Despite no longer truly being a part of the RotoGraphs family, Eno Sarris was
kind foolish enough to allow me a guest spot among these lovely digital pages. That’s right folks, brought back by no-so-popular-demand, here are my 10 Bold Predictions for the 2016 Season! After posting dismal results in both 2013 and 2014, I came to life and nailed four of my 10 picks last year. Buckle up, because here comes the fun!
1. Jake Arrieta finishes the season outside the top-15 for SPs in 5×5
This isn’t a knock on Arrieta so much as it is a compliment to the other top arms. I think most would agree Kershaw is the clear No. 1, followed in some order by Sale, Scherzer, Arrieta, Mad-Bum, Greinke, Price, Cole, Harvey, deGrom, Kluber and Strasburg. After Kershaw, that is 11 excellent hurlers, and I didn’t even get to Thor, Archer, Carrasco, Felix, Cueto et al. I don’t see Arrieta repeating his historic second half, particularly the .205 BABIP and 88.2 percent LOB%. The defense behind him did get better with Addison Russell taking over shortstop duties from Starlin Castro in early August, yet that wouldn’t explain all of the BABIP difference, let alone Arrieta’s 0.17 HR/9 in the second half. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Arrieta in the 11-15 range come the end of the season, but he’s being drafted as the third or fourth best pitcher, in my opinion largely on the back of numbers no human could repeat. He still has a great swinging strike and K rates, however the top of the SP pyramid is awfully crowded. Of course, when the Cubs offense helps power him to 25 wins, feel free to make fun of this pick. Read the rest of this entry »