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Mudville: May 30, 2024 9:46 am PDT

How it Started – How it’s Going

It’s the All-Star break once again. The Mid-Summer Classic. The day we used to love as kids is now a game we hope doesn’t end in a tie. It’s also a good time to check in on my predictions for teams against the preseason win totals to either confirm my brilliance or call out my stupidity.

A quick recap of the first half showed that the unpredictability of baseball is one of the things that keeps us loving the game. Domingo German tossing a perfect game was not on my list of things I expected to ever see nor was Mookie Betts becoming an elite version of Ben Zobrist. Teams have far exceeded expectations and teams have clearly disappointed as always happens. An influx of amazingly talented young players has brought a renewed excitement to the game and turned the fortunes of some teams around.

Let’s get to the meat and potatoes. Let’s see if I can start to plan on spending some money or need to go into hiding to avoid the bookmakers. The mid-season status of the brilliant predictions I made before the season looks like this:

(In order of highest to lowest win totals per Bet MGM Grand for 2023

Houston 96.5 Wins – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 87. They’re fighting some injuries, but I still think they will get to that number, but they better add another starter if it’s going to happen.

LA Dodgers 96.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 91. They might need to clone Mookie like Bugs Bunny so he can pitch and play 3 or 4 positions at the same time.

Atlanta 95.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 102. Scary. Very Scary. Lineup is loaded. Pitching Staff is loaded. Bullpen is good enough. Will Acuña go 40 / 80?

NY Yankees 95.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 87. The Big Toe that doomed the season. That will be the story of the first half. Maybe hiring a hitting coach who actually faced Major League pitching will help. Oh, and if anyone has seen Luis Severino, please tell him the team is looking for him.

NY Mets 95.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 81. Yikes. Double Yikes. So much money spent on players who used to be great. Buck might be back on MLB Network before too long but that’s not going to fix the problem.

San Diego 93.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 83. It’s a team game and they will need to remember that if they don’t plan to go down as the biggest disappointment of 2023.

Toronto 92.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 89. If, and it’s a huge if, Alex Manoah is fixed they will be a force in the second half.

St. Louis 89.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 72. They have brought positionless baseball to MLB. Too many players with no real position. Adam Wainwright is all wrong. They have no real bullpen hierarchy. It’s not good.

Tampa Bay 88.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 102. Yep. I’m an idiot. I might have used too much emotion in that pick. Not only are they doing what they usually do, but they are doing it even better. They play the right way and they still have reinforcements at the ready.

Yandy Díaz #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the second inning during the 93rd MLB All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Seattle 88.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 83. Probably not yet time to panic on this pick. The offense has been shaky but has shown a little sign of life lately. They will add another bat before the trade deadline and be right around the original number.

Philadelphia 88.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 87. They are starting to get the lineup chugging like Kyle Schwarber trying to stretch a single into a double.

Cleveland – 87.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 81. The Shane Bieber watch is on. They still grind but they just don’t score enough runs.

Milwaukee 85.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 84. The return of the real Christian Yelich is a nice story. They might be the least exciting team to watch in baseball of the teams you might actually consider watching.

ChiSox 84.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 72. Ugh. Let the selling begin and somebody remind Tim Anderson that it’s ok to get a hit every once in a while.

Texas 82.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 89. They score a ton of runs. The pitching is still scary. They have been coming back to earth a bit recently but that lineup will need to carry the pitching staff if they hold on to make the playoffs.

Minnesota 82.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 82. The best team in the worst division. Buxton has been mostly healthy. Maeda is back. They should end up slightly over.

San Fran 80.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 86. “How to Platoon Your Way to the Playoffs” by Gabe Kapler.

LA Angels 80.5 – Original prediction was Over by .5 – Current pace 81. It’s as predictable as Chris Sale or Jacob DeGrom getting injured. The most intriguing thing for them remaining is do they move Otahni before the deadline.

Cubbies –78.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 73. Probably the worst bullpen they have ever had. They have some fun young players but the only real thing that’s fun is winning and they don’t do enough of it.

Boston 77.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 84. Hanging around in the middle of the road. They are pesky but still not as good as the projected number of wins but better than the original number. Baseball purgatory.

Orioles 76.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 90. Those damn kids can play. I still think the starting pitching staff caves in but the bullpen is elite and the lineup is a ton of fun. The good news for the rest of the league is that the Angelos family won’t approve adding a nickel at the deadline to get them over the top.

Arizona 75.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 88. They are on that pace with no real closer and an up and down starting rotation after Gallen and Kelly. Corbin Carroll – Geesh. What a talent.

Luis Arraez #3 of the Miami Marlins hits a RBI single in the fourth inning during the 93rd MLB All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Miami 74.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 89. They can actually score some runs. I did not see that coming.

Detroit 69.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 72. They are a strange bunch this Tiger team. They are starting to get the injured kids back and showing signs of promise but if they finish under it would still be no surprise.

Kansas City 68.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 56. A disaster. I wonder if George Brett has decided to stop going to games?  Brady Singer is off key and that’s the most interesting thing about them. If they trade Sal Perez, we riot.

Colorado 67.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 61. The being ok with finishing .500 thing gets you this exact result.

Pittsburgh 67.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 74. The next new stat will be the Andrew McCutcheon effect. That is the impact of adding a veteran professional to a team of young kids. I’m looking forward to Rich Hill’s 70th birthday party.

Cincy 64.5 – Original prediction was OVER – Current pace 82. Elly is just what they needed to breathe life into that team. Oh, the other kids haven’t been too bad either. I thought they’d win 70 but did not, in any way, see them competing for the division.

Washington 60.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 61. They scrap and fight and are more interesting than I thought they would be. They are still not very good and will probably move anyone over 28 before the trade deadline, but it’s not quite as bad as I thought it would be.

OakVegas 59.5 – Original prediction was UNDER – Current pace 55. They hold a reverse boycott and the same day Vegas approves the new stadium plan. Once the Washington Commanders sale gets approved by the NFL, John Fisher will become the worst owner in professional sports. Oh, and the team is very bad.

Well, I’m doing kinda, sorta, maybe okay-ish. What do I know?  As always, I will be sweating it out in September like Aroldis Chapman to see the final result.

Enjoy the end of the break.

Mike Nelson is a Director of Sales by day but at night is a boomer baseball ranter who assumes the persona of Joe Blow from Mudville. His biggest baseball claim to fame was hitting for a double cycle in a sandlot game. Dick Allen was mean to him when he was 12 years old

Comments
  • Eric

    If it makes you feel better I had Dick Allen on a TV show and he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Loved his book.
    Hey, Willie McCovey didn’t give me the time of day when I approached him outside Shea when I was a teen – I forgave Stretch, one of my favorites.

    July 12, 2023
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