2018 Spring Training Fantasy MLB Predictions Review

Eight months ago, Fighting Chance Fantasy was a family of three and at the end of March we came together for our yearly prediction article to see how well we could guess what would happen in the upcoming fantasy baseball season.  Now that it is behind us, let's laugh at what we picked. The following is that article as it was published. Everything in italics is my commentary today. 

The season is finally here!!! With the season here, it's time for us here at Fighting Chance Fantasy to make our annual Major League Baseball/Fantasy predictions. I won't keep you waiting...here they are!

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Steve Rapin @fantasygeek37
Ryan Hallam @fightingchance
Patrick "Polka" Wisniewski @polkapat

Fantasy MVP 

Steve - Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
Ryan - Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Polka - Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals 

It was Mookie Betts and Christian Yelich who took home the real awards. Harper had a solid season with 34 homers and 100 RBI, but a .249 batting average certainly takes him out of MVP consideration. Arenado did finish third in MVP voting in the National League, so hey I wasn't off by too much. 

Fantasy Bust 

Steve - Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Ryan - Andrew Benintendi, Boston Red Sox
Polka - Cody Bellinger, LA Dodgers

Judge certainly didn't match his 2017 season, but he did also miss a good deal due to injury. 27 homers and 67 RBIs in 112 games isn't horrible, but not what people were hoping for. Benintendi was also good not great with 16 homers, 87 RBI and 21 steals. I still feel he was slightly overdrafted. Same for Bellinger 25/76 with 14 steals and a .260 average. I don't know if any of the three could be considered busts, but not sure that any of them lived up to draft billing. We didn't do awful here.  

AL Cy Young

Steve - Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
Ryan - Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
Polka - Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Blake Snell was the winner here. Carrasco won 17 games and struck out 230+, Severino actually got a fifth place vote, but that must have been from a New York baseball writer because he was AWFUL in the second half. Chris Sale finished fourth in the voting, so kudos here goes to Steve for getting the closest.  

NL Cy Young

Steve - Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
Ryan - Jacob DeGrom, New York Mets
Polka - Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

Syndergaard won 13 games, but again was unable to stay healthy as he only made 25 starts and had an ERA just north of 3.00. Yu Darvish? More like Phew Darvish! He only started eight games and had a near 5.00 ERA. I hit the nail on the head here with Jacob DeGrom as he took home the hardware for 2018.  

AL Rookie of the Year

Steve - Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels
Ryan - Willy Calhoun, Texas Rangers
Polka - Adam Engel, Chicago White Sox

Dear God where the hell did I pick Willy Calhoun from? Spent most of the year in the Minors and was no good for Texas. Yuck! Only slightly less awful was Patrick's pick of Adam Engel. He stole some bases to at least have some value, but another rough pick. Steve is the winner here as Shohei Ohtani was named AL Rookie of the Year. 

NL Rookie of the Year

Steve - Scott Kingery, Philadelphia Phillies
Ryan - Ronald Acuna, Atlanta Braves
Polka - Lewis Brinson, Miami Marlins

Steve was a huge fan of Scott Kingery in March (along with many others) for his solid pop and lots of speed, but he just couldn't get on base enough. Eight homers, 10 steals and an average under .230. Yuck. Brinson couldn't get it going at any point during the year, and he spent some time in the Minors. Hopefully both will be better next year. I was the winner here as I took Ronald Acuna who got 27 of the 30 first place votes after an amazing rookie season.  

Comeback Player of the Year

Steve - David Price, Boston Red Sox
Ryan - Matt Havey, New York Mets
Polka - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera only played 38 games and wasn't very good while he was there. Matt Harvey was so bad for the Mets that they traded him away for next to nothing. He was better for the Reds, but still not very good. Steve was the winner again as David Price was the AL Comeback Player of the Year for 2018. 

MLB Leaders 

Batting Average

Steve - Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Ryan - Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
Polka - Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

Mookie Betts led the Majors with a .346 average. Jose Altuve finished third in the AL, Blackmon hit .291, while Jose Ramirez crushed the ball, his average fell to .270. Steve was definitely the closest to being right here.  

Home Runs 

Steve - Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees
Ryan - Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Polka - JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox

Giancarlo Stanton and Nolan Arenado both hit 38 homers on the year, and were ten off the league lead. Polka did the best here as JD Martinez connected on 43 bombs. The league leader was surprisingly Khris Davis who crushed 48 home runs.  

Runs Batted In

Steve - Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Ryan - Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Polka - Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

Goldschmidt was totally disappointing and didn't even top 85 RBI. Kris Bryant was injured and not good when he was healthy and barely broke 50 RBIs. Steve wins the day here as Arenado drove in 110 runs and was second in the National League. The MLB leader was JD Martinez with 130.  

Runs Scored

Steve - Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
Ryan - Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
Polka - Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

Francisco Lindor and Mookie Betts both led the Majors in runs scored with 129 on the season. Kudos to Steve and Polka for this prediction. And while I wasn't correct, Blackmon did finish second with 119 so even my guess wasn't half bad.  

Stolen Bases

Steve - Trea Turner, Washington Nationals
Ryan - Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners
Polka - Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners

In a surprise it was Whit Merrifield who led the Majors with 45 steals on the seaosn. Steve gets the gold star for being the closest on this one as his pick of Trea Turner did finish second with 43 steals. Polka and I weren't terrible with our guess of Dee Gordon who finished ninth with a total of 30 swipes in 2018.  

MLB Standings Predictions 

AL Division Winners

Steve - NY Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros
Ryan - Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros
Polka - NY Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros

I hit all three on this one as the Red Sox, Indians, and Astros all won their divisions. Cleveland and Houston were easy guesses here, and Steve and Patrick were close as the Yankees finished second and won 100 games. 

AL Wild Card Winners  

Steve - Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins
Ryan - New York Yankees, Anaheim Angels
Polka - Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins

While Pat and Steve picked the Yankees to win the division at least they picked the Red Sox to also make the playoffs. I hit on the Yankees to win a wild card. Steve and Pat both picked the Twins who at least finished in second in their division, while my pick of the Angels didn't even break .500.  

NL Division Winners  

Steve - Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks
Ryan - Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies 
Polka - Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers

Well, shit we certainly were all wrong on the Nats as they were the most disappointing team in baseball this year in my opinion. We also all picked the Cubs who lost the division on the last game of the year. Pat hit it right with the Dodgers for the NL West. I called the Rockies who were the wild card, and Steve picked the Diamondbacks who finished third in the division. 

NL Wild Card Winners 

Steve - Philadelphia Phillies, LA Dodgers
Ryan - Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals
Polka - Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks

Rockies and Cubs were the NL Wild Cards, and none of us picked any of those. Polka picked the Brewers who won the division. I picked the Dodgers who won the division, and Steve picked the Phillies who faded. We all kinda sucked here.  

World Series Champion 

Steve - New York Yankees over Washington Nationals
Ryan - Los Angeles Dodgers over Houston Astros
Polka - Chicago Cubs over Cleveland Indians

The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the World Series this year, so I was the only one to get one of the two teams in the Fall Classic. All in all we didn't do a great job in this one either.  Thank you all for following our coverage and we look forward to a great 2019 fantasy baseball season. 

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