Well, that was a bust.
With 21 of 21 writers picking the White Sox to win the AL Central, often by ridiculous margins and/or with a lofty win total, it’s safe to say our South Side club struck us out in 2022.
However, we predicted much more than just the White Sox season, so for the second year, we had a whole mess of people prognosticating. Interestingly, as befits the uneasy world of soothsaying, the better pickers in 2021 faltered this year, and vice-versa.
Let’s run the numbers.
The White Sox and Dodgers were the closest to consensus division winners. At least the Dodgers held up their end of the bargain. Against our field of pickers, the Yankees in the AL East and Cardinals in the NL Central were dark horse picks (three of 21 predictions), so kudos to Darren Black for nailing both. And cap-tip to Ashley Sanders, who led the way by picking four of six division winners.
On the flip side, Sam Reeves and Year of the Hamster picked just one division winner correctly.
At this point in the prognostication race, Luke Smailes and Rob Colletti were tied for fist place, while Reeves was in last place, trailing Delia Ritchie by one.
The “no-brainer” categories below, closest to consensus, were the Dodgers as the best in the NL and A’s as the worst in the AL.
Five writers (up from four in 2021) picked the White Sox to go all the way in 2022. Oops. But also, Hamster not only missed picking Cleveland as the AL Central winner, but decided they were going to be the worst in the American League. OOPS.
Trevor Lines was the only picker to nail three categories in this round, in his case having the A’s as worst in the AL, Nationals worst in the NL, and the Dodgers as best in the NL. Points-wise, he also “won” this round.
Malachi Hayes, punished for his faith in the Brewers, among other things, was the only writer to miss on every category here.
At this juncture, Delia has fallen badly behind the pack and is well into last place. Leading the standings was Trevor, with Colletti, Luke, Darren and Chrystal O’Keefe hot on his trail.
Picking awards winners is always tough. Nobody identified more than one winner, and the only remotely bold choice was Sam tabbing Justin Verlander as AL Cy Young. However, in a really bad turn for their overall chances, Tommy Barbee and Kristina Airdo not only missed on any winners but didn’t come close enough with their picks to earn ANY points this round.
The overall “winner” for this round was Ashley Sanders.
At this juncture, the race to the top was a tie between Smailes and Colletti, with Jacki Krestel and Ashley in range to make a run. Trailing are Tommy and Kristina, with Rachael Millanta also dropping toward the bottom.
Hate to hang Darren out to dry here, but boy howdy, after guessing EXACTLY 93 wins in 2021 (and being the only writer to do so), he whiffed pretty badly this year, going for triple-digit victories! Obviously, no one equaled Darren’s coup in 2021 by picking 81 wins for the Sox, and in fact it was this writer who came closest ... at 90. Yeesh.
And it looks like danger for the coasting Luke Smailes, who decided to say the White Sox would not just win the ALC, but do so by ... 14 games. Yikes! Bye-bye prognostication title?
No one got more than two of these categories correct, but let’s salute Darren and Malachi for seeing Jimmy Lambert as the best rookie, while four bold writers foresaw Dylan Cease turning into a monster (Colletti, Kristina, Dante Jones, and Luke).
Sam took this round overall, with me hot on his trail. RSWS took a big L here, and he along with Trevor, Tommy, Nello and Adrian did not pick one category correctly.
So, how did it all wrangle out? Did Luke blow it by picking the White Sox big for the division?
Luke Smailes takes the crown for this season, and coupled with an eighth-place finish last year now holds the best two-year forecasting mark of anyone.
Congrats also to Ashley, who got eight categories correct in her picks, more than anyone else. Hamster ended up nailing just two categories!
Darren and Tommy were in the top four last year, and took a tumble in 2022. Meanwhile me, Rob and Trevor did not embarrass ourselves like we did in 2021.
It was fun. Even if the rarefied air of anticipated White Sox dominance turned out just to be flatulence.
And don’t let us have all the fun. They might not have been committed to paper or site, but if you had some good or bad hunches on the season, feel free to share in the comments below!