The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CAIRO 2013 v0.4 and Still Slightly Early and Somewhat Useless 2013 Projected MLB Standings

I found some problems with my pitcher WAR calculations so I’ve made an update to CAIRO which is now up to version 0.4.  It can be downloaded at the following link.
Version v0.5 now available.

Aside from the pitcher WAR fix the only other changes are moving players to new teams.  And for the hell of it, I ran more projected standings reflecting those moves.

Date 2/12/2013
Iterations 100000
American League
Blue Jays 90 72 810 727 29.1% 10.2% 9.6% 48.9%
Rays 88 74 715 645 25.4% 10.2% 9.6% 45.2%
Yankees 87 75 790 739 24.2% 9.6% 9.1% 42.9%
Red Sox 82 80 812 798 15.0% 7.2% 7.8% 30.0%
Orioles 76 86 731 790 6.2% 3.5% 4.7% 14.4%
Tigers 87 75 800 735 40.1% 5.6% 6.9% 52.6%
Indians 81 81 746 735 21.8% 5.1% 6.0% 32.8%
Royals 80 82 723 734 19.2% 4.9% 5.7% 29.7%
White Sox 77 85 730 783 15.1% 3.7% 4.8% 23.6%
Twins 66 96 694 837 3.8% 0.9% 1.7% 6.4%
Angels 91 71 757 652 35.9% 12.0% 9.5% 57.3%
Rangers 89 73 795 722 31.7% 12.5% 9.8% 54.0%
Athletics 87 75 731 675 26.2% 11.5% 9.9% 47.6%
Mariners 73 89 668 724 5.7% 3.0% 4.4% 13.1%
Astros 58 104 647 894 0.5% 0.3% 0.6% 1.4%
National League
Nationals 92 70 707 592 46.7% 10.5% 8.2% 65.4%
Braves 88 74 682 632 28.0% 11.5% 8.8% 48.3%
Phillies 82 80 665 668 17.1% 8.2% 8.3% 33.5%
Mets 73 89 666 721 6.0% 3.4% 4.5% 13.9%
Marlins 66 96 625 759 2.2% 1.2% 2.1% 5.5%
Reds 91 71 746 650 41.9% 9.5% 7.6% 59.0%
Cardinals 86 76 699 660 27.3% 8.6% 8.0% 43.9%
Brewers 78 84 713 751 12.7% 5.2% 5.9% 23.8%
Pirates 78 84 670 691 11.7% 4.9% 6.3% 22.9%
Cubs 73 89 646 707 6.4% 2.8% 3.7% 12.8%
Dodgers 89 73 689 609 32.5% 9.3% 8.7% 50.6%
Giants 88 74 673 606 28.9% 8.5% 9.4% 46.7%
Diamondbacks 84 78 705 684 20.7% 8.1% 8.3% 37.1%
Padres 80 82 663 670 12.9% 5.6% 6.8% 25.3%
Rockies 72 90 776 884 5.0% 2.7% 3.6% 11.3%

W: Projected final 2013 wins
L: Projected final 2013 losses
RS: Projected final 2013 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2013 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)

The big mover here is Cleveland, as they’ve gained 7 wins from the last set of projected standings and now look like about a .500 team.  The Yankees stayed where they were, at about 87 wins and third place in the East. 

I probably won’t run more standings until right before the season starts, which will include other projection systems and better rosters and depth charts.  Then they’ll probably be only kind of useless.

--Posted at 6:33 am by SG / 70 Comments | - (0)


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You should run a projection including Cano’s inevitable 50 game suspension for steroids (although he MIGHT wait until next year after he signs an ungodly extension).

Looks like a major hinge for the projection is Brett Gardner. I undertand why he’s only projected to play in 103 games and get less than 400 PA’s, but if he plays a full season like we all hope him to, that should help close the gap with Toronto. It’s things like this that make me believe things aren’t as bad as people think.

This is the point where someone is supposed to say that of course it isn’t as bad as people think…’s actually worse.

Is that right?  With pitchers and catchers reporting, figure that’s my call to work on my complaining for the upcoming season, so that I can be in game shape by opening day.

How’s this: pessimism about Gardner’s playing time is probably negated by optimism about the playing time of all the 50 year olds on the roster.

The simulations have Gardner getting about 500 PA, compared to the spreadsheet.

We’ve already seen the “CC is in the best shape of his life” article. Any word on who showed up heavier, CC or Jeter ?

[5] Oh, crap.

I don’t think Baltimore will finish last in the East. With very good prospects ready to contribute at the major league level and with the way they played last year I just can’t think of them being the worst in the division

Too bad the Olympics were last year when we were still good

Are you assuming that Pinata pitches at all this season?

[8] Does overplaying expectations have anything to do with this year? They may be better than they’ve been but getting pretty lucky across a whole year is irrelevant to projections. They’re not a good team.

Why are your projection way off the last few years on the Yankees runs allowed?

I’m disappointed to see that the addition of Pronk didn’t push the Yankees into a playoff spot.

Are you assuming that Pinata pitches at all this season?


Why are your projection way off the last few years on the Yankees runs allowed?

I’m guessing it’s a combination of defense being better than expected, the park not boosting offense as much as I estimated and getting more innings than expected out of the better pitchers.  I generally try to be conservative when projecting how much players will play.  That’s why my projections are generally 2-3 wins lower than what the team ends up doing every year.

But if you really want a detailed answer, tell me what you mean by last few years and I can look at it at some point.

Nobody from the AL East has a greater than 50% chance of making the playoffs.

[8] Being worst in the East is not much of a slight.  The division will probably be more tightly bunched, top to bottom, than it has been since MLB went to 6 divisions.  The teams could finish in just about any order and it wouldn’t surprise me a whole lot.  I guess I have a hard time seeing the O’s finishing first but it might only take a little luck, a mid-season acquisition, and 88 wins.  Yankees finishing last?  Some bad luck and injuries, and a 76-86 record later, totally possible.

Mind you, I do think the Yankees will finish first, on the strength of a solid starting rotation.

And the strength of their defense in left and right field.

Where is Mel Hall when we need him?

If Pinheada comes back mid-season we could be an 88-win team!

[20] I doubt Pineda will be worth 2 wins if he comes back, obviously it depends on when he comes back, but I think something closer to 1.5 WAR is more likely as an upper limit.

I hope the Yankees recruit Mel Hall to mentor Mason Williams as he did Bernie.

Adams is out for ST. woo!

I’m disappointed to see that the addition of Pronk didn’t push the Yankees into a playoff spot.

Unfortunately teams are improving around the Yankees so although Hafner added a win in the abstract it didn’t show up relative to the last projection.

What should I do if the Yankees are not as good as I want them to be?

We need to goose the CAIRO algorithms for the sake of my psychological well-being.  It’s bad enough being immured in these prison walls.

[26] Calling Mike K.!  Calling Mike K.!  Tell me some of those old lies of yours to make me stop thinking about the truth.

So, are we going to be Cleveland fans?  Do they still have that Chief Wahoo or is that over?

It would be interesting to see the projections by player so we can all nit pick.

2013 and what can go wrong - here goes my list: Jeter can turn into the 2010 any time. CC ws on the DL twice last year; maybe more visits this year. Kuroda just pitched a huge number of innings and is old. Ichiro can turn back into his 2011-2012 Seattle self.  Grandy can stay where he was for most of last season. Stewart is the starting catcher. Put that all together and what have you got - 76 wins? 80? And even if they win more, they are pretty much the same boring team we did not like much last year…or is Gardner gonna change all that? 

Add that to the fact that my favorite yankee fan (my son) is headed overseas for a year of school and something tells me I won’t be that focused this year.  I wonder if this will be like 1980 - a season I can’t recall because I was away from home. Then again, that was pre-internet.

[30] The hyperlink near the top of the post is the full CAIRO spreadsheet, it has all of the individual projections.

We need a hyperbolink, not a hyperlink.  nyuk nyuk.

SG:  Have you ever thought about using the percentile forecasts to attempt to gauge how dependent a team’s fortunes are on its key players hitting their 50% baseline projection.  (I assume you use the 50% player projections in figuring out team RS and RA.)  For example, let’s say you take the top 10 players on each team by WAR (or something) and re-run the numbers assuming those players they all hit their 40% projection (instead of 50%), their 45% projection, their 55% and their 60%.  I would expect that to show that certain teams, based on roster construction and/or having players who have “unstable” projections, are more likely to have either disappointing seasons or breakout seasons than other teams. 

I’m not a statistics maven by any means, so maybe what I’m describing is already accounted for somehow.  But just on an intuitive level, it would seem that some teams are probably more vulnerable to injuries, for example, than other teams, where the talent might be distributed more evenly up and down the roster.

Wish they had signed Scott Hairston in an attempt to break the curse.

That scene in Salem’s Lot where the chief vampire busts through the window while the kid, his parents and the priest are sitting around the kitchen table is BADASS, especially when James Mason enters stage left and says, “Face the master!”

You can learn a lot when you watch vampire movies, take it from me, Mel Hall.

The RS implosion presumably helped the NYY stats last year wrt the models.

Looking at the non-Yankees portion of the projections: 

The Indians and Royals spent a lot of money/prospects to get to/near .500.

SG:  Have you ever thought about using the percentile forecasts to attempt to gauge how dependent a team’s fortunes are on its key players hitting their 50% baseline projection.

Not directly.  The simulator I use is non-deterministic so player projections do vary in each simulation.  If everyone on the Astros hits their 80% forecast I wouldn’t be surprised to see them winning 75 games.

Playing time is also somewhat variable in each simulation and I do force PAs and IP from guys who don’t project to be on the 25 man roster to punish teams with poor depth.  The numbers in these are the averages, but you can think of the wins in a range of +/- 10, which some variance based on the depth of the team.  Runs scored/allowed have a range of I think 30-40 in each direction, again depending on depth.

So really, the Yankees projection is more like 77-97 wins, with something like 750 to 830 runs scored and 699 to 779 runs allowed.

But getting back to the question, I can probably get at least a partial idea of the deepest/shallowest teams based on the standard deviation of their wins over all the simulations.

SG is the man.

[40] Aren’t we supposed to fight The Man? Isn’t that what you are doing Mel?

I don’t want to fight SG.

David Adams won’t be in ST. Our first injury has occurred before reporting date.

David Adams won’t be in ST. Our first injury has occurred before reporting date.

[28] That girl is 18.  Really!

[43] Good news for Curtis Joseph.  He should get more PT in Spring Training now.  Bad news for Adams…

Curtis Joseph is a hockey goldie.

Wasnt the idea to use CuJo instead of a catcher?

The rabid dog?

Yes.  A rabid dog would be better than our current catching tandem of Kristen Stewart and Francesca Cervello.

It sounds better than our earlier plan of letting the umpire throw the ball back.

Cujo has been retired from hockey for four years.  He might be available.

Needs moar pie chartz

SG,  In 2011 your February projection was off 69 runs.  Last year you were closer but that may have been because home runs were up league wide.  This year if the staff is mostly healthy I don’t see the Yankees giving up more then 670 runs max and very likely lower.

In the last 7 years home runs were up in 06, 09 and 12 measured by hr/9 by starters in the AL.  So this year can we expect a drop off in home runs?

The Yankees total bases allowed has gone up substantially the last 2 years.  So I am wondering if this was cause by Martin and his lousy game calling or something to do with Larry Rothschild as pitching couch?  If it is Martin then I expect less runs allowed.

Finally outfield defense should be much better this year then last.

[53] dan, I’m no statistcal maven by any stretch but I do know the pitcher catcher dynamic. I watch at least 120 NYY regular season games every year so I’m very comfortable saying Martino was the best full time defensive catcher in pinstripes since the Girardio fella. The pitching staff will miss his prowess behind the plate as well as his rare ability to be a .200 hitter with power. Luckily we now have some powerless .200 hitters sporting the tools of ignorance. Austerity sucks yo.

dan, I’m no statistcal maven by any stretch

Can something be both an understatement and an overstatement at the same time ?

“Can something be both an understatement and an overstatement at the same time ?”

Yes and no.

54…I watch just as many or more games then you and still think Martin stunk at game calling.  BR has him below average as well.  Not that catcher’s ERA means all that much but it must mean something as Bill James mentioned it on Clubhouse Confidential but Martin’s was much higher then Stewart’s.  Martin allowed the most home runs last year when he caught.

[57] He was catching Phil Hughes, dan. Phil phukken Hughes. I have a 12 lb female cat that can take a Phil phastball to the warning track.

This is amusing:

Since Votto debuted, there have been more than twice as many no-hitters as Joey Votto pop-ups.

[58] What’s her vertical leap ?

5 pheet if kippers are displayed. Quite the athaleet.

I think we just found our backup 3b.

[59] Excellent read, thanks, though he maybe wrote “Joey Votto” a few dozen times more than necessary.  From the comments, another weird Votto stat: he’s pulled exactly one foul ball into the stands in his career.

[59, 63] Votto is a crazy hitter. I think I knew that foul ball stat from somewhere. I think there’s a real possibility that he might be the best pure hitter to play the game, ever. Now he just needs to stay healthy.

[63,64] Votto doesn’t get enough respect. Guy OBP’d .474 last season. Just one foul into the stands for his career? That’s like something out of the pre-TV days of baseball, like Cool Papa bell scoring from first on a sac bunt. Meanwhile Swishalicious was known to hook the ball 3 times each at bat.

Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is continuing to be a trailblazer, showing that legs or no legs, people of all shapes and sizes can be abusive murderers.

Phil Hughes averages 5 foul balls per AB.

yeah, the foul ball thing is really impressive. It’s sad that when talking heads say “professional hitter”, they often mean people like Teixeira, who can’t not pull a ball to save his life.

[68] I don’t think there’s any definition of “professional hitter”, but I would definitely call Texeira one.  To me, a professional hitter (outside of the obvious, a hitter who plays professional baseball) would be someone who goes up to the plate, has an idea of what they want to do, and waits to get their pitch to do it with.  A lot of pull hitters fit into that category, including Ortiz, Giambi, and Teix.  There are a handful of guys who don’t walk much that I would also put into that category like Mattingly and Gwynn, b/c at their peaks they also had enough skill that ANY pitch in the zone was something they could hit a LD (or Mattingly, out of the park).

That contrasts to me a guy like Soriano, or a younger Cano (Cano is much more professional now).  They are players that have tons of talent, but take a, “see ball, hit ball” approach.  Or of course lesser talented hackers who don’t last so long unless their defense is excellent.

Votto quite simply is in a different class.  Joey Votto is elite.  Elite hitters are professional hitters, but professional hitters are not all elite.

“Elite hitters are professional hitters”

Vlad G.?

Gardner would be a professional hitter by the “=patient” standard.  I vaguely thought it meant, “Can hit a sac fly/bunt/produce a grounder to the right side/... on demand”.

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