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It's that time of year again... the time when I discover Da Box readers are way smarter than me so what am I doing writing anything.

Take a look at the original thread if you want to see your pre-season predictions.

First, a review of the methodology: the difference between your prediction and the team's actual win total (whether lower or higher) is calculated, and this is averaged across all 30 teams. A score of 7 means, on average, your predictions were off by 7 wins.

2010 was markedly easier than 2009 to predict - last year's winner, electric carrot, took home the gold with a score of 7.33 average deviation, a score which looks downright pedestrian this year. Every year has its surprises, and 2010 was no exception, with the Padres and Mariners in particular confounding readers and writers of Da Box, but on the whole more teams played somewhere close to their pre-season expectation.

Before getting to the results (as if you haven't already scrolled down), let's look at how Da Box thought things would go compared to what actually happened.

Some Analysis

AL East - one of the easiest divisions to predict... except for the good guys. Congrats to 92-93, the most optimistic among Bauxites, who was still not quite optimistic enough, pegging the Jays for 84 wins.

AL Central
- another fairly easy division. The Twins and Sox were a little better than we expected, but we still correctly predicted the Twins to win the division.

AL West
- Bauxites didn't really know what to do with this one, predicting the Angels, Rangers and Mariners to be in a three-way dogfight for the division. As it turned out, none of the three teams were within ten games of each other, with the Rangers beating our projections, and the Angels (slightly) and Mariners (a freaking ton) under-performing.

NL East - Wow, did we ever ace the NL East, nailing each team within three games of their end result. Bizarrely, even though Da Box predicted the Mets' 79 wins exactly, no individual Bauxite got them right.

NL Central
- Most of us missed the boat on Cincinnati, but congrats to ZekeBella who was the only contestant to peg the Reds as division champs, and overshot their win total by just one. Speaking of missing boats, the Pirates have been bad for a long time, but they continue to amaze us with their suckitude.

NL West
- By far our worst division. Obviously the Padres were a huge surprise, winning 23 more games than we thought, and we weren't particularly close on Arizona, San Fran or LA either.

Special congratulations to Ron, who nabs the award for most bang-on guesses with four (Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Nationals). Somehow, Ron has won this award two years in a row despite finishing in the bottom half in the standings in both years.

Okay, okay, on to the results. Drumroll please!

Congratulations Jdog! I hereby crown you champion of the second annual Batter's Box Record Prediction Contest. Mike Green took home the silver, while ayjackson and roster champion Thomas tied for third. Next was last year's champ, electric carrot, putting in another strong showing.

Vegaswatch usually analyzes major projection systems along similar lines, and when that analysis appears we'll re-visit these results and see how Da Box stacks up to the experts (we did very well last year).
Batter's Box 2010 Record Prediction Contest Results | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#224124) #

electric carrot, please start drafting your 15,000-word Magpie-esque essay called "How I Done It" and I'll post it for you here next April.

I apparently forgot to enter the official contest, but based solely on memory, my projections included 23 bang-on "guesses" and an average "miss" score of just a hair under 1.2. <sigh>

electric carrot - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#224126) #
I'd love to Mick but I think it's in direct conflict with the movie deal I'm negotiating with Miramax called "How I Done It."  (subtitled, "... and only percentage points behind Jdog, Mike Green, AYJackson & Thomas.)

electric carrot - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#224127) #
congrats to Jdog!  (And blast you Seattle for being so bad.) 
AWeb - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#224128) #
Well, at least I did better than last year. A few other statistical results (I quickly did up, I think I got them lined up properly)
Picking everyone for 81-81: score of 8.87
Picking everyone to repeat last year's record: score of 9.53

I find it shocking that last years record is worse at predicting this year than just guessing across the board .500 records. I know about regression to the mean and all that, but still...
John Northey - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#224130) #
I was a major wuss on this one. Only predictions I made was in the previews with San Diego winning the NL West (sooo close to being a genius) and the Dodgers winning 'just' 82 (they only got 80) and the Rockies 72 (vs the 83 they had) and the Jays winning 82 (joked about 95) due to the pitching staff.

So for the few I'd make a guess on I was off by 2 (Dodgers), 11 (Rockies), and 3 (Jays) - if only I called number of wins for SD (I'd probably have guessed between 88 and 90 while they won 90). I'd have been killed by Tampa as I figured they'd be mid-80's.
Dave Rutt - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#224131) #
AWeb, I figure you and I just thought 7.33 would win the contest, since it did last year, so that's what we shot for. And we nailed it!
Dave Rutt - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#224132) #
John, the NL West was the achilles heel of most of us - if you had entered you might have won this thing!
Gerry - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#224135) #

On another topic.... Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Dodgers will not allow Tim Wallach to interview for the Jays managerial opening.  Wallach's contract had a list of teams he could interview with but the Jays were not on it.

I thought that major league clubs would not stand in the way of personnel getting a promotion.  I guess the Dodgers don't agree which is odd given that they have just named Don Mattingly as manager.  It is not a vote of confidence in Mattingly that the Dodgers believe they need to keep Wallach around.

ayjackson - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#224138) #
I pegged the jays to win 89, based on strong over-performance of Pythagorus. Can I get a little love for that?
Mike Green - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#224139) #
You'll get a whole lotta love for that, but not from the old man Mr. P, who was Greek not Roman. :)
Jdog - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#224140) #
Beginners luck I guess. If only my White Sox pennant prediction would have happened, I did not see the Twins getting the production they did from Liriano. Also would have loved to see Oakland finish at the bottom of the AL West as i had a little side bet with Mr. Dudek. I will be looking to prove that I am no one year wonder as successfully as Mr. Carrot did this year. Thanks.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#224141) #
I wonder how PECOTA and the rest did.  I checked PECOTA, and their grossly incorrect projections were the same as ours.
Dave Rutt - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#224142) #
Sorry AY, I totally glossed over your prediction when checking for optimism. ayjackson: Most Optimistic Bauxite!
brent - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#224145) #

This year I tried to pick wins with all teams being closer .500. I improved 1.6 wins closer over last year. I'll have to try that again next season. Did anyone improve their difference better?

I finished 9th twice in a row now. How strange.

whiterasta80 - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#224146) #

Owch... the "participation" medal.  At least I pegged 3 records dead on. I can't imagine how far off I must've been on the other teams for that not to have made a difference.  Maybe next year I'll go with the 81-81 strategy.

Thomas - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#224147) #
Does this mean the other Roster members buy me dinner at our annual year-end retreat?
Gerry - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#224148) #


We will double what we spent last year on you.

Mick Doherty - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#224149) #
Thomas, yes -- I will buy you, and in fact the entire roster, dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House here in Dallas. It's a done deal for the evening of Day Nine of the retreat.
robertdudek - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#224154) #
Here is my early entry in next year's contest. This is a purely mathematical prediction, a la tangotiger's MARCEL formula. Following the acronym trend, I will call it CAMUS.

It weights the last three seasons as follows: 2010- 55%; 2009 - 30%; 2008 15%

It places equal weight  on1) actual wins 2) pythagorean wins.

It then regresses towards 81 wins by 15%.

New York 94
Tampa Bay 91
Boston 90
Minnesota 89
Texas 86
LA Angels 86
White Sox 85
Toronto 83
Detroit 81
Oakland 81
Cleveland 72
Kansas City 68
Seattle 68
Baltimore 68

Philadelphia 93
St Louis 88
Atlanta 88
San Francisco 87
LA Dodgers 85
Colorado 85
Cincinnati 84
Florida 82
Cubs 81
San Diego 81
Milwaukee 79
mets 79
Houston 74
Arizona 72
Washington 68
Pittsburgh 62

christaylor - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#224155) #
Other than coming up with a easy algorithm to predict wins (much more sensible that the dart throws that many pundits throw out) is there any reason for the weights you chose?

By weighting actual and pythagorean wins equal do you mean that you run the weighted average and regression on actual and pythag separately and then average?

How did you come up with the weights? Does the same formula predict 2010 wins using 07-09 data?

On another topic -- does anyone know any work that attempts to predict breakout teams? As this thread bears out it is pretty easy to get a decent prediction by sticking around 81-81, but more interesting (to me at least) would be a plug and chug formula that would indicate what teams are likely to bust or bust out. On the face of it, strength of schedule, age of the team, and roster turn over would be good variables to start with...
robertdudek - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#224156) #
This is meant to be a baseline to which more sophisticated and/or subjective approaches can be compared, much like Marcels are a basic baseline that you can compare Chones, ZIPS or Pecotas for batting line predictions.

No, I regressed after I combined actual wins and pyth.

Season weighting is just intuitive, based on the idea that more recent performance ought to be more relevant.

Mike Green - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#224158) #
...and a very generous baseline at that.  CAMUS is a stranger to personnel changes that occur between the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.  I'll stop, I promise.
Alex Obal - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#224159) #
Making the perfect prediction algorithm is a sisyphean task.

It looks to me like contests with this structure do reward people for making conservative predictions and regressing records to 81-81. It's not a bad thing at all, but it's going to influence my picks next year.

John Northey - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#224160) #
For 2011 I think, outside of how the Jays do, the big questions are who will collapse and who will jump.

In 2010 we saw in the AL...
Big drop: LAA from 97 to 80 wins, Seattle from 85 to 61
Big jump: Jays from 75 to 85 wins, TB from 84 to 96

In the NL...
Big drop: Dodgers from 95 to 80
Big jump: SD from 75 to 90, Reds 78 to 91, Washington from 59 to 69

I'm just listing 10+ game shifts. The Mets actually jumped by 9 but it cost a lot of people their jobs - price of crazy expectations.

Kind of surprised that 15 wins was the biggest gain and 17 the biggest loss. Figured someone did a 20+ this year, but guess not. Also didn't noticed that in the AL only Tampa jumped more than the Jays did unless I missed someone.
Mike Green - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#224161) #
The biggest drop was 24 (the Mariners).  Seattle's win totals the last 4 years: 88, 61, 85, 61.  I guess the next number in that sequence is 82 wins. 
Gerry - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#224162) #

It looks like the Mariners hope Eric Wedge will lead them to a better record.  There are several reports that Wedge will be named the new Mariners manager next week.

So cross Wedge, Tim Wallach and Luis Rivera off the Blue Jays potential manager list.  The Union-Leader in Manchester is reporting that Fisher Cats manager Rivera was told he didn't get the job.

Batter's Box 2010 Record Prediction Contest Results | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.