Predictions Update (PT. 1) - Starting Pitchers

Now that baseball is resuming after the much needed All-Star break, let’s take a quick look at our predictions from before the start of the season to see how we’re doing…

In this summary, I’ll focus mostly on the quantifiable predictions we made and will give a quick analysis of each. 

For Part 1 of this quick series, we’ll look just at the starting pitching.

Starting Pitchers: 

Andy:  

PREDICTION- Masahiro Tanaka stays healthy and finally puts it all together for a Cy Young caliber season, going 18-5, 2.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 195 K. 

Analysis: Tanaka is 5-8 5.47 with a 1.37 WHIP and 103 strikeouts. 

PREDICTION- Michael Pineda continues to be streaky, but has a significantly better year than 2016 with an ERA under 4.00 while striking out 200+. 

Analysis:  Right now Pineda has a 4.39 ERA with 92 strikeouts.  This has a chance of coming true.

PREDICTION-  Luis Severino shows improvement, but doesn't eliminates chatter that he belongs in the bullpen, pitching to an ERA of 4.15, but striking out more than a batter per inning. 

Analysis:  Severino has actually pitched better than this prediction striking out 124 batters in 106.2 innings with a 3.54 ERA. 

***

Derek:  

PREDICTION-  Masahiro Tanaka to be great (200 innings and a 3 ERA, like last year).

Analysis:  At 102 innings, Tanaka can reach 200, but his 5.47 ERA is indicative of his less than stellar pitching.

PREDICTION - Michael Pineda will continue to be an enigma.

Analysis:  So true…so true!

PREDICTION-  CC Sabathia will regress from his solid 2016.

Analysis:  At 7-3, 3.81, I think CC is outperforming most expectations, even with the time missed due to injury.

PREDICTION-  I actually expect good things from the 4th and 5th starters, as I believe that sheer amount of young options they have will allow one or two of them to step up. Personally, I expect Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery to be most successful.

Analysis:  RIGHT ON!  Derek nailed this!

***

EJ:

PREDICTION-  CC Sabathia and Luis Severino will disappoint…

Analysis:  Sabathia and Severino have been solid.

PREDICTION-  But the Triple-A squad will ride to the rescue. Two of Jordan Montgomery, Chance Adams, and Dietrich Enns will have sub-4.00 ERAs.   One will be a candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.

Analysis:  There is still time for Adams and Enns and Montgomery (6-4, 3.65) has been very good.  He might have had a shot at Rookie of the Year if not for a guy named Judge. 

PREDICTION-  Tanaka will regress slightly as his lower strikeout rate catches up with him.

Analysis:  He regressed, no doubt.

Michael Pineda will bounce back, and put up an ERA near his FIP.

Analysis:  Pineda has been ok, and his FIP (4.65) and ERA (4.39) are close!

***

Paul S: 

PREDICTION -  Masahiro Tanaka will be the pitcher the Yankees hoped and dreamed of.  He will win 19 games (against only 6 losses) and be the stabilizing force on the staff.  

Analysis:  I was dreaming or hoping.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.

PREDICTION -  Michael Pineda will have a great April and May forcing everyone to dream and hope for a big season.  In the end, he'll disappoint and his record will be under .500 for the year. Pineda will end at 11-15 with an ERA over 4.25.  

Analysis:  This might still come true…

PREDICTION-  Severino will disappoint.  He will end the year with a  9-11 record and will spend most of 2018 in the minor leagues trying to fulfill his early promise.  

Analysis:  On this one, I am glad I was so wrong.  At 5-4, 3.54 with all the strikeouts, Severino is doing well!

PREDICTION-  C.C. Sabathia will be the Yankees second best starting pitcher and the baseball world be in awe when he ends the year with a 16-5 4.15 record at year's end.  

Analysis:  CC is 7-3 in half a season.  Double that and he’s 14-6.  That's close!  His ERA of 3.81 is better than predicted!

***

 Paul V

PREDICTION-  I expect Tanaka to be on point this year.  With his player option, he will be looking to have his best season to date. I predict 17-19 wins.  

Analysis:  We were all wrong on Tanaka.

PREDICTION-  If Sabathia can be consistently inconsistent and be on point at the right times, there’s nothing more you can ask.  

Analysis:  CC has been better than this!

PREDICTION-  I think Pineda will have his head on straight this year. Don’t get me wrong, he will have his crooked innings, but I expect them to be limited.

Analysis:  This has been a better year for Pineda…

PREDICTION-  Mitchell does not impress me, but his 5 starts last year give him the right to have a spot to start the season. Severino feels more like a bullpen arm, and when we get into the dog days of summer I expect Girardi to experiment.  Overall this staff does not excite and they will probably hover around league average all year.

Analysis:  The staff has been mediocre.  Severino, as we have seen, has been better than predicted.  Mitchell is in AAA.

***

William: 

PREDICTION-  Tanaka will be fine and should win fifteen games with a FIP around 3.50.

Analysis:  Tanaka’s FIP is 5.03.  We were all so hopeful…and so wrong!

PREDICTION-  If Sabathia and Pineda can be league average or better, I'll be surprised but happy.

Analysis:  I think William is surprised, and happy!

PREDICTION-  Announcing Severino in the rotation was a last minute mistake.

Analysis:  Severino has been a solid starting arm, maybe the best all year.

PREDICTION-  Montgomery is the next guy up.

Analysis:  Montgomery has done well!

 ***

OVERALL – As a staff of writers, all writing independently of each other, it seems we had similar visions heading into the season.  We had very high hopes for Tanaka.  We have not been sold on Pineda.  He had hopes that Sabathia might defy time, and we didn’t think Severino was the answer as a starting pitcher. 

We were all wrong about Tanaka.  He hasn’t been the pitcher the Yankees have needed this year.  Pineda and Sabathia have performed pretty much as we predicted.  Severino has been a very pleasant surprise. 

Those who mentioned Jordan Montgomery as a solid addition to the staff must be commended.  That was a good prediction!

(Next up… the bullpen.)