Baseball is impossible to predict. That’s one of the reasons a season is so fun.
If we go back to February, with Opening Day weeks away, DraftKings Sportsbook tried to predict the total wins each of the 30 teams would have. The odds had the Dodgers in the highest (101.5) and the Pirates in the pit (59.5), but a lot has happened since then.
Now, with the regular season wrapping up this weekend and the playoffs just around the corner, it’s a good time to review those forecasts.
Here, the biggest disappointments of the season.
Preseason prediction: 74.5
Current wins: 50 (-24.5)
Although the D-backs were not expected to qualify for the postseason in a tough NL West, projections leading up to this season could not visualize all the problems the team would have in 2021. Arizona started well (14-12 in April), but the subsequent collapse was severe (12-56 between May 1 and July 17, including a 17-game losing streak). Now, their fight is to see who will select first in the 2022 Amateur Draft, them or the Orioles.
Pre-season prediction: 84.5
Current wins: 65 (-19.5)
There was hope that the Nationals could fight again with their three pitching greats (Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin). Instead, Strasburg barely pitched product to injury, Corbin has an ERA close to 6.00, and Scherzer was traded before the Trade Deadline (along with Trea Turner), adding his 3,000th lifetime strikeout in a Los Angeles uniform. Dodgers. Juan José Soto has had another historic season in Washington, but on top of that, the Nationals have not done well at all.
Pre-season prediction: 88.5
Current wins: 71 (-17.5)
Between 2019 and 2020, the Twins went 137-85 (.617) and won the AL Central in consecutive years. There was reason to think that, at the very least, they would compete harder with the White Sox. But after starting with a 5-2 record, things fell apart quickly in Minnesota, which ended up switching to two mainstays of the club, Nelson Cruz and Puerto Rican José Berríos.
Pre-season prediction: 94.5
Current wins: 78 (-16.5)
One of the biggest questions this spring was whether the Padres could compete with the Dodgers. The projections continued to favor Los Angeles, but in addition to them, there was only one team (the Yankees) projected with more wins than the Padres. That forecast seemed accurate in the first third of the year, but San Diego fell behind Los Angeles and the surprise Giants were the ones who ended up ending the Padres’ playoff aspirations.
Pre-season prediction: 90.5
Current wins: 76 (-15.5)
Hopes were high in the face of an apparent new era of Mets baseball, with owner Steve Cohen at the helm and the arrival of Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor in Queens. But Lindor did not have the debut that was expected with New York and the races were difficult to produce in the Big Apple. When Jacob deGrom – who was on his way to his third Cy Young Award – had to be absent for the rest of the season since July, it all fell apart. The Mets still led a lackluster NL East in early August, but that quickly faded.