Back on Opening Day, before we even began this blog, Manny and I both made our annual season-long predictions. Our predictions included end-of-season standings with W-L totals and end-of-year awards. We wanted to revisit team records and check the status of each by seeing where we believed each team will be at the end of the season and compare our predictions to their current standing. each team stands now (as of 2 pm Friday, August 13th, when this article was written).
We also wanted to check in on our award predictions to see if they still have some staying power.
This should be fun.
We may have overhyped the Yankees, which is weird coming from a Rays fan (Manny) and an Orioles fans (Sean). And we also may have underestimated the Red Sox. They came into the All-Star Break atop the division but they’re 11-15 since the All-Star Break and 3-7 over their last 10. We’re split on how this is going to end.
- Sean: I still think the Red Sox are going to figure it out enough to keep the Yankees down. They have 7 games left against the Rays, but also 9 against the O’s, and 3 against both the Twins and Cleveland. They’re 10-3 against the Bronx Bombers on the year, and with 5 games left against them, we think they’re just too good of a team not to make the playoffs this year. Give me the Sox as the 2nd Wild Card.
- Manny: The Yankees are charging and I think the Sox are going to lose steam going down the stretch. They still have 7 more against the Rays who they’re playing under .500 ball with this year. Yankees take Wild Card 2.
As for the Baby Jays, I personally thought they’d be better. We think though with a full season of George Springer and more experience, they will be deadly in the years to come with a potent offense and if they make some improvements to the staff. Similar to what the Jays had in the mid-2010s, but for now, they’re not showing to be ready to reach that threshold just yet.
Orioles, just keep doing your thing until Rutschman arrives. He’s only 1 step away. And don’t sleep on DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez either to be a part of the 2027 World Champion O’s.
Where the hell did the Tigers come from? Oh, they’ve just been quietly beating up on their own ridiculously bad division (aside from the Royals of all teams). They’ve benefitted from an extremely weak schedule as of late and have won or tied series after series, including series wins against the White Sox and Red Sox. Here’s a summary of what Los Tigres have done since June 28th:
- Taken 6 of 7 from the Rangers (including a 4-game sweep)
- Taken 5 of 7 from the O’s (including a 3-game sweep)
- Taken 2/3 from the Red Sox
- Taken 2/3 from the White Sox
- 5-5 against the Twins
- 3-3 against Cleveland
- 0-3 against the Royals
Crazy. They’re not going to make the playoffs, but boy are they moving on up and moving in up fast. They have young pitching and controllable players that are setting them up for a great future. Bring back the scariest logo of all-time and they’ll for sure intimidate the rest of the division.
Not much else to say about this division here.
Twins fans, no questions at this time. Thank you.
Another year, another Angels failure. Sure there are a bunch of teams that would love to just be .500 in mid-August. But when your team includes the greatest player of this generation in Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon, you can’t just settle for .500. But in this division, you need good pitching, and the Angels haven’t had that since… I’m not even sure. 2012 Jered Weaver? No wonder why they drafted 20 pitchers with their 20 picks in this years draft.
The Astros offense is potent. They rank 1st in The majors in OBP and Runs Scored. 2nd in the majors as a team in OPS and Slugging, and trail only the Dodgers in Run Differential in all of baseball (they lead all AL teams). BUT I still stick to my Oakland A’s pick to win this division. I may be in love with Starling Marte. But for my money, put the Astros in the Wild Card game, have them lose to the Red Sox (or Yankees if I’m Manny), and we move on. Manny thinks the A’s will make them work for it, and they play each other 6 more times, but ultimately he believes the Astros will still come out on top.
Will the Mariners ever get back to the playoffs playing in this division?
This was a tough division to predict. At one point the Mets looked like they were gonna just run away with it and never look back. Their recent struggles and injuries to Lindor and DeGrom have set them back enough for the Phillies and Braves to take advantage. The Phils are HOT right now. Zach Wheeler is pitching like a man on a mission, and the offensive is firing on all cylinders, so much to the point that Bryce Harper has seemingly come out of nowhere and joined the NL MVP conversation. Spoiler: he wasn’t even close on our picks.
We thought our Braves picks were on point until a few things happened:
- The Mets realized they were really good.
- Marcelo Ozuna decided to be scum of the earth. Also got injured in the process.
- Injuries to Soroka and Ynoa (who hit BOMBS btw)
- Acuña Jr. went down with an ACL tear.
As for the Nats, once they fell far enough behind, the firesale began, only leaving poor Juan Soto alone in the capital. Nats, please give him all the money he wants. Build around HIM and start contending again. D.C. deserves a title contender.
The Marlins are on their way up. They’ve been sneaky good. They’re 4-3 against the Dodgers this year, including taking 3 out of 4 before the All Star Break. They’ve also been great against the Mets (6-3) and have been competitive against the Phillies (6-7) and Braves (7-6).
It’s going to be a dogfight in this division until the end. I’ll take the Mets to finish it off, Manny has the Phillies, but makes clear that the World Series winner will NOT come out of the NL East.
You have to always think of the Cardinals as a contender. You have to. They’re one of those teams that somehow always find a way to make it into the dance. But this year, at the 114-game point for the Redbirds, we’re going to have to say we were wrong and count them out of this one. The Brewers just have too good a hold on the division and they’re definitely not getting a wild card spot with the powerhouses in the West.
The Reds have already tied Manny’s win total prediction, and they will surely surpass mine as well, but just like the Redbirds, they aren’t going to make the post-season. The Reds are a fun team to watch, with a great offense and a rotation that ranks 5th in the majors in Strikeouts and 6th in Quality Starts.
The Pirates traded away some of their best players and are still rebuilding, as are the Cubs after their season struggles and shipping off their 3 stars who all have free-agency looming this off-season (Baez, Bryant, Rizzo). We thought the Cubs would be better, but it just wasn’t in the cards for them.
With an 8 game lead on the Reds, give us the Brewers to run away with the Central and challenge teams on the West for the pennant.
The club formerly known as the New York Giants are in 1st place in the NL West. By 5 games. Over both of the teams we picked to finish above them. Over the Dodgers. Over the Padres. I picked them to finish 24 games out of 1st place. Manny had them 19 games out. They’re 5 up as of August 13th. Wow. With some long-time Championship winning veterans (Crawford, Posey), some young guys (Yastrzemski), great pitching, and a new guy (Kris Bryant), the Giants won’t stop. They’ve manhandled the D-Backs (14-2), are 7-3 vs. Colorado, 5-4 against the Friars, and are playing .500 vs. the Dodgers.
Speaking of the Dodgers and Padres, realistically it was a toss-up at the beginning of the season as to who would win this division. The Padres have underperformed, but are still a good team. The Dodgers are the Dodgers and will always find a way to win. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out of this division as the top dog. Our guess? The Giants find a way to finish it, but both Wild Cards come out of the West as well.
Rockies – Coors field deserves better.
Weren’t the D-backs good as recently as like 2 years ago?
Manager(s) of the Year
Joe Maddon, Angels: I don’t want to talk about this right now.
Luis Rojas, Mets: There’s still hope here. The Mets are a good team, and a great one when healthy. If Rojas can guide this team to the playoffs, or better yet, the division title, he has a legitimate shot at being Manager of the Year. Unfortunately for him, if the Giants win the West, it’ll probably go to Gabe Kapler.
Jace Tingler, Padres: Still a chance if the Padres can come up and win this division, but at this point it seems unlikely.
Tony La Russa, White Sox: This one seems like the tight-shut, lock-it-up prediction of my whole board. The White Sox play in a crap division, have a ton of star power, but La Russa is going to get tons of credit for this. It could go to AJ Hinch if the Tigers finish in 2nd, but that one might be tough.
AL Rookie of the Year
Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles: Save me the Orioles jokes, please. But Mountcastle is 1st amongst AL Rookies in hits & RBI, 2nd to only Arozarena in OPS, and 3rd in HR. His numbers aren’t bad, but playing for an Orioles team that has Buster Olney questioning their rebuilding process might work against him here.
Randy Arozarena, Rays: I still think his chances are pretty good. It’s weird referring to him as a rookie considering his bonkers playoff stretch last year, but he’s putting up good numbers and has been crucial to the Rays 2021 success so far.
NL Rookie of the Year
Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates: Hayes had a ton of hype coming into the year, and he’s been solid for a Pirates team that is slowly rebuilding itself (kinda). But at this moment, I can’t say I’m too confident in him taking the ROY award anymore. Jonathan India and Dylan Carlson have some numbers over Hayes. More RBI, HR, and even have swiped more bags than him. Not going to count him out just yet, but this one is going to be tough.
Jazz Chisholm, Marlins: Amongst all NL Rookies, Jazz is 4th in triples & dingers, but 3rd in strikeouts and 6th in hits and RBI. I feel like this is now a tight race between Ke’Bryan Hayes and Jonathan India of the Reds.
AL Cy Young
Gerrit Cole, Yankees: I hate that I did this. I hate it with everything in me. How could I be so naive. I should’ve known Lance Lynn, Robbie Ray, and Chris Bassit would lead Cole in ERA. He’s not even in the top 10 of games started. BUT, he had COVID. BUT Cole still leads the majors in WHIP & K/9, which is good. I think Lance Lynn deserves it and will ultimately win it, but, I’m still ashamed of my pick. I’m sorry John Means.
Shane Bieber, Cleveland: We’ll, he’s been on the 60-Day IL with a shoulder strain for a while. I don’t have much to say.
NL Cy Young
Jacob DeGrom, Mets: DeGrom was a lock before the injuries piled up. 1000% a lock. But now it’s looking like either Scherzer, Wheeler, or one of the Brewers great arms (Burnes, Peralta).
Max Scherzer, Nationals/Dodgers: Has anyone ever won a Cy Young after being traded at the deadline? If there has been, Scherzer will definitely be the biggest name to do so. If not, it would be a testament to how great he is. Unfortunately he’s 7th in ERA, but he’s also 1st in WHIP and 3rd in K/9. I feel like getting traded may hurt him with the old-head writers, but he still has a chance to finish top-3.
Mike Trout, Angels: Another year, another “What if Trout stayed healthy?” Debate in my head.
Shohei Ohtani, Angels: This dude is a lock. Sign, seal, and deliver it. The guy leads the AL in WAR as a hitter. AND AS A PITCHER. Just put him in the hall.
Nolan Arenado, Cardinals: 5th in 2B & total bases, 7th in RBIs, and playing for a so-so Cardinals team. Just not going to get it done. Another broken prediction for me. Oh look, he’s 2nd in GIDP.
Fernando Tatis, Jr., Padres: I need one more great Tatis batflip to solidify him here, but I think he has to win it.