Welcome to the chaos corner!
I am dubbed slow, and I belong to the contingent of the website aptly described by Chad as, Don’t expect us to stick to the topic though. I was born and raised in Toronto, and it has become an integral part of me. The food culture in this city is amazing, and has brought me immeasurable amounts of happy memories. Going forward, I hope to dabble in sharing my love of food, and adult libations with you all. On to what you came for, baseball…
I fell in love with the numbers behind baseball in first year university and have been hooked ever since. Over time, statistical categories have grown and become easier to access for the public, which makes it even more immersive. This year shall be different than any other, but I choose to focus on the fun aspects of more teams having a chance to compete.
Bold predictions are always fun, but this year they take on the added chaos of existing in a season where nothing would be surprising. This creates the freedom to have fun and find some fun predictions to track along a short season.
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the MLB in Homers
As you get more familiar with me, through baseball content and other musings, you will begin to realize I swoon for power. Year after year I seek players with high ISOs regardless of warts they may have. When they are able to overcome the holes in their swing, it allows me to believe I can see into the future. Last year, Vladito had an ISO of .162, not exactly lead the league type of power, but he did have his magical moment. At the derby, Vladdy put on a show and hit 91 home runs. He proved his raw power, and I think this year you will be able to see it translate to game power. His BB% at 8.9, and K% at 17.7, showed his above league average skills and I think those should improve as well. Tune into Blue Jays games, and don’t miss out of the fun of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. His energy is electric, and his joy is infectious.
2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lead the AL in Wins
Currently, most projections have LAA finishing 3rd in their division behind Houston, and Oakland. Michael Nelson Trout is the best player on the planet, but the Angels haven’t been able to turn his play into a playoff berth. This offseason, they added Anthony Rendon, and have a healthy Shohei Ohtani returning. The Angels powered by their 3 superstars should be exciting to watch, and finally get their chance in the Trout era to chase a championship.
3. Joey Votto returns to glory and finishes the year with 0 IFFB
Last year Joey popped the ball into the infield FOUR times. For most, an insignificant number of IFFB(Infield Fly Balls), but for Joey that is the more than the 3 IFFB he posted in the previous 4 seasons combined. A 5% drop on his career Oppo% shows signs of him hitting the ball to more to his pull side and center field, which goes against Joey Votto’s history. This year with extra rest, and a shorter season, I believe Joey will go back to hitting the ball more to the opposite field and avoiding those pesky IFFB.
4. Luke Jackson finishes the year above 8 P/IP in FGPTS
After power, I am a sucker for strikeouts. Luke posted a K% of 33.7, but was tortured by the home run all year long. His HR/FB% at 25.6 was unsightly. It was accompanied by an unsustainable BABIP, .386. With a little luck, and regression on that BABIP, Luke puts it all together this year and shines out of the Braves bullpen, and rewards those managers who roster him.
5. Byron Buxton wins AL MVP
We have reached the crown jewel of all my chaotic predictions. The one that encapsulates my personality, and joy for life. So far, there has been a semblance of logic and deduction. This one is all intuition, baby. Byron Buxton shall breakout and become AL MVP.
And finally, Let the good times roll!