Predicition season, that is. Ah yes, the time when everyone likes to pretend they are smarter than everyone else by showing who will not only win all the divisions, but predict who will win the Fall Classic. Funny, I don't think anyone had the White Sox last year...or the Red Sox the year before or the Marlins...ah, never mind.
I recently went to my local Border's and looked at the Street & Smith's 2006 season preview as well as Lindy's. Both had the Angels winning the division.
Interestingly enough, I wonder how different the Internet predictions will be from the "mainstream" predictions this year. Over at Larry Mahnken's Yankee Replacement Blog, they have the A's winning the West by 11 games over the Angels in their projections. Of course, this is a baseball simulator which is different than someone just scanning a roster and deciding who will win. Or maybe it isn't all that different.
Still, they ran the season through the simulator 100 times and the A's won the division 88 percent of the time and making the playoffs 94 percent of the time. According to this divisional projection, the A's are the biggest sure thing in the American League. Boston is closest to the A's 94 percent rate at 82 percent. If the projections hold true, the AL Central will be the most unpredictable of all American League Divisions, but the Twins and Indians came out ahead overall with the White Sox missing the playoffs altogether 76 percent of the time.
What does all this mean? Well, take it for what it's worth, predictions and projections. It's interesting that even last season, the Internet community seemed to favor the A's even in what was supposed to be a retooling season. Many of the mainstream media publications predicted doom and gloom for the A's. I wonder what the split in choosing the A's for the AL West will be this season. Perhaps we should keep a tally comparing the old school publications versus online publications?
I think publications who need to make predictions long before many of the moves have been made have a tendency of missing out on acquisitions that can be underrated like Bengie Molina signing with the Blue Jays. So, take them for what they're worth (usually somewhere between $4.95 and $12.95).