Montreal Expos 96-46 (predicted 96-66)
Unless the Expos lose the next 20 games it's safe to say my prediction will be blown out of the water. My final predictions have them winning the NL and going to the World Series. Who's going to argue that point now?
Pittsburgh Pirates 78-64 (97-65)
New York Mets 76-66 (77-85)
Philadelphia Phillies 75-67 (60-102)
The Phillies and Mets have come on strong to make this a phenomenal pennant race! I underestimated both teams (by a LOT). The Phillies were supposed to be rebuilding and my "heart was breaking" for them. Jokes on me and my infamous words "if they finish out the cellar it will be a miracle". Someone call the Pope. Pitching has led the way with 24 year old Freddy Hughes, who won 17 games last year, is a CY candidate. The rest of the pitching has been stellar only allowing 591 runs.
Not to be outdone, the Mets have also done it with pitching, and have been slightly better than the Phils by only allowing 577 runs (best in the division). The biggest difference is blanch's team doesn't have "that guy" like the Hughes. They have 7 guys that have made 10 starts or more, and a closer by committee. Truly a team effort.
And now to the favorite. They struggled early and should have a HUGE lead. Instead they are in danger of not making the playoffs no less strolling to the division. The offense is still great, and the pitching is sufficient. They hold the second best OPS in the NL (to Cincy) and are third in runs scored. But when you look down the roster you see Adrian Ramsey at .900 but everyone else is just...SOLID. This team is dangerous top to bottom.
As you can see...this is a dog fight. I will be keeping a close eye on the division as summer winds down.
Florida Marlins 94-48 (101-61)
Have you met Ted? (a "how i met your mother" joke). The NL knows Ted pretty well. Looks like my prediction gets beat again. I had them as a playoff team but not playing in the NLCS. Could they be there instead of the Pirates or Expos? Looks like it...
San Diego Padres 74-68 (78-84)
Looks like the Padres have scratched their way to the top again. With 20 games left I don't see the Dodgers or Diamondbacks making a come back. I had high hopes for the Dodgers (my real life favorite team, as you all know), but it's just bad luck that they are not in the race (their predicted w/l puts them over .500, but they are currently 10 games under. WTH? is the call from Chavez Ravine.)
And my favorite whipping boy tmantom would feel left out if I didn't include him after the last few painfully cruel season predictions. I predicted 68-94 by playing Alex Gabriel in RF. They are going to finish pretty close to that. Gabriel currently has 5 assists, 6 errors, and 11 negative plays. There is no telling how many runs that is, but maybe it would be enough to be at .500? Either way the experts on the boards are touting this strategy and I can't say that is the reason they will finish in the cellar.
1. New York Mets
2. Phiadelphia Phillies
Cubs 74-68, 1 game back.
Good for the Cubs!!! I predicted 75 wins and they are about to jump that. Could this mean a spot in the playoffs? ****if you are brave enough to the end to see my take on the Cubs offense vs defense and how it helped/hurt. So, unless you are a sabermetrics goon like me, or want to tangle your mind around stats don't scroll down****
Cardinals 73-69, 2 games back.
I predicted 86-76 for this team and really they should be. 686 runs scored vs 607 allowed is 80 runs. At this point they should have 78 to 80 wins. It's not too late, and cyben has done it before.
Braves 69-73, 6 games back.
Not out of it, but they need help and have a lot of work to do. I had them winning 82 and that's looking like an accurate prediction.
Dodgers 66-76, 9 games back.
The long shot horse. Do you believe in miracles?
now the nerdy Cubs stuff
I have to go back to my original prediction. With decent defense where would this team be? Descalso is in RF with 7 errors and 14 negative plays. Perry is at short with 26 errors and 12 negative plays Cash is at 3rd with 12 errors and 5 negative plays. If you were to subtract the offensive production from the runs obviously lost by poor defensive play, where would this team be??? This is COMPLETELY subjective:
Descalso: 103 runs created minus 10 runs lost
Perry: 80 runs created minus 15runs lost
Cash:48 runs created minus 5runs lost
The difference would be 30 runs...or 2.5 wins. The BIG question...would 3 other players with replacement level hitting skills but superior defensive skills do better? Cash is basically replacement level so let's say 45 runs is a replacement level hitter.
45*3 = 135 runs (barely making it past Descalso by himself).
RF = 0-10 runs (avg-superior)
SS = 5-20 runs
3b = 0-10 runs
= 5 to 40 runs. With superior fielders 135 + 40 = 175. With current lineup 231-30 =201. Looks like the Cubs are breaking even and have a good chance at the playoffs.