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Computer simulation has the Angels winning the World Series the most often

Mar 12, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

crystal ball

We live in a world where complex statistical models and sophisticated computer programs which internalize and process every conceivable baseball metric are openly mocked when they make predictions yet we are expected to take as gospel those predictions of 50 year-old baseball writers who think pleated Dockers are still in fashion and haven’t bought an album since Bruce dropped “Tunnel of Love.”

In light of that, I have no problem linking to a thing about a computer model from something called PredictionMachine.com which has simulated the 2013 baseball season 50,000 times:

PredictionMachine.com  has already played the 2013 MLB season 50,000 times before it’s actually played. The Los Angeles Angels win the World Series a league-high 12% of the time (6,153 of 50,000 times to be exact). The Detroit Tigers (10%), Washington Nationals (10%), Cincinnati Reds (9%), Los Angeles Dodgers (8%), Tampa Bay Rays (7%) and San Francisco Giants(7%) follow the Angels in championship likelihood. In the most open season we have ever seen at this point, no team has a greater than one-in-eight chance of winning it all and a total of 12 teams have a better than one-in-25 chance of winning the championship.

And that set of predictions may all be completely wrong. I just don’t expect them to be any more wrong than those of some scribe who pounded out his predictions on a 7 year-old Packard-Bell with his email username and password taped on little slips of paper above his keyboard in between complaining about TSA agents and his lack of proximity to an In-n-Out Burger, all the while telling me that he knows more about baseball than I do because he went to journalism school.

So, you go, Prediction Machine. I for one hail our new machine overlords.

  1. pellypell - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    The Angles? This headline isn’t right, someone is being obtuse!

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      I have NO idea WHAT you’re talking about. [whistles innocently]

      • flosox - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        No, No, No…the problem is more acute than anything.

      • Old Gator - Mar 12, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        Craig, when are you going to replace that dumb fake Swami picture with one of me playing Ouija Scrabble?

  2. lewp - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Los Angeles Angels
    Power Rank: 1
    Division Standing: 1
    2012 Wins: 89
    2012 Losses: 73
    Playoff Probability: 79%
    Biggest Strength: Crazy Good Lineup
    Greatest Weakness: Health Concerns (Current and Potential)
    Most Important Pitcher: Tommy Hanson, SP
    Most Important Position Player: Howard Kendrick, 2B
    Fantasy Sleeper: Ryan Madson, RP
    Fantasy Dud: Alberto Callaspo, 3B

    Texas Rangers
    Power Rank: 8
    Division Standing: 2
    2012 Wins: 93
    2012 Losses: 69
    Playoff Probability: 43%
    Biggest Strength: Power (Arms and Bats)
    Greatest Weakness: Bullpen
    Most Important Pitcher: Alexi Ogando, SP (?)
    Most Important Position Player: Elvis Andrus, SS
    Fantasy Sleeper: Lance Berkman, DH
    Fantasy Dud: Mitch Moreland, 1B

    No love for the Rangers again I see. Weren’t the Angels supposed to win it all last year with Boojols being signed? How did that work out?

    • El Bravo - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      The same way it did for the Rangers if I recall.

      • lewp - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        Ummmmm, no not exactly. One team palyed in the World Series, and the other did not.

      • El Bravo - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        I did not realize the Rangers hailed from Detriot and callled themselves the Tigers last season. They did play one more game than the Angels. I’ll give you that much.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Neither team played in the World Series last year.

    • nategearhart - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      You do realize that only one team can be picked to win the most often right?
      But in all seriousness, computers are currently incapable of feeling love. If you can whip up an algorithm that will teach them how to do so, I’m sure these folks will be sure to have the Rangers be the computer’s first love interest for you.

    • js20011041 - Mar 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      Has lewp been locked in a time capsule since 2010?

    • brianc6234 - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      I think you fell asleep last spring and missed a whole season. The Rangers lost the wild card game to the Orioles. Doh!

  3. ss - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Zoltar Speaks. That’s the picture you use for this article, Craig. Not some crap you have saved under documents/pictures/clip-art/HBT/lame-wizards/the-lamest-one-with-the-crystal-ball.jpg.

    Zoltar Speaks.

  4. kevinleaptrot - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Wait, pleated Dockers aren’t cool anymore? Says who?!??!?!?!

  5. indaburg - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    ” In the most open season we have ever seen at this point, no team has a greater than one-in-eight chance of winning it all and a total of 12 teams have a better than one-in-25 chance of winning the championship.”

    Translation: It’s going to be a fun season. Let the games begin!

    (Um, Craig, no ONE has bought an album since Bruce dropped Tunnel of Love.)

  6. cur68 - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    The worth of a forecast model is judged in its ability to back cast. If model can use pre-season stats to successfully cast the results of the previous ten seasons with a better than 15% accuracy, I’ll be amazed.

    • aceshigh11 - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      That’s exactly what I was thinking.

      Feed the exact same available data in for the past 10 seasons and see what it comes up with.

    • Uncle Charlie - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:06 AM

      Here are their 2012 picks, very accurate *

      http://predictionmachine.com/MLB-2012-projections-standings

      *internet sarcasm

  7. sportsdrenched - Mar 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Who did Hari Seldon pick?

    They have the Royals going 72-90, hopefully that gets the front office cleaned out.

  8. charlutes - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    The Jays are the odds on favorite to win the world series and they aren’t on the list.

  9. Stiller43 - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    They couldnt have just done this on MLB 2013?

  10. cosanostra71 - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I’m more than ok with this prediction!

  11. APBA Guy - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Whoa-Los Angeles Dodgers Fantasy Dud is Luis Cruz? Don’t these people read this blog? Luis Cruz is the World Leader in Grit and Want-To. Who else starts a WBC brawl? Obviously flawed work, despite a 94 win prediction for the A’s (seriously?)

    • cur68 - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Shoot, I just GOT Louis Cruz for my FL Bench. And now lookit this here: Zoltan’s got him as a dud. Dang. Whatever shall I do? Oh well, might as well draft ARod then from the FA pool and waive ole Louis… computer models are never wrong, eh?

      • El Bravo - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        cur, you should join my espn league. i need a cple mo teams!

      • cur68 - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        I’m in an ESPN league with a bunch of sharpies and keeners already. The thought of having to compete with you, too will ruin my health.

      • El Bravo - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        hahah, fair enough. i may have to solicit some peeps off this comments board over the next day or two… im not getting interest in the last few spots in my league thus far.

      • indaburg - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Luis Cruz… Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      • cur68 - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        I am SO going to poach your prize FA, ‘burg, just as soon as I can figure out how…

      • indaburg - Mar 12, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        You don’t know who he is… I’ll give ya a hint….

        Nah.

      • APBA Guy - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        We do a Sim league with a bunch of hyper competitive guys. I have Sr. Cruz as my bench MI. We also-truly-have a brawl result if two guys are hit in the same game, there is a non-trivial possibility of a brawl with further possibility of injuries. Next year I’m going to porpose a modification to the rule, with bruisers like Jonny Gomes acting as protection, and guys like Luis Cruz acting as instigators (ie, increasing the probability of a brawl result.). Fascinating. The two SABR members in the league can do the math for the proper modifications.

  12. jwbiii - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    The Padres’ Fantasy Sleeper: Yasmani Grandal, C, who’ll be taking an unpaid 50 game vacation to start the season.

    • indaburg - Mar 12, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Um, he’ll be well rested when he returns from his suspension?

  13. djpostl - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Good luck with that pitching staff lol. Angels my arse.

  14. turdfurgerson68 - Mar 12, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Wait, the Yankees aren’t at the top of that list???

    Oh man, those (which means, all) arrogant and entitled Yankee fans are gonna be upset…

    Better get the cheese ready; gonna be a lotta whine coming from NYC.

  15. pisano - Mar 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    I sure wouldn’t make book on that, as djpostl stated above, that pitching staff is suspect.

  16. costmiller - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Is Diamond Mind Baseball still considered among the best simulators? I don’t own the game, but they had a good reputation in the past, and if they’re still good, I’d like to see a simulated season with their software. Not because any projection human or computer seems to get most of it right, but still curious. Here’s the 2012 season projected (and obviously we know the actual results):
    http://sportsimulacrum.com/2012%20MLB%20ZiPS/index.htm

    • natslady - Mar 13, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      NL East —-oooooooooooooops! Marlins?????

  17. jcmeyer10 - Mar 12, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Where’s Nate Silver when you need him?

  18. halohonk - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Score more runs than you give up and you win. Dont need a computer to figure that out.

    • jarathen - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      It always helps when you pitch to the score, move runs over, and don’t clog the bases. Trust in your mechanics, stay inside yourself, and go the other way.

  19. spudchukar - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Garbage In, Garbage Out.

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