Revisiting My 23 Predictions for 2023...
OK, we’re heading into September now … and it seems like a pretty good time to revisit the 23 absurd and haphazard predictions I made going into the season.
Prediction 1: By June, maybe earlier, we’ll stop worrying about the rule changes.
Accuracy grade: A
I’ve looked ahead — I don’t get many good grades on these predictions. But I’ll give myself an A on this one. We’re so used to MLB messing stuff up that it’s actually a little bit jarring how well they pulled off the rule changes. The league held firm on enforcement. The players mostly bought in. The pace is so much more urgent and energetic. The stolen base is back. Defenders are playing actual positions again. And it feels natural now.
Prediction 2: Trea Turner will win the National League MVP
Accuracy grade: D
Turner’s season is utterly inexplicable to me. I’m going to avoid the F, I think, because he’s been good this month — he’s hitting .301/.348/.548 with five homers and a couple of steals — and he’ll probably end up doing enough good things (he’s 23 for 23 stealing bases, for example) to end up with something close to three WAR, which is certainly no disaster. But, I mean, the guy has a 93 OPS+, he has struggled some defensively, everything just feels off. I don’t know if the pressure of a big-money contract has affected him or if he has just been adjusting to his new digs in Philly. But this was a big miss.
Prediction 3: Patrick Corbin will lead the league in losses for the third straight year.
Accuracy grade: C-
On July 4, Corbin lost his 10th game of the season, and this seemed like an absolutely golden prediction. But he has made eight starts since then and only taken the loss in one of them — he’s now two losses behind three pitchers, and the chances of him taking the title seems pretty remote. Corbin has pitched particularly well in his last four starts — at least by ERA. Check this out.
ERA last four starts: 2.70
FIP last four starts: 6.57
How do you explain that? Well, in 23 innings, he has 17 strikeouts, he has walked 11 and he has allowed six home runs — none of those numbers are good. But his batting average against on balls in play over those four game is a stunningly low .167. It’s probably not a long-term plan, but, yeah, if you can turn 83% of balls in play into outs, you’ll probably have some success in this league.
Prediction 4: Someone is going to steal 60 bases this year (ah, let’s be bold, someone is to steal 70 bases this year).
Accuracy grade: A (C).
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial