10 bold predictions – midway update

At the start of the season, in my first post on this blog, I made 10 predictions for how I thought the Blue Jays season would go. The link is here for anyone that doesn’t have the post permanently etched in their memories.

Now that we’re at the halfway point I figured I’d look back on those predictions and see just how (in)accurate I have been.

So, here they are in brief form (read more details on each predicition by clicking the link):

PREDICTION #1: The Jays will once again exceed expectations and win more games than last year.

I had predicted the team’s win total at 88 games. The Jays ended up finishing 45-47 in the first half. That means there are 70 games left in the season and if the team is to hit my predicted goal, they will have to go  43-27 in the second half. Possible? Sure. Likely? No. I think I may have missed the mark on this one.

PREDICTION #2: Jose Bautista will regress towards the mean 

Where is this man's ceiling?

Well then, apparently Bautista will not only not regress towards the mean, he will push his ceiling even higher. I predicted he would have 35 homeruns, well, I was referencing the entire season, whereas Joey Bats has already tagged 31 long balls at the halfway mark.

I predicted once again that he would have a lower batting average, but it would be excused by his good eye and high OBP. Well, he just decided to go ahead and couple that high OBP with a high AVG this year as well, no big deal.

Quite glad to be wrong on this one!

PREDICTION #3:Travis Snider will be the team’s MVP

Soooo, am I losing credibility by the second? Although Snider is back in the majors and hopefully for good, his extended trip down to Las Vegas (as well as Jose Bautista’s awesomeness) will keep him quite far away from being an MVP candidate, unless of course that will stand for Most Valuable Pedo Mustache.

Prior to the season I predicted a slash line of .270/.345/.490 and a generous prediction of 40 homeruns. At this point I think he still could turn his second half around to make that predicted slash line, but obviously 40 homeruns is out of reach. Let’s hope for 15 to 20.

PREDICTION #4: Toronto’s bullpen will return to being one of the AL’s best

Let's hope we see more of this from Francisco in the second half.

I had guessed that the Jays team bullpen ERA would be top 5 in the AL and while I am struggling to find that statistic on Baseball Reference right now, I think it’s safe to say that is not the case, thanks largely to the failures of guys like Frank Francisco and subar performances from the likes of Shawn Camp and Jon Rauch.

This could turn around in the second half, but for the first time in a while, the bullpen seems to be more of a concern than a strength.

PREDICTION #5: The Jays will actually be sellers at the trade deadline

Too early to tell as we’re still in advance of the July 31 deadline, but early indications are good as the team has already cut ties with the likes of over underperforming veteran Juan Rivera, which is a move that likely never would have happened under the past general manager.

PREDICTION #6. Roy Halladay will return to pitch at the SkyDome, will flirt with a no hitter. Thankfully won’t get treated like garbage, I hope

Well, on the latter part of this prediction, Jays fans didn’t let me down, as Halladay was treated with the respect and admiration he deserved when he rolled back into Toronto.

Halladay didn’t flirt with a no hitter, but he did dominate en route to a complete game 5-3 win. Vintage Halladay.

PREDICTION #7: J.P. Arencibia’s transition to the major league starter won’t be seamless

Moving a bit into the negative, I predicted there would be some road bumps in our catcher of the future’s full-time transition to the big show. I wasn’t completely wrong in this case, he certainly hasn’t been raking like he did last year in the PCL, but his first half was better than I predicted.

I predicted about a .230 batting average and 12 homeruns. I’ve been pleasantly proven run on the power thing, he is already at 12 homeruns, but I’m not far off on the batting average thus far, as he is hitting .222, while OPS-ing a borderline respectable .714. Here’s an interesting fact, and something I wouldn’t have predicted, Jose Molina is OPS-ing .825 through the first half of the season.

PREDICTION #8: Brett Lawrie is not nearly as good as you think he is. Calm down

This was basically a prediction meant to temper people’s expectations who were just expecting Captain Canada to come up to Toronto and just beat the ball around like it’s little league, en route to Cooperstown. This one is still inconclusive, as he has assuredly proven himself to be a stellar AAA player with a .354/.415/.677 slash line, with 15 homeruns.

That being said, an injury slowed down his major league arrival, so we’ll still have to wait and see in the second half what kind of major leaguer he ends up being in his first season.

It will be interesting to see how well Lawrie does in the second half. (Al Messerschmidt - Getty Images)

PREDICTION #9. One of Ricky Romero/Brett Cecil and/or Kyle Drabek will put up a serious Cy Young-esque or ROY (Drabek) season

I cast a wide net on this prediction in hopes of finding a hit. Man, I’m apparently the worst predictor ever.

Brett Cecil – awful start to the season, sent to the minors.

Kyle Drabek – awful start to the season, still in the minors

Ricky Romero – is having a great season, but unless he tears it up in the second half, a Cy Young probably isn’t a realistic expectation.

PREDICTION #10. Adam Lind/Aaron Hill return to being good major leaguers

I didn’t put specific numbers on this prediction, just to say that both these men would bounce back and start contributing to the team in meaningful ways again.

Adam Lind? Check! He has been a very pleasant surprise with a .300/.349/.515 first half that 16 homeruns, despite time on the DL.

Aaron Hill? Last year he had a rough season, but at least hit homeruns. This year he is having a rough season, and isn’t hitting homeruns. His future in Toronto seems murky and unfortunately he hasn’t regained his stroke yet, posting a pretty underwhelming .234/.279/.328 slash line with only 4 homeruns.

So there you have it, my predictions. Stick to my day job, I guess?

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