The Guessing Game
After a 16-9 introductory season in 2012, he’s sporting an 8-4 record at the break. He has roughly 13 starts, after being projected to start the post-break 4th in the rotation. His highest ER total for an individual game this season is 5, so he is still giving the club a decent to good chance to win in each game he starts. If I had to personally guess, I’d say he’ll come awfully close to matching his 2012 record; but, if the offense can do their part in his starts, he could surpass 14-16 wins.
My Prediction: 17-8; he’ll come back strong and unified with AJP and Soto, much like last season.
*Joe Nathan: on pace for 51 saves. Over/Under on 51
Joe has finally settled into his groove and is having clean, less stressful saves as of late (when he can get into a game). Once he became a closer, he has done well to get at least 30 saves in 8 of the last 10 seasons; his career high is 47. The biggest thing at play to see if he gets close to/exceeds 51 or not: a rested rotation and middle relief come back, go as strong as they can and give the team a chance to win each game, letting Nathan serve as the final blow to seal the win.
My Prediction: 51; the offense will come back strong, but he will certainly have his chances to exceed his career high and meet the projection.
*Leonys Martin: on pace for 32 stolen bases. Over/Under on 32
Leonys!!! is doing good things for the club this season. One of the most important is what he’s doing on the base paths after getting on. He’s already stolen 19 bases, out of 23 chances; he’s matched his career high, 19 in 2011. As long as his offense, regardless of spot in the lineup, holds up, he should definitely make this mark, maybe even exceed it. His recent promotion to the second spot in the lineup, should it carry over, is important for this reason. He gives Cruz and Beltre a good chance for more RBI, which increases scoring chances for the club.
My Prediction: 40; he’s finally getting consistent at bats and hitting, as well as displaying some patience and drawing walks. He’ll keep finding ways to get on and over.
*Nelson Cruz: on pace for 118 RBI. Over/Under on 118
Since 2009, his RBI totals have gone up each year, the highest is 87. Right now, he stands at 69 RBI and, as long as he gets to play the remainder of the season, has a good chance to at least come close to the projection of 118. I personally think the best way to up his RBI totals is if he stays in the three spot and Kinsler & whoever hits second can get on and into scoring position. The home runs won’t hurt either, but having good base runners on is the big key for him for the rest of the season.
My Prediction: 105. It will all depend on Kins + the two-hole hitter getting on and over.
*Adrian Beltre: on pace for 36 home runs. Over/Under on 36
Many people look back on Adrian Beltre’s 48 home runs in 2004 with a raised eyebrow or two. Many felt that he was strong enough for Seattle’s Safeco Field, but his last season saw him with only 8. In Boston and Texas, his final numbers have been in the high 20’s – mid 30’s; in 2013, he’s already up to 22. As long as his legs hold up, his power should not be hampered too much and he will probably end in the mid-30’s once again.
My Prediction: 36. I hope his legs get rested up; but, if they are still problematic, that may pose a problem with him generating consistent long ball power.
*Ian Kinsler: on pace for a 5.1 WAR. Over/Under on 5.1
Kins started the season on fire offensively, hoping to prove the previous season was a fluke and not the awesome Kins the Rangers knew and needed. His value and importance were evidenced in his absence during most of June. That being said, his overall WAR (wins above replacement) is currently at an uneven three; his lowest was 1.9 in 2006 and his highest was 7 in 2011. His defense continues to shine, so to match or exceed the projection, he will need to keep hitting well and generating success on the base paths, emphasis on the base paths.
My Prediction: 5.5. He was finally back in somewhat of a consistent hitting groove. He’ll be rested and healthy, so it’ll be interesting to see how quickly he comes out of the gate at the plate and on the bases.
And finally, let’s have one for pure fun sake…
*Andrus/Beltre “sibling rivalry” moments: on pace for 10. Over/Under at 10
We’ve seen the exploits of these two for a couple of seasons now, from the removal of Beltre’s helmet after a home run to ducking in and out on pop ups to third. We’ve already gotten 4 golden moments from these two just in this season, but will the fun continue or will the fun end on the diamond?