What Did We Get Right and Wrong About the First Half of the 2019 Season?

Predictions are fun to make before baseball season starts, but often times things don't go the way we expect. It's a long season, with one of the safest bets being that some of our assumptions will be incorrect. But hey, that's what makes it fun. Below, each of our baseball writers explain one thing they were right and wrong about in their pre-season picks.

Tom Verducci

What I was right about:

The Twins are the breakout team of 2019, headed to the postseason after a losing season last year. Yes, they hit a ton of homers and launch the ball in the air, but they also have lowered their ERA by more than half a run.

What I was wrong about:

I thought the Phillies would be better, but injuries to Andrew McCutchen and several relievers have zapped their early momentum.

Stephanie Apstein

What I was right about:

I won’t give myself too much credit here—he was the No. 2 prospect in baseball entering the season—but Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. looks like the favorite for NL Rookie of the Year. He is 20 and has already been the ninth-most valuable position player in the league, with 3.1 WAR, in just more than half the games everyone ahead of him has played. By September, he could be an MVP candidate.

What I was wrong about:

I knew the Red Sox’ bullpen was a weak spot, but I had no idea how lost the team would look. I have them snagging the second wild card, but that’s only because the rest of the league is so bad. If everything went right in Boston last year, everything appears to be going wrong now.

Emma Baccellieri

What I was right about: The Dodgers—which, okay, everyone was right about the Dodgers, but it’s a true testament to how incredibly strong this team has been and just how well it’s lived up to expectations.

What I was wrong about: The Nationals. First, I thought they were going to win the NL East. Then, I took them for dead. Now…. I have them down for a wild-card, and given their recent hot streak, feel decently strong about that, but at this point, who knows?

Michael Beller

What I was right about:

If you followed along with our fantasy baseball coverage during spring training, you might remember that I predicted that Tim Anderson would break out this season. I saw the existing power-speed combo for a player who wouldn't turn 26 until June, and thought he could be to 2019 what Javy Baez was to 2018. An injury cut his first half short, but he's looking every bit the breakout player I expected him to be this season.

What I was wrong about:

The Cardinals. I thought the addition of Paul Goldschmidt and the continued growth of Jack Flaherty would make them not only a powerhouse in the NL Central, but a real threat to win the World Series. Instead, they've been an average team for most of the first half, and while they could certainly sneak into the playoffs, they're nowhere near the team I expected them to be.

Connor Grossman

What I was right about:

The NL Central race is the best in baseball. While I didn’t necessarily expect the Pirates and Reds to be involved, neither club is facing an insurmountable deficit in the standings. Expect at least the Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals to maul each other over the next two and a half months and don’t be surprised if all three end up reaching the October stage.

What I was wrong about:

For two years Cody Bellinger struck me as just another strikeout-prone slugger who would provide a few big hits but never materialize into a well-rounded asset for the Dodgers. Whoops. He’s in the midst of one of the best season anyone has had in a long while and appears nearly a lock to win NL MVP.

Matt Martell

What I was right about:

The Twins are the best team in the AL Central, and their success shouldn’t have been surprising. Bringing in Nelson Cruz to a young lineup of sluggers was one of the best moves of the offseason, as the 39-year-old is once again proving that “aging” doesn’t apply to him, at least for now. Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and All-Star Jorge Polanco are now established Major Leaguers enjoying breakout seasons.

What I was wrong about:

The Cardinals’ offense has been dreadful, something I didn’t think possible before the season when they added Paul Goldschmidt to a lineup with Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong and a healthy Marcell Ozuna. Instead, Goldschmidt has been meh with the bat, DeJong started hot but has cooled off since, and Carpenter has been downright dreadful.

Jon Tayler

What I was right about:

So far, so good on the dominance of the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers, inarguably the three best teams in baseball (and Houston as the world champ is still plausible, even if the Astros aren’t my title favorite any longer). Similarly, betting on Mike Trout as the AL MVP and Max Scherzer as the NL Cy Young winner looks smart so far. In other words: Where I bet on the elite, things have turned out well.

What I was wrong about:

Boy did I whiff on the Indians/Twins in the AL Central, and my choice of the Nationals to win the NL East looked downright idiotic a month ago (but a little less stupid at the All-Star break). Individually, I seem to have jinxed Chris Sale into oblivion, and Victor Robles wasn’t ready for primetime. Nor has Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but I’m still holding out hope that he goes on a second-half tear—and that AL Rookie of the Year race is wide open regardless.

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