I followed this season quite closely, periodically checking on how my predictions were doing compared with those of Sports Illustrated and USA Today. Here is a division-by-division summary.
AL East. My pick of the Blue Jays for first turned out accurate in the end. However, the Jays were lower in the standings for most of the year, and I had to continually urge them forward, like a jockey taking the whip to his horse. We all had the Yankees near the bottom, so their 2nd-place finish was a surprise. Similarly, we had the Red Sox near the top (other two actually had them winning the division!), so their last-place finish was a surprise. In terms of places off, I won by 6-8-8.
AL Central. A huge win for me. I predicted the Royals to finish first, which they did by a wide margin. Inexplicably, the two so-called "experts" had the Royals in fourth! Similarly, I foresaw the Tigers as fourth, while the others had them 1st or 2nd. As a result, my win was huge--6-12-12.
AL West. We all were 12 places off, a horrendous result considering that the average based on random chance is 8. Mariners were a huge disappointment, finishing 4th when we all thought they would be 1st or 2nd. We all thought Rangers and Astros would be the last two, but they surprised and are both in the playoffs.
NL East. The Nationals were a huge disappointment, finishing 2nd by 7 games behind the surprising Mets, who we all had picked 3rd or 4th. I made a somewhat idiosyncratic pick of the Braves for 2nd, resulting in a loss by 6-4-4.
NL Central. I was hurt by an idiosyncratic pick of the Cubs to finish first. I have learned from past experience to never bet against the Cardinals, but my infatuation wiht the Cubs got the better of me and I got hurt by it. It should be mentioned, however, that the Cubs came on strong at the end, winning their last 8 games, and finished only 3 games behind the Cards and 1 game behind the 2nd-place Pirates. SI accurately predicted the entire standings for the division, while USA today was only 2 places off, missing only the Brewers nosing out the Reds for 4th. I lose 6-0-2.
NL West. I was hurt by my idiosyncratic pick of the Padres for 2nd. USA Today was helped by Rockies taking last behind the D-Backs. Finally tally was 6-4-2.
So, the end result is 42-40-40. Usually I best the experts, but this time I was slightly behind them.
Dick Oehrle R.I.P.
37 minutes ago