With MLB awards season having come and gone last week, we now have full results from the 2021 campaign. That means we can finally go back and review our preseason predictions. Josh took the crown during the shortened season; could he start a new dynasty?
If you want to score yourself at home, we awarded one point for each correct slot in the standings. For numerical predictions, we awarded two points for the closest guess, and three points for being exactly right. Correct guesses on player awards and leaders received two points.
2021 AL Standings
Every single one of us predicted a Yankee division crown, and every one of us were wrong. Hardly any of us even saw the Red Sox playing a role in this year’s edition of the AL East, with only three calling for Boston to finish as high as third. Of course, the division was a terror this year, and predicting it proved as tall a task winning it.
Almost half of us called for a Twins victory, and that, uh, didn’t quite come to pass. Minnesota’s fall from first to worst in the central threw off quite a few of our predictions, but most of us at least did see Chicago’s success coming.
Three divisions in, and we still have yet to see anyone really come close to nailing it. Here, a shocking Mariners campaign shook things up. Seattle’s underlying numbers looked pretty unimpressive all year, but that matters little in the standings, as their 90-win season shocked all of us except for perhaps Dan, the only one to put Seattle as high as third.
2020 NL Standings
Remember when we thought the Mets would be good? 2021 looked like it would be a banner year for New York baseball, and while the Yankees kinda sorta held up their end of the bargain, the Mets flamed out for 77 wins and made our NL East calls look foolish. Few of us saw the Nationals going down as hard as they did; credit Matt for being the only one to put Washington in last.
No one can say we didn't see the Pirates’ miserable season coming. For the most part, we foresaw the Brewers/Cardinals 1-2 punch in the central, though only a few of us were able to get the order exactly right at the top. Excellent job by Andres, who had our only perfect division call this season.
And now, we have one of the more remarkable prediction charts I’ve ever seen. Only one of us got even one of the NL West teams in the right slot, with Kunj calling for the Dodgers to finish second. This has to be some sort of PSA record for inaccurate prognostication, and it makes sense that it was forced by the Giants’ absolutely stunning 107-win campaign.
Miscellaneous Yankees Statistics
The biggest miss we see here is that of DJ LeMahieu’s batting average. All of us thought the 2020 MVP candidate would bat at least .300, with his actual .268 figure leaving us sorely disappointed. We also all overshot Gerrit Cole’s strikeout total, though most of that boils down to the ace missing chunks of time in the latter half of the season.
2021 Yankees leaders
It’s not fun to recall that some of us predicted Gleyber Torres would lead the Yankees in home runs, with the knowledge that Torres would hit just nine in 2021. Some of us quite reasonably called for an excellent Judge season, and he of course obliged. No one saw Jonathan Loáisiga’s breakout coming, however.
Miscellaneous MLB Statistics
It’s a shame Kunj’s 161-win projection for the Yankees didn’t quite pan out. We all thought either the Dodgers or Yankees would lead MLB in wins, but of course, no one pegged the Giants. It’s a bit surprising only one of us called for the Orioles to pace MLB in terms of losses.
2021 MLB Leaders
One wonders what kind of odds were on Salvador Perez of all people leading the majors in homers this year. Perez tied Vlad Guerrero Jr. with 48 dingers, roughly double what most projection systems had for him in 2021. In all, this is another pretty ugly table, as precisely none of us correctly predicted any of the major league leaders.
2021 MLB Awards
Nice job by John resisting the urge to predict Mike Trout as MVP, nailing Shohei Ohtani as AL MVP. We also had a few correct calls with Randy Arozarena, but after running a 6.62 ERA during the shortened 2020 season, Robbie Ray took us by surprise with his excellent 2021.
A complete whiff here, though in our defense, Juan Soto nearly walked away with the NL MVP award, and Jacob deGrom very well may have taken home another Cy Young with anything resembling good health. Jonathan India, well, we didn’t see his strong rookie campaign coming.
2021 Playoff Results
Nice job by Tom as the only one to predict a Braves pennant. There were plenty of Dodgers/Braves NLCS calls as well, though our ALCS predictions left plenty to be desired (please avert your eyes from my Yankees/Twins projection).
Overall Staff Results
Simply put, there was carnage this year. Andrew takes his first-ever prediction title, as the only one of us to even clear 20 points. This was an unusually brutal year to predict, with stunning seasons from the Giants and Mariners, as well as big disappointments from teams like the Mets and Padres, leaving our projections twisting in the wind.
Even if we were pretty off the mark this year, it’s always fun, and a worthwhile exercise, to reflect on what we thought would happen prior to the year. How did everyone else do in trying to forecast a wild 2021 season?
Thanks to the champ himself, Andrew Mearns, for tallying this year’s results