Never mind what I said about my worst predictions being in the AL Central. Here is the link to the horrible prediction in form of entry.
Predicted Record: 65-70 wins
Actual Record: 91-71
So… at best I was 21 games off with this prediction. I still don’t know how the Rays did this. I don’t know if I mentioned this in the entry of my 100th ball game at Tropicana Field, but they have a “pump-up” segment before each game that is a highlight reel for the Rays that begins with the showing of the quote “Luck is the residue of opportunity and design.”- Branch Rickey. Well, they certainly explicated the quote throughout the year. I didn’t closely follow the Rays during the season, but one example of the Rays winning games through smart moves was the acquisition of Casey Kotchman. That said, it doesn’t make sense that they won the number of games that they did.
My main point in the entry was that they lost most of their relief pitching and I honestly don’t know how they made up for the pitchers they lost. I have seen the roster, but they lost some quality pitchers out of that bullpen. I think I compared the Rays of 2011 to the Rays of 2007, or whenever the year they were in last place was. This was mostly out of comparing the bullpens and offenses. The thing I didn’t account for was the new Rays ownership, who has really made a difference. On a side note, I am and have been reading The Extra 2% for a while (just because I have been really busy and have like 10 baseball books in front of it), but from what I can tell, it is going to be a really good book and shows why the Rays have been winning, because of the attention to detail.
I apologize to the Rays for grossly under-estimating them.
First of all, here is the link to the first entry. By the way, I always put the link to the previous entry on the word “here” just because it would be tougher to link a whole phrase of words.
Predicted record: 68-73 wins
Actual record: 71-91
This prediction I pretty much got right, which in the AL Central is the equivalent of throwing a strike to the Home Plate at Yankee Stadium from the upper deck. I didn’t really get the prediction right, though, as to how exactly the Royals would win their games. I really predicted, because it was mostly an entry on the offseason moves, that the Royals would win their games through all of their newly acquired pitching. However, I failed to look at what they already had on their team. The Royals offense, was their main asset.
I failed to see their offensive potential, because they really didn’t have much. The main reasons the Royals succeeded so were: Billy Butler doing what he always does, Alex Gordon finally living up to some of the hype, and Eric Hosmer coming up and helping. There were other people, but these were the main reasons, as far as I can tell from what I watch of the Royals during a typical baseball season (I really don’t watch them much at all).
Whatever the case, I’m glad that I’m starting to go to the AL East in this series of entries where I (hopefully) did better on my predictions than I did in the AL Central. This was just brutal. I truly messed up on these.
The first entry in the AL East will be the Red Sox, I believe. Maybe not. I can’t remember if I did it in order of the last season’s record or of the predicted record. If it was the former case, it will be the Rays that come first.
First off, here is the original entry detailing the Indians 2010 season, their offseason, and predictions for their 2011 season, which is now over.
If you are new to the “Re-view of the preview” entries, they are entries looking back at a series of entries I did last season called “Offseason Recap and Preview”, which were entries that examined teams’ free agent signings and trades during last offseason. I then went on to predict how the moves would affect the respective teams and their records for the 2011 season. First, I attach a link to the initial entry as you saw above. Then I go into how well I actually predicted that team’s season now that the season is over and I can actually see the discrepancy in record.
Predicted record: 73-78 wins
Actual Record: 80-82
Although it may seem like the two records are pretty similar, I really underestimated the “Tribe” they started off really well and cooled off from then. When I saw them play in Chicago, I think it was the first time I really had a look at their entire lineup and I do believe their first half record was closer to the mean and their second half was a *bit* of bad luck and they could easily have won in the 84-ish range.
My mistake in looking at this team was that although they had a tough(er) 2010 season, they had some prominent players injured and the return of these players made them a better team than the net gain from their “Notable” additions and subtractions during the offseason would suggest. Their pitching pretty much stayed the same, if you ignore the addition of Ubaldo Jimenez.
Overall, I kind of, sort of pegged this team.
First of all, here is the intial entry.
Predicted Record: 84-89 wins
Actual Record: 95-67
For an AL Central prediction, this was surprisingly… not terrible. I *was* off by 6 to 11 wins, but I didn’t account for the surprises in this group. I would take any of my AL West predictions over this one, but it was the best prediction save Kansas City and Cleveland because they reverted to their self of awfulness. I attribute most of the 6 games I was off by to Justin Velander and Miguel Cabrera playing above what they had shown to this point last year. I actually did put in this provision. Usually what happens, is that Cabrera and Verlander have years where they’re on. Maybe I’m especially focused on them, but for whatever reason, this has been true of these two. Verlander had not put together 3 “good” years together yet. So I thought he would regress. Kill me on that if you wish. I really don’t know what else to attribute me being off by so much to, except for the late season pick-up of Doug Fister that addressed the rotation depth problem I detailed in the original entry.
Overall, I got the gist of this team but failed to accurately predict how they would do.
Here, is the link to the original entry.
Predicted record: 85-90 wins
Actual record: 79-83
Here’s to another completely wrong prediction. I really have no explanation for why this happened besdies the underacheiving of Adam Dunn among others. They didn’t lose anyone THAT important to the any part of their team. I know Dunn not perfoming was indeed a big part of their underacheiving, but one man does not 15-20 make, even if he seemed horrible enough.
I conceed to the fact that I got this prediction completely wrong, whateve the reason behind this mal-prediction may be. I think I may have just been a bit too optimistic. I guess I added the value of Pierzinski and Konerko to the team even though they had already been on the team the year before. I think I made so big of a deal in the fact that Ken Williams kept both of them that I lost the fact that they weren’t going to add wins to the total, but maintain the total at where it was. After all, they did only really add two impact players, one of which turned a spot in the lineup into a black hole of nothingness where hits against lefties go to die.
I’d rather forget this entry , but here is the original.
Predicted Record Range: 91-96 wins
Actual Record: 63- 99
So I was only off by about 30 wins. I really have no words to describe how bad this prediction truly was or how the Twins got to this point. All I can do is break down where they downgraded.
Bullpen: They definitely downgraded in the bullpen as most of their bullpen help from 2010 were mid-year acquisitions. In addition, their established set-up men like Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier also left and their injured relievers like Joe Nathan and Pat Neshek underachieved according to what their past said they should be doing. I think that this bullpen has to be completely re-done.
Rotation: It pretty much stayed the same,but would have downgraded if Francisco Liriano did not improve like he did. The main thing with the rotation this year is that they were injured too much. Rick Anderson has his fingerprints on the organization in such a way that throwing strikes will get you to the show and any talent you have past that is just icing on the cake, but I don’t think that having your best pitchers get injured is the best way to win because of the inconsistency it causes. I think the rotation is best run with the laissez faire approach because this farm system turns out consistent pitchers like there’s no tomorrow.
Outfield: It was just two years ago when playing MLB 2k9 that I remarked to my dad that the Twins had too many Outfielders who would be starters one other teams. This year, (no disrespect to him) they had Ben Revere among others playing in the Outfield. Jason Kubel certainly has dropped off. He used to be a player you could count on for 30 HR and 80+ RBIs. The same coudl be said for Michael Cuddyer except when he did it this year he was an exceptional player on the Twins instead of being one of the background players he usually is for putting up his usual numbers. This needs be completely re-done with the losses of Delmon Young, Michael Cuddyer, and Carlos Gomez (yes I know he left a few years ago).
Infield: As far as defense goes, the Twins will never have major issues because they take 1,000 ground balls a day, but as far as the offensive production goes, they have fallen off. I think we can attribute this to Justin Morneau not coming back to full strength. Like Starting Pitchers, the Twins produce solid middle infielders because of the aforementioned 1,000 ground balls a game. I think they are pretty well set with Danny Valencia, but that 1st base situation must be stabilized by one way or another.
Overall, I completely failed with this prediction. The only worse thing I could have said is: ” they will win the World Series.” I am still trying to forget this season in general when it comes to twins baseball because as you might remember, my consecutive games streak came to a close at Target Field in August.
First of all, here is the initial entry.
My Predicted record: 61-65 wins
Actual Record: 67-95
I pretty much got this team right. I gave them a C- and although they did improve in their record, it was not as a result of net addition during the offseason. Rather it was, as I said, the younger players like Dustin Ackley improving and the team developing as a whole. The offense is still very much challenged, but it isn’t a disaster of historic proportions like last year. Besides this, I can’t really say anything about the Mariners because I didn’t touch upon that many topics in the first entry. I really stuck with certain topics and elaborated upon them more than I usually did with those entries. That said, it now appears as though the Mariners are committed to Felix Hernandez and it *seems* like they have minimal intentions of trading him as of 10:05 November, 07, 2011. However, his salary is still set to rise over the next few years and the Mariners may decide that it is not worth it to keep him around when the team around him is still on the rise.
I think I pretty much pegged the AL West. Next up is the AL Central, where I think I may have been a LITTLE off on my predictions >cough, cough, Twins< The next entry will not be up until at least Thursday, though. This is because
I am going on a retreat with my school and won’t have access to the internet until I get back Wednesday night.
First, here is the initial entry. In this particular entry, the comments below it are a big part of the entry itself.
My predicted record: 86-91 wins
Actual record: 96-66
This might seem like a bad prediction on my part, but I would like to point out that it wasn’t as off as you might think. Had the team that started the year played the whole season, I think they would have ended up in the low 90s. Who added those extra five or so wins you say? Well one of their question marks going into the season was their bullpen which they revamped through deadline trades. For example, they picked up: Koji Uehara, Mike Gonzalez, Mike Adams, and some other reliever whose name escapes me.
I was also right in my prediction that the Rangers would have to out-score opponents to win. Although they had either four or five 14 game winners, no one behind CJ Wilson’s ERA would indicate that they would have as many wins with any other team. The second best starters ERA behind Wilson’s 2.96 was a 3.94. So even though this shows their starters stayed away from injury and persevered in the Texas heat, no one behind CJ Wilson was a bona fide #2 starter, like I predicted in my preview entry.
I would like to explain the grading scale. Even though I gave the Rangers a C, that doesn’t mean I predicted they would fall off. A C meant a team would be just as good as they were the previous year. Anything above a C would mean that they would be a better team, and anything below a C meant that I thought they would be a worse team. The degree by which the team would be either better or worse would depend on how far away the grade was from a C. So I predicted the Rangers had tread water in the offseason. Personally, I don’t think the team that started the year would have made it to the World Series again, but with their additions they made it to the same place as last year.
I think I got this team pretty well when you adjust for the mid-season trades. What would you say?
First of all, here is my initial preview entry of the A’s. So you can review the facts I put forth.
My predicted record for the A’s: 88-93 wins
Actual Record: 74-88
I know this seems like a bad prediction but I *did* put in a clause in my record prediction that said:
“ Although, with young rotations there is always the risk that the rotation will lose a few starters to overwork (cough,cough…Gio Gonzalez), injuries, streakiness etc. In which case, their win range is in the mid 70′s.”
Well, there were starters lost to injury. The only starters above 200 innings pitched were: an much worse Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez. I will admit that I thought Gonzalez was going to be the one lost to injury and he completely defied my prediction by becoming the ace of that staff. I definitely got that one wrong. The most prominent example of injury is Dallas Braden who went out after pitching only 18 innings. So really I was spot on in my prediction by adding on that last part.
I did NOT predict their bullpen would be as good as it became but all around I think I nailed this team as well. What do you say?
Those who have been reading this blog for about 6 month may remember that I did a sereies of Offseason Recap and Preview entries. This series of entries will look back on my evalutations and previews to see how well I did.
This specific entry deals with my second preivew entry of the Angels. I do the second first because the first is the Rangers are still playing and I will let them finish before I can fully evaluate their season.
My predicted record: 80-82 to 85-77
Actual Record: 86-76
So I wasn’t that far off in terms of wins and this may seem like a good amount of wins, but my thing with them is the Vernon Wells move impeded future progress. Here is my thought on the trade directly from that entry:
“I see the Vernon Wells move as one out of desparation and not very well thought through. Although Wells may have been a very good player last year he still has a contract that averages 18 million a year. Up to this point, he has not made significantly more than 10 million a year and so will start making figures in the 20 millions. This is for at best a very good player and at worst what he was early on in the contract. The upside to this offseason’s low spending was that they could make a run for Albert Pujols next but the Wells move effectively washed that away. Second, I am pretty sure the Blue Jays would have given him away for free. Instead, the Angels gave away one of the top five power hitting Catchers in the game. Is he better than Wells, no but it is still a bit much to give up.”
Before I go into I-am-a-Physchic mode, I would like to make sure everyone is farmiliar with what actually happened in the trades for those who are confused by the fact that Napoli was in Anaheim last year and is in Texas this year and where Vernon Wells being onthe Blue Jays last year fits into all of this . The first trade that was made between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels sent Mike Napoli to the Blue Jays in exchange for Vernon Wells. Napoli was a Blue Jay for about two tenths of a second before they sent him to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Frank Francisco.
Last year, Wells’ stats were: .218/.248/.412 hitting, scored 60 runs, and drove in 66 runs. Sure, he hit 25 HRs as well, but is this the kind of production a team wants fromsomeone being paid 15-20 million dollars? I think the Angels would rather still have Mike Napoli as he: hit .320/.414/.631, scored 72 runs at a much slower runner, and drove in 75 runs primarily from the backof the line-up. Did I mention he also hit 30 Home Runs while only earning around$5 million? I need not mention what he has meant to the Rangers thus far in their World Series run.
I think I pretty much nailed the Angels. What do you think?