Written by Jonathan Lee
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One Month In, Baseball’s Biggest Surprises

Preseason Projection: 77.8 wins

Current Record: 9-22
Season Projection: 65-97

The D-Backs are likely the most disappointing team in baseball. They were projected as the third team in the NL West, but with a few breaks, potential challengers to the Dodgers and Giants in the division. Instead, they are the worst team in all of major league baseball with three more losses than even the Houston Astros.

The team has been hit hard by the injury bug losing three pitchers including Patrick Corbin before the season to Tommy John surgery. Mark Trumbo slugged seven home runs before breaking his foot. He is expected to miss six weeks with the injury. Even potential help in the minor leagues is hurt with top prospect Archie Bradley recently suffering an elbow injury.

Don’t expect things to get much better soon. Arizona is projected for just 65 wins, the fewest according to our computers with just a 0.04% chance at the playoffs after a month of the season.

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Preseason Projection: 83.3 wins

Current Record: 20-8
Season Projection: 96-66

If the D-Backs are the negative surprise of the season, the Brewers are the exact opposite. The computer was bullish on Milwaukee in the preseason projecting 83 wins, 4 wins better than the O/U Vegas line. The Brewers have come of the gate on fire with 20 April wins, 11 of them on the road.

Carlos Gomez has emerged as a legitimate star, and the full-time presence of Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez in the lineup has been huge. The real difference, however, has been the pitching staff with starters Yovani Gallardo, Wily Peralta, Kyle Lohse, and Marco Estrada all have ERAs between 1.91 and 2.87. Francisco Rodriguez has turned back the clock with 13 saves and 23 strikeouts compared to just 4 walks.

The Brewers have already built a 5.5 game lead in the Central over the Cardinals, and are projected for the best record in the National League with a 90.9% chance at the playoffs.

To see latest updates of AccuScore’s season futures, visit the : 2014 MLB Futures page

Preseason Projection: 95 wins

Current Record: 13-14
Season Projection: 76-86

The Red Sox were one of the preseason favorites which was understandable given the fact that they are the defending World Series champions. The big issue has been a completely non-productive outfield. Shane Victorino had only 19 at-bats in April with mix-and-match fill-ins Jackie Bradley, Jonny Gomes, and Grady Sizemore predictably not approaching Jacoby Ellsbury’s production. Daniel Nava was sent to the minors after posting a .509 OPS in 67 at-bats.

On the bright side, the bullpen has been solid despite some concerns over Koji Uehara’s health. John Lackey, Jake Peavy, and Jon Lester have produced 17 quality starts in 18 outings. And the best news is that only the Yankees are above water in the AL East after a month with the Sox trailing New York by just 2.5 games despite the rough start. The computer simulation looks bleak at the moment, but a small winning streak could flip that projection very quickly.

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Preseason Projection: 82 wins

Current Record: 18-10
Season Projection: 96-66

The A’s are doing it again with the best record in the American League including 12 wins on the road. In the preseason, the computer underestimated Oakland despite the recent record of success in the AL West. The team has been so good that its run differential is +59, 50 more than the third best team in the AL (Anaheim is second at +40).

The pitching has been even better than expected with a team ERA and WHIP of 2.78 and 1.12. For comparison, Yu Darvish posted and ERA and WHIP of 2.83 and 1.07 last season. Sonny Gray has transformed into a true ace, but more surprisingly, Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez have been dominant starters through April. Oakland hasn’t just been pitching this season though with the team ranking 2nd in the league in on-base percentage (.351) and 5th in slugging (.412).

Oakland is currently projected to win 96 games far beyond its preseason projection. The computer is very down on division rivals Houston, Seattle, and Texas which is certainly helping the A’s. Barring a rash of injuries this team should remain contenders all season long.

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