FanGraphs 2016 Staff Predictions

Oh my, it’s prediction time. Can you feel it? Another season is upon us. Another chance for us to look like huge idiots. Like last season, when none of us pegged Kansas City to make the playoffs, and just five of us pegged the Mets as a playoff team. Being wrong on the internet can be an annual thing, but rarely do we crystallize just how wrong we are in one single location. Yes, it’s good to be back.

This year, there are a couple of no-doubt teams, according to everyone who voted. Chicago and Houston enter the season as our two locks to make the postseason. Considering that, as recently as 2013, these teams won 66 and 51 games, respectively, this seems pretty remarkable. We can save the tanking discussion for another day, but no matter your name for it, these franchises have really built themselves up into something. Houston has had an especially sharp transformation. Last season, they got zero votes for the postseason, and this year they got every single vote.

The Astros and Cubs aren’t the only teams in which we’re big believers, of course, but let’s get right to looking at the actual predictions.

American League Postseason Teams

Staff Predictions: AL East
Team Division Wild Card Postseason
Toronto 28 19 47
Boston 17 27 44
New York 8 9 17
Tampa Bay 2 5 7
Baltimore 0 0 0

Staff Predictions: AL Central
Team Division Wild Card Postseason
Cleveland 22 12 34
Kansas City 15 15 30
Detroit 12 3 15
Chicago 5 1 6
Minnesota 1 0 1

Staff Predictions: AL West
Team Division Wild Card Postseason
Houston 46 9 55
Texas 9 8 17
Seattle 0 2 2
Los Angeles 0 0 0
Oakland 0 0 0

Looking at the divisions themselves, the AL East and Central are pretty divisive. Nine of the 10 teams get at least one division-winning vote, which probably means you should head to Vegas tonight and bet on the Orioles. Speaking of disrespect, the projections may still not be respecting the Royals, but the staff isn’t taking them lightly this year. In general, the staff feels the AL Central is far more wide open than last year, when only two teams go votes. In the West, the thing that stands out to me is that no team voted for Los Angeles, a year after we had them pegged as the consensus choice for the AL West crown. Poor Mike Trout.

This tally isn’t going to do anything to allay the concerns of our Red Sox bias.

National League Postseason Teams

Staff Predictions: NL East
Team Division Wild Card Postseason
New York 30 17 47
Washington 25 17 42
Atlanta 0 0 0
Miami 0 0 0
Philadelphia 0 0 0

Staff Predictions: NL Central
Team Division Wild Card Postseason
Chicago 50 4 54
Pittsburgh 3 25 28
St. Louis 2 16 18
Milwaukee 0 1 1
Cincinnati 0 0 0

Staff Predictions: NL West
Team Division Wild Card Postseason
Los Angeles 36 8 44
San Francisco 17 13 30
Arizona 2 9 11
Colorado 0 0 0
San Diego 0 0 0

Here, you can probably see that the Wild Card spots aren’t as clear cut as they were in the AL. Pittsburgh is clearly the favorite among the Wild Card teams, but Washington, St. Louis and San Francisco are all bunched together. The top of the NL should be fun to watch this season.

Also, if teams could be post-hype sleepers, the Nationals might be the post-hype sleeper team.

One surprise here has to be how many people have Los Angeles playing golf in October. Prescient forecasting or overreaction to the team’s rash of March injuries? Only time will tell. Still, they’re in the group of four right at the top of the list, so it could be worse. Speaking of worse, perennial contender St. Louis sort of finds itself in no man’s land. Does their five-year run of postseason appearances end this season? Finally, a full six teams get no postseason votes, and Milwaukee gets only one.

AL Awards

Staff Predictions: AL MVP
Player Votes
Mike Trout 35
Carlos Correa 11
Manny Machado 4
Mookie Betts 2
Jose Abreu 1
Jose Bautista 1
Josh Donaldson 1

We might not be showing the Twins a whole lot of love in terms of postseason appearances, but if this Rookie of the Year tally is any indication, that may change next season. Park, Buxton and Berrios are the only clear picks here, with everyone else more or less shots in the dark in what is a muddied field. There is no such indecision about the MVP and Cy Young races.

NL Awards

Staff Predictions: NL Cy Young
Player Votes
Clayton Kershaw 37
Max Scherzer 7
Madison Bumgarner 3
Gerrit Cole 2
Jose Fernandez 2
Matt Harvey 2
Jake Arrieta 1
Stephen Strasburg 1

The MVP and Cy Young frontrunning numbers are essentially reversed here. Trout and Kershaw: can’t go wrong with them. Elsewhere, the Goldschmidt support is interesting in that there isn’t much overlap between the Goldschmidt voters and the people who peg Arizona for a playoff berth, suggesting that some think Goldschmidt is in line for a season monstrous enough that he will get voted MVP without a playoff berth.

Unlike the AL Rookie of the Year tally, the consensus in the NL is clear. What’s also clear is that it’s going to be a great season. Enjoy the individual ballots below to reference for your mocking pleasure.

Happy baseball!

2016 American League FanGraphs Staff Predictions
Author East Central West Wild Card Wild Card MVP Cy RoY
Alec Denton Boston Detroit Houston Toronto Texas Trout Sale Reed
Alex Chamberlain Toronto Cleveland Houston New York Kansas City Betts Carrasco Berrios
Alex Remington Boston Cleveland Houston Texas Kansas City Trout Sale Buxton
August Fagerstrom Toronto Chicago Houston Cleveland Boston Trout Carrasco Park
Benjamin Pasinkoff Toronto Cleveland Houston New York Tampa Bay Trout Sale Park
Bill Petti Toronto Kansas City Texas Houston New York Trout Carrasco Buxton
Birchwood Bros. Toronto Minnesota Houston Seattle Boston Trout Stroman Naquin
Blake Murphy Toronto Cleveland Houston Boston New York Trout Carrasco Snell
Brad Johnson Toronto Cleveland Texas Houston Boston Donaldson Keuchel Park
Brandon Warne Boston Kansas City Houston Cleveland Texas Trout Sale Buxton
Brett Talley Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Seattle Trout Sale Park
Brice Russ Toronto Detroit Houston Boston Kansas City Machado Sale Park
Bruce Markusen New York Kansas City Houston Boston Texas Correa Archer Park
Carson Cistulli Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Kansas City Trout Archer Buxton
Chad Young Boston Kansas City Houston Toronto Cleveland Bautista Price Park
Chris Mitchell New York Cleveland Houston Tampa Bay Toronto Trout Price Berrios
Corinne Landrey Toronto Cleveland Texas Chicago Houston Machado Sale Gallo
Craig Edwards New York Detroit Houston Boston Cleveland Trout Price Snell
Dan Farnsworth Toronto Detroit Houston Boston Kansas City Trout Hernandez Berrios
Dave Cameron Boston Detroit Houston Toronto Cleveland Correa Sale Park
David Laurila Toronto Detroit Texas Kansas City Houston Machado Archer Park
David Temple New York Chicago Houston Kansas City Boston Machado Sale Park
David Wiers Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Kansas City Trout Sale Manaea
Dustin Nosler Toronto Kansas City Texas Boston Houston Correa Sale Buxton
Dylan Higgins Boston Chicago Houston Toronto Cleveland Trout Archer Buxton
Eno Sarris Boston Chicago Houston Toronto Cleveland Correa Sale White
Jack Moore Toronto Kansas City Texas New York Boston Trout Price Buxton
Jeff Sullivan Toronto Cleveland Houston Boston Tampa Bay Correa Sale Park
Jeff Zimmerman Toronto Detroit Texas Houston Boston Trout Kluber Berrios
Joe Douglas Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Detroit Correa Carrasco Park
John LaRue New York Cleveland Houston Texas Tampa Bay Correa Sale Berrios
John Paschal Toronto Kansas City Texas Houston Cleveland Correa Archer Buxton
Jon Roegele Toronto Kansas City Houston New York Boston Correa Sale Buxton
Jonah Pemstein Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Kansas City Trout Sale Buxton
Justin Mason Toronto Detroit Houston Kansas City Cleveland Trout Richards Berrios
Marc Hulet New York Kansas City Houston Toronto Boston Trout Keuchel Judge
Mike Podhorzer Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto New York Trout Sale Park
Nathaniel Grow Toronto Kansas City Houston Boston Detroit Trout Sale Gallo
Neil Weinberg Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Detroit Trout Sale Reed
Owen Watson Toronto Cleveland Houston Boston Kansas City Trout Carrasco Buxton
Patrick Dubuque Tampa Bay Cleveland Houston Toronto Boston Correa Hernandez Park
Paul Kastava Boston Detroit Houston Kansas City Tampa Bay Trout Sale Park
Paul Sporer Tampa Bay Detroit Houston Cleveland Boston Betts Carrasco Berrios
Paul Swydan Boston Kansas City Texas Houston Toronto Trout Price Mazara
Robert Sanchez Toronto Kansas City Houston Boston Cleveland Trout Archer Buxton
Roger Cheng New York Kansas City Houston Toronto Boston Trout Price Buxton
Rylan Edwards Toronto Cleveland Houston Kansas City Boston Trout Hernandez Park
Scott Spratt Toronto Cleveland Houston Kansas City Tampa Bay Trout Carrasco Snell
Sean Dolinar New York Cleveland Houston Toronto Boston Trout Sale Park
Shane Tourtellotte Boston Cleveland Houston Toronto Texas Trout Sale Buxton
Stacey Gotsulias Toronto Kansas City Houston New York Cleveland Trout Sale Buxton
Tanner Bell Toronto Detroit Houston Texas Boston Correa Sale Park
Tim Healey Toronto Chicago Houston Boston Kansas City Trout Price Buxton
Trey Baughn Toronto Kansas City Houston Boston Texas Abreu Carrasco Manaea
Zach Sanders Toronto Detroit Houston Boston New York Trout Carrasco Buxton

2016 National League FanGraphs Staff Predictions
Author East Central West Wild Card Wild Card MVP Cy RoY
Alec Denton Washington Chicago SF Pittsburgh New York Goldschmidt Scherzer Seager
Alex Chamberlain New York Chicago LA St. Louis SF Rizzo Kershaw Maeda
Alex Remington New York Chicago LA Pittsburgh Washington Bryant Kershaw Seager
August Fagerstrom New York Chicago LA Washington Arizona Harper Kershaw Seager
Benjamin Pasinkoff New York Chicago LA Washington SF Rizzo Kershaw Seager
Bill Petti New York Chicago SF LA St. Louis Harper Scherzer Seager
Birchwood Bros. Washington Chicago LA New York St. Louis Arenado Scherzer Turner
Blake Murphy Washington Chicago LA New York St. Louis Harper Kershaw Seager
Brad Johnson New York Chicago LA Washington Arizona Goldschmidt Kershaw Brito
Brandon Warne New York Chicago Arizona St. Louis SF Harper Kershaw Seager
Brett Talley New York Chicago LA Washington SF Harper Kershaw Story
Brice Russ New York Chicago LA Washington St. Louis Bryant Kershaw Seager
Bruce Markusen New York Chicago SF Arizona Pittsburgh Goldschmidt Kershaw Seager
Carson Cistulli Washington Chicago LA New York Milwaukee Heyward Fernandez Seager
Chad Young Washington Chicago LA Pittsburgh New York Rizzo Kershaw Glasnow
Chris Mitchell New York Chicago LA St. Louis Washington Harper Kershaw Peraza
Corinne Landrey New York Chicago LA Pittsburgh Arizona Harper Kershaw Matz
Craig Edwards Washington Chicago LA St. Louis Pittsburgh Harper Kershaw Seager
Dan Farnsworth Washington St. Louis LA Pittsburgh SF Goldschmidt Bumgarner Seager
Dave Cameron Washington Chicago LA New York Pittsburgh Harper Fernandez Maeda
David Laurila Washington St. Louis Arizona Chicago LA Goldschmidt Scherzer Seager
David Temple Washington Chicago LA New York Pittsburgh Goldschmidt Strasburg Maeda
David Wiers Washington Pittsburgh LA Chicago SF Goldschmidt Scherzer Matz
Dustin Nosler Washington Chicago LA Pittsburgh SF Goldschmidt Kershaw Seager
Dylan Higgins Washington Chicago SF LA New York Harper Kershaw Seager
Eno Sarris Washington Chicago SF Pittsburgh New York Harper Cole Story
Jack Moore New York Chicago SF St. Louis LA Harper Kershaw Seager
Jeff Sullivan Washington Chicago LA Pittsburgh SF Harper Kershaw Seager
Jeff Zimmerman Washington Chicago LA St. Louis New York Bryant Kershaw Glasnow
Joe Douglas Washington Chicago LA Pittsburgh New York Harper Kershaw Seager
John LaRue New York Chicago LA Pittsburgh SF Harper Kershaw Seager
John Paschal New York Chicago LA Washington Arizona Goldschmidt Kershaw Seager
Jon Roegele New York Chicago SF Washington LA Harper Kershaw Matz
Jonah Pemstein New York Chicago LA Washington Pittsburgh Harper Kershaw Seager
Justin Mason New York Chicago SF Washington Arizona Goldschmidt Cole Seager
Marc Hulet New York Pittsburgh SF LA Chicago Arenado Bumgarner Seager
Mike Podhorzer New York Chicago SF Washington St. Louis Goldschmidt Kershaw Seager
Nathaniel Grow Washington Chicago SF LA New York Harper Scherzer Seager
Neil Weinberg New York Chicago LA SF Pittsburgh Bryant Kershaw Matz
Owen Watson New York Chicago LA Pittsburgh Arizona Goldschmidt Kershaw Seager
Patrick Dubuque New York Chicago LA Washington Pittsburgh Kershaw Kershaw Seager
Paul Kastava Washington Chicago LA New York Pittsburgh Goldschmidt Harvey Seager
Paul Sporer Washington Chicago SF LA New York Harper Harvey Story
Paul Swydan Washington Pittsburgh SF Chicago New York McCutchen Kershaw Matz
Robert Sanchez Washington Chicago SF Pittsburgh St. Louis Bryant Bumgarner Seager
Roger Cheng New York Chicago LA St. Louis Washington Harper Kershaw Seager
Rylan Edwards New York Chicago LA Pittsburgh SF Harper Kershaw Seager
Scott Spratt New York Chicago LA Pittsburgh St. Louis Puig Kershaw Seager
Sean Dolinar Washington Chicago LA Pittsburgh St. Louis McCutchen Kershaw Seager
Shane Tourtellotte Washington Chicago LA New York St. Louis Rizzo Scherzer Seager
Stacey Gotsulias Washington Chicago SF New York Arizona Goldschmidt Kershaw Turner
Tanner Bell New York Chicago SF Pittsburgh Washington Harper Kershaw Maeda
Tim Healey New York Chicago LA SF Pittsburgh Harper Kershaw Matz
Trey Baughn New York Chicago SF Washington Arizona Arenado Arrieta Giolito
Zach Sanders New York Chicago LA SF Washington Harper Kershaw Seager

We hoped you liked reading FanGraphs 2016 Staff Predictions by Paul Swydan!

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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

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A Flock of Seagers
Member
A Flock of Seagers

I guess Fangraphs staff doesn’t believe their own projections that the Red Sox are the best team in baseball.

OddBall Herrera
Member
OddBall Herrera

Because this would’ve been a really useful exercise if the entire staff just listed teams in their projected order…

Damaso
Member
Damaso

Looks like it, Shirtless!

Lanidrac
Member
Lanidrac

I still don’t get why everyone likes them so much when they still have a mediocre rotation after Price and still need to see if they can get much use out of Sandoval and Ramirez. I definitely see the Blue Jays repeating as division champs of the AL East.