Thursday, July 23, 2020

2020 Predictions

I really should eschew doing predictions this year – the whole point of an exercise like this (other than fun, which is the main point) is to predict what will happen over a reasonably large sample. I don’t predict the outcomes of playoff series in the same manner, because I contend they are inherently unpredictable as binary outcomes with any level of accuracy that makes it worthwhile. The practice of making rank-order predictions is already a simplification of the reality of what is actually being predicted, and when applied to a season that is slated to be less than 40% the normal length, it is a foolhardy exercise indeed. Add on extra uncertainty due to player availability variability beyond the normal injuries, an extended gap since the last time we actually had the opportunity to observe players’ talent levels on the field, a severely unbalanced schedule, etc. ad nauseam, and there’s no good reason to do it.

Except that it’s fun, and I’ve been doing it in an unbroken chain since 1995, and if there's ever been a season in which to try to embrace the fun elements of baseball, this is it. So why not? I didn’t put a lot of my own effort into this – usually I use the Marcel or ZIPS or Steamer projections as a starting point, but make my own tweaks to both player’s performance and my thoughts on likely playing time. Here I just used the team win estimates published by Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, and Clay Davenport as a starting point rather than building up from player-level performance. I also made some of my own judgment calls on team-level performance more aggressively than I normally would – it’s easier to disbelieve someone’s team-level prediction when you haven’t dug in at the player-level yourself. I have not in any way though inserted randomness for what I hope would be obvious reasons if you are reading this blog.


1. Tampa Bay
2. New York (wildcard)
3. Toronto
4. Boston
5. Baltimore


1. Minnesota
2. Cleveland (wildcard)
3. Chicago
4. Kansas City
5. Detroit


1. Oakland
2. Houston
3. Los Angeles
4. Texas
5. Seattle


1. New York
2. Atlanta (wildcard)
3. Washington
4. Philadelphia
5. Miami


1. Chicago
2. Cincinnati (wildcard)
3. Milwaukee
4. St. Louis
5. Pittsburgh


1. Los Angeles
2. Arizona
3. San Diego
4. Colorado
5. San Francisco


Los Angeles over Tampa Bay

1 comment:

  1. So with the eleventh hour playoff format change, I guess the top two in each division are playoff picks, plus add Chicago and Los Angeles in teh AL, Washington and Milwaukee in the NL.


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