It’s Not About The Money (Or Anything Else, Really)
So many factors are considered when speculating which teams will make the postseason – their record from the previous season, the team’s payroll, the experience of the team’s manager, etc.
My first post this season listed my post season predictions (both selfish and legitimate) and I didn’t consider any of the above when making my picks. While I’m pretty proud that some of my legitimate predictions were accurate (AL Central, NL Central, NL West, 1 NL Wildcard) a lot of “professionals” didn’t come as close.
Bleacher Report predicted the following regular season finish for what became the 10 post season teams.
Dodgers – 2nd place NL West, 91-71
Red Sox – Last place AL East, 77-85
Tigers – Win AL Central, 92-70
Cardinals – 2nd NL Central, 88-74
Reds – Win NL Central, 95-67
Braves – 2nd NL East, 93-69
Indians – 4th AL Central, 80-82
A’s – 2nd AL West, 90-72
Pirates – 4th NL Central, 81-81
Rays – 2nd AL East, 91-71
Two of those predictions (in terms of rank) were correct.
At the end of last season Boston was 69-93 – winning 28 more games this year – but it didn’t cross many minds that the team could turn around so drastically. Heck, everyone expected the Blue Jays to make a run this year and look how that turned out.
If you made your predictions based on last year’s finishes, Pittsburgh would be at home instead of Cincinnati, the Yankees and Mariano Rivera would get a final ride, the Indians never would’ve suffered through a one-game playoff, and the Dodgers would be lusting after the Giants.
If you made predictions based on each team’s total payroll on opening day: only the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Tigers would still be in it. The Rays, Pirates, and A’s wouldn’t have come close, and the Angels could be battling the Dodgers come World Series time in a Battle of the Freeways. Rounding out the other 6 spots: Yankees, Phillies, Giants, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays (I realize this makes no sense in terms of divisions).
If you made predictions based on each team’s manager and his years of experience you’d be looking at the Tigers, Reds, Giants, Nationals, Orioles, Angels, Indians, Twins, Pirates and either A’s, Rays or Royals. Mike Matheny’s 2 years of experience wouldn’t warrant a postseason berth, nor would Don Mattingly or John Farrell’s 3 years each.
All bets are off when it comes to predicting post season runs with pre-season logic. Go with your gut and forget the statistics.
With 8 teams left at the time of this post, here are my new predictions:
Pirates v. Cardinals – Pirates
Dodgers v. Braves – Dodgers
Rays v. Red Sox – Red Sox
Tigers v. A’s – A’s
Pirates v. Braves – Pirates
Red Sox v. A’s – A’s
Pirates v. A’s – Pirates
What are you thinking?