The baseball season has been over two weeks. Well, the Yankees’ season has been over for two weeks, and to me, that’s the baseball season. So with the season in the books, let’s look at the results from my predictions for 2015 MLB Over/Under Wins.
San Francisco Giants – 82 (84-78, WIN)
I said, “I realize this is an odd-numbered year and that means that the Giants are likely to miss the playoffs and then bounce back and win the World Series next year the way they did in 2010, 2012 and 2014,” and the Giants didn’t make the playoffs and therefore won’t win the World Series, but they did win more than 82 games.
The Giants have only won fewer than 82 games once since 2009 and with the core of their World Series-winning team intact, it didn’t make sense that their line was this low. Unless Vegas thought that the departure of Pablo Sandoval was somehow going to make the Giants a bad team in a season in which he was asked to no longer switch-hit and became one of the worst everyday players in the league. (Good luck with that remaining $78 million, Boston!)
New York Yankees – 82.5 (87-75, WIN)
This was the easiest of them all. The last time the Yankees won less than 83 games was 1992 and even for as many question marks as they had in the spring training, they were never going to go 82-80 or worse.
This is the first thing I have written about the Yankees since they lost the wild-card game because I’m still not over them getting into the playoffs and then losing to the second wild card against the one pitcher in the world they couldn’t face. I will get over it eventually.
New York Mets – 83 (90-72, WIN)
Last season Sandy Alderson talked about the Mets winning 90 games and he was a year late. The Mets finished the season with Alderson’s magic number and won the NL East for the first time since 2006 and now they testing my patience as a baseball fan by being as close as they have been to the World Series since 2006.
The Mets can’t make the World Series, but if they happen to, they can’t win. The Blue Jays or Royals have to beat them. They have to. The Mets can’t win the World Series.
San Diego Padres – 84 (76-86, LOSS)
Whoops. I thought the addition of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, James Shields and Craig Kimbrel would change the Padres and improve them at least seven games with those five on the team. Instead, the Padres were one game worse than they were as a 77-85 team last season. Kemp did rebound and play in 154 games and had 100 RBIs, but Myers played in just 60, Upton didn’t play to his potential, Shields was OK as the only starter over .500 in the rotation and Kimbrel was good, but not great. The Padres made a lot of big moves and sacrificed a lot to put themselves in a position to compete with the Dodgers and Giants and instead they finished in fourth place in the NL West and ninth place in the NL.
Los Angeles Dodgers – 92.5 (92-70, WIN)
The Dodgers came within one game of covering and I can think of a lot of games that could have been the difference. Between the horrible bullpen and the weak lineup that Andrew Friedman put together, the Dodgers should have been a 100-win team with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Friedman did nothing to change the bullpen in front of Kenley Jansen, built a shaky rotation after the Top 2 and created a lineup that had Justin Turner as its most feared hitter. But yeah, Don Mattingly deserves to be fired. It’s his fault the Dodgers lost to the Mets in five games.
Minnesota Twins – 73 (83-79, LOSS)
The Twins overachieved, and unfortunately for the Yankees, they didn’t overachieve a little more. The Twins missed the second wild card by three games and had they gotten that wild card it would have been the Twins the Yankees faced and not the Astros and most importantly, not Dallas Keuchel. The Yankees would have gotten the chance to play the team they have gone 12-2 in the playoffs against since 2003. I still don’t know how a rotation of Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Mike Pelfrey, Tommy Milone and Ervin Santana won 83 games. But I guess that’s baseball, Suzyn.
Tampa Bay Rays – 79 (80-82, LOSS)
One game. One game! Like the Dodgers, the Rays screwed me by one game and it hurts. There’s not much to say about this one other than that Vegas did a great job making this line. The Rays were the typical Rays with a great rotation and a horrible lineup. If there is any doubt that pitching wins, the Rays are proof since they were able to win 80 games with an offense that scored the second-fewest runs in the AL and still had a plus-2 run differential.
Detroit Tigers – 84 (74-87, WIN)
I think everyone saw this coming except for maybe delusional Tigers fans. The Tigers lost Max Scherzer to free agency and traded Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander started the year on the disabled list and was nowhere near his normal self when he did pitch. Miguel Cabrera missed 43 games and had the lowest home run and RBI totals of his career and Victor Martinez went from finishing second in the 2014 AL MVP voting to showing his age as a 36-year-old .245/.301/.366 hitter. I don’t know when the Tigers will be good again, but it’s not going to be anytime soon.
Cleveland Indians – 85 (81-80, WIN)
The Indians tried to do their annual get-hot-in-the-final-weeks-of-September routine that they have made their thing under Terry Francona. Luckily, they didn’t get hot enough and finished four wins short of pushing this total and five short of losing it for me. The Yankees did their best to make this interesting by going 2-5 against the Indians, and those Indians series came right when the Yankees could have made their move to take the AL East for good.
Boston Red Sox – 86 (78-84, WIN)
The easiest pick in the entire league. The Red Sox had their third last-place finish in four years, fired their general manager, asked their $95 million third baseman to stop being a switch-hitter, told their $88 million left fielder to stop being a left fielder and watched their new $82.5 million starting pitcher pitch to a 4.92 ERA. The Red Sox likely won’t have a real rotation again next season unless they make big a play for either David Price, Zack Greinke or Johnny Cueto, all of which will be 30-plus when the 2016 season and that has been the magic age number the Red Sox have avoided. The only thing that can help the Red Sox at this point is if a team like the Dodgers can save them again and that better not happen.