Back in March of 2013, Daniel Shoptaw at C70 at the Bat polled the United Cardinal Bloggers for our season predictions. For both posterity and transparency, we now revisit our predictions, some of which were as on-target as a Shelby Miller fastball, and some of which were high and outside.
1. Where and when will Adam Wainwright sign his next contract and, for extra credit, for how much/long?
Our prediction: Before opening day, five years for $90 million.
What actually happened: Before opening day (Mar. 28), five years for $97.5 million
2. Who gets the fifth starter slot, Shelby Miller or Joe Kelly, and what happens to the loser?
Our prediction: Miller gets it, while Kelly works on pitching to lefthanders as a starter in Memphis (or at least he should).
What actually happened: Miller won the job and was in the rotation all year, and Kelly joined it Jul. 6 after making the opening-day roster and pitching in relief.
3. Who gets the first callup from Memphis?
Our prediction: Some LOOGy chucker. Matheny won’t be able to resist the urge to have a second lefty in the pen after Zep goes on the DL.
What actually happened: The first call-up was utility man Jermaine Curtis, whose contract the Cardinals bought when Matt Adams hit the DL on Apr. 26. Three days later, the team shipped Rzepczynski to Memphis and recalled Seth Maness, no LOOGy chucker, we hasten to admit.
4. What will be the final record of the Cards and where will they finish in the division? Will they get a wild card?
Our prediction: Ah, how it saddens us to read the indefinite article with “wild card.” In any case, we’ll call a tie between them and the Reds (92 wins) in some goofy deal like 2001. We do not hesitate to note that this prediction is considerably more bullish than most systems we’ve seen: Baseball Prospectus sees only 82 wins, Vegas 86 and one CAIRO-based projection 86. We base ours on a little homerism and the team’s recent Pythagorean record (and the inverse of Bill James’s idea that “When a team improves sharply one season they will almost always decline in the next”).
What actually happened: The Cardinals won the division outright with 97 wins. The Reds garnered one of the Wild Card spots with 90 wins.