In what is becoming an annual tradition, we ask the question: Will this year finally be the one where the baseball pundits turn it around? After a string of terrible prediction seasons from 2009-2012 (see details), the "experts" followed it up with a truly pitiful 2013, in which no one picked either the Red Sox or the Cardinals to make the World Series (or even the Red Sox to win the AL East; details here). A whopping 25 of the 29 pundits on our website—all of whom made at least three years' worth of picks—have a letter grade of F.
So while an understandable question would be "why bother?" let's give the pundits another shot and see what they are predicting this year. We will be tracking 64 so-called experts from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS, Yahoo, and Fox. Here are their aggregate picks across nine categories: six division winners, two pennants, and the World Series. As always, we give you the chance to make your own predictions to see if you can do better (or at least less worse) than the paid experts.
Now, here is a gigantic table with all the individual World Series picks for this season, along with each pundit's track record from 2009-2013 (sorted from best to worst, cumulative). The dollar amounts are what we call the $1 Yield, which is the average payout had you placed $1 bets on each of the pundit's nine picks each season, based on Vegas odds at the time. A yield of $1.05, for instance, means the pundit's average return on investment was +5 percent. As you can see, only three of the 49 pundits with a track record have a yield higher than $1.00.As with last year, the Rays and Tigers are the two favorites in the American League, while the Nationals are the slight favorite in the National League. Interestingly, the pundits are predominantly picking the National League winner to take the Fall Classic, with 46 of the 64 picking either the Dodgers, Nationals, or Cardinals. The Tigers and Dodgers are consensus favorites in their divisions, while there is more debate on the other divisions, most notably the AL West. The most notable discrepancies with Vegas odds are the pundits' optimism on the Nationals (Vegas gives the Braves a good shot in the NL East) and the pessimism, once again, on the Red Sox relative to the Rays.
To see all the division picks for each pundit as well, see this link. We will check back on these predictions as the season progresses.
Originally published on PunditTracker.
PunditTracker's mission is to bring accountability to the prediction industry by cataloging and scoring the predictions of pundits.