Sunday, May 12, 2013

Accountability (Week 6 report card)

It's report card time here at The Sultan of Squat. The baseball season is six weeks in the books and it's time to measure up my predictions against what has actually happened.

I know it is a LONG season and anything can happen, but it's still nice to stay accountable for my decisions and admit where I may have gone wrong. So I will give each team a letter grade according to how I think my prediction is faring.


This will be my last such post until the season reaches the 12-week mark.


AL EAST

yNew York: 91-71 / 23-13  (68-58)- A-
Toronto: 85-77 / 15-24  (70-53)- B
Boston: 82-80 / 22-16  (60-64)- B
Tampa Bay: 80-82 / 19-18  (61-64)- A
Baltimore: 73-89 / 23-15  (50-74)- C

AL CENTRAL

yDetroit: 95-67 / 20-15  (75-52)- A-
zChicago: 93-69 / 15-20  (78-49)- C
Cleveland: 77-85 / 20-15  (57-70)- C+
Kansas City: 64-98 / 18-16  (46-82)- D+
Minnesota: 59-103 / 17-17  (42-86)- D

AL WEST

yTexas: 91-71 / 24-13  (67-58)- A
zLos Angeles: 88-74 / 14-23  (74-51)- C-
Oakland: 85-77 / 19-20  (66-57)- B-
Seattle: 83-79 / 18-20  (65-59)- C+
Houston: 65-97 / 10-28  (55-69)- A-

NL EAST

yAtlanta: 93-69 / 21-16  (72-53)- A
zWashington: 92-70 / 20-17  (72-53)- A
Philadelphia: 85-77 / 18-21  (67-56)- B-
New York: 79-83 / 14-20  (65-63)- A
Miami: 73-89 / 11-27  (62-62)- D

NL CENTRAL

yCincinnati: 92-70 / 22-16  (70-54)- A
zSt. Louis: 87-75 / 23-13  (64-62)- B
Milwaukee: 80-82 / 15-20  (65-62)- B+
Pittsburgh: 74-88 / 21-16  (53-72)- C-
Chicago: 68-94 / 15-22  (53-72)- A

NL WEST

ySan Francisco: 90-72 / 23-15  (67-57)- A-
Colorado: 86-76 / 20-17  (66-59)- B+
Arizona: 74-88 / 21-17  (53-71)- C+
Los Angeles: 74-88 / 15-21  (59-67)- A
San Diego: 72-90 / 16-21  (56-69)- A


 CY YOUNG: Felix Hernandez (SEA) / 5-2, 1.53 ERA, 56K - Won 4 straight.
 Clayton Kershaw (LAD) / 3-2, 1.62 ERA, 56K - Heating up again.

MVP: Prince Fielder (DET) / .290, 9 HR, 33 RBI
 Freddie Freeman (ATL) / .283, 2 HR, 19 RBI - I think I picked the wrong Brave....see Justin Upton.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April MLB breakdown (Accountability Week 4) Part 2

Welcome back. In case you missed it, I broke down the first month (minus a day or two) of the American League season. Today, we finish the breakdown and look at the National League.

*all stats and standings current entering Monday's (04/29) games.

National League East

Atlanta Braves: Surprised? I'm not. But I'm a biased Braves fan. The Braves are sitting at 15-9, just one game better than I thought they would be at this point. I predicted a 93-69 season, but are now on pace for a 101-61 season. This team will have good and bad streaks. I still feel confident in my original pick.

Washington Nationals: A pick I am not too comfortable with anymore is the Nats. They are 13-12, which is right where I thought they would be. But they are allowing WAY more runs then I thought they would. Based on my formulas with updated stats, they are on pace to finish with a 72-90 record, not the 92-70 record I originally predicted.

Philadelphia Phillies: The Phils are sitting at 12-14, just a game worse then I originally projected. Their stats however, also show a disturbing trend that should right itself when Ryan Howard decides to start hitting. For now, they are on pace for a 73-89 season, 12 games short of my 85-77 prediction.

New York Mets: For the boys in Queens, a 10-13 start isn't all that bad. They pitching staff has been better than people thought when they lost RA Dickey. I predicted a 79-83 season and they are on a current pace for an 83-79 one.

Miami Marlins: Can this team be contracted or moved yet? 6-19 after 25 games. They have scored the fewest runs in the majors (67). I predicted a 73-89 season and I knew at the time that I would be off by about 5 games. But now, they are on pace to go 42-120, tying the most losses ever in a season. I kinda hope they do it.


National League Central

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates are at it again. Teasing their fans with the hopes of finishing a season above .500 for the first time since 1992. I predicted they wouldn't this year (74-88). But after starting the season 15-10, they are on a statistical pace to finish 90-72. Remember, the Pirates were above .500 from game 53 until Game 148. There is still time for it to come crashing down.

St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals are at it again with their winning and their surprising. Sitting at 14-10, they are actually one game worse than I thought they would be. But they are on a statistical pace for a 100-62 season as opposed to the 87-75 one I originally planned.

Cincinnati Reds: The Reds are up and down this year. But I planned it that way. They are sitting at 14-12, one game better than my picks. I still have them winning over 90 games. I predicted 92-70 and they are on pace for 98-64, but if these new numbers hold true, they won't win the division.

Milwaukee Brewers: I knew the Brewers would take a step back this year and they are right on track, currently at 12-11 but on pace for a 77-85 season. I originally planned them for an 80-82 campaign.

Chicago Cubs: The other day, my son asked me about the title drought of the Cubs. He then asked, "but they are getting good now, right?" No son, I am afraid they are going to try for 200 years without a title. They hired Theo Epstein but they might as well have hired me. I could get this team to a 9-15 record. I could have this team lose 90+ games every year. They are on pace for a 67-95 season which is only one game worse then the 68-94 record I predicted.


National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks: WHAT???!!! They get rid of Justin Upton and they are possibly better? I thought for sure this team took a step back this year. They still might. But the 15-10 start has put them on a statistical pace for a 96-66 season. My 74-88 prediction seems a bit silly now.

Colorado Rockies: Can they keep this up? Can they win on the road? Not sure, but all I know is that people laughed when I said the Rockies would finish 86-76. Their 15-10 start has them on pace for a 94-68 season. Who's laughing now?

San Francisco Giants: I guess I should have expected this. They only win the World Series in even years this decade. The 13-12 start has been dotted with disappointment. They are on pace to finish the season at 82-80, far short of the 90-72 I had originally predicted.

Los Angeles Dodgers: A 12-12 start is right where I had them. But their run scoring has been lackluster at best and I am worried that my modest prediction of 74-88 won't come true. Current models forecast the Dodgers to finish 2013 at 68-94. I don't think ownership will let that happen.

San Diego Padres: I always hesitate to think that a team will lose 100 games. But the Padres sure have started out looking like they will. The 9-15 start hasn't done them many favors, but with Chase Headley back in the lineup things are looking up. Perhaps a 72-90 season as I predicted is not out of reach. But as the numbers stand, they are on pace for 60-102.

Now, let's take a quick look at my award predictions and how they are faring through the first month of the season.

CY YOUNG: Felix Hernandez (SEA) / 3-2, 1.90 ERA, 44K
 Clayton Kershaw (LAD) / 3-2, 1.73 ERA, 47K- Similar numbers to Felix. Is that a sign?

MVP: Prince Fielder (DET) / .301, 7 HR, 27 RBI
 Freddie Freeman (ATL) / .319, 1 HR, 12 RBI - I think I picked the wrong Brave....see Justin Upton.

Monday, April 29, 2013

April MLB breakdown (Accoutability Week 4) Part 1

We are almost at the end of the first month of the season. Each week, I have reviewed how each team has fared compared to my predictions. Now it's time to go inside the numbers and go a little deeper.

Tonight, I look at not only where the teams stand going into Monday's games, but I also breakdown how they compare to where I thought they would be at this point of the season and what pace they are all on, given the numbers they have produced thus far.

Lost? It's ok. I will try to make it as painless as possible. We will go in order of division, in order of standings, starting with the American League East.

*all stats and standings current entering Monday's (04/29) games.

American League East

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox are freaking me out. They are sitting at 18-7 on the season and Clay Buchholz hasn't lost a game. I predicted an 82-80 season meaning they would need to go 64-73 the rest of the way to hit it. After 25 games, I had Boston at 15-10, three games worse than where they are currently. Based on my formulas, updated to reflect current stats, the Red Sox are on pace to go 110-52 in 2013. That would be 28 more wins than I predicted. They are freaking me out.

New York Yankees: Everyone told me you have the Yankees too high. Many experts picked them to finish last in the East (and they still might). But for now, they are 15-9 in 2013. I predicted a 91-71 finish, meaning they need to go 76-62 the rest of the way. After 24 games I had the Yanks at 14-10, one worse than where they are. Based on my formulas, updated to reflect current stats, the Yanks are on pace to finish 2013 with a record of 93-69, just two wins higher than my prediction.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles are irritating me. They are sitting at 15-10. I predicted a 73-89 season for the Birds. That means they have to go 58-79 the rest of the way and the way they are scoring runs, that doesn't seem possible. After 25 games, I had Baltimore at 12-13, three games worse than they are. With current stats, the Orioles are on pace to go 86-76, 13 games better than I predicted.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays are who we thought they were. Or at least who I thought they were. They are 12-13 which is exactly where I thought they would be after 25 games. I predicted an 80-82 season, meaning they need to go 68-69 the rest of the way. Based on updated stats, my formula shows them going 86-76, six games better then my prediction.

Toronto Blue Jays: I know it's early, but hang on while I gloat. Everyone thought the Jays were gonna win the division, many picked them to win the World Series, I said 85-77 and they are currently at 9-17. They need to finish the season 76-60 to reach my prediction. As it stands now, I had them at 13-13 after 26 games, they are four off the pace. The formula now predicts they will finish 56-106. WOW!

American League Central

Kansas City Royals: The Royals are 13-9. I predicted a 64-98 finish and I am starting to think I picked wrong. After 22 games I had the Royals at 10-12 so I'm not far off, but the new projections based on current stats have the Royals tying the Tigers for the division at 97-65.

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers are sitting at 13-10, right where I had them pegged after 23 games. I predicted the Tigers would finish the season at 95-67 and the stats now show them at 97-65. I am still feeling really good about this one.

Minnesota Twins: It's hard to tell what these Twins are, with all the postponed games and all. After 21 games, the Twins are 11-10, just two games ahead of where I thought they would be. My prediction of a 59-103 season seems almost out of reach now that they are projected to finish 80-82 based on current stats.

Chicago White Sox: The Sox fool me year after year. I'm hoping they get something going, but for now they are 10-14 after 24 games. I predicted a 13-11 start en route to a 93-69 season and a Wild-Card berth. Based on current stats, the Sox will finish 69-93.

Cleveland Indians: Is this the year I figure out the Tribe? They are sitting at 9-13 after 22 games. I had them at 11-11 on the way to a 77-85 season. As of now, they are on pace for a 73-89 season.

American League West

Texas Rangers: Josh Hamilton who? The Rangers are off to a 16-9 start, one game better than I thought they would be. But the story has been the pitching. They are tied with Atlanta for giving up the 2nd-fewest runs behind Kansas City. I predicted a 91-71 season, but they are now on pace for a 105-57 run.

Oakland Athletics: I love Billy Beane. Have I said that enough times yet? Not looking for him to hire me as his successor or anything....or am I? The A's are sitting at 14-12, just one game better than I thought they would be at after 26 games. Before the season I predicted an 85-77 finish, they are now on pace for a 90-72 campaign.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners have been bad on offense for the past few years. But this is bordering pathetic. An 11-16 start is only two worse than I anticipated. But the formulas now project a 56-106 season for the M's as opposed to the 83-79 one I saw before the season started. There is still time to right the ship. But someone should be fired.

Los Angeles Angels: Like the Blue Jays and the Dodgers (get to them tomorrow) I did not buy into the hype surrounding the Angels. A 9-15 start is three games worse than I had seen it shaking out. And now the 88-74 season I saw earlier is looking more and more like a 65-97 season.

Houston Astros: Garbage in, garbage out. Nothing too surprising here. The Astros are 7-18, two games worse than I projected, and I knew they would be bad. I had them finishing 2013 at 65-97 but the numbers now suggest a 49-113 season is in store.

Of course, this all a process, drawn out over 162 games. This isn't even 20% of the season in the books. It's right around 15%. We'll know more in July. Still, it's interesting how a team's season can be influenced by just the first month.

See you tomorrow night for the National League breakdown.

Thanks for reading.




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Accountability of Predictions (Week 3)

Hey everyone, happy Sunday to you all. What a great week of baseball we have had. The Rockies went streaking, the Braves stopped theirs. There was a weird base stealing play involving a Brewer and Neil Diamond personally brought Sweet Caroline to Boston.

So why are we here? Each week I revisit my preseason predictions and see how they are faring. In case you missed it last week, each team is listed with my season prediction / Current record and (record needed to achieve prediction).


AL EAST

yNew York: 91-71 / 10-7  (81-64)- Jeter out until the break, looking for a SS.
Toronto: 85-77 / 8-11  (77-66)- I feel like the only one who didn't buy the hype and so far I'm right.
Boston: 82-80 / 12-6  (70-74)- Had to deal with a lot this week.
Tampa Bay: 80-82 / 8-10  (72-72)- Right on track.
Baltimore: 73-89 / 10-8  (63-81)- Not ready to admit defeat here yet.

AL CENTRAL

yDetroit: 95-67 / 9-9  (86-58)- Well.....they could get hot.
zChicago: 93-69 / 7-11  (86-58)- See Baltimore comment.
Cleveland: 77-85 / 7-10  (70-75)- That's more like it.
Kansas City: 64-98 / 10-7  (54-91)-23-game losing streak starts......now!
Minnesota: 59-103 / 8-7  (51-96)- Oh boy.

AL WEST

yTexas: 91-71 / 12-6  (79-65)- Feasting on the lowly Mariners.
zLos Angeles: 88-74 / 7-10  (81-64)- Where is the pitching?
Oakland: 85-77 / 12-7  (73-70)- God, I love Billy Beane!
Seattle: 83-79 / 7-13  (76-66)- Looking pretty bad.
Houston: 65-97 / 5-13  (60-84)- That's about right.

NL EAST

yAtlanta: 93-69 / 13-5  (80-64)- Followed 10-game win streak by losing 4 of 5.
zWashington: 92-70 / 10-8  (82-62)- About to be swept in Atlanta.
Philadelphia: 85-77 / 8-11  (77-66)- Doc is coming around at least.
New York: 79-83 / 9-8  (70-75)- Too bad they have to play Washington and Atlanta 19 times each.
Miami: 73-89 / 4-15  (69-74)- Did I say 73 wins? Maybe I meant 43?

NL CENTRAL

yCincinnati: 92-70 / 11-8  (81-62)- Here come the Reds.
zSt. Louis: 87-75 / 10-8  (77-67)- 3-3 this week. Eh.
Milwaukee: 80-82 / 9-8  (71-74)- 7 wins in a row.
Pittsburgh: 74-88 / 10-8  (64-80)- Took 2 of 3 from the suddenly offensively struggling Braves.
Chicago: 68-94 / 5-12  (63-82)- They may lose 105 games. One for each year w/out a Title.

NL WEST

ySan Francisco: 90-72 / 12-7  (78-65)- When the pitching gets on track, watch out.
Colorado: 86-76 / 13-5  (73-71)- I know it's early....but people laughed at me. Who's laughing now?
Arizona: 74-88 / 10-8  (64-80)- Starting to fall into line where they belong.
Los Angeles: 74-88 / 8-10  (66-78)- See Toronto comment.
San Diego: 72-90 / 5-13  (67-77)- Again, I think 72 games may have been too generous.


 CY YOUNG: Felix Hernandez (SEA) / 1-2, 2.20 ERA, 28K - RUN SUPPORT!!!!
 Clayton Kershaw (LAD) / 2-2, 1.88 ERA, 30K - Was feeling good.

MVP: Prince Fielder (DET) / .333, 5 HR, 21 RBI
 Freddie Freeman (ATL) / .412, 1 HR, 7 RBI - I think I picked the wrong Brave....see Justin Upton.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Accountability of predictions (Week 2)

Hey everyone, happy Sunday to you all. What a great week of baseball we have had....especially for us Braves fans. We've had some thrilling comeback wins, an unexplainable and despicable brawl, great pitching matchups and lost of home runs. Here we are again, as I will be every Sunday to match up my season predictions to current reality and see how it's stacking up.

In case you missed it last week, each team is listed with my season prediction / Current record and (record needed to achieve prediction).


AL EAST

yNew York: 91-71 / 6-5  (85-66)- Here they come.
Toronto: 85-77 / 5-7  (80-70)- Jose Reyes is out for a few weeks, this will hurt.
Boston: 82-80 / 7-4  (75-76)- This team is starting to look pretty good.
Tampa Bay: 80-82 / 4-7  (76-75)- Right on track.
Baltimore: 73-89 / 6-6  (67-83)- KEEP LOSING MORE!

AL CENTRAL

yDetroit: 95-67 / 7-5  (88-62)- As goes Fielder, so goes the Tigers.
zChicago: 93-69 / 5-7  (88-62)- Ended losing streak Sunday, time to start winning streak.
Cleveland: 77-85 / 5-6  (72-79)- Playing better than I expected, but not by much.
Kansas City: 64-98 / 7-5  (57-93)-I'm not panicking.....yet.
Minnesota: 59-103 / 4-7  (55-96)- Now that's more like it.

AL WEST

yTexas: 91-71 / 8-5  (83-66)- Been hit or miss so far.
zLos Angeles: 88-74 / 4-8  (84-66)- Pujols starting to come up big.
Oakland: 85-77 / 9-4  (76-73)- God, I love Billy Beane!
Seattle: 83-79 / 6-8  (77-71)- Looking pretty good.
Houston: 65-97 / 4-8  (61-89)- That's about right.

NL EAST

yAtlanta: 93-69 / 11-1  (82-68)- Haven't lost since the third game of the year.
zWashington: 92-70 / 7-5  (85-65)- Just got swept at home.
Philadelphia: 85-77 / 6-6  (79-71)- Looking better.
New York: 79-83 / 7-4  (72-79)- Wins against Miami and Minnesota help.
Miami: 73-89 / 2-10  (71-79)- Did I say 73 wins? Maybe I meant 43?

NL CENTRAL

yCincinnati: 92-70 / 5-7  (87-63)- When Votto gets going, the Reds will follow.
zSt. Louis: 87-75 / 7-5  (80-70)- Lost today but still looking good.
Milwaukee: 80-82 / 3-8  (77-74)- When Braun gets going, the Brewers may trade him.
Pittsburgh: 74-88 / 6-6  (68-82)- Nice win Sunday, but they looked good last year early.
Chicago: 68-94 / 4-7  (64-87)- 104 years without a title....what's one more year?

NL WEST

ySan Francisco: 90-72 / 9-4  (81-68)- Panda is on FIRE!
Colorado: 86-76 / 8-4  (78-72)- I know it's early....but people laughed at me. Who's laughing now?
Arizona: 74-88 / 8-4  (66-84)- * See below.
Los Angeles: 74-88 / 7-5  (67-83)- Coming back down to Earth.
San Diego: 72-90 / 2-10  (70-80)- Again, I think 72 games may have been too generous.

* = Let's see how they look after an upcoming 16 game stretch against the Dodgers, Yankees, Giants and Rockies.

 CY YOUNG: Felix Hernandez (SEA) / 1-2, 3.05 ERA, 16K - RUN SUPPORT!!!!
 Clayton Kershaw (LAD) / 2-1, 1.16 ERA, 25K - Yeah....feelin' good about this one.

MVP: Prince Fielder (DET) / .429, 4 HR, 19 RBI
 Freddie Freeman (ATL) / .412, 1 HR, 7 RBI - I think I picked the wrong Brave....see Justin Upton.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Accountability of predictions (Week 1)

I know it's early, but every Sunday I will own up to my predictions by looking at the the current records and what record they would need to have the rest of the way to hit my predictions. I will occasionally comment here or there on things that have surprised me. Here are the predictions, listed in this format:

Team: Record predicted / Record so far (Record needed to hit prediction)

AL EAST

yNew York: 91-71 / 2-4  (89-67)- Not surprised by slow start. They will get there.
Toronto: 85-77 / 2-4  (83-73)- I knew Dickey wouldn't put up the same numbers.
Boston: 82-80 / 4-2  (78-78)- Raise your hand if you thought Boston would ever lead this year!
Tampa Bay: 80-82 / 3-3  (77-79)- Right on track.
Baltimore: 73-89 / 3-3  (70-86)- START LOSING MORE!

AL CENTRAL

yDetroit: 95-67 / 3-3  (92-64)- Time to catch fire.
zChicago: 93-69 / 4-2  (89-67)- Right on target.
Cleveland: 77-85 / 3-3  (74-82)- Nothing to see here folks.
Kansas City: 64-98 / 3-3  (61-95)-Need to go on a 25-game losing streak now.
Minnesota: 59-103 / 4-2  (55-101)- Didn't think they would be over .500 at all this year.

AL WEST

yTexas: 91-71 / 4-2  (87-69)- Yup. Josh who?
zLos Angeles: 88-74 / 2-4  (86-70)- Perhaps we should call Trout, Mike Catfish now?
Oakland: 85-77 / 5-2  (80-75)- God, I love Billy Beane!
Seattle: 83-79 / 3-4  (80-75)- Looking pretty good.
Houston: 65-97 / 1-5  (64-92)- Looked good Opening night. Perhaps 65 wins is too much?

NL EAST

yAtlanta: 93-69 / 5-1  (88-68)- Looking REAL good!
zWashington: 92-70 / 4-2  (88-68)- Get used to looking up at the Braves.
Philadelphia: 85-77 / 2-4  (83-73)- They will get going.
New York: 79-83 / 4-2  (75-81)- Too bad they can't play Miami all season.
Miami: 73-89 / 1-5  (72-84)- Not feeling good about 73 wins now.

NL CENTRAL

yCincinnati: 92-70 / 4-2  (88-68)- They are who we thought they were.
zSt. Louis: 87-75 / 3-3  (84-72)- Same old Cards.
Milwaukee: 80-82 / 1-5  (79-77)- Looks like a M.A.S.H. unit right now.
Pittsburgh: 74-88 / 1-5  (73-82)- Can you say 21st straight losing season?
Chicago: 68-94 / 2-4  (66-90)- 104 years without a title....what's one more year?

NL WEST

ySan Francisco: 90-72 / 3-3  (87-69)- Title defense jitters?
Colorado: 86-76 / 5-1  (81-75)- I know it's early....but people laughed at me. Who's laughing now?
Arizona: 74-88 / 5-1  (69-87)- * See below.
Los Angeles: 74-88 / 4-2  (70-86)- Jelling earlier than I thought they would.
San Diego: 72-90

* = Let's see how they look after an upcoming 19 game stretch against the Dodgers, Yankees, Giants and Rockies.

 CY YOUNG: Felix Hernandez (SEA) / 1-1, 2.57 ERA, 11K - Typical Felix.
 Clayton Kershaw (LAD) / 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 16K - Yeah....feelin' good about this one.

MVP: Prince Fielder (DET) / .261, 2 HR, 8 RBI
 Freddie Freeman (ATL) / .412, 1 HR, 7 RBI - On 15-day DL but it was just a precaution.

Friday, April 5, 2013

GO BRAVES!

My latest creation. What do you think?