Last week, 12 Cleveland Indians writers from six different sites participated in a big survey to collect predictions for the 2012 season. We’ve already given you our bold predictions for the coming year. Today we tackle the most important question facing the Tribe this year: How will the Indians finish the 2012 season?
Taking the average of all our predictions, we have the Indians winning 84 games in 2012—or, more precisely, 84.08333333 games. The median prediction was 84.5 wins and the mode was 85, while the standard deviation was 4.5 wins. Taking the most optimistic view was The Cleveland Fan‘s Ed Carroll, who has the Indians going 93-69. The raincloud of the group was WaitingForNextYear‘s TD, who foresees Cleveland finishing 75-87.
Here’s a graphic depiction of our projections:
Where does this leave the Indians? Nine of the 12 participants picked the Indians to finish in second place. Carroll was the only participant who predicted a division title for the Tribe, while two writers have Cleveland finishing third: TD (behind the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals, in that order) and our own Steve Kinsella (behind the first-place Chicago White Sox and the runner-up Tigers).
What will it take to win the AL Central? Our average prediction was 91.8 games. Andy Cooper and our own Brian Heise both picked the first-place finisher to win 96 games, while SABRTribe‘s David McGarry thinks it will take just 87 games to win the division. Our panel expects the Indians to finish 7.6 games out of first place.
Interestingly, none of our voters think the Indians will win one of the two American League wild card spots. Only Carroll expects a playoff berth for the Tribe, and that would be from winning the division.
An 84-80 season that sees the Indians come within eight games of a playoff berth would be the Tribe’s best season since 2007, but now that the rebuilding phase is supposedly over I think that’d be a little bit disappointing. Here’s hoping Ed Carroll proves the rest of us wrong this season.