A quick review of how I fared with my preseason picks for the playoff teams, pennant winners, World Series champion, and major award winners.

Playoff Picks

As a reminder, here are my picks from March:

East Central West Wild Card 1 Wild Card 2 League Champions World Series Champion
AL Yankees Cleveland Astros Red Sox Angels Astros Dodgers
NL Nationals Cubs Dodgers Cardinals DBacks Dodgers

And, here is what actually happened:

East Central West Wild Card 1 Wild Card 2 League Champions World Series Champion
AL Red Sox Cleveland Astros Yankees Athletics Red Sox Red Sox
NL Braves Brewers Dodgers Cubs Rockies Dodgers

Of the 10 playoff teams, I correctly predicted 6 (4 in the American League, 2 in the National League). I mixed up the order of the AL East, but did have both the Yankees and Red Sox making the playoffs. Before the season, I thought the Red Sox were too thin on the pitching side to win the division, let alone the World Series. Well, as we saw, they won a franchise record 108 games and then steamrolled through the playoffs, beating the 100-win Yankees, the 103-win Astros, and 92-win Dodgers – by advanced measures, the other best teams in the game this year – to capture the organization’s fourth championship of the 21st century. As a Red Sox fan, I am entirely okay with getting that one wrong.

Otherwise, I incorrectly gambled on the Angels’ suite of moves working out, and snagged the wrong teams out of the NL grab bag. While I anticipated the Brewers and Rockies would be in the mix, I didn’t pick them to make the October tournament, and had absolutely no inkling of the Braves’ division crown coming; to be fair, I don’t think their front office did either. Man, the Nationals really blew it this year and things only look to be more difficult in coming years. The Braves will be good again and the Phillies are ready to add to their already decent roster. Generally though, considering my poor showing on the NL side of things, I might need to do some more work on the National League for 2019. However, looking back over my predictions from the last five years I have actually been a little better at predicting the NL than the AL:

Season AL Playoff Teams Picked (/5) NL Playoff Teams Picked (/5) Total Playoff Teams Picked (/10) AL Pennant Winner Picked? NL Pennant Winner Picked? World Series Winner Picked?
2018 4 2 6 No Yes No
2017 3 3 6 No Yes No
2016 3 4 7 No Yes Yes
2015 0 3 3 No No No
2014 2 3 5 No No No
Note: this ignores getting the Division Winner/Wild Card distinction correct.

On average I have identified half of the playoff teams before the season starts. That seems pretty good, but I am still here writing for fun on my personal website rather than sleeping on beds of cash made in Vegas.

Award Picks

Before the awards winners were even announced, I knew my picks were bad. Now that the winners have been announced, I can confirm the badness. I got only one prediction correct. Here is the breakdown:

American League

Award My Pick Actual Winner
Most Valuable Player Mike Trout (OF, Angels) Mookie Betts (OF, Red Sox)
Cy Young Chris Sale (SP, Red Sox) Blake Snell (SP, Rays)
Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani (SP/DH/OF, Angels) Shohei Ohtani (SP/DH/OF, Angels)
Manager of the Year Mike Scioscia (Angels) Bob Melvin (Athletics)

I missed on everyone but Ohtani, but I was close with the MVP (Trout finished second) and Cy Young (Sale finished fourth). The Scioscia pick was comical. He is currently out of a job.

National League

Award My Pick Likely Winner
Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper (OF, Nationals) Christian Yelich (OF, Brewers)
Cy Young Clayton Kershaw (SP, Dodgers) Jacob deGrom (SP, Mets)
Rookie of the Year J.P. Crawford (SS, Phillies) Ronald Acuna Jr. (OF, Braves)
Manager of the Year Dave Martinez (Nationals) Brian Snitker (Braves)

Not. Even. Close.

All told, it was another decent year for my prognostication, but I might be done with guessing at the individual award winners. My best performance was 2/8 in 2016. I will keep on poking around at getting the playoff teams nailed down. I would like to be able to consistently pick seven of the ten October participants.

I am already looking forward to the 2019 season.