Spring Forward, Look Back: 2013 MLB Previews – Amended

Posted: March 10, 2014 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
Tags: , , ,

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This week, I will begin my annual preview of each division around Major League Baseball. And before I move on to this year, let’s take a look back at last year’s predictions, including how they panned out, what went right and what went wrong with the logic that went into them.

National League West—Preview Prediction

1. San Francisco Giants

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

4. Colorado Rockies

5. San Diego Padres

NL West—2013 Outcome

1. Dodgers (92-70)

2. Diamondbacks (81-81)

3. Giants (76-86)

4. San Diego (74-86)

5. Colorado (74-88)

The logic on choosing the Giants was based in a carryover of the chemistry that the mostly intact world champions were bringing back. They resigned Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro, while their strong pitching staff stayed intact. However, in the end the Dodgers additions of Yasiel Puig, Zack Greinke and Hanley Ramirez, along with a mostly healthy Carl Crawford made the difference. The combinations of rampant injuries in San Francisco, along with the Diamondbacks playing strong ball as well made all of the difference.

National League East—Preview Prediction

1. Washington Nationals

2. Atlanta Braves

3. Philadelphia Phillies

4. New York Mets

5. Miami Marlins

NL East Preview—2013 Outcome

1. Braves (96-66)

2. Nationals (86-76)

3. Mets (74-88)

4. Phillies (73-89)

5. Marlins (62-100)

I wasn’t alone in this one at least, because the Nationals seemed to be the most complete team in the league and were coming off of a very strong season. But it never came together for them for one reason or another, and when combined with the Braves playing very consistent baseball (at one point opening up a 15 game lead), they were never in it until the end of the season. The Mets and Phillies traded blows in the middle, but ultimate treaded water out in a contest of interchangeable seasons.

National League Central—Preview Prediction

1. Cincinnati Reds

2. St. Louis Cardinals

3. Milwaukee Brewers

4. Pittsburgh Pirates

5. Chicago Cubs

NL Central —2013 Outcome

1. Cardinals (97-65)

2. Pirates (94-68)

3. Reds (90-72)

4. Brewers (74-88)

5. Cubs (66-96)

The Central was a knuckle to knuckle fight throughout the entire season and ultimately produced the team that tied for the best record in baseball (Cardinals), along with the two Wild Card clubs as well in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Where I went wrong was considering the Pirates to be the team that ended 2012 in a downward spiral, as opposed to the one that had started that previous season—which was the one they played like completely through 2013. The Reds pitching staff was not as strong as I anticipated, and the rookie immediate impact in St. Louis was greater than I thought, and made the difference for them. The Brewers fell out of the picture when the rash of injuries they sustained and the loss of Ryan Braun.

American League West—Preview Prediction

1. Los Angeles Angels

2. Oakland A’s

3. Texas Rangers

4. Seattle Mariners

5. Houston Astros

AL West—2013 Outcome

1. A’s (96-66)

2. Rangers (91-72)

3. Angels (78-84)

4. Mariners (71-91)

5. Astros (51-111)

The pick was made on the assumption that a) the Angels 2012 effort had been a fluke, and b) that the addition of Josh Hamilton and another year of Mike Trout would take them to the postseason. Yet again, it was the A’s that held their ground in the West. The Rangers pitching played better baseball, and the Mariners fit into the mix between the predictably bad Astros.

American League Central—Preview Prediction

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Kansas City Royals

3. Indians

4. White Sox

5. Twins

AL Central—2013 Outcome

1. Tigers (93-69)

2. Indians (92-70)

3. Royals (86-76)

4. Twins (66-96)

5. White Sox (63-99)

The easiest division to choose held its serve for the most part. The Tigers took the division (albeit not as easily as I thought they may), while the Royals and Indians played much better baseball than they had the season prior. The White Sox however had a much more severe downturn than I saw coming, which was more the reason why the Twins didn’t find the cellar once again than them playing any better.

American League East—Preview Prediction

1. Baltimore Orioles

2. Toronto Blue Jays

3. New York Yankees

4. Tampa Bay Rays

5. Boston Red Sox

AL East—2013 Outcome

1. Red Sox (97-65)

2. Rays (92-71)

3. Orioles (85-77)

4. Yankees (85-77)

5. Blue Jays (74-88)

And finally, my greatest failure of the winter: the AL East. Admittedly, it was the closest of all the divisional choices, with the Rays, who despite being predicted to finish in fourth place were only 2.5 prediction points (the average place of the ranks of each category previewed) back of first place.

However, also admittedly, I was all in on the Orioles taking the next step as well after their showing in 2012. Add in the additions that the Blue Jays made and the terrible shipwreck the Red Sox 2012 ended as and it seemed that it could be legit. But the Red Sox pulled off a preview bottom-to-real life top outcome and ended up being the best team in baseball and the World Series champs.

And that is why the greatest crap shoot of all is a season preview on an outcome that’s eight months removed—and I’ll be rolling the dice again starting tomorrow.

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Comments
  1. The Situational Righty says:

    I can’t believe you picked against the Birds in the Central last year!

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