Halfway Home: Revisiting My 2015 Predictions

Crystal Ball

The 2015 MLB mid-season lull is in full effect.  The Blue Jays are off until Friday night, meaning we still have one more night of dead air ahead of us.  To help fill the empty space, today I will take a look at just how bad my 2015 predictions look so far.

American League Predictions

East 2015 AL East

Thoughts: This is the tightest division in baseball.  Only 6.5 games separate first and last, so anything can still happen.  I don’t think Boston will finish in second anymore, but I still have faith the Jays will figure things out, go on a second half surge and win the division.  It’s also not out of the question that the Rays sag to the basement.

Central 2015 AL Central

Thoughts: Hmmm…I guess I was a bit off here!  I didn’t like KC’s staying power and I thought the Twins were at least a year away.  Looks like I might have been wrong on both.  I still think there is a chance that Detroit and Cleveland have huge second halves, but I can’t see anybody overtaking the Royals at this point.

West 2015 AL West

Thoughts: Most people were fooled by the Mariners, so I don’t feel too bad here.  Pretty much everybody not named Felix is struggling in Seattle, and I just can’t see a division title in the cards this year.  Actually, the more I look at it I was also way off on Houston, Texas, and Oakland.  Let’s just move on…

Wildcards

I predicted the Indians and Angels.  LA looks to be a good bet to either take the division or a WC spot, so not a bad choice.  Cleveland is currently 5.5 out, so still within striking distance of Minnesota and Houston.

Stat Leaders

2015 AL Stat Leaders

Thoughts:  Of all the years I have been making these predictions, this is so far my best year yet at picking the league leaders.  At the halfway point I have nailed Altuve for SB, and my picks for the RBI, W, K, and Save leaders are all in the top-10, with Hernandez barely missing for ERA.  Jose Abreu hasn’t gone deep as much as I thought, but he’s not too far off the lead.  I badly whiffed on Cano though.  Badly.

Awards & Miscellany

MVP – Robinson Cano, SEA

– Told you I whiffed badly on Cano…

Cy Young – Felix Hernandez, SEA

– He is still in the conversation, but the clubhouse leader has to be one of Chris Sale, Sonny Gray, or Dallas Keuchel

Rookie – Daniel Norris, TOR

– I had faith, but I think it would be a surprise to even see him back in Toronto this year.  His teammate Devon Travis does have a chance, though it might be tough to hold off Carlos Correa.

Manager – John Gibbons, TOR

– If the Jays win the East, I think Gibbons deserves it.  It would mean he has navigated successfully through a pitching nightmare.

Bounceback Player – Jason Kipnis, CLE

– An All-Star birth and tied for second in the AL with a 4.8 WAR.  I think I nailed this one.

Most Disappointing Player – Pablo Sandoval, BOS

– 7 HR, .691 OPS, terrible defensive play, a -0.3 WAR, and one benching for using Instagram during a game.  I might have got this one right too.

First Major Player Traded – Chris Davis, BAL

– Josh Hamilton was dealt in April, so no.

National League Predictions

East 2015 NL East

Thoughts: Not bad at all.  Washington and Philadelphia are looking good for the top and bottom.  I thought a little too highly of the Marlins, however, as you’ll soon find out.

Central 2015 NL Central

Thoughts: For some reason, each and every year I love the Brewers and pick them to finish higher than they do.  After a red hot start, the Cardinals massive Central lead is down to only a couple of games over the Pirates.  I still might get that right.

West  2015 NL West

Thoughts: This is my best performance.  I wasn’t sold on the Padres, and hated the Rockies.  So far so good in the West.

Wildcards

I predicted St. Louis and Miami.  I would think one of St. Louis and Pittsburgh will win the Central and the other will get a WC spot.  Miami?  Not a chance.

Stat Leaders

2015 NL Stat Leaders

Thoughts: Fantastic!  At the halfway point I have fully nailed four categories, and all eight picks are currently in the top-10.  Stanton’s injury might make it tough for him to take the HR crown, but I look pretty good everywhere else.

Awards

MVP – Andrew McCutchen, PIT

– It’s currently Bryce Harper’s award to lose, but McCutchen has to be at least in the top-3 right now.

Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw, LAD

– Zack Greinke and Max Scherzer have a pretty good lead right now, but never count out Kershaw.

Rookie – Gregory Polanco, PIT

– No way.  Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant will battle to the wire.

Manager – Clint Hurdle, PIT

– Very much in the running.

Bounceback Player – Joey Votto, CIN

– Currently sits 17th in the NL with a 2.8 WAR, after slugging 15 HR with a .876 OPS in the first half.  Pretty good pick.

Most Disappointing Player – Nick Markakis, ATL

– He’s put up a 1.1 WAR, with a .293 average, but his power numbers are way down: 0 HR at the break.  Still, others have been worse (hello Matt Kemp).

First Major Player Traded – Chase Utley, PHI

– Mark Trumbo went from Arizona to Seattle, so no – but he might still be moved.

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