Written by Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Earlier in the week I looked back at an article from the midway point of the MLB season and compared the award winners chosen then to the people who actually received the awards. This time I’ll take another article from the summer, my bold predictions from the All-Star break for the second half of the season and compare it to how the season actually ended. They aren’t called bold predictions for nothing as the end results of these are a little more off than the predictions made for the MLB Regular Season Awards.
Alex Rodriguez will hit double-digit homeruns and the New York Yankees will still miss the playoffs, finishing last in the AL East.
|Barton Silverman/New York Times|
There are two definitive results that happened here; the Yankees did indeed miss the playoffs but they did not finish in last place. The Rodriguez double-digit homeruns is up for debate. If you include his minor league stats he hit 10 on the season but if you count only his time in the majors he knocked only seven out of the park. The Yankees turned it around a little bit once they started getting a little healthier but they just did not have the talent that teams ahead of them like the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians, the two teams who won the AL Wild Card spots. The winter will be an important one for the Yankees as they have a lot of holes to fill on the team including finding a player capable of replacing Derek Jeter and Rodriguez if they are unable to stay in the lineup because of injuries or suspension. For this bold prediction I will split it down the middle and call it half right.
Miguel Cabrera will win a second consecutive Triple Crown after MLB went the previous 45 seasons before last without one.
When the All-Star break rolled around Cabrera was leading in batting average, RBI and was right behind Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis in the homerun race. Unfortunately for Cabrera though he was unable to stay healthy in the second half of the season and Davis ended up taking homeruns and RBI from Cabrera despite going through some slumps of his own. Cabrera ultimately came out on top as he was named AL MVP but he fell two RBI and 10 homeruns short if taking home a second consecutive Triple Crown. Much like the first prediction this one is half right as well as Cabrera brought home some hardware, just not all of it.
|USA Today Sports|
Max Scherzer will have more losses than wins in the second half of the season and will not break 20 wins.
This was the least accurate of any of the midway bold predictions as Scherzer actually improved in the second half of the season, finishing the year up with a 2.90 ERA compared to the 3.19 he went into the All-Star Break with. His win total did not suffer much as he racked up another eight wins compared to only two more losses in the second half, finishing the season with a win-loss record of 21-3. Scherzer, deservedly so, took home the AL Cy Young award for the efforts he put forth throughout the season. He is the second Detroit Tigers pitcher to take home the award in the last three years as Justin Verlander took home both the Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011.
The Atlanta Braves will finish with the biggest division lead margin but lose in the first round of the playoffs.
The Braves fell short of having the biggest division lead margin by one game as the Washington Nationals turned things around in the second half of the season to finish 10 games out of the NL East lead. The team that took home the biggest division lead margin was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were virtually unstoppable in the second half of the season and got to feast on a poor NL West division that had only one other team even finish with a .500 record. It would have been interesting to see how either the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cincinnati Reds would have fared if they had not resided in the same division along with the St. Louis Cardinals. Even though the division lead part was not right, the playoff prediction was spot on. The Braves were handled pretty easily by the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs, losing by deficits of five and seven and being vanquished in four games.
Of the six division leaders, at least half will not be leading their respective divisions by the time the season ends.
If not for the Arizona Diamondbacks this prediction would have been a disaster. Of the six teams leading their division at the All-Star Break only the Diamondbacks lost their lead, to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The five teams who were leading at the All-Star Break and held onto their spots at the top of their respective divisions were the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. The Tigers and Cardinals were both able to hold off upstart and unexpected challenges from the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates respectively. The Red Sox Athletics took their divisions with more ease than anyone could have expected, holding the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers at bay throughout the second half of the season. The Atlanta Braves were never in any real danger of losing their division lead as the Nationals put things together a little too late into the season to present any real threat.