Sunday, June 29, 2008

Division by Division Recaps

Before the season began I previewed each division. I discussed the major additions and key loses teams had suffered as well as giving my prediction of how teams would finish. At what most are referring to as the 'mid way point' of the season, it feels like the appropriate time to reflect upon those predictions.

I will score my predictions utilizing the following formula. If I nail the position of the team, 1 point will be tabulated. If I am off by one place in the division, 2 points, by two places, 3 points, and so on. Whether I was over or under in my prediction will make no difference in this formula. It will be interesting to note if there are any division or league deviations. That is, whether or not I predict with the same accuracy from division to division and league to league.

Note: All standings based up to, and including, June 28, 2008.

AL East

In the comment section of this division a reader called me a 'fool'. Good for him. Really, the Jays are the only team to truly disappoint, while the Rays are my pride and joy prediction.

Pre Season Prediction
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles

Mid Point Standings
Boston Red Sox (4)
Tampa Bay Rays (2)
New York Yankees (1)
Baltimore Orioles (2)
Toronto Blue Jays (4)

I would look for the division to stay somewhat the same with the Jays passing the Orioles. The Rays are behind the Red Sox by 0.2% and could technically overtake them this coming week as they do have a game in hand.

Division Score - 13

AL Central

The Indians have disappointed everyone. Injuries and under performances have been the major culprits. While the record is worse then it should be, given the teams run differential, the club hasn't been very consistent.

Pre Season Prediction
Cleveland Indians
Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins

Mid Point Standings
Chicago White Sox (2)
Minnesota Twins (4)
Detroit Tigers (1)
Cleveland Indians (4)
Kansas City Royals (2)

Despite following the Central slightly closer then the rest of the American League, the results were somewhat the same. The Twins, a team whom I selected as a surprise team of 2008. The Tigers are making quite the run and will probably shake up the division a little, I still don't see them as a playoff team with that rotation and such a weak farm system.

Division Score - 13

AL West

There is a chance I live in the eastern time zone and watch very little west coast baseball. There is a chance that I underrate the Angels because their farm system continues to disappoint once the players make the show. Or maybe I just don't like the Angels of Anaheim in Los Angeles.

Pre Season Prediction
Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers

Mid Point Standings
Los Angeles Angels (2)
Oakland Athletics (2)
Texas Rangers (2)
Seattle Mariners (4)

I truly do not understand what is going on in Seattle. I figured between Bedard and Hernandez the rotation would be excellent and Putz would continue to dominate in the bullpen. My pre season pick to win the Cy Young is performing at a high level, but Bedard has not brought it like he was supposed to and Putz has been awful. Oh, and the Athletics are somehow a very good ballclub.

Division Score - 10

NL East

When the Mets acquired Santana most people were writing them into the World Series. Those same people were also wondering if the Marlins could win 70 games without Cabrera. Bizzaro baseball, according to Sports Illustrated, should have been written about the National League East, instead of the American League East when one considers the predictions made by the magazine.

Pre Season Predictions
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Washington Nationals
Florida Marlins

Mid Point Standings
Philadelphia Phillies (1)
Florida Marlins (4)
Atlanta Braves (2)
New York Mets (2)
Washington Nationals (2)

The Nationals flat out stink and the Marlins are greatly over achieving. If the season was played on paper, looking at runs scored and allowed, the Marlins would be in forth and the Braves and Mets would bump up a slot. In other words, I would be off by the slimmest of margins.

Division Score - 11

NL Central

Probably the most passionate and outspoken fans come from the the National League Central. I was ripped up after posting this article at The Bleacher Report with comments ranging from 'saddest article', to 'insane'. Interestingly, these same people are nowhere to be found today.

Pre Season Predictions
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Houston Astros
Pittsburgh Pirates

Mid Point Standings
Chicago Cubs (3)
St. Louis Cardinals (2)
Milwaukee Brewers (2)
Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
Houston Astros (1)
Cincinnati Reds (3)

The Cubs are definitely surprising me, although I am confident many of the players are playing above their heads. Although the same can be said for St. Louis I suppose. All of Pittsburgh, Houston, and Cincinnati are terrible teams and are essentially interchangeable. Thus, this is a very winnable division for the Brew Crew.

Division Score - 14

NL West

Similar to the American League West, but to an even further extent, this is a division I don't see often. This division is definitely disappointing and at times, tough to watch.

Pre Season Predictions
Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants

Mid Point Standings
Arizona Diamondbacks (1)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
San Francisco Giants (3)
Colorado Rockies (1)
San Diego Padres (3)

The Giants are in third? Wow! But outside of that, I will most likely be patting myself on the back all season. The Diamondbacks are the class of the division, with the Dodgers still in search of some legitimate power. Watch out for the Rockies as the club returns to health. A hot start to July could put them, and their deep farm system, in the CC Sabathia sweepstakes.

Division Score - 8

That I predicted the National League West with the best accuracy is extremely surprising. This is by far the division which I follow the least.

League Comparison:
American League - 36
National League - 33

In addition to best predicting the NL West, being on the ball with the entire National League is startling. A theory could be that watching so much American League baseball has created a bais with my predictions and projections. Clearly players who come through the Indians system have a soft spot in my heart, little did I know that was true about the American League in general.

At some point this week I will take a look at my award predictions and work through some updated predictions.

BallHype: hype it up!

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