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    Thursday, March 28, 2024

    2024 Opening Day Astros Predictions

    It’s Opening Day, so I once again contributed to The Crawfish Boxes’ annual Astros Prediction piece! Things seemed pretty rough at times in 2023, but I think Houston is poised to see something of a bounce-back this season; go check it out if you want to see why, as well as everyone else’s thoughts!

    Also, one tidbit I wanted to note: I went back and looked at my prior predictions. I’m generally fairly close on record, but I’m not sure how important that is (I guess it’s slightly notable that I keep saying “the Astros will be good”, and then they are, but that’s more about not getting too pessimistic and predicting doom). The more interesting thing was the “bold predictions” section, a recurring category where we have to get specific about some aspect of the Astros’ upcoming year. I actually have a pretty decent track record there, which shocked me a little.

    In 2019: “[T]his is the year that the Astros score 900 runs, becoming the first team to do so since the 2009 Yankees.”

    The 2019 Astros did indeed reach 900 runs scored as a team! They technically didn’t lead the league, because there was an offensive uptick league wide that made things a little easier, but by just about any stat that adjusts for park and era, the 2019 team was historic (for example, they had the highest team wRC+ in post-integration MLB history at 124, a mark which the Braves topped last year).

    In 2020: “The Astros won’t miss Gerrit Cole.”

    I mean, you’d always rather have more good players, but the 2020 rotation didn’t miss a beat without him (outside of the whole Pandemic), finishing tied for third in rotation WAR according to Fangraphs. We had to do two extra bold predictions this year, and my results with those were more mixed; Carlos Correa did not lead a continued offensive onslaught, but the division was much closer and Houston didn’t clinch a playoff spot until the third-to-last day of the season.

    2021 didn’t really have a bold prediction section, just to discuss your X-Factors and concerns. I said I was concerned about age and health. Both of those factors turned out fine in the end, but I didn’t give anything specific and measurable, so I don’t know that I can count this one.

    In 2022: “Justin Verlander basically picks up where he left off back in 2019, with an All-Star-level campaign that even draws a few Cy Young votes.”

    Verlander would return from Tommy John surgery and in fact win his third Cy Young Award, not just draw some votes.

    In 2023: “Kyle Tucker takes another step forward and ends up getting the most MVP votes of anyone on the team.”

    Tucker had probably his best season yet last year, finishing a homer shy of 30-30 and landing fifth in MVP voting (behind Shohei Ohtani, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Julio Rodriguez). Yeah, Jose Altuve or Yordan Alvarez probably would have finished higher if they were healthy, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

    If you’re curious to see what I predicted this year, you can once again check out my full 2024 piece here! And if you want to see everyone else’s predictions, here are the other entries: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

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      1 comment:

      1. Good job on the predictions. Hope it holds for this year!!!