Friday, March 30, 2007

Season Prognostications

Well, it's time to marshal and channel all that hard work and analysis we did in putting together those season previews. That's right boys and's time for some prognostications. We'll go team by team here, starting off with those we largely agree on. Ready, Teddy? (AG)

Sure, why not? You'll see that our picks differ more once we break clear of the bottom-feeders. Conveniently, Ang and I have exactly the same record in the league (a 2nd and a 3rd each), so team owners can feel free to just pick the more favorable projection without fearing that they're ignoring the sage of the group. Links in each team name lead to the season preview focusing on that squad. (Teddy)

President Skroob: 12th Place (unanimous)

I'm not sure if it's obvious, but I'm building for 2008 and beyond. (AG)

I think there's a typo there--you meant that you're building for 2108 and beyond, right? (Teddy)

Evil Empire: 11th Place (El Angelo)/10th place (Teddy)

I'm trying to determine if last year was an optical illusion, a confluence of great things happening all at once, or if this team's better than I think it is. I'm still skeptical, so I'll slot them to beat me, which is damnation by faint praise. (AG)

I think there's enough offense here to do some damage, but the pitching is so dire that it will weigh the team down. (Teddy)

bobcat goldthwaits: 10th Place (El Angelo)/11th Place (Teddy)

This club could actually finish a lot higher this year, but I can't see them catching money. Hitting 4th or 5th though? Wouldn't surprise me. (AG)

I think that either of the 10th-11th place teams could reach as high as 4th-5th pretty easily. The league is strong enough that a lot of the skill elements cancel each other out at the bottom, so that it's down to luck who finishes where. (Teddy)

Ed Rooney's Office: 9th Place (unanimous)

Surprisingly strong draft + young keeper list = second division finish. There's no margin for error, unless Delmon Young replicates Ryan Howard's 2006. (AG)

I hate my team less than I thought I would, though I still hate it a lot by any objective measure. I feel like I'm pretty well locked into the 7-10 range; my team doesn't have the upside of some others because I'm so far behind the curve on offense. There are so many crap pitching staffs this year that a couple of the good bat/no pitch teams will end up 4th in every pitching category almost by accident. That won't happen on offense. (Teddy)

Nigerian Gentlemen: 8th Place (unanimous)

This is actually the first team I could see competing for a spot in the money, the other 4 are best suited for waiting till next year. (Anyone up for spades?) Still, I have to place the 2002 Champs here, based less on their regression to the mean than the stepping up of the competition. Oh how I long for the days of my brother, Corey/Cody and Bartolacci. (AG)

That's probably right; the line between non-contenders and those with a shot at some money falls either here or one notch further up the chart. (Teddy)

We now hit some bigger divergences in opinion, but the first three are essentially tossed in a bag to reach the same result.

It's Enrico Palazzo: 7th place (El Angelo); 6th place (Teddy)

Since I really have nothing to say about this team, can we just award Idiot of the Century to Steve Swindal? If you know you've already beaten out George's own SONS as the heir apparent to the Yankee franchise, wouldn't you make sure you left the seat down? (AG)

There's only so much poop one man can eat. I applaud his choice of dignity over lucre. (Teddy)

Lefty's Revenge: 5th place (El Angelo); 7th place (Teddy)

The weaker of the two St. Louis originated teams, these guys could hit money this year. Until they show me the clutch stretch-drive performance you need though, I'm ranking them below the three prior champs and the guy with the better team. Sorry Jon. (AG)

I think the offense is just a click below the 4-5 real powerhouses, which will keep them from breaking into the first division. (CP)

M**e: 6th place (El Angelo); 5th Place (Teddy)

I'll go on record with saying there's no shot they'll actually finish in 6th---this strikes me as a team that's going to either run into the top 2 slots, or crater badly and trade off assets for next year. So I'll be chickenshit and say 6th, it ain't the first time today I've given a cop out answer. (AG)

I think the pitching gets healthy too late. Late starts kill you in this format, where you have to decide by July whether you're eating your keepers and going for it, or trying to rebuild. That's in large part what happened to me last year: Teix, Giles, Pierre, and Beltre all had terrible first halves, and the weight of all my upcoming plus 2 guys meant that I had to pull the plug and miss their subsequent bouncebacks in the second half. (Teddy)

And now for the creme de la creme, where we still sport divergent opinions. Well, with one exception.

Le Dupont Torkies: 4th place (El Angelo); 3rd place (Teddy)

I'm loathe to pick against the Defending Champs, who have done nothing but win in the last 4 years. (Some could argue they should've won the 2nd year.) I think the loss of the infield talent knocks them down a peg, and the lose out on a close battle for prize money in September. (AG)

They need to plug the gaps in the OF, but I feel like you can throw together some decent OF platoons more easily than you can fill gaps up the middle (where the team is already strong). The recent Dan Johnson injury exposes them at 1B, though--Ryan Shealy is a slender reed upon which to base a run at the board. (Teddy)

The Spam Avengers: 3rd place (El Angelo); 1st place (Teddy)

Wouldn't surprise me if they won, but as I previewed, I'm more skeptical than I thought I would be. But again, here's an owner who knows how to acquire talent, and there should be a good summer battle at the top brewing. (AG)

I like TSA's bench the best out of any team in the league--they can eat some bad luck and still be competitive. That's why I think they're the favorites, though it's anything but a sure bet. (Teddy)

The Sex Cannons: 2nd place (unanimous)

So Teddy & I basically agree that he and I have teams that have no shot to compete, Ironhead will be joining us for concession beers roughly around Father's Day, and that the Commish will finally grab a medal this year, and the silver one at that! That's the most agreeing we've done since picking Portugal as a sleeper team in the 2002 World Cup, and that couldn't have worked out worse. (AG)

Cristiano Ronaldo is a whining faker who is unfit to wear the forest green and scarlet. (Teddy)

Hand Banana: 1st place (El Angelo); 4th place (Teddy)

I'm a lot more trusting of: (i) this pitching staff than Teddy is, and/or (ii) the owner's ability to rectify his one drafting omission with a smart deal in the next 3 months. I think this squad rises back to the top again in a verrrrry close race this year.

I am leery of the pitching--I just don't think Arroyo and Pettitte are going to have much left in the tank this season. That said, I'm basing this prediction on the current state of the rosters and not on what I think the teams will look like come September. The GM knows his stuff, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if he beats my projection. (Teddy)

Thanks for following along at home. We here at the GRBG received word today that we've broken the Internet record for most preseason words posted about a fantasy league, having narrowly overcome Baseball Prospectus's coverage of the BP Kings draft, and Bill Simmons' coverage of every draft he's participated in since he left the Cross. We'll switch back to traditional Transaction Analyses once the season starts, with occasional random items tossed in. We're especially excited about one such forthcoming item, an Iconoclasts-style sitdown interview with Milton Bradley and Oil Can Boyd. So stay tuned!

Also, management would like to note that Juan Pierre and Billy Wagner are officially on the block.

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