Five predictions for the second half of 2013

Fans are either repulsed or amazed at the success or failures of Team. - Justin Edmonds

I did a column like this last year, too, but I don't remember it. Let's find out if my predictions were right.

1. Mike Trout comes down to earth
In the first half, he hit .341/.397/.562. In the second half, he hit .312/.401/.565. If you don't want to do the math in your head, that's a .959 OPS in the first half and a .966 OPS in the second. So this was a stupid prediction, and I should feel bad.

2. The Tigers will win the Central
I also predicted that gas prices would rise because I'm a wild man.

3. Adrian Gonzalez will be just fine
He was! He's pretty okay again this year.

4. The Rangers trade for Justin Upton and one of Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels
I had this as Geovany Soto and Ryan Dempster, but Neyer made me change it. But … okay, so this was a stupid prediction, and I should feel bad.

5. The Orioles don't make the playoffs
This was a stupid prediction, and I should feel bad.

I hit on two of the five, but the hits were pretty obvious. Which means that you should take the predictions I'm about to make, and line your birdcage with them. Then I'll laugh at you because you put a computer in your bird cage for them to poop on, you fool. None of us are going to come out of this looking smart.

But I've figured out a way around this. I'm not going to look that stupid again, Trout as my witness. Here are five bold predictions for the second half, then:

1. Player who is having an unexpectedly good season regresses to the mean

Player having an unexpectedly good season had an underwhelming career line before the year started:


So his first half was a surprise. But I have some bad news: Player having an unexpectedly good season probably isn't going to keep this up. He'll probably hit closer to his career statistics.

2. Team having an unexpectedly good season regresses to the mean

I wasn't expecting Team having an unexpectedly good season to do this well; my preseason predictions had them in not-first place, and they're doing substantially better. But I have some bad news: Team having an unexpectedly good season probably isn't going to keep this up. Something about fluke players, something about Pythagorean records, and something about one-run games. Sentence hedging my bets in case they really are this good.

3. Player having an uncharacteristically bad season gets better

What in the world is wrong with Player having an uncharacteristically bad season? I've looked at his statistics for at least three minutes now, and I can't figure it out, which means this is probably a fluke. He'll get better because he was better before. When you look up in September, don't be surprised if Player having an uncharacteristically bad season is actually finishing up a season that doesn't look so bad after all.

4. Shocking trade shocks baseball fans

Something will happen at the trade deadline that will make you say, "Wow. Wasn't expecting that." And you'll be all, "Whoa. Him? For those prospects? Goodness." Fans of the team giving up the prospects will be aghast.

I can't believe they gave up Prospect that I've been irrationally overrating since he was drafted. This is the worst day of my life."

- Internet user

The veteran acquired by the contending team helps, but not as much as expected.

5. A team that isn't in first place right now ends up in first place

People of Other Team are feeling pretty good right now, but they should watch their backs because Team is going to catch them. It's not so much because of a collapse by Other Team, but more because Team is going to get hot.

Ha. There are my predictions, sucker. Try making fun of me this time. Because I know better than to do something like this:

1. Miguel Cabrera finishes three homers short of the Triple Crown
2. The Phillies win the Wild Card
3. Giancarlo Stanton is traded to the Red Sox
4. The Tigers don't make the playoffs
5. Yasiel Puig loses the Rookie of the Year voting when Shelby Miller finishes 10-2 over his last 14 starts with a 2.4571 ERA

Making specific predictions like that is a good way to look really, really stupid. Look at those predictions from last year! So bad. So there's no way I'm going to ...

...

aw dammit so much

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