Spring training is almost, finally, mercifully, over. And what better way to spend the final weekend of the offseason than to quibble over predictions for the 2017 season. This year, 18 Purple Row staffers offered up their predictions on division and postseason winners, as well as award winners. Let’s look at the predictions for the firs and only time of the year—there’s really no need to check back again later.
The National League
There was wide agreement on National League division winners. The most dispute came in the NL East, where 14 of the 18 staffers polled chose the Nationals to win the division. The remaining four selections went to the Mets. The division with the most consensus was the NL Central. There, 17 of the 18 staffers picked the Cubs to take it. One lonely soul, possibly a Cardinals fan and definitely named “Jake Welch,” chose the Cards to win the division.
The NL West was the only place to see three teams predicted to win the division, although there was not a lot of disagreement overall. Sixteen of 18 think that the Dodgers will win the division, one person predicted the Giants will win it, and yes, one brave writer picked the Rockies to win the NL West. We’re not here to pick on anybody or name names, but let’s just say this voter’s name rhymes with “Fonnor Carrel.”
Just because only one staffer thinks the Rockies will win the division doesn’t mean that there’s a lack of optimism around here. Each staffer was asked to predict the two Wild Card winners in addition to the division winners. Of the nine different teams predicted to take a Wild Card spot, only the Marlins (one vote) and the Pirates (three votes) didn’t also get a prediction to win the division. The two teams to receive the most votes, and the teams the staff predicts will win the Wild Card spots, are the Mets and the Colorado Rockies—your Colorado Rockies.
If we reframe the question to ask “how many votes did each NL team get to make the playoffs, whether by way of a division title or wild card?” the top shakes out like this:
1. Dodgers and Cubs (18)
3. Nationals (16)
4: Mets (12)
5: Rockies (8)
6: Cardinals and Giants (7)
Sure, we need to adjust for fan optimism, as this is a decidedly purple part of the internet, but these predictions are much rosier than we’ve had in the past.
The American League
Predictions for the American League division winners also yielded a lot of consensus. There was only one dissenter against the Red Sox when predicting the AL East—one person chose the Blue Jays to win it. In the AL Central, 16 staffers picked Cleveland to win the division, while the other two votes went to the Tigers. The AL West had the most contestation of any division in the NL or AL. Still, 13 of 18 picked the Astros to come in first, while three picked the Mariners and two the Rangers.
The Rangers did, however, get a bunch of votes for the Wild Card. Ten predicted that the Rangers would win one of the two spots. The team with the second-most Wild Card votes was the Blue Jays, with seven.
The consensus pick for the NL would make sense if the Rockies end up being as competitive as we seem to think they’ll be. Nolan Arenado received six votes to win the NL MVP, edging out the five Bryce Harper received. Three chose Kris Bryant and one selected Corey Seager.
There wasn’t much competition for NL Cy Young votes. Here are the top five vote getters in the write-in ballot:
1. Clayton Kershaw (11)
2. Jake Arrieta (2)
3. Kershaw (1)
4. Clayton Kersahw (1)
Noah Syndergaard and Zack Greinke also pulled in a vote apiece, but on the whole folks are going with the guy who is one of the best pitchers we’ll ever see.
The consensus was just as strong for the AL MVP, as 13 of the 16 who made a prediction here picked Mike Trout. That’s not so surprising. It is a little more surprising that Chris Sale received equally strong predictions for the AL Cy Young.
The Rookie of the Year voting is always tricky to include in surveys like this, mostly because of the haze a lot of folks feel around who even is a rookie. For example, Lucas Giolito received zero votes for AL Rookie of the Year, the league in which he currently plays, and he got two for the NL Rookie of the Year, the league in which he no longer plays. Anyhow: Dansby Swanson received the most votes for NL Rookie of the Year with nine, and Andrew Benintendi got seven votes for the nod in the AL.
According to these predictions, the NL playoff teams will be the Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals, Mets, and Rockies; the AL will send the Astros, Indians, Red Sox, Rangers, and Blue Jays. Of these teams, four of the five NL and AL teams had at least one believer predict a pennant victory. In the AL, eight staffers picked the Red Sox to win the pennant, while seven picked Cleveland. In the NL, 10 predicted that the Cubs would win the pennant, with the second most selections going to the Dodgers with five.
One Purple Row staffer chose to Rockies to win the pennant, and it was not our old friend Fonnor Carrel. In the interest of anonymity, we’ll call this staffer “Schyan Roppe.” For this selection, he’ll either receive grief for misplaced optimism or adulation for prescience. There’s really no in between.
The World Series predictions are spread out a little more thinly. Six different teams received a vote win it all. The most votes a single team received was five, and they went to the Cleveland Indians (congratulations, Cleveland!). The Cubs and Red Sox received the second most votes, with four each, and the Dodgers received three votes. Two other teams earned a single positive prediction here: the Astros were one, and the Rockies were another. I don’t mean to overdramatize this, but Schyan Roppe is going all in and predicting that the Rox win the World Series.
How many regular season games will the Rockies win?
Ultimately, the staff predictions can be described as cautiously optimistic. One staffer picked the Rockies to win the division, and a different person chose them to win the NL pennant and the World Series. That’s as small of a minority as one can get. Additionally, the vote resulted in the Rockies getting one of two Wild Card spots, but fewer staffers predicted the Rockies would make the postseason (8) than think they will miss it (10). The win total predictions reflect this mixed bag.
Sixteen of the 18 staffers think the Rockies’ win total will be in the 80s. One person predicted fewer than 80 games (78) and one other puts the win total in the 90s (93). The median win total prediction is 84.5 and the mode is 84. Purple Row’s collective view is that the Rockies will be improved and post the first winning record since 2010 while still remaining at the edge of postseason contention.
At least, that’s the Purple Row staff’s view. What do you, community member, think?
How many regular season games will the Rockies win in 2017
This poll is closed
Fewer than 70
90 or more