Hey all, we’ve reached the All-Star break and half-way point of the MLB season. Let’s take a look at the list and see where we stand.
The AL Wild Card is NOT coming from the AL East.
This prediction was made before the second wild card was confirmed…at the moment, the Angels and Orioles hold the top two spots, with the Rays a half game back. To say the AL East won’t make one of TWO wild card spots would be a major stretch…but I still stand by the loser of the AL West (LAA vs TEX) taking the top Wild Card spot.
Prediction Verdict: Accurate, if skewed a tad based on the new rules.
Justin Smoak will make the AL All-Star team.
.203/.265/.332. Wish I could just stop there…he has shown flashes, but just cannot consistently put it together. I’d say he should quit switch-hitting and stick to the side of the plate where he has had more success, but in his career he is an even .220 on each side of the plate. His power numbers are a little better as a lefty, but not nearly enough better to want to drop hitting from the right side. He did have that one week where he went .348 with a double, three home runs, eight RBIs, six walks and seven runs scored – and I immediately traded him for some value in my fantasy league. Ha!
Prediction Verdict: Way off.
The NL East runner-up will NOT be Atlanta.
My point in making this prediction was to say that Washington was going to be a force to reckon with this year. They called up Harper a lot earlier than I expected, and even with all of the injuries to Ramos, Storen, Morse, etc – the pitching has kept it together. Gio Gonzalez has been fantastic, Jordan Zimmermann and Edwin Jackson have been solid…and the bullpen has been able to piece it together. Where I was way off was with Philadelphia. The offense has just been dismal – coupled with losing Roy Halladay and some awful bullpen management [Are you EVER going to bring Papelbon in during a tie game Charlie? Ever?] they sit in the basement. And another team I thought would be brutally bad is ahead of them. FORESHADOWING…
Prediction Verdict: Atlanta is going to be the NL East runner-up, but for the wrong reasons. Foiled again!
Ian Kennedy will fall back to Earth.
I expected Kennedy to regress, but not the entire Diamondbacks team. It’s been a really disappointing year for Arizona, especially now that they are looking to trade Justin Upton. Just like his brother (who I’ve seen strike out 13,000,000 times) he hasn’t quite put together all of his tools…at least consistently. Ian Kennedy sits at 6-7 with a 4.26 ERA this year, and I expect that to rise just a smidge by October. Should line up just about with the 12-13 wins and low 4 ERA I said in the first place.
Prediction Verdict: Right on target
The WORST team in the majors will NOT be Houston.
As it stands right now, Houston is percentage points lower than two other pretty bad teams in Chicago and Colorado…but the real issue is, are these New York Mets for real? I expected them to collapse and get walked all over in a tough division, and they continue to fight and continue to impress. R.A. Dickey has been stellar (but his story is being totally overblown. But let me say he seems like a real class act and I am really happy for his success.) and David Wright has been a one-man-wrecking crew. They’ve gotten solid production out of some role players like Scott Hairston and Daniel Murphy, and Ike Davis is FINALLY starting to hit. They’re not going to pass Atlanta or Washington, but a hat tip on a completely unexpected year for this team.
Prediction Verdict: Meet the Mets, they’re worth your time
So that’s that. If you’re generous, I got 3 out of 5. I’d put it around 2.5. Thanks a lot, Justin Smoak. Enjoy the rest of the season, friends!