Before the 2015 season starts this weekend, the writers at Beyond the Box Score were asked to give their picks for the upcoming season. In all, 14 writers and editors responded.
We'll first go through the division races. The writers ranked each team one through five. Teams received seven points for a first-place prediction, five points for second, three for third, two for fourth, and one for fifth. Here are the results for the division races with first-place votes in parentheses.
|Red Sox (10)||83||Tigers (7)||82||Angels (8)||83|
|Blue Jays||57||Indians (6)||78||Mariners (6)||78|
|Orioles (3)||52||White Sox (1)||44||Athletics||47|
|Nationals (14)||98||Cardinals (10)||90||Dodgers (14)||98|
The writers were also asked to pick the two wild card winners. Teams received two points for a first place wild-card vote, and one point for a second place wild-card vote.
Also receiving votes: Red Sox 2, White Sox 2, Athletics 1.
Next, the writers picked the AL and NL pennant winners, and the number of games each team would win in the World Series. Teams received four points for a series win, two points for a series loss, and one point for each game they were projected to win. The results are below. The number in parentheses represents the number of writers who picked that team to win the World Series.
Nine of the fourteen of participants picked the Nationals to win the World Series. Nine! I don't happen to know any Nats fans, but if I did, I would apologize personally for the impending freak Presidents' Race accident that takes out Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and Teddy Roosevelt and results in the immediate sale of the team to Dan Snyder.
We also had the writers guess the Cy Young winner and Most Valuable Player in each league. Obviously Mike Trout was the most popular AL MVP pick, but some of the other names might surprise you.
|AL MVP||Votes||NL MVP||Votes||AL Cy Young||Votes||NL Cy Young||Votes|
|Mike Trout||11||Andrew McCutchen||6||Felix Hernandez||7||Clayton Kershaw||8|
|Josh Donaldson||2||Giancarlo Stanton||5||David Price||3||Stephen Strasburg||2|
|Jose Abreu||1||Bryce Harper||2||Chris Sale||2||Matt Harvey||2|
|Jason Heyward||1||Corey Kluber||1||Jon Lester||1|
|Masahiro Tanaka||1||Max Scherzer||1|
Since this is the second consecutive year we've run this poll, we close with a look back at last year's results. We scored participants by counting the number of points that were mis-assigned: if a writer picked the Red Sox to finish first (7 points) instead of last (1 point), for example, 6 points were added to their score. Participants got one point subtracted from their score for each wild card winner they got correct, and would have earned points for nailing their World Series predictions had anybody picked either the Royals or the Giants. The five with the lowest (i.e., best) scores are listed in the table below.
But the best prediction in the entire piece was the throwaway line at the very bottom:
The point values are a little bit arbitrary of course, but predictions are predictions and put them down on internet paper will prevent us from lying about our forecasting ability in late August when the Brewers are like 90-40.
It only goes to show: You can't predict baseball. So when the Astros-Twins series over Labor Day weekend has huge implications for the second wild card spot, don't act too surprised.
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Bryan Cole is a featured writer at Beyond the Box Score with serious misgivings about the Red Sox this year. You can follow him on Twitter at @Doctor_Bryan.