Revisiting our predictions for the 2023 Cleveland Guardians offense

Before the 2023 season began, we gave our predictions for the Cleveland Guardians offense, and now it's time to contend with the results.
Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

In the latest episode of the California Penal League podcast (which you can find on Apple, Spotify, and wherever else you get your podcasts), we gave ourselves a little crash course in humility.

At the beginning of the 2023 season, we gave our predictions for the year with a little bit of a twist. The format for the predictions came in the form of over/unders, broken down between the offense and pitching staff (that reckoning will come in a later article).

As for the results? They were... a mixed bag. There were a few things we nailed and there were a few other predictions that were so far off, they live in another galaxy. Check out a few of our predictions below, and be sure to check out the full episode at either of the links above or down below.

The Predictions for the Guardians Offense We Got Right

With the way the Guardians outperformed on offense in 2022 on their way to the postseason, it was easy to assume at least a few players might take something of a step back. One such player was second baseman Andrés Giménez, who hit .297/.371/.466 in 2022 on his way to a big contract extension in the offseason. Though he came on strong to end the year, Giménez struggled for much of 2023, hitting just .251/.314/.399 with 15 home runs, 27 doubles, 30 stolen bases, and a 98 OPS+.

Our over/under prediction for Giménez in 2023 was 20 home runs, 20 doubles, and 20 stolen bases, and though we were all right to take the under, Giménez ended up not being all that far off, and it wouldn't be nuts to assume the now two-time Gold Glover could hit all of those numnbers in 2024.

As for any predictions related to Oscar Gonzalez, well... let's just say it was wise to take the under. From the looks of it, Cleveland fell into the trap of Gonzalez's promising rookie season, finding it easy enough to part ways with Nolan Jones, a move the organization no doubt now regrets.

The Predictions for the Guardians Offense We Got So, So Wrong

There were two over/under predictions in particular that bring me great shame:

1. Predicting Way Too Many Home Runs for Josh Bell

Our over/under home-run prediction for Bell was 24.5, which isn't out of reach for him at all considering he's hit more than that three times in his career, and he did still end up with 22 between Cleveland and Miami. But this prediction was predicated on the notion that he'd have a fantastic offensive season hitting behind José Ramírez, and the truth is that the Guardians' big free-agent signing went over like a lead balloon.

2. Predicting a Better Offensive Season for Myles Straw

Even though I nailed a decent number of over/under Guardians predictions - Rosario's extra-base hits, the home-run totals for Ramírez and Josh Naylor, Steven Kwan's batting average (kind of), etc. - thinking I could will a better offensive season from Myles Straw into existence is a tough pill to swallow. Our prop here was an OPS+ over/under of 90, to which I took the over. In reality, Straw had a disastrous season at the plate, finishing with a 69 OPS+.

Interested in hearing the rest of our predictions? Give our full episode a listen below!