2008 predictions in review

I can’t believe I forgot to do this last year, especially given what happened in the American League East! In my defense, I was more interested in this prediction at the time.

For those of you just joining us, every year, baseballrelated.com presents the predictions from the baseball preview issue of Sports Illustrated, as well as the predictions produced by an extremely quick-and-dirty formula from a Bill James Baseball Abstract of the 1980s. It’s now time to compare the 2008 predictions against the 2008 final standings.

Sports Illustrated Bill James formula Actual results
AL East
1. N.Y. Yankees (94-68) 1. N.Y. Yankees (95-67) 1. Tampa Bay Rays (97-65)
2. Boston Red Sox (92-70) 2. Boston Red Sox (95-67) 2. Boston Red Sox (95-67)
3. Toronto Blue Jays (87-75) 3. Toronto Blue Jays (84-78) 3. N.Y. Yankees (89-73)
4. Tampa Bay Rays (80-82) 4. Baltimore Orioles (69-93) 4. Toronto Blue Jays (86-76)
5. Baltimore Orioles (64-98) 5. Tampa Bay Rays (64-98) 5. Baltimore Orioles (68-93)
AL Central
1. Detroit Tigers (90-72) 1. Cleveland Indians (90-72) 1. Chicago White Sox (89-74)
2. Cleveland Indians (89-73) 2. Detroit Tigers (90-72) 2. Minnesota Twins (88-75)
3. Chicago White Sox (77-85) 3. Minnesota Twins (85-77) 3. Cleveland Indians (81-81)
4. Kansas City Royals (73-89) 4. Chicago White Sox (78-84) 4. Kansas City Royals (75-87)
5. Minnesota Twins (72-90) 5. Kansas City Royals (67-95) 5. Detroit Tigers (74-88)
AL West
1. L.A. Angels (87-75) 1. L.A. Angels (92-70) 1. L.A. Angels (100-62)
2. Seattle Mariners (82-80) 2. Seattle Mariners (85-77) 2. Texas Rangers (79-83)
3. Oakland Athletics (75-87) 3. Oakland Athletics (82-80) 3. Oakland Athletics (75-86)
4. Texas Rangers (72-90) 4. Texas Rangers (77-89) 4. Seattle Mariners (61-101)
NL East
1. N.Y. Mets (91-71) 1. N.Y. Mets (91-71) 1. Philadelphia Phillies (92-70)
2. Philadelphia Phillies (86-76) 2. Philadelphia Phillies (88-74) 2. N.Y. Mets (89-73)
3. Atlanta Braves (85-77) 3. Atlanta Braves (82-80) 3. Florida Marlins (84-77)
4. Washington Nationals (73-89) 4. Florida Marlins (73-89) 4. Atlanta Braves (72-90)
5. Florida Marlins (72-90) 5. Washington Nationals (72-90) 5. Washington Nationals (59-102)
NL Central
1. Chicago Cubs (91-71) 1. Milwaukee Brewers (80-82) 1. Chicago Cubs (97-64)
2. Cincinnati Reds (87-75) 2. St. Louis Cardinals (80-82) 2. Milwaukee Brewers (90-72)
3. Milwaukee Brewers (85-77) 3. Chicago Cubs (79-83) 3. Houston Astros (86-75)
4. Houston Astros (74-88) 4. Houston Astros (76-86) 4. St. Louis Cardinals (86-76)
5. St. Louis Cardinals (73-89) 5. Cincinnati Reds (75-87) 5. Cincinnati Reds (74-88)
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (70-92) 6. Pittsburgh Pirates (68-94) 6. Pittsburgh

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Pirates (67-95)

NL West
1. Colorado Rockies (89-73) 1. San Diego Padres (89-73) 1. L.A. Dodgers (84-78)
2. Arizona Diamondbacks (88-74) 2. Colorado Rockies (85-77) 2. Arizona Diamondbacks (82-80)
3. L.A. Dodgers (85-77) 3. Arizona Diamondbacks (85-77) 3. Colorado Rockies (74-88)
4. San Diego Padres (79-83) 4. L.A. Dodgers (84-78) 4. San Francisco Giants (72-90)
5. San Francisco Giants (68-94) 5. San Francisco Giants (73-89) 5. San Diego Padres (63-99)

Neither prediction did particularly well in 2008. Both failed on the surprising Rays, and on predicting the Tigers to finish first (actually, the Bill James formula had them tied with the Indians). The Bill James formula also predicted the Padres to finish first — yikes.

But now we start with a clean slate for 2009, and two fresh sets of predictions. They will be posted here soon.

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