Halfway Home: Revisiting My 2014 Predictions

Crystal Ball

The 2014 MLB mid-season lull is in full effect.  The Blue Jays are off until Friday night, meaning we have four days of dead air ahead of us.  (No, the home run derby doesn’t count).  To help fill the empty space, today I will take a look at just how bad my 2014 predictions look so far. 

American League Predictions

East 2014 AL East

Thoughts: What can you say really.  Boston and Tampa Bay have been the biggest flops in baseball and the Jays have surprised everybody.  However, Tampa is starting to surge, and with the AL East actually being baseball’s weakest division (how weird does that sound), a crazy Rays comeback might not be out of the cards just yet.

Central 2014 AL Central

Thoughts: Absolutely, 100%, nailed it so far!  I expect the Tigers to maintain the lead the rest of the way, and the biggest battle to be between the Royals and Indians for second – and potentially a Wild Card spot. 

West 2014 AL West

Thoughts: If it wasn’t for Texas it would be two clean sweeps in a row.  Nothing has gone right for the Rangers this year and they might very well suffer the dubious distinction of finishing behind the Houston Astros.  Oakland, LA, and Seattle are making a serious case to have three playoff teams come out of the West.  

Wildcards

I predicted the A’s and Red Sox.  Oakland looks like a sure bet for the postseason, but maybe as the AL West champ.  The Red Sox look horrendous – and I couldn’t be happier!  Currently the Angels and Mariners lead the way. 

Stat Leaders 

2014 AL Stat Leaders

Thoughts:  Hey – I got Felix Hernandez for ERA leader right!  Unfortunately that’s about the only thing I’m even close on.  To be fair, Prince Fielder’s injury hampered that pick, and I’m not sure anybody could have predicted Justin Verlander’s regression.  I have a funny feeling that I might also nail the Mike Trout prediction by the end of the year. 

Awards & Miscellany

MVP – Mike Trout, LAA

– I think you’d have to consider him the favourite right now.

Cy Young – Justin Verlander, DET

– He has really fallen hard this year.  Probably not even in the top-10 right now.  This is currently King Felix’s award to lose.

Rookie – Jose Abreu, CHI

– He currently leads the majors with 29 HR, so he is the odds on favourite to win this award.

Manager – Brad Ausmus, DET

– This award is wide open right now.  Ausmus is right in the mix, along with Bob Melvin of Oakland and Lloyd McClendon of Seattle.  But a big second half could put a number of other guys in the mix (including John Gibbons).

Bounceback Player – Albert Pujols, LAA

– With 20 HR already, he has already eclipsed his 2013 total.  I’ll stick by him.

Most Disappointing Player – Carlos Beltran, NYY

– .216 average and .671 OPS and looking older by the day.  I think I nailed this one!

First Major Player Traded – Colby Rasmus, TOR

– Not yet…

National League Predictions

East 2014 NL East

Thoughts: If not for the Phillies I would have fully nailed this division.  As it stands, Philadelphia is awful, and it looks like the race for first is going to go right down to the wire.  Miami looked like a contender early on, but have since faded.

Central 2014 NL Central

Thoughts: At least I got the Cubs right.  Milwaukee has outperformed expectations to this point, but are currently really struggling and might drop back to fourth in a week or two.  I had high hopes for the Pirates, and they appear to have turned a corner, but still have a lot of work to do to reach a playoff spot.

West  2014 NL West

Thoughts: So far so good at the top, but I was way off on Arizona, and I expected much, much less from San Diego – though the bottom three are so tightly packed that anything can happen.  

Wildcards

I predicted San Francisco and Pittsburgh, and currently the Giants and Braves hold down the spots.  But the Pirates are only 3 games back, so still very much alive.

Stat Leaders 

2014 NL Stat Leaders

Thoughts: A much better performance here than in the AL.  My picks of Kimbrel, Kershaw, and Goldschmidt were all pretty good, and Marte is in the top-5 for steals.  Injuries derailed my picks of Gonzalez and Fernandez, but both were playing pretty well before they went down, so that makes me feel a bit better.

Awards

MVP – Bryce Harper, WAS

– Not looking too good right now as he has battled injuries this year.  This award is probably wide open right now.

Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw, LAD

– Looks like it will boil down to him or Adam Wainwright.  Both deserve it.

Rookie – Archie Bradley, ARI

– Yet to play a big league game. 

Manager – Matt Williams, WAS

– Very much in the running.

Bounceback Player – Justin Morneau, COL

– With a .312 average, .846 OPS, and 13 HR this one looks good!

Most Disappointing Player – Ryan Howard, PHI

– Second in the NL in strikeouts, batting .220 with a -0.5 WAR.  He is certainly in the running.

First Major Player Traded – Cliff Lee, PHI

– Still might go, but Jeff Samardzija beat him to it.

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