|Yes, this is a selfie, in case you wondered|
what "Baseball Ruben" looked like
A quick pre-emptive note: I realize how bad some of these will look at the end of the year. I’m sure I have some last place teams that will end up making the playoffs, and I have some division winners who won’t contend. That’s ok. It happens to all the forecasters every year. (here are last year's ESPN forecasters predictions. None of the 31 got all the division winners. Six picked the Astros or Royals - neither of which made the playoffs - to win the World Series. Almost half (15) had either the Indians or Cubs missing the playoffs. Somehow only FOUR of their 31 "experts" managed to correctly guess the Dodgers would win their division, Exactly one had Cleveland going to the Fall Classic.... and picked the Giants to beat them there)
My goal is to beat the default predictions of (1) using same records as last year and (2) assume everyone goes 81-81. Sounds easy, but it’s tougher than you think. A lot of “expert” predictions end up having the average margin of error being bigger than if they had just picked everyone to have a .500 record. I welcome my readers to provide their predictions or links to where they are posted, and we can compare results at season’s end.
Projected final standings and comments: (playoff teams bolded)
New York 79-83
Tampa Bay will be better than expected - challenging for second place in the division is not out of the question - even though most forecasts have them pegged for last. I think in spite of making the playoffs last season, Baltimore is the worst team in this division. The Yankees have some promising young players, but still a year or two away, and their front office will be smart enough (for a change) to not overpay for a midseason upgrade, and instead will stick with the youngsters through some growing pains.
Kansas City 78-84
Don’t count Detroit out just yet. After losing 100+ games last year, the Twins may be one of the most improved teams in the league.
Los Angeles 69-93
We will see a great pennant race between Houston and Seattle. The loser will be battling Detroit and Toronto for the wildcard spots.
New York 84-78
The Mets won’t seriously contend although they’ll try for a wildcard. Atlanta is improving quickly, the Nats will be the best team in the senior circuit.
St. Louis 86-76
Not many surprises here
San Francisco 91-71
Los Angeles 87-75
San Diego 60-102
Best and most well balanced division in the league. Colorado will make the playoffs, the Diamondbacks will be much improved. The Dodgers will need to fight to sneak into the postseason
My ultimate prediction: World Series - Houston over Washington
|Actually, a picture of Mike Scott's no-hitter/playoff clincher. But those uniforms, tho!|