Dugout Central Challenge: Photo finish
At the beginning of the season, Dugout Central readers and staff were challenged to predict the number of wins for each of the thirty MLB teams. The predictions were given in previous articles for the AL and NL. There were actually two contests, each with a different scoring method. One was simply to take the average win difference (AWD) between our picks and the final win totals. The other used root mean square error (RMSE), which penalizes really bad individual predictions.
In the AWD contest, it went down to the wire and the winner was decided by one game late on Sunday afternoon. Or, more accurately, the winners (plural) were decided, since when Oakland defeated Seattle 4-3, I pulled into a flat tie with Patrick Greco. The total win difference (TD) and average win difference (AWD) for each player:
|4||Jon Ellis (Seven)||222||7.40|
Also shown are the predictions using the 2009 records, the 2009 Pythagorean records, 81 wins for each team, and the average win predictions from all of our picks. The other picks, computer projections and those of Rob Neyer and Keith Law, are taken from the compilation at vegaswatch.net. The rankings are for predictions submitted to Dugout Central.
Last year’s AWD winner, Sky Kalkman, slipped to fifth this year. Thomas Wayne, who tied me for second last year, dropped all the way down to tenth. Chuck Johnson, after finishing next to last in 2009, “improved” to last place this year. Chuck and John Bowen did worse than simply predicting everyone would win 81 games.
The performance of the so-called computer picks — ZiPS, CHONE, Marcel, Oliver and Baseball Prospectus – was good to poor. Last year the previous year records and Pythagorean records did not do well, but this year they were better, especially the 2009 Pythagorean records. The Vegas Over/Under win totals, which beat everybody in AWD last year, did very well again this year. Keith Law almost matched Patrick and me, while Rob Neyer’s predictions were slightly better than our middle of the pack. As a group we did pretty well, with the average predictions beating everyone but Patrick and me.
The RMSE title was decided long ago, and I finished with the best RMSE score for the second year in a row:
|6||Jon Ellis (Seven)||9.93|
The order for RMSE was shuffled somewhat compared to the AWD standings. Sky, Jacob and Randy moved up, but Jon and Yu-Hsing dropped. The top and bottom of the standings remained pretty much the same.
In a future post we’ll look at some of the surprises and find out who came closest for those teams.