FanGraphs 2014 Crowd Predictions: American League

On Friday, managing editor Dave Cameron published the various (and probably wrong) FanGraphs staff predictions for the American League and National League — shortly after which the present author provided the readership their own opportunity to make embarrassing predictions.

Below are the results of that same exercise for the American League. The National League will follow later this afternoon. Note that, owing to rounding error, percentages might add up to slightly more or less than 100%.

Division Winners

West: Oakland (49%), Anaheim (29%), Texas (18%), Seattle (4%), Houston (0%)
Central: Detroit (83%), Kansas City (10%), Cleve. (7%), Chicago (1%), Minn. (0%)
East: Tampa Bay (47%), Boston (37%), New York (8%), Toronto (4%), Balt. (3%)

With regard to the crowd’s divisional picks, neither the selection of Oakland nor Detroit to win their respective divisions departs from either the FanGraphs staff’s picks nor the projections hosted here at the site (with the caveat that the projections suggest a very tight race in the West). The crowd has its own favorite for the AL East, however: Tampa Bay. Also of note: the only ballot cast for Houston featured the Astros as a divisional winner. The said voter was drunk is not impossible.

Wild Card Winners (Top Five)

Note: Consensus division winners are excluded, and the non-consensus winners have had their division title selections added to their Wild Card selections, so for the teams listed below, their placement is based upon their combined number of total predicted playoff appearances, either through WC or Divisional victory.

Boston (46% WC, 37% Div)
Anaheim (14% WC, 29% Div)
Texas (19% WC, 18% Div)
Kansas City (17% WC, 10% Div)
New York (15% WC, 8% Div)

Predicted Playoff Appearances by Overall Percentage

Detroit: 92%
Boston: 83%
Tampa Bay: 82%
Oakland: 71%
Anaheim: 44%
Texas: 37%
Kansas City: 26%
New York: 23%
Cleveland: 17%
Baltimore: 9%
Seattle: 8%
Toronto: 8%
Chicago: 2%
Minnesota: 0%
Houston: 0%

Surprisingly or not, the crowd’s picks — towards the top, at least — more resemble the projected numbers at the site than the FanGraphs staff’s own picks. Mostly by choosing Detroit over Boston, is what I mean. Not really captured here is the logjam suggested by the projections in the AL West, with the crowd preferring Oakland by a wide-ish margin.

MVP (Top Five)

1. Mike Trout: 79%
2. Miguel Cabera: 8%
3. Evan Longoria: 4%
4. Prince Fielder: 1%
5. Edwin Encarnacion: 1%

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a population that by definition reads FanGraphs, the league’s most productive player by WAR each of the last two seasons, Mike Trout, is regarded as a heavy favorite to win the MVP in 2014. Among the players not listed here who also received a vote is Dodd. No first name (or last name, as the case may be), just Dodd.

Cy Young (Top Five)

1. Yu Darvish: 21%
2. Felix Hernandez: 21%
3. Justin Verlander: 20%
4. Chris Sale: 13%
5. David Price: 8%

Not listed here, but also receiving a vote, was Guy LeDouche. You don’t really hear a lot of talk about LeDouche — or any, even — but it’s clear that one reader is pretty optimistic about his 2014 season.

Rookie of the Year (Top Five)

1. Masahiro Tanaka: 29%
2. Jose Abreu: 24%
3. Xander Bogaerts: 21%
4. Yordano Ventura: 6%
t5. George Springer: 3%
t5. Nick Castellanos: 3%

The top-four players listed here were the only four named by FanGraphs authors. Not listed here, but also receiving votes: Alex Castroneves. The darkest of horses, one has to say.

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13 Responses to “FanGraphs 2014 Crowd Predictions: American League”

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  1. Felton says:

    I picked the majority answers except that Angels and A’s were switched.

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  2. Richard says:

    Oh man, MXC reference. LeDouche for Cy Young in 2014!

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  3. Colin says:

    Pretty impressive that the AL Central is winning 191% of their division

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  4. bjsworld says:

    It’s funny that the FANS projection for Trout is nearly 2 full WAR lower than his past 2 seasons average. Meanwhile Cabrera is still projected close to his average over the past 2 years.

    In other words, they expect Cabrera to be just as good, Trout to get worse, and yet Trout will the MVP?

    Me personally, no contradiction. I have Trout posting another 10+ WAR season, and the voters finally getting this award right.

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    • LukeNalooshe says:

      Trout could be 2 wins worse and still be better than anybody in baseball. He’s projected by ZiPS to be to be three wins better than anybody in baseball, projected by the Fans to be better than anybody else in baseball (and 1.4 WAR better than the next AL player), projected to be 2 WAR better than anybody in baseball by Steamer, and Oliver projects him 3 wins better than any player in the sport.

      Maybe fans (perhaps speaking for just myself) project regression from Trout, just because historically you just don’t see performance like Trout’s. He’s the best player in baseball, but 10 WAR is an exceedingly difficult task to accomplish.

      I don’t see a contradiction either.

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  5. rustydude says:

    Maybe the voter was referring to the character Dodd from the movie Memento. That guy seemed to have just one name, although I wasn’t aware that he had any special skills in baseball.

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  6. Steve says:

    Over-respected: Anaheim, Texas

    Under-respected: Cleveland, Baltimore

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  7. Dirck says:

    Weird that more than twice as many people picked Anaheim to win the division than the wild card and it was not the favorite to win the division .

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  8. Wisdumb of Crowds says:

    We suck.

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