All About Baseball
Looking Back at the 2019 Season & Postseason Predictions
At the All-Star Break, I took time to evaluate my preseason predictions. I spent time thinking about and looking at what I got right and wrong about what to expect this year. Now, with the regular season behind us, it is time to take another look. Here’s the breakdown:
What I Got Right:
- The Dodgers, Braves, Brewers, Yankees, Astros and Rays would all made the postseason. This means, 60% of the teams who will play at least one postseason game are those I expected to make it.
- The Dodgers, Astros and Yankees would win their divisions. This means, 50% of my predictions on division winners were correct.
- Justin Verlander would win the AL Cy Young award. While we may not know this for a few weeks, it seems like a safe. His main competition is his teammate, Gerrit Cole, who had an equally impressive season. Verlander had his best season since his 2011 Cy Young / MVP year.
- Christian Yelich will probably not win the NL MVP due to a season ending injury. I think had he finished the season, he would have likely won that award. Fans were robbed of a Yelich / Bellinger MVP race.
What I Got Wrong:
- The other 4 teams I had in the postseason were the Phillies, Cubs, Indians and Red Sox.
- The Phillies and Indians I had as division winners. Many writers got the Phillies wrong, so I do not feel bad about this. That said, I do not think it was a lost season for the Philly. They have some piece that will probably come together and will make a run in the next couple seasons.
- The Cubs really imploded near the end, despite getting help on the offensive side from Nick Castellanos.
- The Indians just didn’t have enough to catch up to the Twins or stay in the Wild Card race, despite winning 93 games.
- The Red Sox could not recapture the magic of 2018. The Yankees completely dominated this season’s series, 14-5.
- The A’s, Twins, Cardinals and Nationals had really good seasons. I knew the Twins would continue to improve, the Cardinals would compete with the Brewers and Cubs and the Nationals have strong starting pitching. The A’s are always underestimated.
I picked the Yankees over the Brewers in the World Series and both teams have a shot to be there. Brewers enter as a Wild Card and without their star, Christian Yelich. They’ll face Max Scherzer in the Wild Card Game and if they escape they will play the Dodgers. I am going to say the Brewers do not have what it takes this year. Pitching is questionable and no Yelich.
It seems pretty clear there are four elite teams in MLB right now — Dodgers and Braves in the NL and Yankees and Astros in the AL. I would expect to see those match-ups in the NLCS and ALCS. If the Dodgers return to the World Series again this year, it will be their third consecutive appearance. This team has many of the same pieces and it could be their best in recent years. The Braves are almost there, but may be a few pitchers away. Dodgers advance.
An Astros vs Yankees ALCS has the makings of another classic series, akin to 2017. It seems almost ridiculous to bet against the Verlander / Cole / Greinke trifecta in Houston against a questionable Yankees rotation, but I feel obligated to stick with my preseason prediction here. Yankees slug it out in seven.
As much as I would prefer a Southern Series (Atlanta vs Houston), I am picking NY vs LA. The Dodgers and Yankees have met in a World Series 11 times in their history. In this case, the LA Dodgers will continue to channel the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s and come up short once again. The Bronx Bombers take title number 28.
Wild Cards: Nationals over Brewers, Rays over Athletics.
Division Series: Braves over Cardinals, Dodgers over Nationals, Yankees over Twins, Astros over Rays.
Championship Series: Dodgers over Braves, Yankees over Astros.
World Series: Yankees over Dodgers.