MLB: Is the season half-empty or half-full? (Part 1)

By Andy Harris, WSOE Sports

So which kind of person are you?  Are you a pessimistic Blue Jays fan who longs for the sunny days of April and the divisional lead your team then held, or are you not only a realist fan of another club but an optimistic one who is looking forward to the thrilling pennant races and October baseball?  You can count me in the latter.  Although I can commiserate with Jays fans because my team was playing a lot better in April as well.  Regardless, we’re just past the halfway point of the season and I think now is the time for me to review my preseason divisional predictions, and more or less lament my lack of precognition.  Man, to be Ms. Cleo…

Dodgers' Matt Kemp and teammates celebrate his home run.  Courtesy of: daylife.com

Dodgers' Matt Kemp and teammates celebrate one of his home runs. Courtesy of: daylife.com

NL West, Preseason Prediction:
1.)    Los Angeles Dodgers of Anaheim
2.)    San Fran Baseball Giants
3.)    Arizona Diamondbags
4.)    Colorado Rockies
5.)    San Diego Padres

NL West, Current Standings:
1.)    Los Angeles Dodgers of Anaheim
2.)    San Fran Baseball Giants
3.)    Colorado Rockies
4.)    Arizona Diamondbags
5.)    San Diego Padres

What I did right:

– Predicting the Dodgers and Giants would go 1-2.  I’m really proud of this one actually.  Granted, the fact that I butchered the other 3 spots in the division keeps me humble.  The popular belief was that the Dodgers and Diamondbags (if anyone can figure out why I call them that they win a cookie) would duke it out for the division crown, but I really didn’t see much that I liked in Arizona.  An overrated ace in Webb, a bad bullpen, and some overhyped young guys misconstrued as “prospects.”  I actually liked the Giants this year, but I didn’t think they’d be THIS good (49-41).  I loved their starting pitching, but the real reason for the team’s success is that bullpen.  I’m not sure if a team that has scored fewer runs than the Washington Nationals can keep this up, but with that pitching, they could be awfully dangerous in the playoffs.

What I did wrong:

-Underestimated the Rockies.  Seriously, what is it with the Rockies and their propensity to play out of their mind for 3 weeks?  Does any other team go on ridiculous tears this often?  Like, legitimately, I can’t think of another mediocre team that gets this unfathomably hot for long stretches.  If I wrote this 5 weeks ago, I’d be telling you the Rockies were awful, because they were sitting at 20-30, last place in the NL West, and 13.5 games back. All they’ve done since is go 29-12 with an 11 game win streak and moved to third, improving their record to 49-42.  However, I won’t let numbers and records and facts get in the way of my stubbornness- I still don’t think this is a good team.  A .500 team, sure.  But not anything more than a playoff dark horse.  Offensively, Brad Hawpe is simply playing above his head.  Todd Helton is always one bad swing away from the DL.  Ubaldo Jiminez is a young and very talented pitcher, but he’s way too inconsistent to avoid a slump before the season is out.  The Rockies starting pitching has recorded 52 quality starts this year- good for 3rd in the NL.  You really want to tell me that a Colorado team has the 3rd best starting pitching in the NL?  I mean, their #2 pitcher is Jason Marquis.  (But he’s an All-Star!)  They’re 12th in the NL in K/9, and 9th in K/BB.  In short, this roster is due for a lot of regression, especially their starting pitching.  They’ll finish above .500 because of their hot June, but don’t let them fool you.  There won’t be another Rocktober.  Am I just a bitter Phillies fan, still furious about the 2007 NLDS?  Yes.  Yes I am.

 

Contact Information:
Andy Harris
WSOE Sports
aharris20@elon.edu

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