Hey! It's time for the baseball season and that means that the GOG is back! Actually, I really didn't give it any thought until a couple days ago. We are running out of time until opening day, so let's get started!
What is this GOG that you speak of?
GOG stands for Guess the Outcome Game. The basic idea is that we post some questions at the start of each series, everybody makes their best (or snarkiest) guesses, and then points are awarded if you get things right. The beauty of the game is that anything can happen over a short series, so even the wildest prediction might come true.
A litle GOG history -- The first GOG on AN was run by Alien (pre-SBNation username) and Jjjsixsix all the way back in 2005. Winners were easyraider and Hang Man. In 2006, AsGirl ran it, but I couldn't find any tally of the final scores. Then it was on hiatus for a couple of years until I started it up again for the 2009 season (with some help from nevermoor, doctorK, and micdog2001. The winner that year was nevermoor, and you can find an exhaustive summary of the results at this fANpost. Last year was the debut of GOG by committee plus the self-reporting tool for scores -- the 2010 final results have their own little web page.
To play the GOG, just keep an eye out for these fANposts before each series. Then read the questions and post a comment with your answers. Please try to answer clearly and keep the questions in order, because it will make things easier for grading. I thought about using google docs to make a form that people could fill out, but in the end I decided that it wouldn't really help much and it would just be a pain for everyone to have to follow a link off the site (got to keep those pageviews up for Blez!). Besides being an absurd and unpredictable guessing game (except for nevermoor, who somehow knows all the answers), I find the GOG to be an fun way to preview a series -- who is hot and who is slumping, what are the interesting pitching match-ups, and should Billy in fact FIRE GEREN NOW! If you play along, you'll probably learn a bit about players on other teams and the weird statistical flukes that make every season unique. Ok, time to get started.
GOG 2011 #00 -- I know exactly what will happen this season. Do you?
The first GOG is a bit different from all the ones that will follow. This is your chance to make predictions about the whole 2011 season. It's one thing to post your expectations for the AL West as a comment on some DLD where no one will ever see it after a this week, but here your guess will not only be remembered, it will also be graded at the end of September. So pick well!
- Guess Oakland's regular season record for 2011. [5 points if exactly right, 4 points if within one win, etc]
- Predict the final AL West rankings (not the win totals for every team, just the order of finishing). [3 points for each team in the correct position]
- Now do the same for all the divisions that we don't care about [2 points for each team in the correct position]
- Name the Wild Card teams from the AL and NL. [3 points for each right]
- Which pitcher and which position player are the A's season leaders for (fangraphs) WAR? [3 points for each correct]
- Which A's player (pitcher or position player) has the highest cumulative Win Probability Added (WPA)? [3 points if correct]
- Who is the home run leader for the A's? How many home runs does that player hit? [3 points if you get the player right. 3 points if you get the number of HR exactly, 2 points if within one, etc]
- How many sacrifice bunts from Daric Barton? [3 points if exactly right, 2 points if within one, etc]
- How many games does Suzuki start at catcher? [3 points if exactly right, 2 points if within two, etc]
- Does Trevor Cahill put up an ERA under 3.50? How about a FIP under 4.00? [2 points for each right]
- New guys part 1 -- Who has more relief appearances, Fuentes or Balfour? Who has more strikeouts? [2 points for each right]
- New guys part 2 -- Who finishes highest in each of the Triple Crown categories (batting average, home runs, runs batted in), Matsui, DeJesus, or Willingham? [2 points for each right]
- How many games does Chris Carter play in the Majors? [4 points if you get it exactly right, 3 points if within two, etc]
- The Billy Beane Special -- Name one player who starts out on the 25 man roster but gets traded mid-season. You are allowed to guess "no one". [3 points if correct]
- Last year, Oakland finished fifth in the Majors with a team UZR of +38.9 (behind Cincinnati, San Diego, SF, and Arizona). Will they crack the top 8 this year? [2 points if right]
- Know your enemies part 1 -- Coming off an MVP season, how many RBIs does Josh Hamilton rack up in 2011? [3 points if exactly right, 2 points if within four, etc]
- Know your enemies part 2 -- Does Felix Hernandez continue to strike out more than three times as many hitters as he walks? (his K/BB was 3.31 in 2010) Does his rate of home runs allowed per 9 innings remain below 0.75? (it was 0.61 in 2010) [2 points for each right]
- Know your enemies part 3 -- In his first season as a DH, predict Bobby Abreu's totals for home runs, walks, and stolen bases. His 2010 totals were 20 HR, 87 BB, and 24 SB. [For HR and SB, it is 3 points for getting the answer exactly, 2 points if within one, etc. For BB, it is 3 points for getting the answer exactly, 2 points if within four, etc]
- Who is Oakland's representative to the 2011 All Star Game? [0 points because that game is pointless]
This GOG is longer and worth more points that a typical one, because it covers the entire season. So don't miss out! Submit your answers before the A's take the field against the Mariners on Friday night. And be on the lookout for GOG #01, which will cover that series.