More Predictions That Will Be Wrong

Last year, I wrote a post titled “Predictions That Will Be Wrong”. Given the volatility of events that can happen over a six month period, trying to pick things like MVP winners or WAR leaders is essentially a fool’s errand – there’s just no way to know who is going to stay healthy or who has put in the requisite amount of work this winter to take an unexpected step forward. By their nature, predictions are essentially just guesses, and even educated guesses are generally incorrect.

While some have noted that I “called” Josh Hamilton as last year’s MVP winner, I also “called” James Shields as the AL Cy Young winner. If I’m a genius for the first, I’m an idiot for the latter. I don’t think I’m a genius and I hope I’m not an idiot, so perhaps the best conclusion is that sometimes guesses turn out and sometimes they don’t. Either way, they’re still kind of fun, right?

So, let’s do it again. My 2011 Predictions That Will Be Wrong.

Playoff Teams (AL): Boston-Chicago-Texas-New York
Playoff Teams (NL): Atlanta-Cincinnati-Colorado-Philadelphia

World Series: Boston over Atlanta

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez
NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki

AL Position Player WAR Leader: Joe Mauer
NL Position Player WAR Leader: Troy Tulowitzki

AL Cy Young: Jon Lester
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay

AL Pitcher WAR Leader: Felix Hernandez
NL Pitcher WAR Leader: Josh Johnson

AL Rookie Of The Year: Jeremy Hellickson
NL Rookie Of The Year: Brandon Belt

AL Rookie WAR Leader: Tsuyoshi Nishioka
NL Rookie WAR Leader: Freddie Freeman

Five Random Guesses About 2011:

1. Despite all the kvetching over the Yankees rotation, their starting pitchers will finish the year in the top three in the American League in FIP.

2. Carl Crawford will post a higher WAR than Adrian Gonzalez, even though his teammate will win the MVP.

3. The Rangers will win the American League West by 10+ games.

4. The Cardinals pitching will be fine, even without Adam Wainwright. Their defense, however, will be what keeps them out of the playoffs.

5. Ryan Howard will have a significantly better season than in 2010, but the Phillies offense will still struggle. Bonus prediction – Chase Utley will play fewer than 100 games.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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13 years ago

I don’t see how Boston wins the division if New York’s starters are top 3 in FIP. Their pitching would no doubt be vastly superior and the offense is at least comparable, I don’t see any big advantage there for either side.

Lucky Goon
13 years ago
Reply to  Grant

Two things. The F part of FIP will hurt NY, especially with the to biggest weak spots next to each other on the left side of the infield. And Boston’s offense is vastly superior to NY’s if Gonzalez wins the MVP as (at least) the 2nd highest WAR on the team. I’d bet Youkilis will have a higher WAR than Gonzo too.

The Ancient Mariner
13 years ago
Reply to  Lucky Goon

I think you mean (at most) rather than (at least) . . .

13 years ago
Reply to  Lucky Goon

I can’t see how adding Crawford and Gonzalez (10.4 oWAR) while losing Martinez and Beltre (9.3 oWAR) helps Boston add the 100 runs or so you would need to call them vastly superior. Everyone looks at these shiny new additions and completely ignores the fact that Boston didn’t really add much offense.

13 years ago
Reply to  Lucky Goon

Full seasons from Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Youkilis will make the difference. AGon will produce better in Boston than San Diego. Lowrie might help improve SS as well.

Jason B
13 years ago
Reply to  Lucky Goon

“Full seasons from Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Youkilis will make the difference.”

It’s fairly rare to expect full seasons from all a team’s key players with no significant time lost to injury. (The BoSox or anyone else for that matter.) They may have better luck than last year in that regard, but there are some DL stints in this team’s future… (stunning revelation, I know)

12 years ago
Reply to  Lucky Goon

Two Red Sox have a higher WAR than the MVP favorite Gonzo, but you guessed the wrong two.