The Baseball Prospectus crew has put up their 2007 "Predictatron" contest, where you can enter your guesses for the season records of all the teams, and maybe win a decent prize. 🙂
So here is my entry ….
*** means "mortal lock" …. a team you guarantee to win less than 72 or more than 90 (worth double the "points" of all your other choices)
<– means "division winner" selection
<~ means "wild card" selection
|American League East|
|Baltimore Orioles||66 – 96|
|Boston Red Sox||92 – 70||<–|
|New York Yankees||90 – 72|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||71 – 91|
|Toronto Blue Jays||86 – 76|
|American League Central|
|Chicago White Sox||83 – 79|
|Cleveland Indians||91 – 71||<~|
|Detroit Tigers||94 – 68||<– ***|
|Kansas City Royals||68 – 94|
|Minnesota Twins||85 – 77|
|American League West|
|Anaheim Angels||93 – 69||<–|
|Oakland Athletics||87 – 75|
|Seattle Mariners||75 – 87|
|Texas Rangers||83 – 79|
|National League East|
|Atlanta Braves||82 – 80|
|Florida Marlins||70 – 92|
|New York Mets||87 – 75||<~|
|Philadelphia Phillies||88 – 74||<–|
|Washington Nationals||60 – 102||***|
|National League Central|
|Chicago Cubs||87 – 75|
|Cincinnati Reds||79 – 83|
|Houston Astros||73 – 89|
|Milwaukee Brewers||89 – 73||<–|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||70 – 92|
|St. Louis Cardinals||81 – 81|
|National League West|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||85 – 77|
|Colorado Rockies||73 – 89|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||90 – 72||<–|
|San Diego Padres||87 – 75|
|San Francisco Giants||65 – 97|
American League Division Series:
Anaheim Angels over Cleveland Indians in 5 games
Detroit Tigers over Boston Red Sox in 4 games
National League Division Series:
Milwaukee Brewers over Philadelphia Phillies in 5 games
Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Mets in 4 games
American League Championship Series:
Detroit Tigers over Anaheim Angels in 6 games
National League Championship Series:
Milwaukee Brewers over Los Angeles Dodgers in 6 games
Detroit Tigers over Milwaukee Brewers in 5 games
My reasoning for these picks will come in a future post (or not).
Over on BP.com today, Joe Sheehan opined that he was one of the few people who thought the Sosa signing was a good one for the Rangers, and that Sosa could compile a 20 HR / .520 SLG season.
I wrote to him, as follows:
Color me as another skeptic on Sosa, especially the chances of his posting a 20HR/.520 SLG season.
Here is the list of fewest ABs in history to compile a 20HR/.520 SLG season:
I don’t think Sosa gets 229 ABs. If he does, he’s either found the fountain of youth, or the Rangers are very delusional.
Just for kicks, since I think Sosa will hit no better than .220-.230, here is the list of lowest BA to compile 20HR/.520 SLG in a season:
Hmmm …. Art Shamsky and Sammy Sosa in the same sentence ….
Here comes the post-season …. and my predictions for the Division Series
Yankees over Tigers in 4: Yankees’ walk and bash offense and post-season experience will wear out Tigers young arms. Tigers’ lack of plate discipline will doom them. Torre has managed to rest key players, while Leyland had to push his regulars all the way (and they STILL blew the division by losing 3 straight …. to the Royals … at home). Rivera might be needed only twice in the series.
A’s over Twins in 5: An extremely difficult series to pick. Its going 5 either way. It will swing on Harden’s effectiveness, and the A’s bullpen. Can Mauer, Hunter and Morneau continue to carry the Twins? Do the A’s fear any of the Twins’ starters other than Santana? Do the Twins pitchers fear anyone other than Frank Thomas?
Padres over Cardinals in 4: Pads superior starting pitching will swing what should be a low-scoring series. Pujols may set a post-season record for IBBs. Is Hoffman tired? But even if he is … he’s probably still more reliable than the Cards bullpen. Cardinals must look to create runs anyway possible (will Piazza start for the Pads … if so, watch the Cards harken back to 1985).
Mets over Dodgers in 5: The two best offenses in the NL go at it, with question marks all over the Mets rotation, and the Dodgers dinged up as well (Kent, Nomar and Penny). This is going to be a "survive through 6 innings" series, as the bullpens will get heavy use. Saito and Wagner are going to be fun to watch. Will Grady Little put a logical line-up out there?
OK …. I know you’ve been waiting for this …. my picks for 2006 🙂
Atlanta Braves – pick them every year until they fail
New York Mets – improved offense will be offset by lack of quality starting pitching
Philadelphia Phillies – 3B is a mess, Gordon is a risk closer, and not enough starting pitching
Washington Nationals – Bowden’s Bunglers won’t come anywhere NEAR 81 wins this time
Florida Marlins – Girardi will have them playing hard, but there is just too much inexperience on the team
St. Louis Cardinals – corner OF concerns, recovery of Rolen are keys to repeating
Milwaukee Brewers (WC) – youth movement continues to make progress, but still 1-2 years away from being "The Team to Beat"
Houston Astros – no Bagwell means a better overall lineup, but starting pitching shallow after Pettitte and Oswalt
Chicago Cubs – Zambrano is the only reliable starter, but improved offense should make for lots of 8-7 games
Pittsburgh Pirates – Jason Bay can’t do it all. Can Duke improve on his rookie stats?
Cincinnati Reds – the worst pitching staff in the NL
Los Angeles Dodgers – deep pitching staff will carry them far; defense needs some work though, and Furcal needs to be 100%
Arizona Diamondbacks – D’backs youth movement making progress; can Webb win 20?
San Diego Padres – some very old past-prime players in key positions, but Barfield will be fun to watch
San Francisco Giants – speaking of old …. the Giants will be sponsored by AARP. Bonds’ health will of course mean the difference between 4th and 5th place.
Colorado Rockies – back to the "great hitting/lousy pitching" days, only this time with kids
NL pennant: Dodgers
New York Yankees – they’ll score 950, and give up 875
Toronto Blue Jays – even with addition of Overbay and Glaus, not enough consistent offense, and defense will miss Hudson
Boston Red Sox – fragile pitching staff, and they lost a LOT of offense during the offseason
Baltimore Orioles – if they had the Devil Rays offense …. they’d be dangerous
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – if they had the Orioles starting pitching … they’d be dangerous
Cleveland Indians – time to take the next step; bullpen will be key (can Wickman do it again)
Chicago White Sox (WC) – best starting pitching in division, but the bullpen looks very shaky; Thome’s bat will make the difference between 85 wins and 90 wins.
Minnesota Twins – Santana can’t pitch all 162, and the addition of Castillo, White not enough on the offense side; Morneau should rebound nicely though
Detroit Tigers – could very well beat out Twins … IF the young pitchers come through
Kansas City Royals – have already been mathematically eliminated from post-season contention
Oakland A’s – prohibitive favorite on basis of best pitching in AL; Thomas the perfect DH; Street the real deal as closer
L.A. Angels of Anaheim – Guerrero will need help from youthful lineup to cover middling starting pitching
Texas Rangers – the Soriano deal was terrific, IF Wilkerson is healthy. Still not enough quality starting pitching
Seattle Mariners – Beltre will rebound from subpar 2005, but starting pitching is a shambles
AL Pennant: A’s
WS: A’s over Dodgers in 6
Fearless "Baseball Prospectus" predictions for 2006
February 28: "Baseball Prospectus 2006" hits the bookshelves. Readers discover that, given the acrimony and distaste surrounding last year’s Congressional steroid hearings, VORP has been redefined as "Value over Rafael Palmeiro.”
March 1: One day after “Baseball Prospectus 2006” hits the shelves, the first review to include the phrase “outrageous, preposterous, self-important analyses” shows up on Amazon.com. On that same day, five days before “Baseball Between the Numbers” even ships, the first review to include the phrase “self-important, outrageous, preposterous analysis” also shows up on Amazon.
March 7: BP headquarters is put on the defensive by religious ultra-conservatives who object to the use of the word "Mass" in BP’s "Hacking Mass" contest. BP responds by renaming the contest “Hocking Maas.”
March 9: During the inaugural World Baseball Classic, Albert Pujols’ chronic foot issues crop up again. Will Carroll receives calls from baseball writers representing many of the WBC countries, most regarding “planter fascination”, “plant our fascists” and other malaprop maladies.
March 14: The Commissioner’s Office contacts BP headquarters, issuing a “cease and desist” on BP’s awarding of a framed picture of Bud Selig as a contest prize. BP responds by changing the prize to an artist’s rendering of Mr. Selig, if he were a single-cell organism.
March 27: Groundskeepers at Shea Stadium find a groundhog camped out in short left
field. They notice that it sees its shadow, which means that it will be six more weeks until Jose Reyes draws a walk.
March 30: More BP contest wackiness, as the 2006 version of "Predicatron" apparently shows readers believing every team will finish 81-81. BP’s MIS/data wranglers, disbelieving any possible notion of total parity throughout the majors, spend 36 consecutive hours trying to figure out the mess.
April 1: During the Cubs final Spring Training game, Jacque Jones and Juan Pierre collide in the outfield. After the game, Dusty Baker mentions to the press of his interest in signing Rickey Henderson as a replacement.
April 2: Will Carroll is stumped as to what color might be redder than red, to be used for Henderson on the Cubs’ “Team Health Report”. He finally settles on a shade he names after a famous Bugs Bunny catchphrase, “What-a-Maroon.”
April 3: The Reds home opener. Their lineup includes Tony Womack. Watching this on ESPN, Joe Sheehan suffers a sprained elbow ligament throwing the remote at the sight of Jerry Narron holding the lineup card at home plate.
April 27: The Royals’ Mark Grudzielanek and Doug Mientkiewicz go deep on consecutive pitches, sending BP analysts scurrying off to analyze the relationship of VORP to last name length. All references to Ott (both Mel and Ed) mysteriously disappear from the BP website.
May 12: Initial sales figures for “Baseball Between the Numbers” are so good that BP starts to brainstorm ideas for the sequel, “Baseball Between the Spreadsheets.”
May 24: Derek Jeter slips on some hair clippings while waiting for Johnny Damon to finish getting his haircut in a posh New York salon, and ruptures his right Achilles. Alex Rodriguez takes over at shortstop.
June 16: With A-Rod at short, the Yankees’ “Defensive Efficiency” zooms to the best in the American League within 3 weeks.
June 23: BP announces an alliance with cartoonist Scott Adams. Adams will produce a new comic strip for the BP site, called “Hilbert.” It will detail the life of a sabermetrician at a major baseball website, along with his nemesis “Statbert.” James Click and Keith Woolner will have their likenesses presented in the strip.
July 10: During the All-Star Break, the Mets, Red Sox, Rangers and Braves complete a record 14-player deal involving Manny Ramirez and roughly $60 million. Christina Kahrl spends the next five days trying to analyze the deal from all the angles, and then ends up in Georgetown University Hospital for exhaustion and carpal tunnel surgery.
July 30: In Cooperstown, BP’s Jay Jaffe, holding a sign that reads “Bruce who? Gossage has a better WXRL!” gets arrested for trying to disrupt the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
August 19: BP offers a one-day, 6-hour course on sabermetrics at Xavier University, entitled “WARP in Cincinnati.” BP invites Loni Anderson to sign copies of “BP 2006” at the seminar, but she politely declines. BP settles for a much different Anderson (2005 Spring Training NRI Anderson Machado).
August 30: BP announces the introduction of its own line of licensed apparel. There will be t-shirts, hats and jackets emblazoned with the BP logo. Within a week, e-mail from BP’s female readers (all six of them) leads to the addition of a BP-embossed thong.
September 22: The Cubs are officially eliminated from playoff contention. Will Carroll begins sitting Shiv’ah.
September 25: Dusty Baker is fired, and Carroll decides to end his period of mourning.
September 26: The Yankees are officially eliminated from post-season contention for the first time since 1994. Steven Goldman begins his observance of Shiv’ah.
October 2: On the eve of the playoffs, Nate Silver holds an on-line chat. Three hours into the chat, he starts to field questions on topics other than baseball, including cooking, stock options and global warming. He specifically ends the chat four hours and six minutes after it begins. When asked about it later, Nate responds that he did it to honor Ted Williams.
October 27: The 2006 baseball season ends, as the upstart Detroit Tigers sweep the equally surprising Milwaukee Brewers in a series watched by practically no one. E-mails to BP customer service get an auto-reply mentioning the staff’s “need to decompress for a while after the long season.”
October 28: Work begins on “Baseball Prospectus 2007.”
Now dear readers, visit Baseball Prospectus at the link provided down the left column, and find out how much you don’t know about the game.