Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 Season Preview: The Predictatron

Once again we asked everyone for their predictions for the 2013 season and compiled them into a spreadsheet that shot out the aggregate predictions.  The overall results weren't a shock, but what was a little surprising was the variance in a lot of these picks.  Only two things were close to unanimous: the defending champions are going to be really good and my co-author will be patently mediocre.  Bold predictions indeed.  Let's take a peek at what we all thought before the games started.  (El Angelo)

"Patent mediocrity" is actually a fantastic team name. Hmm. Might have to sub that one in at the All-Star break. (Teddy)

12.  Beltway Bulldogs, nee Spreading Santorum (11 pts)

Based on the number of points tallied, the only thing less likely than this team winning is us holding the 2014 draft at the owner's former boss' new library.  In fact, I will propose that: if Will wins, the draft should be held there.  Gauntlet, thrown.  (El Angelo)

See, if this team was projected for a better finish, I'd make a joke about how the only thing more oxymoronic than a George W. Bush library would be a Manute Bol jockey school. But that would be too harsh here. (Teddy)

11.  string cheese tibias (26 pts)

At press time, injuries and drafting have produced an infield that contains Marco Scutaro, Jose Altuve and Alcides Escobar.  Defensively, they're among the best teams in the league.  (El Angelo)

I checked out this team's page to see which of those three guys was a backup. They're all starting. So, yeah. (Teddy)

10.  Wu Tang Financial (30 pts)

I actually don't think this team is horrible, but the problem is there are very few teams that are truly poor this year, meaning that some squad with fair talent is going to wind up near the bottom.  These guys look like prime contenders for that, er, honors.  (El Angelo)

In past years, mediocre teams with conservative owners would clunk up in the standings as more aggresive owners completed their tear-downs. The new draft order rules this year change the incentive to sell, so it's more likely that teams that start iffy will end iffy. (Teddy)

9.  Le Dupont Torkies (36 pts)

This squad has been in first place pretty much since the second day of the season, so clearly, we all know what we're talking about.  (El Angelo)

The main reason to doubt this team was age and its attendant injury risk. If they stay healthy all year, they'll finish better than this easily. (Teddy)

8.  The Spam Avengers (49 pts, 1 first place vote)

Of the eight votes, the one who has this team winning it all is the only one that has them finishing in the top four.  As I hinted in my preview, I think this is a team ripe to sell-off some +many guys, but query whether the new draft ordering is going to make the trade deadline pretty quiet for teams that would normally trade off "veterans" to build for next year.  (El Angelo)

Yeah, like I said above, I think the "first or last" projections we've seen in past years might be not be applicable this year. (Teddy)

7.  Dickey Centre (57 pts)

We may have to reconsider this ranking if Matt Harvey continues to emulate Dwight Gooden's 1985, because with him, Harper, Verlander and Heyward, when healthy, that's a sick core.  (El Angelo)

I've predicted this team to outperform its consensus for a a few years running now--this might be the year they finally prove me right. (Teddy)

6.  Boston Fah Qs, nee Brooklyn Tweedbeards (60 pts)

Every single prediction had this team below the top two and out of the bottom four.  That seems about right: low ceiling, high floor.  Huzzah.  (El Angelo)

This does feel like a consolidation year after last year's silver. (Teddy)

5.  The Kuroda Zone, nee Corey Loves Dickey (64 pts)

Much like their beloved Cardinals, they'll go exactly as far as their monster hitting will take them.  Fortunately, they don't have Mike Matheny to worry about in the process.  (El Angelo)

Thank Christ we got rid of the other Dickey name, as we now have a realistic chance at not cross-identifying guys in the TAs. (Teddy)

4.  Paging Dr. Rumack (65 pts)

The voters predicted this team would finish in 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th.  This puts them at the median, I suppose.  (El Angelo)

So like me but, you know, good. (Teddy)

3.  Ancient Alien Attack (67 pts, 2 first place votes)

By contrast to Andrew's squad, which people have finishing up and down the ladder, 5 of the 8 votes have my team finishing in the money while three others have me in 9th or 10th.  The fact that I perpetually lose probably didn't help my cause.  (El Angelo)

Again I bet those low predictions assume that you'll execute Operation Shutdown again if it comes to it. But I have a hard time seeing this team finishing in the second division. (Teddy)

2.  Jeters Never Prosper (77 pts)

The only team where nobody had a "bad" prediction - their worst tally was a 6th place vote, and five people had them finishing in the money.  Even the defending champ couldn't top that - someone picked Scot to finish in next to last.  (El Angelo)

I had them in the money as well, so can't really argue with this. (Teddy)

1.  The Braun Advantage (82 pts, 5 first place votes) 

I will say this: the guy who picked them to finish in 11th will be asked to write all my future horse racing columns if that prediction comes true.  (El Angelo)

Hey, as of today, they're in 10th. Of course, as of today BJ Upton's OBP is below .200, and that can't last either. (Can it? Oh, God, can it?) (Teddy)

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