 10 IN CY YOUNG VOTING
Wow, really nailed it with these underdog award contenders. Salazar threw a total of ZERO innings this year. So I guess that answers that. Potential bounce back candidate next year if healthy, or he could be a filthy bullpen arm.
- SHOHEI OHTANI WILL GIVE UP ON HITTING THIS YEAR
Well, how did this one play out? Ohtani will only be hitting next year, so not great Bob! I said that Ohtani would give up on hitting because his pitching was just too good to take time away from to focus on hitting, not because he could not hit in the pros. He struggled in the spring hitting but right toward the end of Spring Training, he got rid of his high leg kick and everything changed. Ohtani is an absolute beast, one who (along with his teammate Trout) should be all over the news all of the time to help promote the game. He won the Rookie of the Year, but what he did last year, and how good he truly was, is still going under appreciated. I cannot wait for him to get healthy, and I am excited to watch him get 500 plate appearances next year to see what he can do.
- THE ROCKIES WILL FINISH LAST IN THE NL WEST
Finish last, make the playoffs, same thing, right? (Wow, these predictions were terrible.) My overall analysis when I made this prediction was not too far off. Jon Gray was awful for them, Ryan McMahon as well. The bullpen was good. Carlos Gonzalez wasn’t great and continues to be unusable against lefties. LeMahieu was pedestrian at the plate, and Ian Desmond was even worse. So what on Earth happened? Arenado was amazing as usual, but so was Trevor Story. Story jumped from a strikeout king and liability at the plate to an MVP candidate. But that is not enough to get them into the playoffs. Blackmon was solid, and Dahl was as well, when healthy. But it was the pitching that was the big surprise, as well as a surprisingly weak division after the Dodgers, who also underachieved some in the regular season. German Marquez looks like an absolute ace. He had 230 strikeouts in 196 innings as a 23 year old last year, and he was absolutely filthy in the second half. Kyle Freeland went from a nobody to a guy with a sub 3 ERA. Pitching half the time at Coors that’s insane. Is it sustainable? We’ll see next year. But he has an extremely deceptive delivery and was death on lefties last year. It was a really surprising year for the Rockies, but I will say, if they don’t add to their offense (I don’t think a 33 year old Daniel Murphy is enough), they might find some regression next year. It helps the Diamondbacks and Giants seem to be blowing it up, but the Padres are trying to get back into it with trade talks for JT Realmuto and Corey Kluber. It will be interesting in the West next year. (And of course I’ve been wrong before!)
Final score: 1/10 – Yes, I’m giving myself credit for the Astros. It was close enough!
Final Reflection: Maybe not so bold next year.