Before last season the CCO ran a series of four contests for the Faithful to make a few predictions on the upcoming year, as well as when a certain switch-hitting hitting infielder from the state of Maryland would be traded to the North Side of Chicago. While that deal did not happen last season, the Chicago Cubs put together a very good year with an unexpected ending. Without further ado, here are the winners of the first ever contests on the CCO….
Predicting the offensive numbers was, by far, the biggest ‘hit’ of the three contests. The winner was to be determined on the percentage of players correctly predicted and at least five predictions were required on batting average, OBP, home runs and RBI’s. The criteria that had to be met were within (plus/minus) .10 on averages and OBP and within (plus/minus) 5 on home runs and RBI’s.
Here is a list of all the players that predictions were made for and their final numbers for 2008:
- Henry Blanco – .292/.325/3/12
- Geovany Soto – .285/.364/23/86
- Ronny Cedeno – .269/.328/2/28
- Mark DeRosa – .285/.376/21/87
- Mike Fontenot – .305/.395/9/40
- Derrek Lee – .291/.361/20/90
- Aramis Ramirez – .289/.380/27/111
- Ryan Theriot – .307/.387/1/38
- Daryle Ward – .216/.319/4/17
- Sam Fuld – n/a – spent 2008 in the minors
- Kosuke Fukudome – .257/.359/10/58
- Matt Murton – n/a traded to the A’s for Rich Harden
- Eric Patterson – n/a traded to the A’s for Rich Harden
- Felix Pie – .241/.312/1/10
- Alfonso Soriano – .280/.344/27/75
- Carlos Zambrano – .337/.337/4/14
- Brian Roberts – n/a not dealt to Cubs during the 2008 season (.296/.378/9/57)
Agustin picked Geovany Soto to win Rookie of the Year and Carlos Zambrano to win the Silver Slugger….right on both.
Winner – Everyone predicted the Cubs would hit for more power, especially the Big Three. The predictions made by Lows was the closest over all….and therefore he is the winner.
A Look Ahead….Predicting the Pitching Staff for 2008 – March 21, 2008
The second of the CCO’s prediction contests focused on the Cubs’ pitching staff. And from the lack of participation, the predictions tossed out by Baseball Prospectus and the Bill James Handbook scared a lot away….even Jim K said in a comment that between Baseball Prospectus, Bill James and the CCO, his breakfast was ruined.
The addition of Rich Harden and the demotion of Rich Hill could not have been predicted, as well as Ryan Dempster becoming the best pitcher on Lou Piniella’s staff last season….not to mention Kerry Wood being healthy, for the most part, and productive.
Winner – However, Jim K was the only one to make an actual prediction and therefore is the winner.
- Carlos Zambrano – 21-9 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP
- Ted Lilly – 14-9 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP
- Rich Hill – 13-10 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP
- Kerry Wood – 4-3 with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP with 35 saves
- Carlos Marmol – 6-3 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP with 9 saves
- Jon Lieber – 10-7 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP
2008 Final Stats:
- Carlos Zambrano – 14-6 with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP
- Ted Lilly – 17-9 with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP
- Rich Hill – 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP
- Kerry Wood – 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP with 34 saves
- Carlos Marmol – 2-4 with a 2.68 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP with 7 saves
- Jon Lieber – 2-3 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP
A Look Ahead….The Final Standings – March 28, 2008
The Cubs finished with a 97-64 record, six more wins than their PECOTA prediction for 2008. The CCO predicted the NL Wild Card would not come out of the Central Division and a year after being known as ‘The Comedy Central‘, the NL Central ended up being one of the strongest in baseball.
2008 National League Central Final Standings:
- Chicago Cubs – 97-64
- Milwaukee Brewers – 90-72
- Houston Astros – 86-75
- St. Louis Cardinals – 86-76
- Cincinnati Reds – 74-88
- Pittsburgh Pirates – 67-95
There were seven predictions made and no one correctly predicted the Cubs final record….they even surpassed the 96 wins Dave Kaplan thought they would post.
- Joe – 93-69
- Steve – 92-70
- Gucci – 100-62
- Jerljr – 92-70
- Jim K – 89-73
- Nick – 94-68
- Agustin – 95-67
Winner – The closest with a 95-67 prediction is Agustin.
Brian Roberts Contest – Is it Tomorrow? – February 5, 2008
The test run for the prediction contests asked all of the readers to predict what day and time that the drag-out-all-winter-long-rumors-would-actually-become-reality. Well the trade never went down last season for Brian Roberts (while the Cubs are rumored to be interested once again this winter) and there was one prediction of “deal does not get done.”
Winner – Dave in STL
The prize for all of the winners is ‘Chicago Cubs Yesterday and Today‘ a book I contributed research to and received an acknowledgement in.
The winners from all four contests are as follows:
- A Look Ahead….Predicting the Offense for 2008 – Lows
- A Look Ahead….Predicting the Pitching Staff for 2008 – JimK
- A Look Ahead….The Final Standings – Agustin
- Brian Roberts – Dave in STL
To receive your prize, please send me an email with your shipping address. The book will come from Amazon and hopefully to you within a couple of weeks after I receive your information.
A quick question, would the Faithful be interested in prediction contests for 2009. If so, leave a comment or send me an email.
I would like to send out a huge thank you and tip of the cap to all of the loyal readers of the CCO for making a very memorable 2008 season even more enjoyable. Last season was the third full campaign covered here at the CCO….wonder what the fourth one has in store?