Monday, October 22, 2012

Looking Back

Before the season began, I made win total predictions as to where I believed teams would finish after 162 games. Some were accurate, others were embarrassing. Too bad I can't look ahead in time when I make my predictions in late March.

My predictions for the AL East:
New York Yankees: 97-65- Y
Tampa Bay Rays: 91-71- W
Boston Red Sox: 90-72
Toronto Blue Jays: 83-79
Baltimore Orioles: 69-93
Actual Records:
New York Yankees: 95-67- Y
Baltimore Orioles: 93-69- W
Tampa Bay Rays: 90-72
Toronto Blue Jays: 72-89
Boston Red Sox: 69-93
The Yankees were a safe choice for the division title and I was only two games off. I was dead-on about Tampa Bay and they were only one win short of my prediction. I did have them making the playoffs as one of the wildcards over Baltimore. Their hitting was not able to get them into the playoffs even though their starting pitching was fantastic. I'm not embarrassed about where I had the Baltimore Orioles. Everyone had them in the cellar of the American League East. Boston was a huge disappointment as Bobby Valentine crashed and burned in Beantown. Toronto had a disappointing season after they were projected as the dark horse of the division. Their starters were all on the DL and Romero had a terrible year.
My Predictions for the AL Central:
Detroit Tigers: 95-67- Y
Cleveland Indians: 83-79
Kansas City Royals: 81-81
Minnesota Twins: 80-82
Chicago White Sox: 74-88
Actual Records:
Detroit Tigers: 88-74- Y
Chicago White Sox: 85-77
Kansas City Royals: 72-90
Cleveland Indians: 68-94
Minnesota Twins: 66-96
Until late September, the White Sox were in position to win the Central crown until the Tigers went on a run. Combine that with a Chicago collapse and the Tigers ended up winning the central by three games. I originally predicted the White Sox to finish last because of their new manager, combined with Adam Dunn's and Alex Rios' terrible 2011. I was wrong about them, but the team ended up coming up short. I believed the Indians would improve on their 2011 season but they turned out to finish terribly. Kansas City was a surprise team that I originally had finishing with a .500 record with their great young players, however their pitching didn't hold up and they floundered down the stretch.
My predictions for the AL West:
Texas Rangers: 94-68- Y
LA Angels: 91-71- W
Oakland Athletics: 73-89
Seattle Mariners: 70-92
Actual Records:
Oakland Athletics: 94-68- Y
Texas Rangers: 93-69- W
LA Angels of Anaheim: 89-73
Seattle Mariners: 75-87
A group of nobodies came together at the Coliseum in Oakland and put together a season that no analyst could have predicted. They overcame a thirteen game deficit in the division in late August to take the AL West Crown from the Rangers on the final day of the regular season. The Angels spent a ton of money to bring Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson to their team and didn't even make the playoffs. Don't forget about Mike Trout's MVP worthy season. They still managed to miss the playoffs with all that talent despite Jered Weaver winning over twenty games.
My predictions for the NL East:
Philadelphia Phillies: 90-72- Y
Atlanta Braves: 88-74- W
Washington Nationals: 85-77
Miami Marlins: 83-79
New York Mets: 72-90
Actual Records:
Washington Nationals: 98-64- Y
Atlanta Braves: 94-68- W
Philadelphia Phillies: 81-81
New York Mets: 74-88
Miami Marlins: 69-73
I was dead wrong about this division. I didn't have the Washington Nationals making the playoffs and they finished the season with the best record in baseball. The Braves secured a wildcard spot as I predicted they would. The Phillies were awful this year but were in a wildcard race in September which boosted their record to a respectable place. Roy Halladay was not the same this season and Ryan Howard's absence early in the season took a toll on the team, not to mention Cliff Lee's inability to get a win until mid-summer. The Mets were surprisingly good until the All-Star break. After the break, they were awful and forgot how to hit. They evened their record to match the prediction I set for them in the pre-season. The Marlins spent a boatload of money on Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Their season was a major disappointment after the team did not respond well to Ozzie Guillen. Heath Bell lost his job as Marlins closer, leaving Jose Reyes as the only bright spot for the Marlins after they traded every one of their regular players by the trading deadline.

My predictions for the NL Central:
St. Louis Cardinals: 88-74- Y
Cincinnati Reds: 86-76
Milwaukee Brewers: 84-78
Pittsburgh Pirates: 77-85
Chicago Cubs: 74-88
Houston Astros: 65-97
Actual Records:
Cincinnati Reds: 97-65- Y
St. Louis Cardinals: 88-74- W
Milwaukee Brewers: 83-79
Pittsburgh Pirates: 79-83
Chicago Cubs: 61-101
Houston Astros: 55-107
My original prediction for the number of wins that St. Louis would amass came into fruition, marking my first exact record prediction to actual record of the season. However, I had St. Louis winning the division coming off their World Series title after just making it into the playoffs in 2011. Looking back, I thought about making the Reds the winners of the division but something told me that they couldn't do it after coming off a mediocre season in 2011. The Brewers were not able to retain Prince Fielder, but they made a little run at the end for a wildcard but ultimately lost that to the Cardinals. The Cubs and Astros were horrific this season. They are the AAA teams of the Central as of today. Houston will join the American League next season and I believe the designated hitter will help them, but their pitching is still awful.
My predictions for the NL West:
San Francisco Giants: 90-72- Y
Arizona Diamondbacks: 88-74- W
LA Dodgers: 85-77
Colorado Rockies: 81-81
San Diego Padres: 73-89
Actual Records:
San Francisco Giants: 94-68- Y
LA Dodgers: 86-76
Arizona Diamondbacks: 81-81
San Diego Padres: 76-86
Colorado Rockies: 64-98
I was correct in choosing the Giants to win the western title but my pick for Arizona getting one of the wildcards did not exactly go as planned. Most of Arizona's hitters took a step back in 2012, leaving people scratching their heads about what changed from 2011. Before the season started, I was having a hard time choosing who would come in second in the division, going from the Dodgers to the D'Backs and ultimately chose to stick with Arizona. The Dodgers made a mega-trade with the Red Sox in August which sent Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers. Even with all of those bullets, Los Angeles still fell short of the playoffs in 2012. Magic Johnson and Co. are probably kicking themselves for making that kind of boneheaded move.

Overall, I had more good predictions than bad ones. I am proud of how I made my choices and look forward to doing so again at the end of Spring Training in 2013.

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