FanGraphs 2015 Staff Predictions

Before the season’s soft opening on Sunday night and grand opening on Monday, we are compelled to to offer you our staff predictions. We attempted to pull in as many of our authors as possible from across our family of blogs, because the only thing better than predictions is predictions by a ton of people!

We’re usually not so good at this sort of thing. Or, more to the point, we’re not any better at it than anyone else. But we enjoy doing it, because it marks the start of a new season. Last season was no different. Boston and Oakland were pegged as division winners, and Tampa Bay was pegged as a Wild Card. Prince Fielder and Jason Kipnis got MVP nods, and Xander Bogaerts got plenty of Rookie of the Year love. Only Boston as a division winner really sticks out as hilarious, but all of these missed the mark by a great deal. Nevertheless, we press on! We also conducted a more in-depth staff survey, and we’ll dig into that on Monday morning.

American League Postseason Teams
East: Boston (20), Baltimore (7), Toronto (7), New York (2), Tampa Bay (2)
Central: Cleveland (24), Detroit (14), Chicago (0), Kansas City (0), Minnesota (0)
West: Los Angeles (22), Seattle (14), Oakland (2), Houston (0), Texas (0)
Wild Card: Seattle (12), Toronto (10), Detroit (9), Chicago (6), Oakland (4), New York (1), Tampa Bay (1), Boston (14), Cleveland (11), Los Angeles (7)

The AL East is wide open enough that every team got a vote, something that didn’t happen in either the 2013 or 2014 editions of our staff predictions, in any division. Outside of that, the divisions are fairly unininteresting aside from the two votes for Oakland. Note that the three consensus division winners are listed at the end of the Wild Card votes, since it would be confusing if they won multiple things.

Even though you’re good enough at math to add up totals from division and wild card winners, let’s total up and check out who the overall postseason favorites are.

Total AL Predicted Playoff Appearances
Cleveland: 35
Boston: 34
Los Angeles: 29
Seattle: 26
Detroit: 23
Toronto: 17
Baltimore: 7
Chicago: 6
Oakland: 6
New York: 3
Tampa Bay: 3
Houston: 0
Kansas City: 0
Minnesota: 0
Texas: 0

Is Cleveland the best team in the American League? Our staff thinks so, just barely. Just like last season, 11 of the 15 teams got at least one postseason nod. The teams are a bit different though. Last season, Chicago, Houston, Minnesota and Toronto got goose eggs. This year, Kansas City and Texas swap in for Chicago and Toronto. No one has any faith in Houston or Minnesota, which isn’t really a surprise. What is a bit of a surprise is that no one has any faith in the defending AL champion Royals, who aren’t that far behind Cleveland and Detroit in our projected standings, and they have the exact same projected record as sleeper pick White Sox. Nevertheless, they got shut out.

National League Postseason Teams
East: Washington (38), Atlanta (0), Miami (0), New York (0), Philadelphia (0)
Central: St. Louis (25), Pittsburgh (10), Chicago (3), Cincinnati (0), Milwaukee (0)
West: Los Angeles (37), San Diego (1), Arizona (0), Colorado (0), San Francisco (0)
Wild Card: Pittsburgh (24), Chicago (11), Miami (10), San Diego (7), New York (5), San Francisco (4), Cincinnati (1), Milwaukee (1), St. Louis (10), Los Angeles (1)

The NL Central remains the most interesting division, unless your curiosity leans more toward the morbid, and then you may be fascinated with the spectacle that is the bottom of the NL East. The division winners are hardly surprising, though Dave made the case this week for a Cardinals collapse. Again, note that consensus division winners are at the end of the wild card voting since they can’t win two things.

Total Predicted Playoff Appearances
Washington: 38
Los Angeles: 38
St. Louis: 35
Pittsburgh: 34
Chicago: 14
Miami: 10
San Diego: 8
New York: 5
San Francisco: 4
Cincinnati: 1
Milwaukee: 1
Arizona: 0
Atlanta: 0
Colorado: 0
Philadelphia: 0

Just as in the AL, the staff is less than optimistic about defending pennant (and World Series) winner San Francisco. Unlike the AL, there is a much wider gap between the top dogs and the rest of the pack, as the staff thinks that Pittsburgh is pretty clearly one of the four playoff teams, with the rest of the pack fighting for the fifth and final spot.

Let’s go to the awards.
AL Awards
MVP: Mike Trout (31), Miguel Cabrera (2), Robinson Cano (2), Michael Brantley (1), Hanley Ramirez (1)
Cy Young: Felix Hernandez (19), Chris Sale (8), David Price (4), Corey Kluber (3), Carlos Carrasco (1), Jeff Samardzija (1)
Rookie of the Year: Taijuan Walker (8), Carlos Rodon (8), Daniel Norris (6), Steven Souza (4), Dalton Pompey (3), Devon Travis (3), Rusney Castillo (2), Steven Wright (1)

The MVP and Cy Young Awards include all of the usual suspects, but unlike last year when only four players received votes here for Rookie of the Year, eight do this year, with five of them being pitchers. It’s a wide open field, but at least the extra names increase the chances of at least one of us being correct!

NL Awards
MVP: Andrew McCutchen (14), Giancarlo Stanton (9), Bryce Harper (5), Yasiel Puig (2), Ian Desmond (1), Paul Goldschmidt (1), Jason Heyward (1), Clayton Kershaw (1), Buster Posey (1), Troy Tulowitzki (1)
Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (24), Max Scherzer (6), Johnny Cueto (3), Matt Harvey (2), Stephen Strasburg (1), Michael Wacha (1)
Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant (20), Joc Pederson (7), Jorge Soler (6), Jung-Ho Kang (1), Noah Syndergaard (1), Rasiel Iglesias (1)

The consensus that exists for the AL MVP does not exist in the NL. Three players get at least five votes here, as opposed to the AL, where only Trout receives more than two votes. Kershaw is close to a consensus at Cy Young, though the votes for others are a reminder that no pitcher is infallible. And while Kris Bryant won’t start the season in the majors, the staff isn’t letting that stop them from standing behind him.

And now, for your mocking pleasure, here are the voting grids.

2015 American League Staff Predictions
Author East Central West Wild Card Wild Card MVP Cy RoY
Alan Harrison Toronto Cleveland Seattle Boston LA Trout Kluber Walker
Alex Chamberlain Toronto Cleveland LA Seattle Boston Trout Hernandez Rodon
August Fagerstrom New York Cleveland LA Boston Chicago Trout Sale Rodon
Brad Johnson Baltimore Cleveland LA Seattle Boston Trout Carrasco Walker
Bradley Woodrum Tampa Bay Detroit Oakland Boston LA Trout Kluber Norris
Brett Talley Boston Cleveland LA Seattle Chicago Trout Hernandez Rodon
Bryan Cole Baltimore Detroit LA Cleveland Seattle Trout Hernandez Pompey
Carson Cistulli Toronto Cleveland Oakland Boston LA Trout Sale Travis
Chad Young Boston Cleveland Seattle Toronto Detroit Trout Hernandez Walker
Chris Mitchell Toronto Cleveland Seattle New York Boston Trout Sale Norris
Colin Zarzycki Boston Detroit Seattle Toronto Cleveland Trout Hernandez Walker
Craig Edwards Boston Detroit LA Cleveland Oakland Trout Price Souza
Dan Farnsworth Tampa Bay Detroit LA Boston Chicago Cabrera Hernandez Rodon
Dave Cameron Boston Detroit LA Seattle Cleveland Trout Hernandez Castillo
David G Temple Boston Cleveland LA Seattle Chicago Trout Hernandez Rodon
David Laurila Baltimore Cleveland LA Boston Chicago Cabrera Price Wright
David Wiers Boston Cleveland LA Toronto Oakland Trout Hernandez Souza
Dustin Nosler Boston Cleveland LA Seattle Oakland Trout Price Walker
Eno Sarris Boston Detroit Seattle Cleveland Toronto Trout Price Pompey
Greg Simons Baltimore Detroit LA Cleveland Boston Brantley Hernandez Walker
Jason Linden Baltimore Detroit LA Boston Oakland Trout Hernandez  
Jeff Sullivan Boston Cleveland Seattle Toronto LA Trout Hernandez Norris
Jeff Zimmerman Baltimore Detroit LA Cleveland Boston Trout Kluber Souza
Joe Distelheim Boston Cleveland Seattle Detroit Chicago      
John Paschal Toronto Cleveland Seattle LA Detroit Cano Hernandez Walker
Jonah Pemstein Boston Detroit LA Seattle Cleveland Trout Hernandez Rodon
Mike Petriello Boston Cleveland Seattle Detroit Baltimore Trout Sale Norris
Miles Wray Boston Cleveland LA Seattle Tampa Bay Trout Sale Souza
Nathaniel Grow Boston Detroit Seattle LA Cleveland Trout Sale Travis
Neil Weinberg Boston Cleveland LA Detroit Toronto Trout Hernandez Rodon
Owen Watson Toronto Cleveland LA Seattle Boston Trout Hernandez Walker
Patrick Dubuque Toronto Cleveland Seattle Detroit LA Trout Hernandez Norris
Paul Sporer New York Cleveland Seattle Detroit Boston Trout Samardzija Castillo
Paul Swydan Boston Cleveland LA Seattle Toronto Ramirez Sale Travis
Sean Dolinar Boston Cleveland Seattle Toronto Detroit Trout Sale  
Seth Keichline Baltimore Detroit LA Boston Toronto Trout Hernandez Norris
Shane Tourtellotte Boston Detroit LA Seattle Cleveland Cano Sale Pompey
Zach Sanders Boston Cleveland Seattle Detroit Toronto Trout Hernandez Rodon

2015 National League Staff Predictions
Author East Central West Wild Card Wild Card MVP Cy RoY
Alan Harrison Washington St. Louis SD Pittsburgh LA Stanton Scherzer Pederson
Alex Chamberlain Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh San Diego McCutchen Harvey Soler
August Fagerstrom Washington St. Louis LA Chicago Miami Harper Strasburg Bryant
Brad Johnson Washington Pittsburgh LA St. Louis Miami Stanton Kershaw Bryant
Bradley Woodrum Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Chicago Stanton Kershaw Bryant
Brett Talley Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh New York McCutchen Scherzer Bryant
Bryan Cole Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh SF Harper Kershaw Pederson
Carson Cistulli Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Chicago Tulowitzki Kershaw Bryant
Chad Young Washington St. Louis LA SF Pittsburgh McCutchen Scherzer Bryant
Chris Mitchell Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Chicago Posey Kershaw Pederson
Colin Zarzycki Washington Pittsburgh LA San Diego   McCutchen Kershaw Pederson
Craig Edwards Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Miami McCutchen Kershaw Bryant
Dan Farnsworth Washington Pittsburgh LA St. Louis Milwaukee Goldschmidt Cueto Kang
Dave Cameron Washington Chicago LA Pittsburgh St. Louis Harper Kershaw Soler
David G Temple Washington St. Louis LA San Diego Chicago Yasiel Puig Kershaw Bryant
David Laurila Washington Pittsburgh LA St. Louis Miami Stanton Cueto Pederson
David Wiers Washington Pittsburgh LA St. Louis Miami McCutchen Scherzer Pederson
Dustin Nosler Washington Pittsburgh LA St. Louis Miami Stanton Kershaw Soler
Eno Sarris Washington Pittsburgh LA St. Louis New York Puig Scherzer Soler
Greg Simons Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh New York Desmond Kershaw “Bryant
Jason Linden Washington St. Louis LA Chicago Pittsburgh McCutchen Cueto Bryant
Jeff Sullivan Washington Chicago LA St. Louis Pittsburgh McCutchen Kershaw Bryant
Jeff Zimmerman Washington Pittsburgh LA Cincinnati Miami   Kershaw Iglesias
Joe Distelheim Washington Chicago LA St. Louis        
John Paschal Washington St. Louis LA San Diego Pittsburgh McCutchen Kershaw Bryant
Jonah Pemstein Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Chicago Stanton Kershaw Bryant
Mike Petriello Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh New York Harper Kershaw Bryant
Miles Wray Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh San Diego Stanton Kershaw Bryant
Nathaniel Grow Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Miami Stanton Kershaw Pederson
Neil Weinberg Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Chicago McCutchen Harvey Bryant
Owen Watson Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Chicago McCutchen Kershaw Bryant
Patrick Dubuque Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh San Diego Kershaw Kershaw Soler
Paul Sporer Washington St. Louis LA San Diego New York Harper Wacha Syndergaard
Paul Swydan Washington Pittsburgh LA Chicago SF Heyward Kershaw Soler
Sean Dolinar Washington Pittsburgh LA Chicago St. Louis McCutchen Kershaw  
Seth Keichline Washington St. Louis LA SF Pittsburgh McCutchen Kershaw Bryant
Shane Tourtellotte Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Miami McCutchen Scherzer Bryant
Zach Sanders Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh Miami Stanton Kershaw Bryant


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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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Matt
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Matt
1 year 1 month ago

I like the phillies chances of winning the NL east

Jason G
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Jason G
1 year 1 month ago

Indicating that you’re a fan of one of their division opponents.

harmony
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harmony
1 year 1 month ago

With 53 innings of MLB experience, Seattle righthander Taijuan Walker should not be eligible for Rookie of the Year honors, should he?

Tom
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Tom
1 year 1 month ago

No, because it’s 50+ IP the previous season, not overall:

A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).

Tom
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Tom
1 year 1 month ago

Actually now I’m confused, that does say previous seasons but BR shows him as a rookie:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/walketa01.shtml

Pale Hose
Guest
Pale Hose
1 year 1 month ago

No, it’s 50 overall as denoted by “season or seasons.”

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
1 year 1 month ago

It’s possible that “season or seasons” means if you’ve exceeded the 50 inning mark in one seasons or in multiple seasons (like Greg Maddux hasn’t exceeded 50 innings in a season, he’s done so in 20 seasons, so he is ineligible.

Yirmiyahu
Member
1 year 1 month ago

You’re first statement is wrong. The rule you cited is correct.

“A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or SEASONS.”

Over previous SEASONS, Walker has accumulated 50+ innings. If the rule were the way you interpreted it, every veteran who missed a year due to injury would be a rookie all over again.

Yirmiyahu
Member
1 year 1 month ago

Your first statement is wrong, but the rule you cited is correct.

“A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or SEASONS.”

Over previous SEASONS, Walker has accumulated 50+ innings. If the rule were the way you interpreted it, every veteran who missed a year due to injury would be a rookie all over again.

Tom
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Tom
1 year 1 month ago

Yep, I missed that “seasons” part when I first read it. I looked at BR and it said he’s still a rookie which is what threw me off. I guess they just haven’t updated it yet.

harmony
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harmony
1 year 1 month ago

I have emailed Baseball Reference asking whether a correction is in order.

ASURay
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ASURay
1 year 1 month ago

Walker has not exceeded the 50+ IP or 45 days on the active roster criteria in any previous season, therefore he is still eligible for rookie status. A player that misses a full season is not eligible for rookie status, of course assuming they have accrued 50+ IP / 130+ ABs or 45+ days on the active roster in any year before they were injured.

Jose Maldonado
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Hey that a boy fellow Mariners fan Jeff Sullivan! Hernandez for Cy Young and Mariners winning the division sound good to me!

Paul
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Paul
1 year 1 month ago

My 2015 Fangraphs Staff Prediction:

Carson Cistulli shaves his mustache, but the International Court of Justice rules the move a crime against humanity and order him to regrow it immediately. Fearing persecution, he flees to North Korea and publishes KimJong-ungraphs.

Curacao LL
Member
Curacao LL
1 year 1 month ago

But after it gains popularity, it gets replaced with something even less read than techgraphs…

Nate
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Nate
1 year 1 month ago

#KeepNotGraphs

steex
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steex
1 year 1 month ago

Is Cleveland the best team in the American League? Our staff thinks so, just barely.

I know you know this, but thinking a team has the best chance of making the playoffs is obviously not the same thing as thinking that team is the best. If the AL Central was four little league teams and one high school team, that high school team would probably have the best playoff odds in baseball even though they’d be worse than the other 25 major-league caliber teams.

Yirmiyahu
Member
1 year 1 month ago

Same thought. I was really surprised to see Cleveland referred to as the “best team” in the AL.

What’s interesting is that the statistical projections call the Indians the fourth-best team in the AL, and it has them with the slimmest division lead (0.6 games). I wonder which half of that the human staff is disagreeing with?

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

fwiw, I think they’re the best team in both leagues. They won’t win the most games, but that’s because they’ll face tougher opponents than some other teams (ahem, Nationals).

BMarkham
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BMarkham
1 year 1 month ago

Interesting that a healthy majority of the writers are taking the Angels in the AL West despite the Mariners having the lead in the projections.

Jason
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Jason
1 year 1 month ago

It’s close enough that the edge is given to the team that hasn’t been a joke for over a decade, even if it is not rational.

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
1 year 1 month ago

It’s a very small lead in the projections. And Mike Trout.

Anal Fan Who Hates Wrong Math
Guest
Anal Fan Who Hates Wrong Math
1 year 1 month ago

Hi Paul,

Huge fan of your work. However, as an anal fan who hates wrong math, I have a big, big problem with your article. You see, in your article, you list the Dodgers as having 37 total playoff votes, due to the fact that they have 37 writers picking them to win the NL West this upcoming baseball season. However, the writer who did not pick the Dodgers to win the NL West has them pegged to win a Wild Card spot.

Thus, one would say, the Dodgers have 38 playoff votes, and not 37. They would be tied with the Nationals for most playoff votes.

This is something that would normally not pester me. Except I am an anal fan who hates wrong math. I hope you are ashamed with your relatively minor error. But to me–anal fan who hates wrong math–this has me very, very edgy.

Don’t make this mistake again, Paul. Your last warning.

Love,
Anal Fan

Gfuzz
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Gfuzz
1 year 1 month ago

Your methodology is what’s being used, but it looks like the LA Dodgers is an error.

MARK LIU
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MARK LIU
1 year 1 month ago

Patrick Dubuque is one smart man.

Patrick Dubuque
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

I’m tempted to agree with you.

I’m also tempted to ask you not to look at last year’s predictions.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

“The NL Central remains the most interesting division, unless your curiosity leans more toward the morbid, and then you may be fascinated with the spectacle that is the bottom of the NL East.”

Sounds like Cistulli will spend this year fixated on the Phillies and Braves.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
1 year 1 month ago

yankees and red sox are projected by fangraphs for near identical WAR this year.

yet fangraphs writers give the red sox a 20-2 edge in votes.

BillyBobThortonJr.Sr.
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BillyBobThortonJr.Sr.
1 year 1 month ago

This makes a bit of sense, the Yankees cannot really address their main issue, health, either they are healthy or not. The Sox have the ability to acquire high end pitching in the current arms don’t work out. The projections themselves cannot account for this, but the staff predictions likely do.

Ted Nelson
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Ted Nelson
1 year 1 month ago

A lot of people seem to think this way, but I’m not so sure.

I have the Red Sox ahead of the Yankees, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think it’s night and day, though, and I think the reasoning you lay out may be a little overstated.

A. The Yankees look like they’re in a better position depth wise than they have been the last two years. They don’t necessarily need to stay healthy. Losing Tanaka or Pineda would be a huge blow, but they look like they might weather any position player injuries. Tanaka, especially, and Pineda are higher than average injury risks, but injuries can strike any MLB SP.

B. I don’t know if adding one SP will fix the Red Sox P problems unless they get pretty lucky, and they may not be in a position to trade some of their more valuable assets. Betts looks like an MLB piece for them and they’re suddenly a lot thinner at C for this season.
And the Red Sox will also need some luck of their own for the SPs to at least be passable and some of their vet position players to hold up. Sandoval is also projected for more WAR than he’s gotten since 2011… he’s a bit of a wild card, as are their young players.

Eric M. Van
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Masterson and Kelly are large rotations risks, but Porcello and Miley are not, and Buchholz has looked excellent. The PawSox rotation is two current and one former top 100 prospects, one high-floor guy (Johnson) and one guy who has a ROY vote above (Wright). They’d have to be really unlucky to need 2 SP. And even if they do, it’s a stretch to assert that the 2nd best farm system in baseball couldn’t go get them. The Vazquez injury doesn’t affect that, because Swihart is not going anywhere this year.

Sandoval, BTW, is moving from a terrible to a terrific park for him.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 1 month ago

if red sox fans are now comfortable with the idea that yes, we are allowed to question the projections, I can think of a whole lotta reasons to question the red sox projections, too.

1. Their beat hitter and best reliever are 40yrs old and haven’t been healthy this spring.

2. every single one of their veteran starting players with multi year track records has experienced significant performance decline in eecent yeara. Pedroia, Napoli, Sandoval, Ramirez, Victorino, Craig, Hanigan, Miley, Buchholz, Masterson, Mujica, Ogando. Many of those due to the type of injuries that don’t really get fixed. The projections have all of them bouncing back to some degree or other. That seems optimistic.

3. All the vaunted depth on the team has zero track record, something which can go bad real fast.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 1 month ago

Projected standings and playoff odds pages both project Red Sox to be more than 5 wins better than the Yankees.

Ted Nelson
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Ted Nelson
1 year 1 month ago

I think it’s 4 games on the projected standings. When you compare the Yankees/Red Sox ratio to the Blue Jays or Orioles/RS ratio is where you see a possible bias, though. (Not that these are some sort of detailed, analytic projections.)

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

I tried very hard to justify picking other teams over the Red Sox. The spiteful bastard in me wants to see them miss the postseason by one game so everyone can second guess why they didn’t just acquire Cole Hamels over the offseason.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 1 month ago

you obviously didn’t try all that hard.

2014 war for current players:

BAL 38.4 (0 older than 32, 7 younger than 28)
TOR 37.6 (4 older than 32, 8 younger than 28)
BOS 34.0 (6 older than 32, 7 younger than 28)
TBR 33.7 (2 older than 32, 12 younger than 28)
NYY 30.8 (7 older than 32, 9 younger than 28)

just because the projection systems assume every single one of the red sox declining vets will bounce back, and every single one of their kids will succeed, doesn’t mean they actually will.

Bigsteve
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Bigsteve
1 year 1 month ago

Heyward for MVP while the Cardinals miss the playoffs. I guess you think the rotation will crumble?

Wikkid Big Sawks Fan But
Guest
Wikkid Big Sawks Fan But
1 year 1 month ago

Paul, would you like to take this opportunity to detail your pick of Hanley Ramirez for AL MVP? Unless the explanation is “beer,” which is fine.

StroShow
Member
1 year 1 month ago

The best thing about having someone pick every team means at least someone is going to be right.

Harrison Anderson
Member
1 year 1 month ago

Well, given the 8 teams that got 0 votes, I think 38 someones will be right about something at least.

Weston T
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Weston T
1 year 1 month ago

OH GOD HOLD EVERYTHING IT’S THE TECHNICALLY CORRECT NAZI. THANK GOD YOU’RE HERE

circlechange11
Guest
circlechange11
1 year 1 month ago

If people predict a cardinals collapse enough times, eventually they’ll be right.

Cardinal fans have been hearing that for a decade. Carpenter gets hurt, Edmonds cant stay healthy, Garcia will never return, Molina is going to age quickly, Williams and Suppan cant soft toss everyone forever, and on and on.

Sometimes smart teams just keep finding ways and replacing players.

In 2006 and 2011 StL experienced big injuries, they won anyway.

I keep hearing about the Cubs projections, but also reading about their nature to underperform projections more than any other franchise.

Ted Nelson
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Ted Nelson
1 year 1 month ago

I’m confused… the Cardinals got the third most votes in the NL despite playing in the only somewhat competitive division in that league. Who is predicting their collapse?

Matthew Cornwell
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Matthew Cornwell
1 year 1 month ago

The one author that was linked.

Seriously though, the aging of Holliday (who is aging remarkably well), Molina, and Peralta should be offset by a whole year of Wong and the massive upgrade in RF from last year. And the team has tons of comparable pitching depth to offset any issues with health in the bottom of their rotation.

The health if Waino and Wacha seem to be the two biggest issues on the team. Unless I see Waino and Wacha not pitch well, I have to think they are the NLC favorite and a major challenger to LA and Washington.

Lanidrac
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Lanidrac
1 year 1 month ago

Don’t forget about Adams. This could be the year he breaks out with 30 HRs and 90+ RBIs while keeping a solid batting average, or at least shows some improvement as he continues to develop.

oh Hal
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oh Hal
1 year 1 month ago

imagine what its like to have that attitude non-stop.

circlechange11
Guest
circlechange11
1 year 1 month ago

I’m just saying if certain things are said enough times they’ll eventually be true:

This is the year the braves wont win the division

Lincecum is going to break down

Verlander will get hurt

So …

Edmonds is gone, carpenter retired, pujols left, etc. At some point the cardinals probably will have a dry spell, but probably nothing like the Lankford years.

They’re a pretty smart organization that tends to mix star veterans with players like ludwick, freeze, matt carpenter, jay, Adams, etc with young developing players. At one time even guys like Molina were one dimensional players. We don’t know what the cardinals will look like in 1-5 years.

I guess I’m just sayin that given the past decade worth of data, the cards have likely earned the benefit of the doubt to make smart moves to address any issues. That’s all.

Rahi
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Rahi
1 year 1 month ago

Is it me or is the National League very boring this year? Nothing fun about going into a season knowing there are clear cut winners in every division

J
Guest
J
1 year 1 month ago

Playoffs will be exciting though.

Paul Sporer
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

I think baseball has taught us year after year that there’s no such thing. The Nats have been “the clear winner” before and not won. I obviously think they will this year, but nothing is a foregone conclusion. I don’t think LAD holds as large a gap as many believe, either.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

The Dodgers roster is much weaker than it appears at first glance. The rotation and bullpen are especially flimsy.

Lanidrac
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Lanidrac
1 year 1 month ago

Everyone was pretty sure that the same three teams would win their respective divisions last year, too. While this did eventually end up to be the case, it wasn’t until September that any of them started to pull away. Back in August, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the Giants, Brewers, and Braves had wound up being the division winners.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
1 year 1 month ago

Wait, what? There’s a clear-cut winner in the Central? Damn, I thought I could make at least a halfway compelling case for three teams…

Matthew
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Matthew
1 year 1 month ago

Love the pick for Harper as NL. IF the Nationals win a 100 games and he is healthy and hits 30+ HR, he is an underrated contender.

Jamie Moyer's "Circle Change"
Guest
Jamie Moyer's "Circle Change"
1 year 1 month ago

Is Kiley banned from voting?

Ted Nelson
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Ted Nelson
1 year 1 month ago

I guess people love to hate them, but I find it hard to believe the Yankees only received as many votes as the Rays.

The Fangraphs 2015 season projections have the Yankees tied with the Blue Jays at 82 wins, a game ahead of the Rays and two ahead of the Orioles… On the other hand, the Blue Jays got 17 votes and the Orioles got 7. Obviously projecting standings and playoff teams aren’t the same thing and there are going to be biases in both directions, but it’s just interesting.

Semperty
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Semperty
1 year 1 month ago

Sporer going with San Diego as division champs, and Wacha as Cy Young? This seems highly unlikely (even coming from a Cards fan)

Matt
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Matt
1 year 1 month ago

Anyone going to point out that the two world series teams received a combined ‘0’ votes to win their respective divisions and ‘4’ votes to win a wildcard? That’s pretty extreme.

Semperty
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Semperty
1 year 1 month ago

They both got really lucky last year, and both got substantially worse – I’d say it makes sense that no one thinks either team goes back.

Ted Nelson
Guest
Ted Nelson
1 year 1 month ago

Overemphasis on past events in projecting the future is actually common, so I’m impressed that the staff here overcame human nature there.

oh Hal
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oh Hal
1 year 1 month ago

Seems more like the past is largely ignored. Its not just here. Look at the dozens of season predictions and try and find one that links to the prior season’s prediction. I can’t remember it happening. When these predictions fail, everyone will just say oh well, its baseball and next season the same herd mentality, player, manager, or GM infatuations and adoption of glorified pre-season story lines will happen. Then, oh well, its baseball, lather, rinse, repeat.

BMarkham
Guest
BMarkham
1 year 1 month ago

well considering neither of those teams won the division last year your argument doesn’t even make sense from a past-results-predicts-future-results angle.

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Wow, no love for the Giants once again. I expect them to surprise you all again this season. They have the offense and pitching to get them into the playoffs once again, and winning the division is not out of the question. 90-95 wins is where I think they will be and it would not surprise me if they go above 95 wins, if Lincecum and Cain perform the way I think they can.

And really, someone picked the Padres over the Giants?

Giants: Team of the 2010 Decade

CompulsivelyNotAGiantsHomer
Guest
CompulsivelyNotAGiantsHomer
1 year 1 month ago

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
1 year 1 month ago

You seriously think Lincecum has a chance to rebound after all this time?! I guess 4 years of disappointment just aren’t enough for you.

AceKing
Member
AceKing
1 year 1 month ago

The Giants are a dynasty and you get a lot of slack for it . This is not really a baseball fans site, just a bunch of nerds coming together with an outlet.

I say congrats to the Giants, they earned more respect than they get here.

Same with me, I am an Orioles fan, and we ran away with the Al east last year and destroyed everybody, but the writers here can’t even spell Baltimore.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

Hey! I voted for Blatimoore.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
1 year 1 month ago

Giants continue to try and nose out the Orioles for most butt-hurt fan base. “One person dared to pick the Padres rather than the Giants?! *sniff* *sniff* WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

Phillies113
Member
Member
1 year 1 month ago

(Nods head) Good predictions.

John C.
Guest
John C.
1 year 1 month ago

I am stunned by the NL East. Well, no, not by the NL East exactly. I am stunned that no Braves fan has crashed the comment thread complaining of how the Braves are being disrespected.

John Colburn
Guest
John Colburn
1 year 1 month ago

We’re all drinking.

Eric
Guest
Eric
1 year 1 month ago

I’m actually quite surprised not one man picked my team, the White Sox, to win the division this year…*sigh* well at least 2016, with a full year of Carlos Rodon out of the rotation likely, we will hopefully have a much stronger chance.

Axis of Honor 25
Member
Axis of Honor 25
1 year 1 month ago

I dont see the Tribe winning the division at all. Their starting pitching staff outside Kluber and Carrasco is a huge question mark in production. I see the bullpen being really good with the offense being mediocre. Lineup is pretty quick. More than likely will have one of the better defenses in the league. I see either the Sox or Royals taking the division with Detroit and Cleveland competing for third. If the rotation holds up pretty well and if another team chokes, maybe they have a shot.

JorgeGeorge Paez
Guest
JorgeGeorge Paez
1 year 1 month ago

Why doesn’t MLB have a big Saturday opening day? And why the immediate days off? I wish they had longer visits to each city. Two or three game series? Shees sometimes I don’t get to see a teams best pitcher. MLB’s carbon footprint must be giguantuan! And the whole DH in one league travesty, that needs to end. And minor leaguers need a raise! What they get is a fraction of revenue. And the union pushes it! How can the union impose rules on non members? Wrong!

AceKing
Member
AceKing
1 year 1 month ago

The Orioles will make you all look like idiots. Again.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
1 year 1 month ago

*Sniff* *sniff* WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!

Diaper change time!

Katherine Beal
Guest
1 year 1 month ago

Dear Dave Cameron, What happened to the Mariners between March 31 and April 3? Your AL West Predictions article has them winning the division over the Angels, but in this article you have the Angels on top. I prefer your March 31 position and analysis! Go Ms!!!

Frank
Guest
Frank
1 year 1 month ago

Wow! Boston got 34 out of a possible 38 playoff placements. All that without a pitching staff, again WOW! Hanley Ramirez potential MVP super WOW! Can Rusney Castillo still win the ROY while playing in the Minors? Just asking. And let us not forget that the only competition Mike Trout has for the best player in the major league is …… MOOKIE BETTS! The Boston love that eminates from this site is nauseating.

Jason
Guest
Jason
9 months 20 days ago

Um yeah, all those writers and ZERO love for the Royals? Did any of you all watch the World Series last season? 2 teams with VERY good bullpens, KC expecially. KC’s bullpen didnt go anywhere, so why no love? Oh well, today is AUg 11, 2015. Kansas City is 67-44. Sitting in 1st place by 12.5 games in the AL Central, and owns the AL’s best record by 5 games. Seriously not a single person picked the Royals? Not even for a wild card?

Jason
Guest
Jason
9 months 20 days ago

KC is showing what the best assest is to have in baseball, BULLPEN.

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