Friday, April 9, 2010

Season Preview: The Aggregate Predictions

In the past years we've done previews, we've also done predictions. In 2007, Teddy and I did something of an ad hoc prediction of where we thought everyone would finish. As we noted later, we were right about 2/3 of the time, that is, within an acceptable margin of error.

After taking off 2008 so Teddy could get married, we resumed predictions last year with the assistance of PECOTA. This system went to shit: the teams that finished 1-2-3-4-5 were predicted to finish 11-12-6-5-10. Shockingly, we have chosen to not revisit that method.

This year, rather than just announce from Mount Gowanus how we think the league is going to wind up, we've instead taken a third approach: asking other members for their predictions, and doing a tally, AP-poll style. We received 8 responses, which included 2 that were computer-influenced and one that was taken "off the top of my head."

Our hope is that the Wisdom of the Crowds will produce something resembling order. What is produced is four distinct tiers: contenders to win, contenders for the money, possibilities for the money, and longshots. Shall we run it down, Sir Teddy? (El Angelo)

Let's. And I love the concept of Mount Gowanus. I assume that in this scenario, Tucker is the Krakon. (Teddy)

Tier 4: The Discreetly Mine Division

13. Val (1 point)

Very nice, Jake. (El Angelo)
Seems a little high to me. (Teddy)

12. pastywhite tyrone (24 pts)

For the record, I did not pick this team to finish in last. Regardless, there's only one thing to say: you're doing a heckuva job, Brownie. (El Angelo)

Neither did I, actually. But investor confidence appears low at the moment. (Teddy)

11. Wu Tang Financial (26 pts)

Only one owner picked this team to finish higher than 9th place...and it's the team's own owner. I'd try to make an argument for them doing well, but they've only finished above 6th place once: their first year. (El Angelo)
I feel like people might be extrapolating a little too much out of B.J. Upton-gate. The team's not that bad. (Teddy)
10. Duck-Duck-Duck-Fuke (30 pts)

I picked Will to finish in 8th, and as I've noted before, I never get Will's team correctly. I think I've sentenced him to another 5th place finish. (El Angelo)
One person had these guys DAFL, which slightly skews their ranking. Though I guess that's the point of this methodology. (Teddy)

9. Enrico Palazzo (34 pts)

Seems like a consolidation year to get some good talent in here before a push to contention next year. The offense looks a bit anemic. (El Angelo)
As I said in the season preview, there's more here than you might expect, especially with Carlos Quentin looking frisky in the early going. But there are more solid teams than usual this year, and I guess somebody has to be worst of the best. (Teddy)

Tier 3: The Awesome Act Division

8. The Situation Room (47 pts)

There's nothing like everyone thinking your team is mediocre. (El Angelo)
Well, not everyone--these guys got one vote to hit the board, which is what separates them from the Tier 4 teams below. The other predictions? 6/7/6/10/7/10/9. So, yeah, that part is pretty mediocre. (Teddy)

7. The Little Green One (58 pts)

Some large divergence here. One owner picked this team to finish in third, three picked them to finish in 4th, while two of us (myself included) chose them to finish next-to-last. I really don't like the pitching or a lot of guys in the lineup, and can see this team selling off assets early to build for next year. (El Angelo)

Yeah, this is one of the two lightning-rod teams this year. I'm already on record that I think these guys wil challenge for the board. That said, the league vote as a whole has done a good job of reflecting the fact that the shape of this roster, with its multiple high-slot guys, is going to force the owner to either buy heavily or sell heavily come the summer. (Teddy)

6. Jeters Never Prosper (58 pts)

We've kept this squad in Tier 3 because only one owner has picked them to finish in the money. By contrast, everyone else has them between 4th and 8th. Ladies and gentlemen, the team everyone thinks will be mediocre! (El Angelo)
Kind of the mirror image of Ang's squad, except that where everyone thinks Ang's squad will be "not all that good," everyone thinks these guys will be "not quite good enough." (Teddy)

Tier Two: The Sidney's Candy Division

5. The Spam Avengers (60 pts, 3 first place votes)

My pick to win it all, as well as a computer pick and another human's pick. By contrast, one owner predicts him to finish him in 8th, and two others predict him for next-to-last. That mathematically translates to fifth place, but pins this as a boom-or-bust team. (El Angelo)

...and here's the other lightning rod. I feel better about my deeply hedged season preview of this team now that I see that nobody else knows what to make of them either. (Teddy)

4. Gowanus Superfunders (61 pts)

My esteemed colleague wrote me today to say that he needs Lawrence Jones to perform to him until Carlos Beltran returns. My response: planning for a Met to be healthy is planning to fail. (El Angelo)
I'd like to thank everyone (well, almost everyone) for nominating me for this season's El Angelo Memorial All-In But Out of the Money Award. I got three 4th place votes, and two 5ths. Of course, one guy did pick me to finish 11th. I'm not sure which would be worse. (Teddy)

Tier One: The Eskendereya Division

3. The Revenge Society (70 pts, 1 first place vote)

Was 2009 a fluke result? (El Angelo)
There's still work to be done on the roster, but I understand the vote of confidence in the owner. (Teddy)

2. Le Dupont Torkies (80 pts, 1 first place vote)

What I find interesting: all but one of the ballots picked this team to come in the top 3. The one that didn't was a computer-generated result, which put him in 9th place. I do think that someone's Wankdorf BCS Machine is underrating the owner's tendency to put together a winning squad, but if this team does flop, that program will become the fantasy equivalent of Deep Blue. (El Angelo)

Did LDT's owner assault a spreadsheet at some point? Because this is two years in a row that the computers have come in hard against him. Didn't seem to slow him down last year, though. (Teddy)

1. Suck It, Silver (83 pts, 3 first place votes)

All but one of the 8 ballots has this squad finishing in the money, and with good reason: the pitching and hitting are deep and balanced. Injury and regression on the team's residents Blue Jays are factors, but here's your 2010 morning line favorite. (El Angelo)
SIS is my pick as well, so I can't argue. (Teddy)

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