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Fish Stripes 2017 predictions review: How did we do?

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Dishing out credit and shame in equal helpings.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Miami Marlins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Back at the beginning of the season, we came together as a staff to try and predict what the outcomes would be for various awards and division/playoff results. These things are always tricky as so many things go down during a season that aren’t necessarily foreseeable (injuries, hot/cold streaks, teams collapsing and/or being competitive out of nowhere), but we bravely put ourselves out there on a limb anyway, because why not. Baseball is a game after all and what is a game if we can’t have fun with it?

Before we get to our staff predictions here at Fish Stripes, let’s go over what actually happened:

AL MVP: Jose Altuve

NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton

AL ROTY: Aaron Judge

NL ROTY: Cody Bellinger

NL East Winner: Washington Nationals

NL Central Winner: Chicago Cubs

NL West Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers

NL Wild Card #1: Arizona Diamondbacks

NL Wild Card #2: Colorado Rockies

AL East Winner: Boston Red Sox

AL Central Winner: Cleveland Indians

AL West Winner: Houston Astros

AL Wild Card #1: New York Yankees

AL Wild Card #2: Minnesota Twins

World Series Matchup: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series Winner: Houston Astros

Marlins Record: 77-85

Marlins playoffs: No :(

AL CY: Corey Kluber

NL CY: Max Scherzer

I think the main surprise in that bunch is that the Minnesota Twins made the playoffs, coming off a 100 loss season. There are two other “surprises” that stick out to me. Cody Bellinger winning the National League Rookie of the Year was something that no one saw coming, as the Dodgers began the year with grizzled veteran Adrian Gonzalez firmly entrenched at first base.

The other surprise in my book was Giancarlo Stanton winning the NL MVP. Not that I didn’t think him capable, but I’d be a bold-faced liar if I said I saw it coming. No, I was expecting more of what we’d see from him the past few years: Flashes of brilliance, stretches of ineptitude, some time on the DL.

Apparently I wasn’t alone in this assessment: No one else on staff selected Stanton to win the MVP.

As far as the divisions/playoffs went, here’s a little snippet from that prediction’s piece to let you know where our collective minds were at (hint: we largely went with the safe bets).

“Unsurprisingly, not everything was a hot take. Almost everyone picked the Cubs to win the NL Central and the Indians to win the AL Central. Most believe we’ll be seeing those two teams again in the World Series, with the Indians gaining some sweet revenge.”

Well, uh, that didn’t happen, obviously. Here are the predictions laid out in full:

Fish Stripes 2017 Staff Predictions

Writer AL MVP NL MVP AL ROTY NL ROTY NL East Winner NL Central Winner NL West Winner NL WC #1 NL WC#2 AL East Winner AL Central Winner AL West Winner AL WC #1 AL WC #2 World Series matchup World Series Champion Marlins Record Marlins playoffs AL CY NL CY
Writer AL MVP NL MVP AL ROTY NL ROTY NL East Winner NL Central Winner NL West Winner NL WC #1 NL WC#2 AL East Winner AL Central Winner AL West Winner AL WC #1 AL WC #2 World Series matchup World Series Champion Marlins Record Marlins playoffs AL CY NL CY
Scott Gelman Greg Bird Clayton Kershaw Yoan Moncada Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Dodgers Cardinals Mets Red Sox Indians Astros Rangers Yankees Cubs vs. Yankees Cubs 80-82 No Chris Sale Clayton Kershaw
Thomas B. Carlos Correa Nolan Arenado Mitch Haniger Dansby Swanson Mets Cubs Rockies Dodgers Nationals Blue Jays Indians Astros Tigers Yankees Cubs vs. Indians Indians 75-87 No Corey Kluber Noah Syndergaard
Kevin K. Mookie Betts Kris Bryant Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson MARLINS!! Cubs Dodgers Rockies Nationals Red Sox Royals Rangers Astros Indians Nationals vs. Rangers Nationals 91-71 Yes Chris Sale Clayton Kershaw
Connor N. Manny Machado Christian Yelich Andrew Benintendi Tyler Glasnow Mets Cubs Dodgers Nationals Marlins Red Sox Indians Astros Blue Jays Orioles Mets vs. Astros Mets 88-74 Yes Felix Hernandez Clayton Kershaw
Andrew Meyer Mike Trout Yoenis Cespedes Yoan Moncada Dansby Swanson Mets Cubs Dodgers Nationals Rockies Blue Jays Indians Astros Rangers Mariners Dodgers vs. Indians
Aram Leighton Mookie Betts Bryce Harper Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Mets Cubs Dodgers Cardinals Pirates Red Sox Indians Astros Yankees Orioles Cubs vs. Red Sox Red Sox 79-83 No Danny Duffy Clayton Kershaw
Carmine D. Jose Altuve Bryce Harper Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Mets Cubs Giants Dodgers Rockies Red Sox Indians Astros Rangers Yankees Cubs vs. Red Sox Cubs 76-86 No
Daniel Smith Mookie Betts Corey Seager Yoan Moncada Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Dodgers Cardinals Mets Red Sox Indians Astros Blue Jays Yankees Cubs vs. Red Sox Red Sox 78-84 No Chris Sale Madison Bumgarner
David Phillips Mike Trout Bryce Harper Yoan Moncada Manuel Margot Nationals Cubs Dodgers Mets Giants Blue Jays Indians Rangers Red Sox Tigers Nationals vs. Indians Indians 77-85 No Yu Darvish Noah Syndergaard
Dylan G. Mookie Betts Nolan Arenado Yoan Moncada Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Dodgers Giants Mets Red Sox Indians Rangers Blue Jays Astros Cubs vs. Indians Indians 79-83 No Corey Kluber Noah Syndergaard
Ely Sussman Francisco Lindor Paul Goldschmidt Mitch Haniger Robert Stephenson Nationals Pirates Dodgers Cubs Diamondbacks Blue Jays Indians Astros Mariners Rays Blue Jays vs. Dodgers Dodgers 74-88 No Chris Archer Clayton Kershaw
Isaac Goodwin Mike Trout Freddie Freeman Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Giants Dodgers Rockies Blue Jays Indians Mariners Astros Red Sox Cubs vs. Indians Indians 78-84 No Chris Sale Clayton Kershaw
Jackson Bruce Mookie Betts Bryce Harper Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Giants Mets Rockies Red Sox Indians Astros Mariners Rangers Red Sox vs. Nationals Nationals 81-81 No
Jack McElduff Edwin Encarnacion Nolan Arenado Andrew Benintendi Tyler Glasnow Nationals Cubs Dodgers Rockies Giants Red Sox Indians Astros Blue Jays Mariners Indians vs. Cubs Indians No
John B. Mike Trout Corey Seager Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Dodgers Giants Mets Blue Jays Indians Mariners Astros Red Sox Indians vs. Dodgers Indians 79-83 No Danny Duffy Clayton Kershaw
Justin Brands Mike Trout Corey Seager Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Dodgers Giants Mets Red Sox Indians Astros Blue Jays Mariners Dodgers vs. Indians 84-78 No Chris Sale Noah Syndergaard
Seth Guttman Gary Sanchez Yoenis Cespedes Andrew Benintendi Robert Gsellman Mets Cubs Dodgers Nationals Pirates Red Sox Indians Astros Tigers Yankees Astros vs. Dodgers Dodgers 83-79 No Corey Kluber Clayton Kershaw
Tim H. Carlos Correa Anthony Rizzo Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Nationals Cardinals Giants Cubs Dodgers Red Sox Indians Astros Rangers Orioles Red Sox vs. Giants Red Sox
James H. Mike Trout Bryce Harper Andrew Benintendi Dansby Swanson Nationals Cubs Dodgers Mets Marlins Orioles Indians Astros Tigers Royals Nationals vs. Indians Indians 86-76 Yes Chris Sale Clayton Kershaw
Fish Stripes 2017 staff predictions

MVPs

On the money: Carmine DiPalma correctly selected Jose Altuve as the AL MVP, but everyone else failed on both leagues.

Nice try: I’ll give Connor Newcomb credit for trying to give the Miami Marlins good vibes with the Christian Yelich pick.

Way off: Former editor-in-chief Scott Gelman is right to be high on Greg Bird, but the talented first baseman had a rough sophomore campaign, hitting .190/.288/.422 in an injury shortened season.

CY Youngs

On the money: Dylan Goldman, Seth Guttman and — ahem — yours truly hit on Corey Kluber in the AL. Nobody selected the NL’s winner, Max Scherzer.

Nice try: A handful of us went with Noah Syndergaard, who remains a good bet to win it in the future and probably would’ve been in the running had injuries not decimated his season. Tip of the hat to Aram Leighton who was the only guy to zero in on Danny Duffy; while he didn’t win, he did come away with a very respectable 3.4 fWAR season.

Way off: I love me some Felix Hernandez as much as the next guy, but King Felix simply hasn’t been a dominant pitcher for a couple seasons now (3.9 fWAR in 2015-2016, 0.4 fWAR last year after putting up six straight seasons of at least 4.8 fWAR). Ely Sussman’s pick, in that light, comes off as more of a desperation lob from half court than anything else.

ROTYs

On the money: No one. Judge and Bellinger quite literally smashed through the field and none of us had the foresight to see it coming. Baseball!

Nice try: It was easy to select Andrew Benintendi and he indeed performed well, but David Phillips’ pick of Manuel Margot was solid, out of the box thinking. He struggled a bit offensively but made up for it enough in the outfield to garner an end of the year 1.9 fWAR contribution.

Way off: Connor and Jack McElduff’s pick of Tyler Glasnow was certainly justifiable given the pedigree, but it ended up backfiring in a big way after Glasnow had himself a horrid year (7.69 ERA/6.30 FIP).

Division/WC winners

On the money: Scott and Daniel Smith both nailed all six division winners and at least one wild card (New York Yankees, though they both picked them to be the #2 instead of #1). Bonus points to Ely for being the only guy to select the Arizona Diamondbacks to reach the post-season as a Wild Card (though, again, as the #2 instead of #1).

Nice try: Connor, James Harrison and Kevin Kraczkowski get bonus points for selecting the Marlins to break the playoff drought (Connor and James had them as the second wild card while Kevin had them winning the division). Kevin and James also selected the Kansas City Royals to reach the playoffs, which, they didnt, but they at least ended up with a near .500 record and within shooting distance of a playoff spot. Ditto Ely’s pick of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Way off: I can’t pillory half my staff and not take a shot at myself, and this seems the best spot to do it. I had the Mets (70-92) winning the NL East, the Toronto Blue Jays (76-86) winning the AL East, and the Detroit Tigers(!) (64-98) winning the #1 WC in the American League. What a fool!

World Series matchup/champion

On the money: Seth was the only guy who got the matchup right, though he picked the Los Angeles Dodgers to win it all. Daniel would join him later in our playoff predictions post, and Jesse Nieves (who joined the staff after the first predictions article) correctly selected the Houston Astros as the ultimate winner.

Nice try: Justin Brands, John Butterworth, Andrew Meyer and Ely all at least picked the Dodgers to reach the World Series, while Connor had the Astros getting there.

Way off: Ely, Connor, and Tim Hoffmeister all had the ignominy of selecting a team to reach the World Series who didn’t even make the playoffs (Blue Jays, Mets, and San Francisco Giants, respectively), but someone has to get the worst pick, and that someone is Kevin, who chose the Rangers as the AL representative (didn’t make the playoffs) versus the Washington Nationals (have never reached the World Series).

Marlins record

On the money: David was the only staff member to hit the record on the nose (77-85).

Nice try: Isaac Goodwin, Daniel and Carmine were all a game away from hitting the mark.

Way off: Kevin in his eternal optimism pegged the team at 91-71, though it’s hard to fault him for that. We’re all Marlins fans, after all.