Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Baseball fans too optimistic before season?
By David Schoenfield
Asking readers to vote on the over/under win total for all 30 teams proved to be a very useful social experiment: Baseball fans, collectively, remain eternally optimistic. Either that or we're not very smart. (I'll side with optimistic.)
You see, nearly every team was predicted to finish over their predicted win total by a majority of voters. Only five teams -- the Orioles, Mets, Cubs, Astros and Rockies -- did the majority pick the under. And most of the results weren't close to a 50/50 split -- 13 poll results ended up at 75 percent or higher on the over.
Of course, not all these teams can exceed their predicted win totals. Did we set the win totals too low? No. The win totals presented in the polls added up to 2,444, which is actually 14 more wins than the actual break-even point of 2,430. Yes, vote totals were undoubtedly skewed by the fact that some readers only voted for their favorite team and fans tend to be more optimistic about their own team.
Still ... we're going to be wrong. Somewhere.