Another season is in the books. No more baseball for several months and all that’s left is to mock all the baseball writers for their terrible predictions. Is that not what you always do at this time of the year? Well, then it’s a good thing you’ve got me!
This year, as every year since time mattered, the Royals Review staff came together via the internet to make amazing and bold predictions about the Royals’ season. Most of them were wrong. How wrong, you ask? This wrong.
The Royals Record
The Royals lost 104 games, this year. No Reviewer guessed they would lose more than 92. It’s really hard to predict more than 100 losses but you’d think someone could have guessed at least 95. The most correct were Ryan Heffernon, Max Rieper, and Shaun Newkirk. The least correct was Alex Duvall who thought the Royals would almost crack the .500 mark. Epic fail, Alex.
The readers did a little better, but they didn’t have to be as specific, either. Most of you guessed that the Royals would finish between 75-79 wins. Only 7.5% correctly guessed the team would collect fewer than 70 wins. Of course, that’s a huge bucket to put your bet in. So I think y’all might have been cheating a bit.
This is an area the readers absolutely schooled the know-it-alls. Almost two-thirds of you figured that Whit Merrifield would be the team WAR leader. Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas tied for third in fWAR on FanGraphs and came in second and third, respectively, in the reader voting.
This time, at least, the writers weren’t entirely shut out. Patrick Brennan and Max Rieper correctly identified Whit as the most valuable position player on the roster. Everyone else picked some combination of Moose and Salvy.
As for the pitchers, the writers almost unanimously selected erstwhile staff ace Danny Duffy with only Shaun Newkirk’s Jakob Junis and sterlingice’s Ian Kennedy predictions sticking out from the pack. The readers almost mostly figured on Duffy being the guy with Junis, Kennedy, and pitcher-who-didn’t-appear-for-the-entire-season Nate Karns getting some votes, as well. The Karns voters have got to be feeling terrible. Of course, no one got this one right as Brad Keller came out of nowhere to completely dominate pitcher fWAR.
American League Standings
Not a single writer got any of the divisions in the correct order. That’s honestly kind of impressive. Josh Duggan was the only writer to correctly predict the Red Sox winning their division with the rest of us picking the Yankees. Everyone but me, Hokius, assumed the Red Sox would still make the playoffs. Whoops.
Max Rieper and Sean Thornton both managed to incorrectly guess the Twins would win the central division. Everyone correctly guessed the Astros would win the west but no one thought the Athletics could finish in second, much less take a wild card spot. The closest in that regard was Alex Duvall who had them finishing third while the vast majority of the writers assumed they would finish last.
The readers were also fooled by the Yankees. But they did get the Central and West divisions overwhelmingly correct. Where you, my friends, really screwed up was the second wild card, though. While many of you correctly predicted the Red Sox and Yankees making the playoffs the second wild card was primarily split between the Angels, Twins, and Royals. None of these teams even got particularly close, sadly.
National League Standings
The writers once again failed a perfect score. This time right from the get-go as every single one of us assumed the Nationals would win the division, again. Instead, they finished 82-80. We were in good company, though, as 91.7% of you readers also thought they would take the division. None of the writers had Atlanta finishing higher than third. For shame.
The Central looks a little better because while we almost universally picked the Cubs to win the division, we at least gave the nod to the Brewers for the Wild Card. Max Rieper and Shaun Newkirk were the only ones who completely whiffed in that respect. Sean Thornton actually correctly predicted the entire central division order. Well done, Sean! The readers followed the trend of the writers and mostly assumed the Cubs would win it.
The writers had one perfect and one nearly perfect division record in the West. Josh Duggan correctly guessed the order but Alex Duvall guessed the order AND that the Rockies would take a Wild Card Spot. Max Rieper went completely off the reservation and guessed that the Diamondbacks would win the division. They did not. Shaun Newkirk did get the first two teams right - even the bit about the Rockies in the Wild Card - but screwed up the remainder of the order.
So let’s talk about the Wild Card whiffs. None of the writers got this completely right, of course. Some of the more memorable screw-ups, however, were Ryan Heffernon, Patrick Brennan, and Josh Duggan trying to give a spot to the Cardinals. And Hokius picked the Phillies out of left field. I still defend that pick, though. I think they’re gonna be good for a bit. The readers were all over the place. 23.4% of you correctly guessed the Cubs would win the first wild card and 18% of you guessed the Rockies would take the second. Good job, guys.
Considering how badly mangled the standings were it’s not surprising that the playoff brackets were screwed up, too. In fact, not a single writer correctly sent the Red Sox or the Brewers to their respective championship series. Only Hokius, Matthew LaMar, and Shaun Newkirk thought the Dodgers would make it to the World Series. And we all bought into the McCullough-effect, predicting they’d win this time. Spoiler alert: they did not.
The readers didn’t do much better than the writers. 8% of you did predict the Red Sox would win the pennant. But, guys, 37% of you picked the Nationals to go to the series. They didn’t even make the playoffs. Credit to the 31.5% of you who correctly picked the Dodgers, though. If any of you correctly picked the Red Sox to win the series it wasn’t enough of you to show up in the results. Yankees and Nationals led the way among assumed World Series victors among the readership.
End of Season Awards
Guys. This is just getting embarrassing. No one got Mookie Betts as AL MVP. No one picked Christian Yelich as NL MVP. No one picked Blake Snell or Jacob DeGrom for the Cy Young awards, either. Three of us managed to accurately guess the Rookie of the Year, voting, though. Take a bow, sterlingice, Matthew LaMar, and Hokius (that’s me!) You writers also gave the highest odds to those two while completely whiffing on every other award.
So, yeah, predictions are hard. So who wants to predict the contract Mike Moustakas will get this off-season?