The Royals have been defying projections for years, and while 2016 was a disappointing season, the Royals did exceed their PECOTA projection of 72 wins. However it is not like other baseball prognoasticators were much better at predicting the future. Our band of writers got a few things right, but ultimately were about as successful at predictions as Joakim Soria was at protecting a lead.
Here were our pre-season predictions on the Royals and the rest of baseball. We are not exactly a bunch of Nostradamuses.
|Royals record||Royals WAR Leader||Royals WAR Pitching Leader|
|Tyler Drenon||89-73||Mike Moustakas||Yordano Ventura|
|Josh Duggan||93-69||Alex Gordon||Ventura/Volquez|
|Brad Ebert||89-73||Lorenzo Cain||Yordano Ventura|
|Matt Jackson||81-81||Lorenzo Cain||Yordano Ventura|
|Matthew LaMar||90-72||Lorenzo Cain||Wade Davis|
|Ryan McLaughlin||87-75||Lorenzo Cain||Yordano Ventura|
|Shaun Newkirk||80-82||Lorenzo Cain||Yordano Ventura|
|NHZ||88-74||Jason Kendall||Yordano Ventura|
|Max Rieper||90-72||Eric Hosmer||Yordano Ventura|
|Kevin Ruprecht||89-73||Lorenzo Cain||Yordano Ventura|
|Joshua Ward||88-74||Lorenzo Cain||Ian Kennedy|
|Tim Webber||87-75||Lorenzo Cain||Yordano Ventura
The two most pessimistic writers on staff were the the most accurate. Matt Jackson is a soothsayer of sorts for nailing the correct 81-81 record. However none of us successfully predicted who would be tops in WAR among position players and pitchers, as it would be Jarrod Dyson and Danny Duffy.
Let's look at how we predicted the division standings.
|Predicted Central Division Standings|
|Tyler Drenon||Kansas City||Detroit||Minnesota||Cleveland||Chicago|
|Josh Duggan||Kansas City||Minnesota||Detroit||Cleveland||Chicago|
|Brad Ebert||Kansas City||Cleveland||Minnesota||Detroit||Chicago|
|Matt Jackson||Cleveland||Detroit||Kansas City||Chicago||Minnesota|
|Matthew LaMar||Kansas City||Cleveland||Minnesota||Detroit||Chicago|
|Ryan McLaughlin||Kansas City||Cleveland||Detroit||Chicago||Minnesota|
|Shaun Newkirk||Cleveland||Detroit||Kansas City||Chicago||Minnesota|
|Max Rieper||Kansas City||Cleveland||Detroit||Chicago||Minnesota|
|Kevin Ruprecht||Kansas City||Cleveland||Minnesota||Detroit||Chicago|
|Joshua Ward||Kansas City||Cleveland||Detroit||Minnesota||Chicago|
|Tim Webber||Cleveland||Kansas City||Detroit||Minnesota||Chicago
Four writers correctly predicted that the Indians would take the division title, but Shaun and Matt Jackson nail all five teams in the division. Matt needs to start playing the Lotto.
How about the American League playoffs?
|AL East||AL Cental||AL West||AL WC||AL WC|
|Tyler Drenon||Tampa Bay||Kansas City||Texas||Toronto||Houston|
|Josh Duggan||Toronto||Kansas City||Houston||New York||Texas|
|Brad Ebert||Toronto||Kansas City||Houston||Boston||Texas|
|Matthew LaMar||Boston||Kansas City||Houston||Cleveland||Los Angeles|
|Ryan McLaughlin||Toronto||Kansas City||Houston||Boston||Cleveland|
|Shaun Newkirk||Boston||Cleveland||Houston||Toronto||New York|
|Max Rieper||New York||Kansas City||Houston||Cleveland||Boston|
|Kevin Ruprecht||Toronto||Kansas City||Houston||Texas||Boston|
|Joshua Ward||Toronto||Kansas City||Houston||Texas||Boston|
Ugh, I picked the Yankees? Many writers picked three of the five teams to make the playoffs, but only Tim Webber correctly predicted four teams, although he was incorrect predicting Houston would take division instead of eventual winner Texas. Tyler was the only one to correctly predict the Rangers would win the division, and only NHZ picked eventual Wild Card team Baltimore to make the playoffs.
|NL East||NL Central||NL West||NL WC||NL WC|
|Tyler Drenon||New York||Chicago||Los Angeles||St. Louis||San Francisco|
|Josh Duggan||New York||Chicago||Los Angeles||Washington||Pittsburgh|
|Brad Ebert||Washington||Chicago||Los Angeles||New York||Pittsburgh|
|Matt Jackson||Washington||Chicago||Los Angeles||Pittsburgh||San Francisco|
|Matthew LaMar||Washington||Chicago||Los Angeles||St. Louis||San Francisco|
|Ryan McLaughlin||New York||Chicago||Los Angeles||Washington||St. Louis|
|Shaun Newkirk||Washington||Chicago||Los Angeles||New York||St. Louis|
|NHZ||Washington||Pittsburgh||Los Angeles||Chicago||New York|
|Max Rieper||Washington||Chicago||Los Angeles||New York||St. Louis|
|Kevin Ruprecht||New York||Chicago||Los Angeles||St. Louis||Pittsburgh|
|Joshua Ward||Washington||Chicago||Los Angeles||Arizona||New York|
|Tim Webber||New York||Chicago||San Francisco||St. Louis||Los Angeles
Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles were pretty popular picks that turned out to be correct, as predicted by six of our writers. Three writers correctly predicted San Francisco in the Wild Card, while five correctly predicted New York, but no one matched the two up.
|AL MVP||AL Cy||AL ROY|
|Tyler Drenon||Manny Machado, BAL||Felix Hernandez, SEA||Blake Snell, TBR|
|Josh Duggan||Carlos Correa, HOU||Carlos Carrasco, CLE||Byron Buxton, MIN|
|Brad Ebert||Mike Trout, LAA||David Price, BOS||Byron Buxton, MIN|
|Matt Jackson||Manny Machado, BAL||Chris Sale, CHW||Joey Gallo, TEX|
|Matthew LaMar||Mike Trout, LAA||David Price, BOS||Byron Buxton, MIN|
|Ryan McLaughlin||Mike Trout, LAA||Chris Sale, CHW||Byron Buxton, MIN|
|Shaun Newkirk||Mike Trout, LAA||Corey Kluber, CLE||A.J. Reed, HOU|
|NHZ||George Springer, HOU||Dallas Keuchel, HOU||Byron Buxton, MIN|
|Max Rieper||Carlos Correa, HOU||Corey Kluber, CLE||Tyler Naquin, CLE|
|Kevin Ruprecht||Lorenzo Cain, KCR||Chris Sale, CHW||Byron Buxton, MIN|
|Joshua Ward||Mike Trout, LAA||Felix Hernandez, SEA||Kyle Zimmer, KCR|
|Tim Webber||Mike Trout, LAA||David Price, BOS||Byron Buxton, MIN
Trout seemed like a pretty easy call, since he has finished top two in MVP voting for every year he has been in the big leagues. No one picked Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, nor runner up Justin Verlander, which is unsurprising considering the expectations coming into this year. Byron Buxton was a popular Rookie of the Year pick, but he struggled. No one picked eventual winner Michael Fulmer, and I was the only one who even picked someone that was nominated - Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin.
|NL MVP||NL Cy||NL ROY|
|Tyler Drenon||Bryce Harper, WAS||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Josh Duggan||Bryce Harper, WAS||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Trea Turner, WAS|
|Brad Ebert||Bryce Harper, WAS||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Matt Jackson||Bryce Harper, WAS||Jacob deGrom, NYM||Julio Urias, LAD|
|Matthew LaMar||Bryce Harper, WAS||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Ryan McLaughlin||Bryce Harper, WAS||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Shaun Newkirk||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Corey Seager, LAD|
|NHZ||Bryce Harper, WAS||Clayton Kershaw, LAD||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Max Rieper||Kris Bryant, CHC||Madison Bumgarner, SFG||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Kevin Ruprecht||Kris Bryant, CHC||Matt Harvey, NYM||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Joshua Ward||Bryce Harper, WAS||Zack Greinke, ARI||Corey Seager, LAD|
|Tim Webber||Bryce Harper, WAS||Jake Arrieta, CHC||Corey Seager, LAD
Only two of us correctly picked Kris Bryant to win MVP. Everyone overlooked Max Scherzer for Cy Young, but it seems nearly everyone knew Corey Seager would win Rookie of the Year.
|World Series picks|
|Tyler Drenon||New York over Toronto|
|Josh Duggan||Chicago over Houston|
|Brad Ebert||Houston over Chicago|
|Matt Jackson||Toronto over Los Angeles|
|Matthew LaMar||Chicago over Houston|
|Ryan McLaughlin||Chicago over Houston|
|Shaun Newkirk||Washington over Boston|
|NHZ||Houston over Washington|
|Max Rieper||Washington over Houston|
|Kevin Ruprecht||Kansas City over Chicago|
|Joshua Ward||Chicago over Houston|
|Tim Webber||San Francisco over Houston
The Cubs were a pretty popular pick before the season, so it is no surprise that four writers correctly picked them. However everyone overlooked the Cleveland Indians as American League champs, with many instead picking the disappointing Houston Astros.
How did you do in your pre-season predictions? Should we get you a job picking lottery numbers?