The HBT staff makes its World Series predictions

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If you think about it (and look at it a bit sideways, with one eye-closed), this isn’t a seven game World Series. It’s a best of 169, with the 97-65 Red Sox and 97-65 Cardinals in a dead heat before their final games.

OK, maybe that’s not true. But if it were, it would absolve us from making any sort of prediction, because all of us here at HardballTalk already whiffed on a 169-game prediction. We took the Nationals or the Tigers or someone back in March, so claiming we have some sort of clairvoyance now is disingenuous in the extreme. But, hey, that’s baseball, right? We can know an awful lot about it — and I think we do — yet still have no idea what’s gonna happen. Indeed, some crazy people may argue that that’s what makes it so cool.

But of course, convention is such that people who opine about baseball are supposed to make predictions. And we will. Even though this is one of the more evenly-matched World Series in living memory. Even though anything can happen. Even though Silva is a degenerate Cardinals fan and most of the rest of us couldn’t give a care one way or the other, thereby infusing our predictions with a fun mix of both bias and indifference.

But here goes:

  • Craig: Cardinals in seven because, well, I don’t know and I kinda like their starting pitching. Still not abandoning my pick of the Nationals to win it all. DON’T COUNT THEM OUT!
  • Aaron: Cardinals in six. He didn’t say why, but I’ll assume it’s because he really doesn’t want a Game 7 interfering with his trick-or-treating next Thursday.
  • D.J.: “Cardinals in six games. Carlos Beltran WS MVP (the only way such an outcome is palatable for me).” Mets fans: even more degenerate than Cards fans.
  • Drew: He eventually said Cardinals in six. For a while he didn’t respond to my email asking for a prediction because he was busy posting insane crap like this on Twitter. I’m actually surprised he didn’t pick the Cards in two “because of Ditka” or something. He claims this is an unbiased selection, though, so we’ll take him at his word.
  • Matthew: Red Sox in six. This is quite the improvement over his last Red Sox prediction.
  • Bill: “Cardinals in five.” Please excuse his curtness, though. He’s too busy sobbing over footage of the Joe Carter home run, which happened 20 years ago today.

So that’s that. Given our usual level of accuracy, I think these predictions mean that the 1969 Seattle Pilots will prevail over the 1874 New York Mutals in 11 games, with Brabender going the distance with a two-hit shutout.

Trey Mancini exits game with apparent knee injury

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Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini was forced to exit Friday’s game after sustaining an apparent knee injury in the eighth inning. Mancini tracked a foul pop fly to the left field fence and attempted to make a sliding catch. The ball was lost in the stands, however, and he slammed his right knee into the unpadded base of the wall in the process. He was able to stand and walk under his own power, and even tried walking around the outfield before eventually leaving the field with a trainer. The club has not announced an official diagnosis for Mancini, but postgame comments from manager Buck Showalter indicate that he’ll undergo an MRI and may need a couple of stitches in his knee.

This is the second health scare for the 26-year-old outfielder this season. Several weeks ago, he was struck on the hand by a wayward pitch and managed to avoid the disabled list after X-rays returned negative. It seems unlikely that he’ll avoid it a second time, though he’s currently considered day-to-day for the time being.

The Orioles went on to snap their six-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Indians. Prior to his injury, Mancini went 1-for-4 with a go-ahead, two-run double off of Trevor Bauer in the fifth inning. He entered Friday’s contest batting a hefty .286/.356/.416 with two homers and a .772 in 87 plate appearances this season.