Wassell: How over-under predictions shook out for 2018 Mariners

Oct 4, 2018, 1:00 AM

We all saw a 58-save season coming from Mariners closer Edwin Díaz, right? (AP)...

We all saw a 58-save season coming from Mariners closer Edwin Díaz, right? (AP)


Alright, let’s get this over with. One last look at how the Mariners performed this year.

Back in March, I did an over-under piece for the 2018 Mariners, taking stabs at a few different statistical categories for select players. The premise was that if the Mariners were going to have a shot at the playoffs, certain standards would have to be met. They aren’t in the postseason, so things couldn’t have gone all that well.

Let’s take a look at how it shook out.

Dee Gordon: 60 stolen bases

Prediction: Since 2014, he’s stolen 64, 58, 30 (in 79 games) and 60 bases. I don’t believe he has to steal 60 bases for the team to win, but since it’s a weapon the Mariners haven’t had in forever, they might as well use it. UNDER

Reality: You can’t steal bases if you don’t get on base. If Dee had taken a walk once in a while (only nine all year) he might have been able to sniff 60, but instead we only got 30. Plus, he was caught 12 times. (1 for 1)

Jean Segura: .310 average

Prediction: If Gordon is going to be standing on second base that often, it would be nice if the 2016 NL hit king could do what he does best. UNDER

Reality: He ended up at .304, which is fine. His first half (.323/.354/.458) was good enough to sneak him into the All-Star game (remember #SendSegura?). The second half was a different story (.270/.319/.340). Plus, we heard about a fight that allegedly occurred between he and Dee Gordon and there are rumors that he isn’t the most popular guy in the clubhouse. (2 for 2)

Félix Hernández: 4.10 ERA

Prediction: This is about as high a number as I can go with Félix and still think of it as a successful season. Anything more, and the King’s Court will be permanently adjourned. OVER

Reality: The King’s Court is still in session as far as I know, but this was the worst-case scenario from start to finish for Félix. His ERA clocked in at 5.55 and it felt a lot higher than that. (3 for 3)

Ichiro: Will he be with the team beyond June 1?

Prediction: If he’s with them past the month of May, he’s either playing out of his mind or Ben Gamel and Jayson Werth are hurt/not producing. YES

Reality: OR the Mariners decide that he should just change job titles. Special Assistant Advisor was what they called it on May 3. He remained in uniform for all the on-field celebrations, which was kinda cool. Technically, I was right – he WAS with the team past June 1. But for our purposes, I was wrong. (3 for 4)

Robinson Canó: 25 home runs

Prediction: How many more times can he get over 25? Enough to make me not hate that contract. OVER

Reality: This storyline upset me more than anything else that happened this season. Your second-best hitter (you could argue best) gets himself suspended for 80 games. During his absence the Mariners went 47-34, which isn’t too bad, but from July 1 until when he returned on Aug. 14, they were 15-20. Worst of all, his numbers when he played were pretty good: 80 games, 10 home runs, .303/.374/.471. They needed him, plain and simple. (3 for 5)

Kyle Seager: .265 average

Prediction: Hopefully, last year’s .249 is the outlier. It’s odd that each of Seager’s last two managers have singled him out as a guy who should hit for higher average, and yet it hasn’t happened. UNDER

Reality: Last year wasn’t an outlier. Hopefully, this year’s .221 average was. (4 for 6)

Mike Leake: 3.98 ERA

Prediction: That’s his career ERA, so we’ll stick with that. The only things required of Mike Leake this season are to be consistent and available. UNDER

Reality: He was certainly available (31 starts) and mostly consistent in terms of the number of innings he put in per start. But take a look at his game logs for an idea as to how he arrived at a 4.36 ERA. (4 for 7)

Nelson Cruz: 32 home runs

Prediction: This guy has done nothing but crush the ball since becoming a Mariner. And that smile will brighten up even the rainiest of Seattle days. OVER

Reality: Yup. 37 homers. Congrats on an unbelievable Mariners career! Maybe it’s not over yet? (5 for 8)

Daniel Vogelbach: More time in majors or minors?

Prediction: If spring training’s best story is with the big club, there’s likely an injury to someone else. But who’s to say that with solid production, he can’t force the Mariners to keep him around? MINORS

Reality: Something he did in spring training made me write that, but I now can’t remember what it was. Let’s keep this one simple: He did not factor into this team’s fortunes in any way, shape or form, playing just 37 games in the majors. (6 for 9)

Mike Zunino: .245 average

Prediction: He doesn’t need to hit .280 to convince me that he’s “fixed.” Keep it above .230 with 25 home runs and keep doing what you’re doing behind the plate. UNDER

Reality: I set this number laughably high. Feel free to insult me. (7 for 10)

James Paxton: 26 starts

Prediction: The previous high is 24 (2017). I’m willing to accept him as a guy who just gets hurt once in a while. If he makes 26, that will mean he’s missed roughly a month. Fine. OVER

Reality: I remember the first time my second grade teacher looked at me disappointed, yet optimistic, and said, “Tommy, you can do better than this.” I wish she were here to tell Paxton the same thing. A 3.76 ERA just seems too high for a guy with that type of stuff. He did start 28 games and threw a no-hitter (IN CANADA), though, so let’s all crack open a Molson Ice and celebrate 2018! (8 for 11)

Edwin Díaz: 33 Saves

Prediction: Díaz is the Mariners’ next home-grown All-Star. Huge year coming. OVER

Reality: Yeah, but we all knew he’d get to 57 saves, right? AL Reliever of the month four different times this year. Would love to see him in the postseason! (9 for 12)

Marco Gonzales: 10 Wins

Prediction: If your fourth starter is winning 12 games, you’re in the playoffs. UNDER

Reality: That might be true, but Marco Gonzales wasn’t the Mariners’ fourth starter. In fact, he was probably their third behind Paxton and (gasp) LeBlanc. He did take a big leap forward for most of the year though. A 13-9 record with an even 4.00 ERA is certainly something to build on. (9 for 13)

How’d we do? I’ll take your comments off the air…

Drayer: M’s will go to work on getting Gordon, Zunino to walk more in 2019

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Wassell: How over-under predictions shook out for 2018 Mariners