Predictions: How am I doing?

» 16 May 2009 » In npb »

Before the season, I predicted the standings for both the Pacific and Central Leagues. Let’s see how I’m doing through six weeks of the season.

Pacific League (as of May 16)

  1. Nippon Ham Fighters (prediction: 2nd)
  2. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (prediction: 4th)
  3. Seibu Lions (prediction: 1st)
  4. SoftBank Hawks (prediction: 6th)
  5. Chiba Lotte Marines (prediction: 3rd)
  6. Orix Buffaloes (prediction: 5th)

Nippon Ham has hit more than I expected and has a +66 run differential… Rakuten’s pitching has kept them in games, but veterans just aren’t hitting… Seibu leads the league in home runs by a good margin and should be competitive all year… SoftBank leads the league in ERA and could be a dark horse… Chiba Lotte’s starting pitching needs to improve if they’re going to meet my prediction… Orix’s foreign sluggers, aside from Greg LaRocca, have been injured or ineffective, and their pitching has imploded.

Central League (as of May 16)

  1. Yomiuri Giants (prediction: 2nd)
  2. Yakult Swallows (prediction: 4th)
  3. Chunichi Dragons (prediction: 5th)
  4. Hanshin Tigers (prediction: 1st)
  5. Hiroshima Carp (prediction: 3rd)
  6. Yokohama BayStars (prediction: 6th)

Yomiuri has gotten good pitching across the board and leads the leage in runs; they’re currently on pace to win 100 games… Yakult has been a surprise at 20-13, especially given Norichika Aoki’s slow start (.226)… Chunichi slotted Tony Blanco in for Tyrone Woods but has otherwise regressed… Hanshin hasn’t gotten anything out of Kevin Mench or Takahiro Arai, but still has a +18 run differential… Hiroshima leads the Central in ERA (2.98) but simply isn’t hitting… Yokohama again is last in team pitching but is closer to the pack this season.

Of course, we’re only six weeks into the season so anything can happen, but we pretty much know what all the teams have at this point.

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  1. Patrick
    16/05/2009 at 6:01 pm Permalink

    I picked Ham to finish 5th. This was based on the poor managing and all-around idiocy of their manager, Nashida. Nashida has, as expected, been awful. He has already cost the team a few games with strange late-game decisions and by playing washed-up Noika too much. Two things about this team, though, that I never anticipated are the league’s worst offense over the past few years turning into a hitting machine similar to Yokohama’s 1998 championship team and the return of Yagi to his form of two years ago, giving Ham two aces, something unmatched by any other team except Rakuten. Nippon Ham has been great fun to watch on the rare occasions that their games are actually shown on TV up here in Hokkaido.

    On an unrelated point, I would like to say that Kyocera Dome must be the worst place on Earth to watch a baseball game. The stadium announcer and his obnoxious shouting of player names in “English” with that phony pseudo-manly pro-wrestling voice combined with deafening hip hip during breaks must make the whole experience miserable for fans. Even though Ham is kicking Orix’s ass this weekend, I will be glad when they finish up their series with the Buffaloes today so that I will not have to here that noise through my radio anymore. Why can’t they just play baseball? Isn’t that what fans really want? Maybe I am unusual.

    Anyway…Go Ham!

  2. Patrick
    16/05/2009 at 10:02 pm Permalink

    Orix still has that guy? They had him at Green Stadium Kobe, back before the merger when they were still the Blue Wave. “numba- ereben, Soooooo TaGUchi!” They also had a little kid make the “play ball” call at the beginning of the game and big pyrotechnic in center field. Osaka Dome didn’t have that when Kintetsu was running the Buffaloes. Still, Green Stadium was by far the better place to watch a game, even though it was a pain to get to.