May 13, 2019

Q&A with Rob Neyer, author of POWER BALL: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game

Last year I received an advance copy of POWER BALL: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game and had a chance to speak with its author, Rob Neyer, someone I’ve been reading online for as long as I’ve known how to read.

In Power Ball, Neyer focuses on how the game has changed so much over the last 20 years, and he uses one September 2017 Astros-A's game (18 half-inning chapters) to weave this story into an enjoyable read for baseball fans.

While I am terribly late sharing this interview, I still think it’s worth sharing, as we get into some of the most contentious topics in the game today. The interview even foreshadows some rule changes that Major League Baseball announced in spring training for the 2020 season. 

Why should other fans buy your book?
This is an overview of all the ways that baseball has changed in the last 20 to 30 years. And when things happen gradually, as many of these have, it's easy to miss thing. You just sort of wake up and you look at the game, what's going on out there? Well, it's sort of gives an overview of what has gone on out there and how we got here. 

April 20, 2019

2019 MLB predictions: Judge, Frazier, Sabathia

Standouts from this year's predictions:
  • James Paxton wins the Cy Young (he pitched like a Cy Young winner against the Red Sox)
  • All four wild card winners are coming out of the East
  • Didi Gregorius and Troy Tulowitzki will combine for just 40 games played in the regular season
Last year I picked the Yankees to win it all, and the Red Sox won it. So of course, this year, I've learned from my mistakes.

AL East 
1. Red Sox
2. Yankees*
3. Rays*

4. Blue Jays
5. Orioles

Results from my 2018 MLB predictions

Of course, the one year I pick the Yankees to win it all the Red Sox win it instead.

Weakest silver lining ever: I'm pretty sure this is my first year getting both of the Rookie of the Year picks right.

AL East 
1. Red Sox CORRECT
2. Yankees* CORRECT
3. Orioles INCORRECT (Rays)

4. Blue Jays CORRECT
5. Rays INCORRECT (Orioles)

April 6, 2018

2018 MLB predictions: Judge, Stanton & Sanchez

For starters, this is my 10th annual MLB predictions post. I feel old.

I haven't picked the Yankees to win it all since my first two years on the job, and the first time I was right on the money. This year, the Yankees are actually a pretty safe bet to win it all, so I'll take my chances.

Better late than never! Let's get right down to it:

AL East 
1. Red Sox
2. Yankees*
3. Orioles

4. Blue Jays
5. Rays

AL Central 

1. Indians
2. Twins
3. Tigers
4. White Sox
5. Royals

AL West 
1. Astros
2. Angels*
3. Mariners
4. Rangers
5. Athletics 

NL East 

1. Nationals
2. Phillies
3. Mets
4. Braves
5. Marlins

NL Central 
1. Cubs
2. Brewers*
3. Cardinals
4. Pirates
5. Reds

NL West 
1. Dodgers
2. Rockies*
3. Diamondbacks
4. 
Padres
5. Giants

*Wild Card Winner 

Playoffs
AL Champion: Yankees
NL Champion: Nationals
World Series Champion: Yankees, 6 games

Awards
AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL MVP: Bryce Harper
AL Cy: Chris Sale
NL Cy: Max Scherzer
AL RoY: Shohei Otani
NL RoY: Ronald Acuña
AL Manager: Aaron Boone
NL Manager: Craig Counsell

Yankee Stats 
Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton & Gary Sanchez home runs: 126 
Giancarlo Stanton & Aaron Judge walks: 233
Giancarlo Stanton & Aaron Judge strikeouts: 322
Greg Bird games played: 98 
Gleyber Torres games played:: 43
Aaron Hicks runs: 86 – He'll be hitting leadoff before you know it
Luis Severino wins: 21
CC Sabathia ERA: 4.25
Aroldis Chapman saves: 29


Previous Predictions
2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

Results
2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

Results from my 2017 MLB predictions

Despite all of my reasons the Yankees could fail in 2018, they have the third shortest odds to win the World Series, right behind the Astros and the Dodgers.

Now that the season has begun, let's take a look at how I did on last year's predictions. I hit .260 (13/50).

My most impressive prediction last year was picking the Astros to win it all.

My least impressive? Saying Aaron Judge’s “too many strikeouts will lead to a demotion.” Ha!

AL East 
1. Red Sox CORRECT
2. Blue Jays* INCORRECT (Yankees)
3. Yankees* 
INCORRECT (Rays)
4. Orioles INCORRECT (Blue Jays)
5. Rays INCORRECT (Orioles)

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