Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Preseason Predictions: How We Doing So Far?

This week on Wild-Card Wednesdays, columnist Doug Silversten takes a look at how the Baseball For Thought columnists are doing with their preseason predictions as the season reaches its halfway point

As hard as it is to believe, the end of this week already marks the halfway point of the 2006 baseball season. While there have certainly been some surprises (the Tigers and Reds perhaps the most prominent examples), for the most part, the season has gone as expected. In fact, that is usually the case. Every year there are a few surprise teams that hang around a lot longer than expected. However, at the end of the year, thanks in large part to baseball’s remarkably unfair economic system, pretty much the same bunch of teams make the playoffs each year. Sure, there may be 1 or 2 “new” teams reaching the postseason, but, for the most part, the core remains intact each year.

Given that, it is no surprise that our columnist predictions so far are greatly on target. So, let’s look back at our preseason predictions to see how we are doing so far:

Let’s start with our AL predictions. Here were our predictions:

East: Red Sox 4, Yankees 4
Central: White Sox 5, Indians 3
West: A's 6, Angels 2
Wild Card: Angels 3, Blue Jays 2, Indians, White Sox, Yankees
Champion: A's 2, Indians 2, Yankees 2, Red Sox, White Sox

Cy Young: Johan Santana 4, Roy Halladay 3, Randy Johnson
MVP: Alex Rodriguez 4, David Ortiz 2, Vladimir Guerrero, Travis Hafner

For the most part, we are right on target. Clearly, the Tigers are the one team we all overlooked, but other than that, only maybe the Rangers are clearly missing.

Randy Johnson is certainly not winning the Cy Young, but everyone else on the awards list certainly has a shot. While we are only halfway home, our columnists certainly seem to have nailed the American League.

Let’s check out our NL predictions:

East: Braves 4, Mets 4
Central: Cardinals 8
West: Dodgers 6, Giants, Padres
Wild Card: Braves 3, Mets 2, Phillies 2, Brewers
Champion: Cardinals 5, Braves, Dodgers, Mets

Cy Young: Jake Peavy 4, Pedro Martinez 2, Roy Oswalt, Ben Sheets
MVP: Albert Pujols 6, Carlos Delgado, Andruw Jones

The only team we, along with most prognosticators, were way off with is the Atlanta Braves. However, overall we are again right on target. We missed the boat with the Reds, but who didn’t? Our Cy Young picks are a bit off, but none embarrassingly so. Overall, looks good.

Our World Series picks? See below:

World Series Champion: A's 2, Cardinals 2, Yankees 2, Mets, Red Sox

Well, considering all 5 of those teams are either in first place or less than 4 games from it, right on target again. Not shockingly. Name those 5 teams every year, and thanks to their payrolls, they will be right there at the end. Of course, the only exception is the A’s, and that is because of the best GM perhaps in the history of the game, as we discussed in Monday’s column.

Finally, how about Barry Bonds. Our average prediction:

Number of HR's Barry Bonds will hit: 30.6 (SD 3.6)

Barry Bonds is on pace for…. 23 HRs.

Hey, not bad. If Bonds has a 2 HR game tonight, he’ll be on pace for 27, right within 1 standard deviation of the mean. Wow, we’re good.

We’ll check back in October to hand out our prediction awards. Enjoy the second half!

"Wild Card Wednesdays" appears every Wednesday


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