Back in March, the nine of us here at Toaster got together at the behest of Cub Town's Alex Ciepley to predict the way the 30 major league teams would finish within their division and which two teams would take the Wild Cards. Now that the regular season is over, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at those predictions and see how we did.
What I've done (as I did at the All-Star break in my mid-season predictions review) is given each of us a score based on the number of games away each team is from the position we predicted they'd finish in the standings. For example, I predicted that the Diamondbacks would finish last in the NL West (heh), so I get 10 points added to my score because the D-Backs actually finished ten games ahead of the last-place Rockies. I then get four more points for having the Rockies in fourth because they finished four games behind the fourth-place Dodgers. For the Wild Cards I used the same system based on the distance between the predicted team and the team currently in the Wild Card lead. The lower the score, the better the predictions (at least according to this system). Got it?
Note that I did not penalize anyone for the order in which they listed teams that finished tied (specifically the Marlins and Mets and the Yankees and Red Sox), though it's worth noting that in the later case only Alex Belth and myself, the two Yankee bloggers, predicted that the Yankees would win the AL East and the Red Sox would finish second. Everyone else predicted the opposite, with the Yankees winning the Wild Card. I was actually the only Toaster to pick the Red Sox to win the Wild Card, as Alex B picked the A's. Meanwhile, every one of use predicted those two teams to finish first and second with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Devil Rays following in order, thus we all scored a 12 for the AL East.
Also note that in the AL Central, five of us placed the Tigers fourth (we all listed the Royals last). All five of those Toasters scored a 32, regardless of the order in which they placed the White Sox, Indians and Twins. This is because no one picked the White Sox to win the division and, well the math just worked out that way (not worth explaining). For what it's worth, Scott Long and I were the only two to Toasters to pick the White Sox to finish as high as second.
Which leads me to another interesting fact. Scott is a White Sox fan and his AL Central prediction was among the most accurate. Alex and I, the two Yankee bloggers at this site, as I said before, did the best job predicting the AL East, and our Cub bloggers Alex Ciepley and Derek Smart were among the best at predicting the NL Central, the only Toaster to do any better was Cubs fan Will Carroll. On the other hand, Dodger Thoughts' Jon Weisman was only average at predicting the NL West, Phillies fan Mike Carminati was only a hair better at predicting the NL East, and Catfish Stew's Ken Arneson was actually dead last in our AL West rankings.
Overall, the two Central divisions proved to be the hardest to predict, the AL in large part because no one saw the White Sox coming, the NL in part because, with six teams, there was the most possibility for error. Curiously, the NL East appears to have been the easiest to predict, which didn't appear to be case at the All-Star break when the Nationals were challenging for the division lead. Of course, a large part of that comes from the fact that the NL East was the tightest division in baseball this year, the last place Nats finishing just nine games behind the first-place Braves.
Finally, here's a quick look at our "consensus picks":
Phils/Mets/Marlins (three picks each at each position 2-4)