Results for the 2012 Dugout Central Challenge

by KerryWhisnant

At the beginning of the 2012 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 a previous article. 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 was very close but Robert edged me out for first place. We also both beat the Vegas Over/Under. John and Chuck, who tied for first in 2011, fell to the bottom in 2012. The final AWD standings:

Robert Owens 8.20
Kerry Whisnant 8.27
*Over/Under 8.48
Average 8.54
*2011 8.60
Jon Ellis (Seven) 8.80
*2010 Pythagorean 9.00
Patrick Greco 9.40
Chuck Johnson 9.47
John Bowen 9.93
*81 Wins 10.13

The Average prediction used the average of six Dugout Central entries (Robert, me, Jon, Patrick, Chuck, and John). Asterisks denote various automatic picks. The Over/Under used the over/under Vegas line from the Las Vegas Hilton. 2011 used the 2011 records and 2011 Pythagorean used the 2011 Pythagorean records. Finally, 81 Wins “predicted” 81 wins for each team. For a good part of the year, 81 Wins was doing better than many of the other predictions, but in the end it faded badly.

2012 was a little easier than 2011, when the best AWD score was 8.47. Robert easily wins Most Improved honors, going from next-to-last to first.

In the RMSE contest, which emphasizes consistency and penalizes really bad predictions, the standings were:

*Over/Under 10.69
Kerry Whisnant 10.87
Jon Ellis (Seven) 10.88
Average 11.06
*2011 11.13
Robert Owens 11.24
*2011 Pythagorean 11.53
Patrick Greco 11.75
*81 Wins 11.93
John Bowen 12.35
Chuck Johnson 12.53

I took top honors for RMSE for the third year out of four, barely beating out Jon. The best RMSE in 2011 was lower, at 10.39. Nobody beat the Over/Under in the RMSE.

Congratulations again to our winners, and stay tuned for the 2013 contest.

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62 Responses to “Results for the 2012 Dugout Central Challenge”

  1. Raul Says:

    What ever happened to Seven?

  2. Raul Says:

    Oh, crap.

    John finished ahead of Chuck?
    LOL. Let the gloating begin, brother.

  3. Raul Says:

    Well this is interesting…

    If I am reading this right, 2013 could be Johan Santana’s final season with the Mets.

    He earns 25 million this year, and has a team option of 25 million in 2014, with a 5 million dollar buy out.

    Santana has a career record of 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA over 2,025 innings and an adjusted ERA of 136. That’s really good.

    There are only 2 active players with a lower ERA than Santana:
    Mariano Rivera (2.214)
    Adam Wainwright (3.154)

    There will likely be conversations about Santana’s HOF candidacy in the future.
    According to Black Ink, Santana rates at a 42, with the average HOFer coming in at 40.

    But according to Gray Ink, he rates at 122, with the average HOFer coming in at 185.

    Hall of Fame Monitor puts him at 82, with the average HOFer coming in at 100.

    So there is work to do.

    I was glad to see that among his most similar pitchers was John Tudor.
    Tudor is often forgotten as a quality pitcher of the 1980s. Had it not been for a MONSTER season by Dwight Gooden in 1985, Tudor would have been your Cy Young winner.

  4. Kerry Says:

    Re: John finishing ahead of Chuck

    It was so close and they both did rather poorly, so I don’t see either of them with much to brag about. OTOH, Robert smoked them both, despite some picks that many of us (including me) thought were questionable.

  5. Raul Says:

    I think a lot of guys were screwed over by the Marlins.
    They were terrible and everyone had them winning at least 80 games.

  6. Bob Says:

    The moral of this story is that I am profoundly smart!!!

  7. Raul Says:

    That would be true if you weren’t a Red Sox fan.


  8. Chuck Says:

    “There will likely be conversations about Santana’s HOF candidacy in the future”

    Maybe on Bleacher Report, but not from anyone who actually matters.

  9. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, Bob..”smart” and “Red Sox fan” are never in the same sentence.

  10. Chuck Says:

    last, first, last.

    This is my year.

  11. Raul Says:

    That’s quite a pattern of extremes, Chuck.

  12. Mike Felber Says:

    Let us see if the good year is part of a pattern or was an aberration.

    Though knowledge of current baseball & prognostication is not necessarily correlated. Someone might guess randomly & beat everyone. However wishful thinking & unsupported enthusiasms &/or negativeness can destroy what could be a deccent soothsaying session.

    Welcome back Kerry! How is the state of the Universe, Solid(liquid, plasma, gas…)?

  13. Bob Says:

    1. There is talk of a worldwide draft for baseball.
    2. Who wins March Madness this year?

  14. Raul Says:

    I don’t see how you can do a Worldwide Draft.
    How much is it going to cost to set up and organize that each year?

    You’re talking about a draft that would last forever to sort through all those players even if you could do it.

    And you’re not dealing with the most organized and reputable agents, players, officials, etc.

    I have no idea who wins March Madness. I haven’t watched 12 seconds of college basketball all season.

  15. Chuck Says:

    Trout, Hamilton and Pujols all in lineup today.

    Pujols hit one over the CF wall that Logan Shafer brought back.

    Pujols got hit by a pitch in the first inning, ball grazed off Lucroy’s glove and caught HP ump in hand.

    Had to come out..Tim McClelland umpired two batters from behind home plate..just like slow pitch softball.

    Can’t say I’ve seen that before.

  16. Raul Says:

    Anyone projecting win totals for the Angels?

  17. Bob Says:

    They play Houston 19 times, correct? Someone in that division should win 100. So I will guess 99.

  18. Raul Says:

    As good a guess as any.
    It’s rare to see people predicting 100+ wins for any team in Spring Training.

  19. Bob Says:

    I put them high for two reasons.
    1. The Astros
    2. I wonder if the Rangers will be a tad chaotic this year with the status of Nolan Ryan up in the air.

  20. Raul Says:

    I just don’t think the Rangers will have the offense to keep up with Anaheim.

    Any controversy regarding the catcher’s position in Anaheim?
    Iannetta has the job, but Conger is having just as great a Spring Training with the bat.

  21. Chuck Says:

    I’m all for a worldwide draft.

    My final four..Louisville, New Mexico, Georgetown, Indiana..with an Indiana/Louisville final and Pitino taking yet another title.

    I could see two AL West teams getting into the ’90’s..LA and Texas. I see the Mariners being one of the most improved teams this year and Oakland regressing to the norm..probably in the 75 win range.

    Houston will tie the 1962-1964 New York Mets’ record of three consecutive seasons of 105+ losses.

    “Iannetta has the job, but Conger is having just as great a Spring Training with the bat.”

    I would have thought the same thing, but Washington released Chris Snyder the other day and LA signed him Monday. Yesterday was his first game with the Angels.

    I think Conger is out of options, maybe LA thinks they can get an arm for him?

  22. Bob Says:

    1. The Marlins released Chone Figgins.
    2. If there is a worldwide draft, all players would have to be at least 18, correct?

  23. Cameron Says:

    I don’t have a Final Four ready, my answer as is it is every year is GO JAYHAWKS! I do feel better this year though between McLemore and Whithey on the team.

  24. Chuck Says: have to turn 18 in the year you were drafted.

    Bryce Harper was 17 when drafted in June and turned 18 in October.

  25. Bob Says:

    Chuck, thanks.

  26. John Says:

    Yeah, don’t think you get to brag when you barely beat out “guessing every team will go 81-81″ strategy. Hell, I might be better off doing that!

  27. John Says:

    Re: Raul’s point about Santana

    As it stands, he’d be on the outside looking in. Not unprecedented for a two-time Cy Young winner – think Bret Saberhagen (a far better HOF candidate than Jack Morris, by the way).

    But, to play devil’s advocate:

    Look at the voting for the 2005 AL Cy Young. Notice something?

    Santana should have won, and it’s not even close. He was better than Bartolo Colon in everything except W/L record.

    Say the voters hadn’t been complete morons that year: would the HOF writers deny a man who won 3 consecutive Cy Young’s?

    My guess? Probably, but it would be (artificially) harder to say no to him.

  28. Raul Says:

    I agree that if a vote took place today, Santana would be out.

    But those numbers don’t lie. As much as Santana has been hurt over the past few years, he has been among the very best pitchers of the last decade, and probably THE best.

    I didn’t like the way Pedro Martinez was handled in Boston, but maybe the best way to milk Santana’s remaining ability is for the Mets (and his future employers) to limit Santana the way Pedro was limited.

    I have little doubt that if Santana is healthy, he can go out there every week and give you 6 innings and 2 runs.

    A few years of that and he will be a HOF contender.

  29. Chuck Says:

    He’s hurt again, could be facing surgery and will start the season on the DL at best, and at worst will miss the season.

    Which means he’s done.

  30. Raul Says:

    Well, at 34…I guess you could be right.

  31. Chuck Says:

    Not only has Santana to this point had a short career, he also had a relatively short peak, really only five years, as opposed to the 7-10 voters look for.

    John’s right, he should have won the Cy in ‘05 instead of Colon, but even at that it’s not enough.

  32. Raul Says:


    Chuck, I’m a small guy for the HOF, but it seems like you wouldn’t elect anyone from this era.

    You’ve already said no to Sabathia, Santana, Hudson, Halladay…

    You gonna hang your hat on Verlander atleast?

  33. Chuck Says:

    Verlander’s two years away from even being eligible..let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

    I think Halladay’s borderline..a couple of more career average seasons and he’s probably in.

    Sabathia’s further away, but he’s younger than Halladay so he could get there.

    Santana and Hudson had the injuries, although it should be noted if everyone on the list stayed healthy and pitched 15 seasons..Hudson was the best pitcher of all of them.

  34. Raul Says:

    ESPN finally posts an article that matters and affects real people.

  35. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, I saw that…assholes.

    Shit really hit the fan yesterday..Professional Scouts Association had an emergency conference call for starters.

  36. Raul Says:

    Gallardo is the opening day starter, Chuck.

    So I guess that just reinforces your belief that opening day starts is overrated.


  37. Chuck Says:

    Who else they got?

    Marco Estrada? Chris Narveson?

    It’s like being at a bar and you walk over to a table with five ugly chicks and ask the “best looking” one to dance.

  38. Raul Says:

    Marco Estrada? With a name like that, he should be on a remake of Chips. Or The Love Boat.


  39. Chuck Says:

    RIP Harry Reems

  40. Mike Felber Says:

    The Art Expo on Pier 92 in NYC all weekend is great, just saw insider’s preview. I can forward a VIP pass to anyone who is around & is interested. Great to take a date,

  41. Chuck Says:

    Dear NCAA Basketball “Experts”,

    New Mexico sucks. Thanks for fucking up my bracket, douchebags.



  42. Chuck Says:

    Cubs today..honestly can’t think of anyone on the team I care about seeing, except maybe David DeJesus, but that’s only because he’s such a good guy.

  43. Raul Says:

    Anthony Rizzo?

  44. Chuck Says:

    He doesn’t do anything for me.

  45. Raul Says:

    He’s a baseball player.

    He’s not 1985 Kelly LeBrock.

  46. Bob Says:

    I like Rizzo. Played well for Italy.

  47. Chuck Says:

    She didn’t do anything for me either..she was hot, but a whacko. Isn’t that the chick that was married to Steven Seagal and kicked his ass?

  48. Chuck Says:

    Last couple of days I’ve had the chance to see Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton play in the same outfield..Trout’s obviously a heckuva player, but he works at the game. He’s always moving and he’s a high energy guy.

    After six years I’m always amazed at how easy Hamilton makes the game look. He’s in the top five players in the game and it doesn’t even look like he’s trying.

    Trout looks like a dwarf standing next to him…so does Pujols for that matter.

  49. Bob Says:

    The Yankees will likely sign Chien-Ming Wang.

  50. Chuck Says:

    “The Yankees will likely sign Chien-Ming Wang.”

    Gonna be a long season.

  51. Raul Says:

    Well Chuck did marry a Puerto Rican.
    Maybe I should have said Maria Conchita Alonso circa 1988.

    Lord help you if you’d rather go for Charo.

  52. Raul Says:

    Does Hamilton ever really try?

    I just get this impression that he’s as good as he is, solely because of talent.
    Sort of like Darryl Strawberry or Dwight Gooden.

    I don’t mean to mention them because they battled drugs also. But let’s face it, those guys couldn’t have worked too hard at the game. They were just naturally monsters.

  53. Chuck Says:

    Daynara Torres..the Miss Universe that Marc Anthony dumped for Jennifer Lopez?

    Saw her walking through San Juan Airport..holy shit.

  54. Chuck Says:

    Last night, Derek Lowe cruised through three innings throwing his the fourth he gave up four homers.

    He had Hamilton fishing at changeups..threw him one on 2-2 that caught too much plate and he hit it halfway up the bank in centerfield.

    This was right after Pujols almost killed some dude at the beer stand in left field with a line drive that took about two seconds to get out.

  55. Raul Says:

    Yeah Dayanara Torres was gorgeous.

    I thought Derek Lowe was going to retire.

  56. Chuck Says:

    He may now. That was ugly.

    Howie Kendrick took him oppo and even Hank Conger got him.

  57. Raul Says:

    Casey Kelly is getting Tommy John surgery.

    So…now that I’m thinking about it…the only thing San Diego got out of that Adrian Gonzalez trade was payroll relief.

    Kelly is essentially going to be a 25-year old rookie by the time he comes up.
    And Anthony Rizzo was shipped to Chicago for 6-foot-6 inches of nothing in Andrew Cashner, and a Tonka Toy outfielder named Kyung-Min Na.

    Who the hell is the GM in San Diego, anyway?

  58. Mike Felber Says:

    Promosyntheses marketing Co. is seeking “Brand Ambassadors to Yankee games in mid April. $22 an hour, $25 for the lead man. Anyone interested, I will forward you the E-Mail. .

  59. John Says:

    “Who else they got?

    Marco Estrada? Chris Narveson?

    It’s like being at a bar and you walk over to a table with five ugly chicks and ask the “best looking” one to dance.”

    Ugh. This is going to be a long year.

  60. Jim Says:

    @57 Funny how trades work out.

  61. Chuck Says:

    “Who the hell is the GM in San Diego, anyway?”

    A sabermetric guy.

  62. Chuck Says:

    OK, that’s it..last time I have Jack Daniels help me with my NCAA bracket.

    Fucking drunk douchebag.

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