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Reviewing our pre-season predictions

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Guess what? They’re mostly wrong

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

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
NHZ Cleveland Kansas City Detroit Minnesota Chicago
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
Matt Jackson Toronto Cleveland Houston Boston Detroit
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
NHZ Toronto Cleveland Houston Kansas City Baltimore
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
Tim Webber Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Texas

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?