The idea will more or less be the same, but in a simplified format. Each week, I'll come up with a predicted figure for the upcoming week. It may be a team total, like Runs Scored by the Diamondbacks; it could be an individual number, like hits for Martin Prado. Using your skill and judgment, you have to decide whether the actual tally will be over or under my prediction. When the week is over, I'll tally up the results, and if your guess was on the right side of the line, you score a point. Simple as that.
Repeat the process every week of the season [save probably All-Star Week] and we'll crown a champion. They'll get...something. You don't have to take part regularly, but obviously, the more often you do, the more chances you have to score. This feature will generally run Friday morning, with entries accepted up until first pitch that night [any adjustments needed due to scheduling will occur as needed]. However, because it's a short week, with only three games between now and Friday, we will start with a bonus points round. The catch is, you won't know how many points you score until the very end of the season, but it has the potential to really move you in the standings.
The number you have to give us this week is:
How many regular-season wins for the 2013 Diamondbacks?
If, in 162 games time, your prediction is dead on the nail, that will score you 10 SnakeLines points. If you're one game away, you'll get nine points; two games off brings you eight, and so on all the way down to one point if your projection is ten games off. Any more than that, and you don't get anything. Considering the SnakeLines weekly contest will probably max out at 25 possible points over the course of the season, this single pick could turn out to be very valuable, and I would not be at all surprised if it decides who gets the overall title. To help you, here are some estimates from various places around the Internet:
Bovada sports book: 81½ wins
- Baseball Prospectus: 85 wins
- CAIRO: 85 wins
- TeamRankings.com: 83 wins
- Paul Leibowitz: 91 wins
- BaseballGuru.com: 81 wins
As you can see, there's quite a spread of opinions there [disclaimer: that's the predictions I found in ten minutes of lackadaisical Googling]. The average of those comes out at 84 wins, but where do you reckon the team will end up?