To predict - as accurately as possible - the outcome of the 2017 season. Using the official ballot, predict the number of victories for each major league team in the year 2017, which teams will meet in the Divisional Series, League Championship Series, World Series and which team will be the World Champion. Your selections as to which teams will make the playoffs cannot contradict the standings in your predicted season! (For instance, you cannot predict a team to finish third in their division with 72 victories and have them in your playoff bracket.)
For purposes of this contest, any tie-breaker games played in addition to the regularly-scheduled 162 games will NOT count. Please avoid predicting ties within any division, as the game is setup to figure out your division and wild card winners automatically. If you do predict a tie in total wins, you might not have the playoff bracket you expected. In addition, scheduled games lost to rain, inclement weather or other, unforeseen events will be considered acts of God and the scoring will not be adjusted to accommodate them.
Everyone begins with 1,000 points.
For each victory your prediction is off, you will lose one point. For instance, if you predict San Diego will have 71 victories and they finish with 90, you will lose 19 points. Guessing high or low is equally negative. If you predict a team will have 81 victories, you would lose 4 points if they win 85 games and you would lose 4 points if they win 77 games. At the end of the regular season, the total number of victories by which you missed will be subtracted from 1,000.
THE MORTAL LOCK
In each league, you must pick one team that you designate as your Mortal Lock. This difference between this team's actual number of victories and your prediction will count double against you. For example, if you pick the Dodgers to win 95 games and they only win 82, you will lose 26 points instead of 13. Important: You must designate as your mortal lock a team you are predicting to win either 90 or more games or 72 or fewer games.
You start gaining points back in the playoffs.
For every team you predicted to make the playoffs that actually does make the playoffs, you get 2 points. (Note: here you catch a break. If you predict a team to win their division and they are, instead, the wildcard team (or visa versa), you still get the 2 points. By not selecting them in the right order, however, you might lose the opportunity to make extra points in the later rounds, based on the manner in which they advance.)
For each team you select correctly to go on to the LCS, you get 4 points.
For each team you select correctly to go on to the World Series, you get 8 points.
For selecting the World Series victor, you get 16 points.
Standings among participants will be updated by prorating current records. Two things to remember about in-season updates: the scores will improve as the season goes along as the teams level out and there will be a slight margin of error due to rounding that will not be there at the end of the season.
The overall winner of Predictatron 2017 will be awarded $399 and a mint-condition, signed, framed photo reproduction of Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig*.
* One entry per person. In case of a tie, first prize will be divided equally among winners. First-place winner must furnish tax information to collect cash prize, and this award will be reported to the IRS. Photo and signature are a "preprinted" reproduction, whatever that means. We'll let you know when the item we bought off ebay arrives. Actual frame may be different than illustration.