Sunday, April 3, 2011

Season Preview: The 2011 Predictatron

For the second straight year, rather than just announcing our own hapless predictions, we solicited the opinions of the rest of the owners in the league, asking the others to submit predictions ranking 1 through 12. We received 8 responses, assigned points, (12 to first place picks, 11 to second place picks, and so on down to 1 for DAFL), added them up, and ranked them accordingly.

This year we had something of a division in the results: one team clearly on top, one team clearly in second, one team clearly on the bottom, and three discernible groups of three in the middle. Let's count them down from top to bottom. Anything useful to add, Teddy, outside of how great Florence was? (El Angelo)

I'm still fighting through the pork sweats, so I don't have a ton to offer at the moment, except to note that it was nice to come home and find my team in DAFL. (Teddy)

12. Wu Tang Financial (18 pts)

As stated in my preview, I disagree with this prediction. This squad won't compete for a spot in the money, but they're young and interesting, and more importantly, won't be trading off assets in July for a race to the bottom. Clearly, though, I'm in the minority, because nobody else has these guys finishing better than 10th. (El Angelo)

After reading your preview, I've sort of come around to that position myself. I'm not terribly sanguine about this team's deathship performance, but straight last seems unlikely. (Teddy)

T-10. Chicago Residents (32 pts) .

I'm a little surprised that this team is ranked this low--this is the squad that everyone picked to win last year, had a fair keeper list, and did have 3 picks in the first two rounds. Though I guess when you use one of them to take Chase Utley's corpse, you get little or no credit for it. For whatever it's worth, 32 points would have gotten you 9th place in last year's poll, so maybe the bottom is a little deeper. (El Angelo)

I've been gone--is Utley officially dead or something? The only baseball-related facts I've been able to glean this week is that the performances of my team and the Sox mean that Italy is apparently bad baseball luck for me.

Random note on Italian baseball. We stayed outside of Arezzo for a few days, and in town there was a freaking baseball/softball complex. Fuck the heck? Baseball comes in a distant fifth in Italian balls, behind volley-, basket-, meat-, and melon. I sort of wanted to jump in to a pickup game there and see whether I'd be the Barry Bonds of Italian baseball. (Teddy)

T-10. chad has pretty feet (32 pts)

One of three teams that nobody picked to finish in the money. To me, it's hard to see a ton of improvement from last year's 8th place finish. At least we know the owner will be entertaining. (El Angelo)

The automatic zero in saves is going to hurt. (Teddy)

9. The Little Green One (34 pts) .

Half the field picked this team to finish in last or next to last, which was offset by a 3rd and 5th place pick. It would shock nobody if they collapsed to the bottom because they traded off some assets in June and built for '12. (El Angelo)

Well, the last team with that violent a boom/bust voting split won the wh0le shooting match, so I guess there's hope. (Teddy)

8. Cosmic Douchery (50 pts)

Here's the 3rd team that nobody picked to finish in the money. I find this incredible--this team finished in 2nd last year and has been out of the money once in the history of the league. Though I didn't pick them to finish in the top 4, so I suppose I'm not one to talk. (El Angelo)

Yeah, as I sort of hinted in the preview, I think there are enough odds and ends on the roster to keep this team competitive. (Teddy)

7. Kicked in the Nuts (51 pts, 1 first place vote)

An interesting set of predictions for the Orchidometers--in addition to the first place vote, another owner picked them for second. Then there's the 4 that slotted them into 9th and 10th place. I suppose that's how you average out to the dead center. (El Angelo)

One thing you know about this franchise is that the owner is competely willing to GFIN (Go For It Now), or even GFIETITL (Go For It Even Though It's Too Late). With a few obvious early-sale candidates out there, this season could present another opportunity for these guys to drop the hammer. (Teddy)

6. Le Dupont Torkies (53 pts)

We all doubt Tucker at our own peril. That said, the team did only have one draft pick above #70 this year that stands to play in 2011, and it was Geovany Soto. (El Angelo)

Put that way, it does sound a little ominous. (Teddy)

5. More Fish For Kunta (60 pts) .

My preview noted that as constituted, this looked like a 5th place team that needed its owner to make a move or two for it to hit the money. I love it when the masses agree with me. I can't wait to see how much testicular fortitude my co-author decides to exercise this summer. (El Angelo)

I will not be 5th. I will be 3d or 11th. But not 5th. (Teddy)

4. Jeters Never Prosper (65 pts)

The people have spoken, and they've concluded that this team is clearly "good, not good enough": the picks are for 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 7th, 8th. For whatever it's worth, Chad's team had a similar voting pattern last year and they hit the board. (El Angelo)

They actually remind me a little of my team last year, in that they're a break or two away from the baord heading into the season. I got my break in the form of Carlos Gonzalez; we'll see if these guys can find a similar Leap somewhere on the roster. (Teddy)

3. Paging Dr. Rumack (66 pts, 1 first place vote)

The narrow edge over the Jakes is because of that one first place vote. I actually find this pick interesting because they had near no picks early in the draft, weren't quite a contender last year, and lost both Hanley Ramirez and CC Sabathia. Lots of confidence in the owner, I suppose, or a complete lack of confidence in the rest of the league. (El Angelo)

I still don't love the offense, but voting for arms in depth is usually a pretty good idea. (Teddy)

2. Rancho Carne Toros (78 pts, 1 first place vote)

Five of 8 owners put me in the money, and 4 of them have me finishing first or second. Thanks for the added pressure guys. Have you realized that I currently have one closer and it's Jose Valverde? Note to Jim Riggleman--Drew Storen is your best reliever. (El Angelo)

The divergence between the best reliever on a given team and the closer on that team has never been larger. It will be interesting to see whether MLB managers cotton on to that fact at some point during the season. (Teddy)

1. The Spam Avengers (85 pts, 5 first place votes)

First surprise: that this pick isn't unanimous, or at least 7 of 8 because the owner submitted a ballot. Second surprise: someone picked this team to finish in 9th. We will not reveal who made that prediction, but every other owner had them in the money, and only 1 other had them worse than 2nd. Ballsy. If that rogue owner is right, he'll be lauded in October much like Nate Silver was in 2008. (El Angelo)

As we go to print, this team has 110 points out of a possible 120. So, yeah. (Teddy)

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