With the season half over, I went back over my preseason picks for the order of finish in each of the divisions. Sometimes with deep regret (sorry for picking the Rays to win the AL East), and some with some satisfaction (dead on in the AL Central). Of course, it is impossible to know what will happen at the outset of a season, but there are always strong indicators.
If you want to check out my original article, the 2014 MLB Predictions, find it here: https://gatsbyfuneral.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/2014-mlb-predictions/
There is some wisdom in there, and some foolishness. Here are a few thoughts on what I had guessed, and ideas for the second half in each division.
Preseason Prediction: Rays, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees
- I stated that I had considered picking the Orioles to win the division. Looks like I should have done that.
- I still believe the Yankees could finish last here. Injuries are going to catch up to them, as are the underperformances of some of their big names. Sad to see Jeter go, however. As much as I despise the Yankees, he has been nothing but class for his entire career. Nothing bad to say about him, he is one hell of a competitor, and a great baseball player.
- Do the Red Sox have it in them to turn around a terrible first half of the season? Yes and no. They will be able to make up some room, but I don’t see them getting back into it, even for the wildcard at this point. They are perhaps a third place team this year.
- As usual, injuries are going to derail a Blue Jays season. So much promise, so little delivery. That’s what happens when you have a roster full of Band-Aids. Too bad, they can be a really fun team to watch when they are mashing like they can.
Preseason Prediction: Tigers, Royals, Indians, White Sox, Twins
- So far, I have this division picked exactly right.
- I don’t see much changing here for the rest of the season. The main question is if the Royals can push for one of the wild card spots and end a playoff drought that has lasted since 1985.
- The Indians are a solid ball team, but they are just the picture of mediocrity. At .500 thus far, they will probably continue that pace until the end of the year.
- I think everybody and their dog picked the Tigers to win this division again. The talent there compared to the rest of the division is miles ahead.
- Fairly surprised the Rangers are this bad. Sure, they are riddled with injuries, and that is impossible to predict. But they are just bad. Do they become sellers now?
- The A’s are just a very good baseball team. Difficult to name a bunch of their players, but they make it all work.
- A lot more competition from the Angels than I suspected. Trout is an absolute beast, and he is dragging the old guys along with him. Improved pitching has helped them out a ton. Who knew.
- The Astros are going to be very good in a few years. They are a pretty exciting team, and there is an absolute ton of young talent there. Watch out for the 2018 Astros!
- I think the A’s hang on to the division, and the Angels will now grab that wild card berth.
- I love seeing the Mariners doing so well. It has been a long time since they have been a decent club. They will probably stay in the fight for the wild card until the end.
Preseason Prediction: Nationals, Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins
- Well, my top two seem about right. I think the Nationals hang on and take the division. They are too good, there is too much talent there. I think the Braves will fade a little bit.
- My order for the rest was messed up. I mentioned that the young Marlins had the potential of being really good, and I should have gone with that feeling.
- It is impressive how inconsistent the Mets can be. They are definitely a third place team.
- The Phillies are really bad at baseball at this point. So old. If I was their GM, I would be trading everything that wasn’t bolted down and loading up on prospects to build for the future. The Nats and Braves are going to be good for a long time, and Philadelphia needs to get on board with the youth movement.
- I still think I could be right about this when it is all said and done. The Brewers were a huge surprise out of the gate, but I don’t think they can sustain that, and they will continue to fade as the year progresses.
- The Pirates have started surging, and it is nice to see that they are now a team that won’t completely fold up when they have tough stretches.
- This is definitely the toughest division, with the top four teams all within 3.5 games of one another. It will be tight right down to the end. There are massive benefits to winning the division instead of being faced with the one game playoff, but I don’t think the depth of the Cardinals will be beaten here.
Preseason Prediction: Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Padres, Rockies
- Shame on me for picking Arizona to finish second in the division. They are terrible, and their manager is going to be the first one fired this season. The team is a mess.
- I still think the Dodgers will prevail over the Giants in the division. They have a ton of depth, and they will probably do something ridiculous at the trade deadline to get another highly paid superstar. Maybe another pitcher. Would make them very scary in the playoffs.
- Holy hot and cold, Giants. No way that they are as bad as they have been over the past month, but I don’t think they are as good as they were earlier, either. They will fight for the wild card.
- This is a two team race. The Padres, Rockies, and D-Backs are out of this one.
Overall, I’d say I did alright with my choices. Could have been better, could have been worse. There were some serious blunders, but that happens to everyone, doesn’t it?
NL Wild Cards: Braves and Pirates. Hmm. I’ll stick with the Pirates, and go with the Giants getting the other one.
AL Champion: A’s. I’ll stick with the team with the best record in baseball right now. They do have questions, but they are just solid all around, and this could be their year. They will have serious competition from the Tigers and Angels, however.
NL Champion: Nationals. Hard to argue against the might of the Dodgers. But I will stick with the Nats.
World Series Champion: Nationals. Sure, why not?