It’s Opening Day, and you know what that means. It’s time for our annual most mockable post of the year: Pre-season predictions!
Eighteen of Purple Row’s finest associates took the poll,the same as last year. Last year’s very educated guesses were pretty good. Most people picked theRockiesto win 84 games, which wasn’t far from their eventual 87, and there was general optimism that the club would compete. Only one person picked them to win fewer than 80 games.
When asked to predict a win total for the season, the average came out to 90 wins. That result, however, is skewed because one joker (there’s always a joker) picked the Rockies to win 162 games. After consulting with a statistician, the person informed me that I had two options: Either ignore the hell out of the joker or use median instead of average. Because statistics work, both results come out pretty much the same: The staff believes the Rockies will win about 85 games. Again, the most pessimistic person selected 78 wins.
There’s optimism again in this year’s poll, but there’s not necessarilymoreoptimism, at least when it comes to regular season wins. More people this year do think the Rockies are going to win theWorld Series—three as opposed to one. (One person from last year predicted that theAstroswould win the World Series, but because it was Connor we’re withholding accolades.)
We also dove in to some bold predictions this year. They shake out in to a few dominant areas.
First, there’s theTrevor StoryandRyan McMahonoptimism category. Two people guessed that Story will accrue more than 5 WAR, and another person landed on the oddly specific prediction that “he’ll slash around .289/.352/.590” with more than 30 homers and 15 stolen bases with fewer than 150 strikeouts in 150 games played. Yet another predicted that Story will hit more than 30 home runs while also batting .300, and another thinks he’ll lead the team in home runs. In theMcMahonoptimism category, three people think he’ll win the Rookie of the Year, and another less than bold predictions puts him finishing in the top 5. With McMahon, there’s hope, but with Story, there are expectations.
The “will up his game” category includes perhaps the Rockies’ two best players,Jon Grayand Nolan Arenado. For Gray, 20 wins, 17 strikeouts in one game, 215 strikeouts for the season, and a top 5 finish for the Cy Young award are the standout predictions, any of which would be just swell. For Arenado, it’s all about having his best season at the ripe age of 27 and winning the NL MVP, which four people predicted.
There are not a lot of pessimistic bold predictions, except maybe for the Carlos González will get DFA’d by the All-Star Break one, which is as possible as it is sad. That one, at least, is balanced by the prediction that CarGo will have an OPS+ over 110.
Ultimately, the two safest predictions are that something weird will happen that nobody here is predicting, and that tonight, the Rockies will play real, live, meaningful baseball. Thank goodness for both.
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