Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sports Illustrated Soothsayers

When the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview issue came out last March, I decided to tear out the page with their projected standings just to see how expert their prognostications actually were.

In the National League, they projected the following division winners and wild cards: Nationals, Cardinal, Dodgers, Pirates, Marlins.  The Nats totally imploded, and I suppose that any shot the Marlins might have had went away when Giancarlo Stanton was lost for the season.  They had both the Mets and Cubs tagged for third place in their divisions with 82 wins each.  All in all, not too bad.

In the American League, however, SI really soiled the bed.  If this morning's standings hold true come Sunday night, the AL division winners and wild cards will be the Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers, Yankees, and Astros. SI's projected division winners were the Red Sox, Indians, and Mariners.  Boston and Seattle will finish below .500, and as of this writing there is a good chance that the Indians will as well.  Their predicted wild cards were the Angels and Tigers.  As of this morning, the Angels are one-half game out of the final wild card spot.  The Tigers will finish below .500.  

Many of the AL playoff spots are still up in the air, but if the current standings hold, here is what SI projected for the five AL playoff teams:

Blue Jays - Second place in East, but not a WC
Royals - Fourth place in Central
Rangers - Fourth place in West
Yankees - Fourth place in East
Astros - Fifth place in West

Close races remain for the winner of the West and the second WC spot, with both the Angels and Twins (projected fifth place in AL Central by SI) still with a chance to catch the fading Astros.  At best, Sports Illustrated will have called only one correct AL post-season qualifier, and there is a good chance that they will be shut out entirely.   

I suppose that all this proves is that "In baseball, you don't know nothing ."  (One of the many quotes attributed to Yogi Berra which he may or may not have actually said.)

By the way, I've saved the SI predictions for the 2015 NFL season as well. Come January, we'll see how they did on that front.

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