Over on another blog site – before I was reborn here – I made a set of Over/Under predictions about how the Braves’ year would go. This was done way back before Spring Training games even started – February 18th. In each case, I declared ‘Over’ or ‘Under’ of the suggested value for each question – then added my own ‘actuals guess’ in parentheses in many cases. So just for fun, let’s see how I did…
UNDER – Brian McCann Games Started at Catcher…120 (115). Not sure exactly what the actual number was, and I’m too lazy to dig through the game logs to determine which appearances were starts vs. pinch-hit appearances. Nonetheless, he only saw 102 games of action in any role. This was an easy call: it was UNDER… though even at that, I over-estimated the actual. Nonetheless: CORRECT.
UNDER- Dan Uggla OPS…. .750 (.800+). I apparently made a typo here: should have read ‘700+’ since I said ‘Under’. The ‘Under’ declaration (made at the time) was correct. Wish it had been at least .700, as it turns out – .671 was the actual figure. CORRECT.
UNDER- HR from the OF (all OF, starter and bench)…95. Another typo, as I failed to even supply a guess on this one. Found a note in which I was hoping for 82, though. The actual number was not even close, as nobody even hit 30 bombs on the entire team. Too bad, for after the first months, you might have thought Justin would have been a lock for 30. He finished with 27. The outfield as a whole? 75 was the actual. CORRECT.
UNDER- SB from the OF…85 (82). I did think this would be a lot closer – it seemed that the team would finally start an actual running game this year. Pffft. Who would have guessed that Jordan Schafer would get the lion’s share with 22 steals?? The answer was a paltry 53. Nonetheless, I was still right. CORRECT.
UNDER- Simmons BA…. .290 (.270). Both numbers were pretty optimistic; he came in at .248. CORRECT.
UNDER- Team SB…112 (95). See earlier explanation for this. Again, I was right, but for the wrong reason. The Braves ended up 24th in steals with a pedestrian 64. CORRECT.
OVER – 3B SLG… .432 (“nice pick – .444″). It was a nice pick. Now who knew in mid-February that Juan Francisco wouldn’t contribute much to this, but the number was still practically dead on: .435. I’m still going to claim credit for success: CORRECT.
PUSH- XBH by P…5 (I say exactly 5). Pitcher’s extra base hits. Here’s where I started getting cocky… I decided that this would be the exact number. Well, that was a bad idea. There were twelve - with three guys getting homers. STUPID WRONG.
PUSH – # of Brave hitters with >120 strikeouts…5 (I say exactly 5). I almost looked like a genius on this one, calculating that the Uptons, Uggla, and Heyward were mortal locks while I’d get one more someplace. It was close. Chris Johnson finished with 116, and Freddi Freeman had 121 to sneak into that fraternity. Heyward’s absences took him out of the running (73), so the actual answer was 4. WRONG.
OVER - OBP of 2B/SS (all)… .327 (.335). Bad pick here: .312 for second base; .296 for SS. Clearly, this is a result of Uggla’s horrible year plus Simmons’ general plate discipline. WRONG.
UNDER - Gattis MLB PA in 2013…199 (140). Wow. I thought he’d do well, but also figured (back in February, of course) that he’d go back to AAA once McCann got back. The Bulldog Being garnered 382 major league plate appearances this year! EPIC WRONG.
OVER - Braves hitters in AS game…2.5 (3). The answer was technically “2”… and we had to work hard for both of them (Freeman via the fan vote; then Brian McCann replaced him) I had the feeling that we’d get 3 of [McCann, Justin, Freeman, Heyward, BJ] in there. No dice. WRONG.
OVER - Braves hitters receiving MVP votes…0.5 (the single easiest bar to leap). Didn’t matter what guess I made: 1 vote-getter wins it. Okay, the ballots won’t be revealed for another couple of weeks, but this one should be in the bag – Freddie Freeman will get some votes. I’ll go ahead and declare myself CORRECT.
PUSH - Braves pitchers with a save…4 (exactly 4; thx to extra inning games). BULLSEYE. The question-asker was correct and so was I by calling it a ‘tie’. Craig Kimbrel saved 50; Jordan Walden, Anthony Varvaro, and Cory Gearrin all saved 1 apiece. CORRECT.
UNDER - Starters with >200 IP…1.5. Mike Minor was the only starter getting 200 innings… 204.2, to be exact. Medlen’s 194 came close. CORRECT.
UNDER – Braves team saves…45 (43; not enough chances). Here’s where I got caught trying to outsmart myself. I was thinking that the offense was going to be so good, that 4+-run leads would be the norm, and thus the save opportunities would be limited. Uh, no. As we just saw above, there were 53 team saves – 50 from Kimbrel. And we know how the offense fared down the stretch. WRONG.
UNDER - Teheran IP…152 (barely, 150). While I was keenly aware of Teheran’s pitching load in the minors (>150 innings), I was also believing that he might not be this good this year… thus being pulled from several games sooner than what would be consistent with a 150 inning workload. Happily, this was too pessimistic. WRONG.
OVER - Beachy IP (all levels)…78. It was that “all levels” caveat that made this one particularly interesting. Brandon Beachy managed only 30 innings in the majors, but 40 more in the minors, so this got really close, but unfortunately, he was 1-2 starts away from cashing in this one. I didn’t supply an actual guess, but I was, in fact, hoping for something approaching 90-100. WRONG.
OVER - IP by Gilmartin/Graham…50. Boy, was this one another epic failure. I have no idea what I was thinking on this one (except maybe expecting a pitching breakdown). At the time this was written, those two guys were, in fact, the #1/#2 candidates for The Next Pitcher To Be Elevated To The Majors when the need arose. Well, Sean Gilmartin had a terrible year, and J.R. Graham was shut down with shoulder trouble in June. Alex Wood was the beneficiary – and made the most of it. Wood exceeded 50 innings. Those two guys didn’t. WRONG.
UNDER - Braves IP in All-Star Game…1.5. I surmised that it would be Kimbrel… and nobody else. CORRECT.
Braves HR leader: DAN UGGLA (“darn good tie-breaker”). WRONG (he was third behind Justin’s 27 and Freeman’s 23).
Braves wins leader: MEDLEN (“barely over Huddy”). CORRECT (Meds 15, Teheran 14, Minor 13)
Rank in NL in team wins: 1ST (97). CLOSE – 96 wins… good enough for 2nd in the league.
TOTALS: 11 Right; 9 divots; decent showing on the tie-breakers.
Definitely want to try this game again next year with y’all here on Tomahawk Take!