Baseball’s Midway Point

So I meant to do this during the All-Star Break, but I got a little busy.  We’ll call this the mid-season plus a week review.  What I’m going to do is go back to the divisional previews that I wrote before the season and see how far off I was halfway through the year.

Should be fun, right?

I haven’t actually gone back to read these, so I don’t know if I’m anywhere close to correct.  I’m just hoping I don’t embarass myself too much.

Let’s start in the AL East:

These are the standings I picked in March vs. the standings today.

1. New York Yankees         1.Boston Red Sox

2. Tampa Bay Rays              2. New York Yankees 1 GB

3. Boston Red Sox               3. Tampa Bay Rays 4.5 GB

4. Toronto Blue Jays          4. Toronto Blue Jays 10 GB

5. Baltimore Orioles           5. Baltimore Orioles 14 GB

Well, I was little off at the top, but the standings are close enough where I think I’m okay.  I didn’t give the O’s Adam Jones enough credence in the preview and talked up the Jays’ Travis Snider a bit too much.  Aside from that, I didn’t really make any sort of predictions in the East.

Let’s Check on the AL Central.

1. Minnesota Twins         1. Detroit Tigers

2. Chicago White Sox     2. Chicago White Sox 1.5 GB

3. Detroit Tigers               3. Minnesota Twins 1.5 GB

4. Cleveland Indians      4. Kansas City Royals 11.5 GB

5. Kansas City Royals    5. Cleveland Indians 13.5 GB

I called the AL Central one of the toughest divisions in baseball and it looks like I was right with three teams within two games.  I didn’t see the Tigers winning the division, but I did envision a slight bounce back from them.  I also wasn’t expecting the Indians to be quite as bad as they are.  They win the title for biggest under achievers this year.

Now the AL West:

1. LA Angels                  1. LA Angels

2. Oakland A’s               2. Texas Rangers 3 GB

3. Seattle Mariners     3. Seattle Mariners 3.5 GB

4 .Texas Rangers         4. Oakland A’s 13 GB

Well, I missed the A’s.  They’re terrible.  The Rangers are also a nice surprise here.  In my defense, I did say that I didn’t know what to think of the A’s and I was expecting the Rangers pitching to be worse than it is.  I also claimed that the Mariners just didn’t have what it takes to contend in this division.  Enter Russell Branyan.  The M’s have been great and missed the boat.  In fact, I pretty much missed this whole division.

Now for the NL East.

1. Philadelphia Phillies          1. Philadelphia Phillies

2. New York Mets                    2. Florida Marlins 7 GB

3. Florida Marlins                   3. Atlanta Braves 7 GB

4. Atlanta Braves                    4. New York Mets 8.5 GB

5. Washington Nationals     5.  Washington Nationals 26 GB

I did have the Mets finishing second, but I also called their bullpen and rotational problems.  It’s impossible to predict injuries and we know the Mets have had more than their fair share.  I also did say that Marlins would surprise people by not being as bad as people think but wouldn’t be good enough to make the playoffs.  Sounds about right.  I figured before the season that the Braves would be a .500 ballclub and they’re sitting at 45-46 right now.  Basically, beyond the Mets sucking as bad as they have, I did pretty well in this division.

The NL Central.

1. Chicago Cubs                      1. St. Louis Cardinals

2. St. Louis Cardinals           2. Chicago Cubs 2 GB

3. Houston Astros                3. Milwaukee Brewers 3 GB

4. Milwaukee Brewers         4. Houston Astros 3.5 GB

5. Cincinnati Reds                 5. Cincinnati Reds 5.5 GB

6. Pittsburgh Pirates            6. Pittsburgh Pirates 9 GB

I did well here.  I called Wandy Rodriguez’s break out campaign.  I called for the Reds to hang around for a while (even when commenters disagreed with me).  The one thing I got wrong was assuming that Milton Bradley would help the Cubs and that getting rid of Jason Marquis was a good thing.  I think I’ll hang my hat on this one.

Finally, the NL West.

1. LA Dodgers                              1. LA Dodgers

2. Arizona Diamondbacks      2. San Francisco Giants 7 GB

3. San Francisco Giants           3. Colorado Rockies 8 GB

4. Colorado Rockies                 4. Arizona Diamondbacks 18.5 GB

5. San Diego Padres                  5. San Diego Padres 20 GB

I didn’t really do well here.  What happened, Arizona?  Let’s start with what I did get right: The Dodgers.  I called Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley having breakout years.  I did not call Manny Ramirez’s 50 game suspension.  My bold prediction for the year was that Chris Young would throw the next no-hitter.  That was very far off the mark.  Young has apparently lost the ability to pitch well.  I also had no faith in the Rockies or All-Star Jason Marquis.  Oh well, you can’t get them all.

So there you have it.  I did alright considering no one is very good at this.  Plus, there is still time for everything to come true.

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