Sports Illustrated projected the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox would be sub-.500 clubs in 2013. Well, the Tribe won 92 games and the Carmines finished tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in MLB.
SI also projected the Pittsburgh Pirates to finish the 2013 regular season with 76 wins. They ended up winning 94 contests, made it to the NL Division Series and were MLB’s ultimate “Cinderella” team.
Talk about gross miscalculations.
To be fair, predicting how any team will perform is tricky business. Take the Toronto Blue Jays as an example. They were expected to field a very competitive ballclub after an aggressive offseason in advance of the 2013 campaign, but failed to win 75 games.
Like I said, tricky business.
On that note, Baseball Prospectus’ Pecota and Clay Davenport’s initial projections were recently released for the upcoming season, and after careful review, there are five teams that have a legitimate chance at being this year’s “Cinderella” squad.
By looking at offseason acquisitions and how they could impact each team’s overall production, B/R makes the case that each one has a chance to blow past their projections.
Unless noted otherwise, all traditional, advanced and team statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference and are from the 2013 season. Links are furnished where necessary.