Here at The Crawfish Boxes, we pride ourselves in our expert ability to predict the future perfectly and foresee all outcomes. So naturally, we predicted exactly how this season would go before it even started... or we at least came close... ok, well maybe we got one or two things right.
There were actually two separate Starting Nine articles posted prior to the season and one during the All-Star break where our writer made some predictions, so let’s take them one at a time.
You can click the link above if you want to read through and see just how wrong we were, but in our defense, that just shows that they really were BOLD predictions. A couple of them actually came close:
painting_the_corners404 predicted that “Derek Fisher will be filling in nicely in LF by August.” Fisher has been filling in at left field so that part is true, but I’m not sure “nicely” is the adjective I’d use for someone with a .212/.307/.356 slash line. Still, I give this prediction partial credit which is more than I can give most of our predictions.
David Coleman predicted that Altuve would win the 2017 MVP so that one is still TBD. However, with the way Judge finished the season (and the fact that he plays for... yeah... that team), I wouldn’t hold my breath.
So Bhrodhnos gets the victory here. He predicted that Yuli Gurriel would bat .300 in his first full MLB season. Gurriel’s batting average for the season was actually .299 but we’ll round up for this one.
These were more realistic predictions and our writers were really just answering a set of questions instead of coming up with their own predictions (see the link above for more details).
We actually faired pretty well in my opinion (though I’m biased of course since I made predictions), so let’s focus on some things we didn’t foresee. None of us pegged Brad Peacock as the Surprise Player for 2017, and he has to win it hands down. Marwin Gonzalez is definitely the runner up, but everyone at least expected Marwin to be a contributor. Peacock wasn’t even supposed to be on the roster this year except that McHugh started the season on the DL, leaving an open roster spot.
None of us predicted the #allrise phenomenon of Aaron Judge either, who locked up the Rookie of the Year award months ago and could land the MVP too. On a related note, no one thought the Yankees or Twins would make the playoffs (most of us got all the division winners correct at least).
Oh yeah, and no one predicted that the Astros big mid-season acquisition would be Justin Verlander (even if we had, I doubt we would have expected him to come over in August instead of July).
During the All-Star break, we chose players who we thought would improve in the second half and players we thought would disappoint down the stretch.
A couple of us accurately predicted that Alex Bregman would break out in the second half (.317/.369/.540 slash line and a 143 wRC+ in 2nd half), while Beltran would continue to struggle at the plate (.235/.278/.346 and only a 64 wRC+ in 2nd half).
Some concern was raised about Yuli Gurriel, but his second half was basically a repeat of his first half performance (116 wRC+ in 1st half and 117 wRC+ in 2nd half).
Another Season in the Books
So there you have it. The Astros turned out to be what we expected at times, but also surprised every single one of us over the course of the season. That’s baseball I guess, and another season and all the stats that go with it is now stored away- a fun memory of a wild ride when the Houston Astros won 100+ games for only the second time in franchise history.
That’s only the regular season though. And as the calendar flips to October, 20 teams head home for the off-season while 10 others fight for the ultimate prize of 2017. This year’s Astros couldn’t surpass the 1998 team in total regular season wins (102), but they can finish their special year in a way no Astros team has ever done before... and the timing couldn’t be better for our great city.