Baseball guys vs. The Computer

10

July

Half a season of baseball is over, and a few trends are coming clear. Royals? Not so good. Tigers? Good. So with the All-Star Break, we're talking predictions. And this time, we've brought in a ringer: A computer.

We're asking: Who can call it better? Four sportswriters, or the newsroom geek's computer using a little sabermetric wonder and Microsoft Excel? And if you think any one of them is full of it, fire away with your comments here on The Heater.

Our computer used a formula, which baseball stat guru Bill James invented, that determines winning percentages based on a ratio of runs scored and runs allowed. He gave it an awful name that makes us think of high school math, and you can read more than you ever wanted to know about it here.

So we asked John Romano, Gary Shelton, Marc Topkin and Damian Cristodero to predict the division winners, the wild card teams, how many games the Devil Rays will win and the two worst teams in baseball.

The picks:

John Romano
"Terry Pendleton patted me on the fanny once. How many computers can say that?"
AL: Red Sox, White Sox, Angels, with the wild card going to the Tigers.
NL: Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers with the wild card going to the Padres.
Devil Rays win 73 games.
The worst: Cubs.
The second worst: Royals.

Gary Shelton
AL: Red Sox, White Sox, Athletics, with the wild card going to the Yankees.
NL: Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers with the wild card going to the Astros.
Devil Rays win 72 games.
The worst: Royals.
The second worst: Pirates.

Marc Topkin
"It takes more than a humming hard drive to figure this stuff out. Moneyball or not, there's too much human element, human emotion, and human error for any computer to tell us what's going to happen."
AL: Red Sox, White Sox, Angels, with the wild card going to the Blue Jays.
NL: Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers with the wild card going to the Padres.
Devil Rays win 70 games.
The worst: Cubs.
The second worst: Pirates.

Damian Cristodero
AL: Yankees, White Sox, Athletics, with the wild card going to the Tigers.
NL: Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers with the wild card going to the Padres.
Devil Rays win 75 games.
The worst: Pirates.
The second worst: Royals.

The Computer
AL: Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, with the wild card going to the White Sox.
NL: Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers with the wild card going to the Padres.
Devil Rays win 67 games.
The worst: Royals.
The second worst: Cubs.

Got an opinion? Comment away. We'll see who is right come the playoffs.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]

    

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