Revisiting Preseason Picks
You win some, you lose some. If you’re the Orioles & the Marlins, you just lose some.
When it comes to pre-season predictions, no one is perfect. You like to be right more often than not, but sometimes it’s really just a big crap shoot.
With the second month of the season coming to a close, I’m taking this opportunity to re-visit some of my pre-season predictions & both pat myself on the back and smack myself in the face. Let’s circle back to my 2019 gambling preview. You can find that here.
All stats as of 5/30/19, via Baseball Reference
My Picks – Winner: Red Sox, Longer Odds Pick: Tampa Bay Rays
Oh man, how about that longer odds pick? Hope you plunked down on the Rays +1000 while you could, because the upstart team is only one game back. Great move by me.
And oh, is that the Red Sox music I hear? Two games over .500 and still only 7.5 out, despite being all sorts of not great to start the year? Hey, not out of it at all. Both of these two picks could win, but the Yankees, as they were in March by the oddsmakers, look to be the smart money.
My Picks – Winner: Cleveland Indians, Longer Odds Pick: Minnesota Twins
How. Bout. Dem’. Minnesota. Twins. Bombas! I’ll admit fully that my only AL Central regret is not going with my gut and naming the Twins my champion. The Indians were heavily favored (and that rotation on paper was the best in the AL) but I fully bought into the Twins’ offseason additions. First in baseball in runs per game, just glorious.
After 20+ years of being a Twins fan where home runs didn’t come easy (before Morneau & later Dozier, the Twins went through a famously long drought of having a 30+ home run hitter) this year’s team is making up for all those power outage years. At this point it looks like they’ll cruise to a division title, especially since Cleveland lost Clevinger and can’t really hit. Go Twins.
My Picks – Winner: Houston Astros, Longer Odds Pick: Oakland A’s
“The Astros are a boring pick to win the division, but the right pick” – me, two months ago. They’re 7.5 up on the 2nd place A’s, and the only thing that could potentially keep Oakland in this race is unfortunate Houston injuries.
Both Springer & Correa just hit the IL, so another few cracks in the armor and that March “A’s +700” bet you laid down to win the division might have a shot to pay. However I still feel great about the Astros cruising.
My Picks – Winner: Washington Nationals, Longer Odds Pick: Philadelphia Phillies
Absolutely nailed the Phillies. They look great, up 3.5 games, and that’s without great production from Bryce Harper. Think what that team will look like when he settles in and they make a few trade deadline additions. Really great work by me picking the Phillies.
Oh, wait, I picked the Nats as my winner? The 24-32 Nats? Yep, those Nats. I said in March that I expected the Nationals’ pitching staff to carry them, as the 1-2-3 of Mad Max, Strasburg, & Corbin was enticing. I didn’t expect their bullpen to be a nightmare, and the staff as a whole to be ranked 23rd in ERA in baseball. Still time to rebound but that pick looks awful. Bet on the Phils.
My Picks – Winner: Chicago Cubs, Longer Odds Pick: Milwaukee Brewers
This slate of picks feels much better than that Nationals choice. The NL Central looks like a two-horse race that could still go either way, with the aforementioned Cubs & Brewers as the two horses.
Long time left in the season, but neither the Cards or Pirates look to have staying power, so the smart money in March still looks like the smart money in June. At this point, with Keston Hiura being up, I’d actually lay down my money on the brewers.
My Picks – Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers, Longer Odds Pick: Colorado Rockies
While the Rockies haven’t really played themselves into justifying being the longer odds pick this year (sitting at .500) it doesn’t really matter, because Dodger fans can already start looking ahead to buying postseason tickets.
They’re 8 games up on the Padres and honestly, they might as well be 80 games up, as this team doesn’t look like it’ll slow down. They’re in a talent class of their own in the NL West, and two months later are still the easy pick to win the division.