Thursday, July 16, 2009

Predictive analysis

The All-Star break is not only a time to look back at how the Cubs have done--it's also a time to see how me and my fellow predictors have done. With 53 percent of the games in the books, it's time to see how Trevor, Andrew and I are doing in our annual prediction challenge, originally posted here.

Cubs wins
Brandon 92
Trevor 89
Andrew 90

The Cubs are on pace for 81 wins. Obviously, we all hope the Cubs find a groove at some point in the second half, something they never really got around to in the first half. That said, the Cubs would need to go 48-28 in their remaining games for me to even tie this one, 47-29 in Andrew's case. Trevor's sitting pretty.

Zambrano wins
Brandon 17
Trevor 17
Andrew 19

Historically, Trevor and I always predict about 19, 20, or even 22 wins for Big Z. Andrew, always the realist, goes lower. But something went terribly awry this year and Trevor and I dipped below Andrew with our predictions. Zambrano is sitting on just five wins, however, so Andrew might have to hand over his Zambrano Wins Prediction Trophy in a few months. (Note: that trophy does not really exist, though it'd be pretty sweet if it did.)

Fukudome average
Brandon .274
Trevor .271
Andrew .280

Fukudome was batting .338 at the end of April. He was down to .309 at the end of May. Two months into the season, none of us were even close. But who knew that the player who's probably least in tune to the history of June swoons at Wrigley Field would be the biggest June swooner of them all. Fukudome hit .169 in June to drop his average below all of our predictions, to .256. He's dropped even more since then, and stands at .251 at the break. I'm completely Fuked on this one, as Trevor and Andrew sandwiched me, and Trevor's pessimism looks like it might once again take the day.

Gregg saves
Brandon 31
Trevor 29
Andrew 23

Oooh, this is a good one. Gregg is on pace for 30 saves (16 currently). If the Cubs do indeed improve in the second half, and Gregg stays healthy, I've got a chance to take it. Andrew needs a Gregg implosion to have a shot, but he's allowed just 2 ER in his last 18 appearances (Gregg, not Andrew).

Soto home runs
Brandon 29
Trevor 27
Andrew 24

Uh-oh. Perhaps this should be our collective mulligan. Soto has just eight dingers, and Andrew's looking good on the low end. You would have THOUGHT that Soto might IMPROVE upon last year's 23 HR, but nooooooo, he had to go and suck it up in the first half, and now he's out for 3-4 weeks meaning 29 HR is pretty much completely out of the picture. Stupid Soto.

Marshall wins
Brandon 12
Trevor 12
Andrew 10

Dammit. Marshall has just three wins, and he appears to be in the bullpen for good with Randy Wells holding down the fifth starter job with aplomb. Andrew can take this one to the bank. Though a bank probably wouldn't assign much monetary value to a baseball prediction.

Team double plays turned
Brandon 149
Trevor 128
Andrew 128

The Cubs have been terrible in this statistic for several years, and though they're still 22nd in the majors, there has been a noticeable difference. With 77 DPs turned thus far, they're on pace to turn 145 when all's said and done. Keep those twin killings comin', Cubbies!

So here's how the final standings would look if everyone played exactly the same way in the final 76 games as they did in the first 86.

Trevor 3
Brandon 3
Andrew 2

There's an extra one in there because Trevor and I are headed for a tie in the "Zambrano wins" category.

But enough predicting, let's play the games!


  1. I'm going out to buy a Zambrano Wins Trophy, just to present it to myself. Since we'll probably split the category, I suppose I'll let you look at it.

  2. I think Fukudome recovers to give me a 3 category victory. BTW- I vote that splitting a category gives each player .5 points... becasue it helps me :)

  3. I think that seems fair. And I'd love for you to win the Fukudome category, especially since I'm not going to win it anyways.