Sunday October 04, 2015
It's the Last Day of Baseball's Regular Season: How Did April's Predictions Go?
It's the last day of the regular baseball season so a good time to check out how all those predictions went back in April. We live in such a predictive culture but we always forget this part. The accountability part.
Here, for example, is Sports Illustrated's four “Baseball Preview” covers from April:
These aren't exactly predictions—they went with teams that traditionally win bupkis—but they went with the wrong teams. Doesn't help combat the myth of the SI cover jinx, does it?
In a way it's even worse over at Grantland, where, on April 6, six writers predicted how the season would go. Put it this way: It went better than their predictions.
There are 10 postseason positions, five for each league, meaning 60 predictions in all from these six writers. They divided them into division winners and wild card winners but I'll just take them all at face value. Choose the Blue Jays as a wild card and that's good enough for me.
So how many of the 60 slots did these experts get right? Twenty-one.
That's 35%. Keep in mind, 10 of the 30 MLB teams, or 33%, make it, so 35% is almost bare minimum. The experts at Grantland did about as well as a horse stomping its foot might do.
Or worse? None of the pennant winners the six writers chose are still in the running. Four of the writers picked the Nats in the NL, two went with the Miami Marlins. In the AL, we got four Sox rooters (two Red, two White), one dude chose the M's while the sixth went with the Angels. In a way, the Angels guy wins. They weren't eleminated until today, so he was closest. Kudos.
And in the AL? Good god. Of the 30 possible slots, they got three right. Three. Three Blue Jays. No one predicted Texas or Kansas City, last year's A.L. pennant winner. Everyone thought the Yanks would be a no-show again. No one thought Houston would go anywhere.
Maybe this is the beauty of baseball. It can still surprise us.
Except for the St. Louis Cardinals, of course, who enter the postseason for the fifth year in a row. And of course my Seattle Mariners, who don't enter the postseason for the 14th year in a row. Now that the Blue Jays are in, that's the current record in postseason woes.
Wait 'til ... Aw, screw it.