The title says it all.
You don’t have to cite any reasons or give any rationales, though you can certainly present them if you so choose to show off your acumen, or your love or hatred for a particular team. Just make three (3) predictions about the 2008 MLB season before it begins, and then, after the season is over, we will see who got the most calls right.
To keep smart-alecs from padding their list with silly or trivial calls like “The Red Sox will win at least one game”, or “Derek Jeter will play most of his games at shortstop”, I’ll set these ground rules:
1 - Each prediction must be in one of the allowed categories below.
2 - Specifically for the 2008 regular season
3 - For predictions about an individual player, one that is presently on the 40-man roster of a major league team.
So, no predictions about the Yankees making another desperation signing of Roger Clemens (or Barry Bonds) in late May or something, fun though that would be to speculate about.
Categories of Predictions Allowed
[ul][li]The outcome of a specific team’s or division’s final standings[/li][li]The winner of a season series between two specific teams[/li][li]The outcome of a league statistical race (RBIs, HRs, SBs, Wins, Saves, ERA, etc.)[/li][li]The outcome of an MVP or Cy Young race[/li][li]An individual player reaching a career milestone or record[/li][li]An individual ballclub reaching a franchise milestone or record[/li][li]For a pitcher, a prediction about a specific season-ending statistic:[/li][list][li]Number of wins or losses, +/- 2[/li][li]Number of (blown) saves, +/- 2[/li][li]ERA, +/- 0.25[/li][li]BBs or K’s, +/- 10[/li][/ul]
[li]For a hitter, a prediction about a specific season-ending statistic:[/li][ul][li]Number of hits, +/- 5[/li][li]Number of HRs, +/- 2[/li][li]Batting average, +/- .010[/li][li]BBs or K’s, +/- 10[/li][li]SBs, +/- 2[/li][/ul]
[li]A player’s *season-ending * non-playing roster status (DL, retired, sent down, etc.)[/li][/list]
As far as predicting the outcome of a statistical race, you don’t have to necessarily call the winner, just give a prediction about a specific standing. For example, I might not want to predict who will lead the American League in HRs, nor name how many it would take to do so, but say that Miguel Cabrera will hit the third most HRs in the AL. Or that Johan Santana will come in second in the voting for the NL Cy Young award, without saying who it might be that would beat him out.
Alternatively, you can hedge a bit and predict that one of two teams or players will win a given race, but only if you also give parameters that dictate the verifiable conditions that will predict which of the two ultimately win. Which can be as arbitrary as you want: you could call it that either Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard will win the NL Home Run title, with the winner hitting more of his HRs in his home ballpark than the other – or, with the winner getting hit by pitches more than the other, or playing in fewer rainouts, whatever. If you could back it up with published season-ending statistics, you could even base it on the number of hot dogs they eat. And while saying something as mundane as “whichever one gets more ABs” would be kind of lame, it would be allowed.
Here are my own three predictions:
In his first year with the team, Johan Santana will set a Mets club record.
…for the most hits in a season by a pitcher. The club record is 21, set by Doc Gooden in 1985; Mike Hampton almost matched that with 20 in his only season with the Mets in 2000. Not that the margin matters for this prediction, but I’ll say, with a wild surmise, that Santana will get 23 hits.
The AL East will be decided by the head-to-head records of the Yankees and the Red Sox.
…but against the Tampa Bay (not-Devil) Rays, not each other. Well, of course they’ll play each other as many times as they each play Tampa Bay, since they’re all in the same division. But I predict that one of these two will win the AL East (Yankees or Red Sox), and whichever one it is, that team will have won more games against the Rays than the other.
The Chicago Cubs will finish second in the NL Central.
I don’t know what team will edge them out, but this will not be the Cubbies’ year. Again. Sorry. (And not that it matters for this prediction, but I also don’t think the NL Wild Card will be coming out of the Central Division. It just sucks too much.)