Six of eleven Sponichi baseball analysts picked the Seibu Lions to finish in first this year; four picked the Nippon Ham Fighters; The Sofbank Hawks and the Orix Buffaloes got one vote each.
Three analysts picked the Rakuten Eagles to finish in dead last while the rest all seemed to think they'd finish somewhere in the middle of the pack: 2 third place finishes, 3 fourth place finishes, and 3 fifth place finishes.
The analysts all seemed to think the Chiba Lotte Marines wouldn't finish any higher than fourth place - 3 fourth place finishes, 5 fifth place finishes and 3 last place finishes.
The Buffaloes were selected to finish in last the most number of time with five analysts chiming in. Things weren't quite as clear for the other analysts: 1 first place finish, 1 second place finish, 1 third place finish, 1 fourth place finish, and 2 fifth place finishes.
Based on all their picks, it seems the Seibu Lions, Softbank Hawks, and Nippon Ham Fighters will be the teams that finish in the top three.
Here's a combined standing predictions I put together by allotting points to the various finishes, adding them up, and then ordering them from high to low.
- Nippon Ham Fighters (tied with Lions)
- Seibu Lions (tied with Fighters)
- Softbank Hawks
- Orix Buffaloes
- Rakuten Eagles
- Chiba Lotte Marines