Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Playoff Predictions

There is no formula for predicting success in the playoffs.  Some will tell you that pitching and defense beats hitting in post-season, or that teams heavily reliant of home runs will struggle or that teams that finish strong will carry momentum into the playoffs.  A recent Grantland article shows that those and many other popular narratives are not supported by strong evidence.  In reality, there is no reliable way to predict the outcome of a short series, especially in the playoffs where all the teams are good and pretty evenly matched.

The playoffs are largely a crap shoot, but we all like to guess who will win, so here are my predictions:

AL Wildcard
Oakland over Kansas City

NL Wildcard
Pittsburgh over San Francisco

AL First Round
Detroit over Baltimore
Los Angeles over Oakland

NL First Round
St. Louis over Los Angeles,    
Washington over Pittsburgh

AL Championship
Detroit over Los Angeles
Washington over St. Louis

World Series
Detroit over Washington


  1. I'll chime in initially with a quick follow-up to the previous article in saying that you were pretty close with your preseason Forecast thread in predicting that the Tigers would win 93 games, so not far off considering we won 90. The main reason it was a surprise that it took so long for us to win the division was because KC put up 89 wins which was a bit more than we thought they would do. I didn't post win totals at that time and I'm not sure if I did on another one of the threads here, but trying to go back in my mind I believe I was predicting 90 wins for us and 85 for KC as the 2nd place team, so we were only off on winning the division by 4 games from what I expected (coincidentally I was the only one who commented in that thread as well). Although that's not counting the emergence of J.D. Martinez, but since we had a few weaker performance areas that weren't expected by many it makes sense that we wound up with a 90 win total, so not much of a surprise.

    That being said I also predicted in that preseason Forecast thread that the Dodgers would beat us in 7 games in the WS. Honestly I also picked Los Angeles in the recent poll of greatest sports city in America. But there are some good key reasons for both of those choices, for one I had to give respect to the Kings since they have done something really special in hockey in recent years that scores huge points since titles won by underdogs score huge points with me, and for two I love putting extra pressure on our own team by giving extra props to who I see as the top competition; "Somebody's Gotta Do It" to steal a line from and plug Mike Rowe! It creates drama and intense competition and self-creates a chip on our own shoulder, and we here in Detroit have done some good things lately but not any championship things lately, so now it's the time for all of the sports teams in Detroit to step up in a big way and take things to the next level and to get the job done by winning some titles. This starts with the Tigers as the lead-off team followed by the Lions who will be next to show what they can do.

    Is there enough "magic in the moonlight" for the Tigers and the Lions to make greatness happen?...

    I say there is...

    I picked the Dodgers to edge us out in 7, but since then we have a lot more going for us that can be taken into consideration. We saw J.D. Martinez as an unexpected surprise, and we saw a valuable reliever in Soria added to the mix, and we have seen Verlander/Nathan perform statistically below their true capabilities which I'm expecting to be different for the playoffs, and all of those items bode well for us to go "Over the Top" (to plug an old Stallone movie just for fun) and win this thing.

    Now let's watch them do it!!

  2. I think I said 93 before spring training, but my opening day prediction was 89 wins: http://www.detroittigertales.com/2014/03/ten-predictions-for-tigers-pitchers.html

    So, I'm not surprised by their 90 win season. I think the Royals good season made the Tigers season seem worse than it really was.


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