Figuring out the differences

Rob Neyer reviews his least-accurate NL preseason picks and compares them to the projected end-of-the-season records.

Originally Published: July 14, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Yesterday, I reviewed my least-accurate predictions of the American League standings, based on end-of-season projections from coolstandings.com and Baseball Prospectus. If it looks like I'm going to miss by more than five games, I want to figure out why. And today I'm moving to the National League, where I'm not doing quite as well as I did in the American League. I'm off -- or rather, I'm projected to be off -- on only six of the 14 AL teams, but in the NL I'm missing eight of 16. Let's figure out why:

Cubs (84/67/-17) Again, that first number is my preseason prediction, the second is the consensus projection based on what we know now, and the third is how badly I missed. And man did I ever miss on the Cubs, who have been awful for two simple reasons: they don't get on base, and they don't hit with any power. I mean, they really don't; the Cubs are last in the National League in both on-base and slugging percentage, which is a regrettable combination that can hardly be blamed on the loss of Derrek Lee for two months.

Neifi Perez
Perez
Juan Pierre
Pierre
It can, however, be blamed on veterans Juan Pierre and Neifi Perez, and on younger players Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno. The veterans were supposed to play this poorly, but the kids were not. Throw in Lee's injury and the continuing absence of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, and you've got yourself a 34-54 record.

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