In an unprecedented showing of there still being days remaining where MLB baseball is not being played, USA Today released predicted win/loss records for every team this morning. The article, found here, gives a few sentences for their predicted division winners (Mookie Betts MVP ceiling, Hanley Ramirez bounce-back campaign, Cy Young Strasburg, to name a few) and a sentence or so each to every team after the winner. It's worth a read, solely to refresh yourself of the forthcoming landscape of baseball. It is happening. Quite soon.
Keeping in mind that the major league season lasts 162 games and that typically the margins separating teams come October are essentially a rounding error, it is high-time that I slice and dice these predictions to make USA Today shown as the fools they are. These predictions are horrible. Mine are way better. Let's TAKE IT TO THE STREETS and play a game of over/under with what was published today. The predictions are as follows:
Boston (88-74) - Under. Mookie Betts for MVP and Hanley Ramirez bouncing back got me feelin' some kind of way. And not a good way.
Toronto (86-76) - Over. A few free agents looking to have even more outrageous career years and cash in while they can plus a new Drake album coming soon has the Blue Jays Flying High (it is a bird and a Canada Joke).
Tampa Bay (83-79) - Over, but Boring. Classic case of taking the most-medium prediction. Brad Miller gets them to 84 wins.
New York (83-79) - Over. Come late September, I see it as these guys versus Toronto for the crown, thanks to BaeBaeRod. That's right, I see Boston eating another year of dumpster trash.
Baltimore (78-84) - Under. Chris Davis, sure he's cool and left-handed but call me back when he's making MLB minimum in 2034 or whatever it is.
Chicago (90-72) - WAY under. Y'all drunk?
Kansas City (84-78) - Wash. But they miss the Wildcard this year. Thankfully.
Cleveland (83-79) - Wash. Sometimes you just have to be patient.
Detroit (82-80) - Under. If your splashy move is acquiring an Upton and it's 2016, I don't know. Something weird happened. Oh, you guys did that.
Minnesota (80-82) - Over. (psst I think this is the division winner)
Houston (90-72) - Under. Not feeling it this year.
Texas (85-77) - Under. Injuries hang around this squad like the Reaper and I think it happens again. Can't wait to see Odor, though.
Los Angeles (83-79) - Over. I know. I don't know how, either. But it happens.
Seattle (77-85) - Over. Here's the thing, I understand taking them at the bottom of their projected win bracket. But, I think it's them vs. LA for the division title.
Oakland (66-96) - Over. Hell, maybe they're even a sneaky WC team. I think the AL West is just as tight, or maybe even tighter by October, than the AL Central.
Washington (89-73) - Over. I think these are your runaway crown holders.
New York (87-75) - Under. The magic runs out. Keep trying, though.
Miami (78-84) - Ughhhhh under? Honestly, who knows. JUST GIVE US GIANCARLO.
Atlanta (67-95) - Over. I'm planning on visiting Savannah soon and I want good mojo when I arrive.
Philadelphia (61-101) - Over. I think the Braves may end at the bottom, but Phillie made enough moves to push out of the 100-loss category.
Chicago (101-61) - Over. They're good.
St. Louis (97-65) - Over. So are they.
Pittsburgh (88-74) - Under. First time missing the playoffs for some time.
Milwaukee (64-98) - Under. Because what is a Wisconsin summer without being miserable?
Cincinnati (61-101) - Over. By one game.
San Francisco (90-72) - Over. Runaway champs.
Los Angeles (88-74) - Under. Sure, they're stacked, but something is bound to break when your starting infield is the 2008 NL All Stars.
Arizona (86-76) - I have no idea. Maybe this is spot on, but it feels high. Cool jerseys, though.
San Diego (73-89) - Over. This is my second team and this is blatant homerism.
Colorado (62-100) - Under. I want them bad enough that they HAVE to give us an outfielder at the deadline.
In the primer for their projections, USA Today brings in a "statistic" they dub "Projected Unforeseen Events (PUE)" and I also have run my own PUE calcs to get to the same endings for my chart. PUE, while new and still being hammered down to take off the error bars, is an important measure, mostly in forecasting the season. According to my PUE charts, Hunter Pence wins the NL MVP, and Ketel Marte the AL MVP. Cy Young Awards get handed out to Taijuan Walker and Bartolo Colon, and Franklin Gutierrez collects a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove. The Seattle Mariners trot out 96 wins and a World Series title to boot. To prove the objectivity of my PUE charts, they still show the bullpen as league-average.
PUE don't lie.