Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The 2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - American League Edition
Following up on the first part of this post, here’s a look at the aggregate projections for the American League. The same caveats and disclaimers apply here as well. To see the breakdown for each projection system, check the following links.
2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - CHONE Edition
2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - Marcel Edition
2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - Oliver Edition
2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - PECOTA Edition
2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - CAIRO Edition
|Yankees||96.1||65.9||85 - 105||895||734||40.7%||22.3%||-6.9||-20||-19|
|Red Sox||92.9||69.1||82 - 103||821||696||30.3%||22.7%||-2.1||-51||-40|
|Rays||91.2||70.8||80 - 101||810||706||25.4%||20.7%||7.2||7||-48|
|Orioles||74.6||87.4||64 - 85||762||808||3.0%||5.3%||10.6||21||-68|
|Blue Jays||65.1||96.9||54 - 75||689||817||0.7%||1.2%||-9.9||-109||46|
|Twins||83.1||78.9||72 - 93||828||815||31.0%||3.8%||-3.9||11||50|
|Indians||79.9||82.1||69 - 90||803||825||22.2%||3.2%||14.9||30||-40|
|White Sox||79.8||82.2||69 - 90||745||768||21.4%||3.4%||0.8||21||36|
|Tigers||77.9||84.1||67 - 88||741||779||17.2%||2.7%||-8.1||-2||34|
|Royals||71.5||90.5||60 - 82||719||813||8.2%||1.1%||6.5||33||-29|
|Rangers||84.4||77.6||73 - 94||787||761||35.2%||3.7%||-2.6||3||21|
|Mariners||81.4||80.6||70 - 91||733||723||25.6%||3.8%||-3.6||93||31|
|Athletics||79.2||82.8||68 - 89||726||737||20.5%||3.3%||4.2||-33||-24|
|Angels||78.0||84.0||67 - 88||766||787||18.7%||2.9%||-19.0||-117||26|
And here are the average wins for all of the various placings in the three divisions.
And here's the AL version of the aggregated divisional title pie charts.
I'll run through the divisions and teams briefly.
Average Projected Wins: 96
Division Title Percentage: 40.7%
Wild Card Percentage: 22.3%
Playoff Percentage: 63.0%
Yes, the Yankees again look like the best team in basesball on paper, although they are expected to return back towards the pack a bit. They carry the same risks they usually do, namely their continued reliance on players in their mid 30s and their ability to both stay healthy and be productive, but that's generally worked out pretty well most of the time. It'll be interesting to see how Javier Vazquez does returning to the American League, because his projections are all pretty bullish and he could effectively be the difference between the division title or fighting for the wild card. Because of his injury history, I only gave Nick Johnson about 420 PAs in my simulations. If DHing keeps him healthier and he can exceed that, he'll help the Yankee offense quite a lot by not making outs.
Average Projected Wins: 93
Division Title Percentage: 30.3%
Wild Card Percentage: 22.7%
Playoff Percentage: 53.0%
Boston looks good again, although a lot of their offseason was focused on improving the team's defense. While we try to account for the impact of defense in our projections, it's not as easy to do as it may be to assess the impact of offense and pitching. Boston could be anywhere from 5-10 wins better defensively than they were in 2009. Their biggest question marks are probably on offense. They could still use a productive David Ortiz, who may or may no longer exist.
Average Projected Wins: 91
Division Title Percentage: 25.4%
Wild Card Percentage: 20.7%
Playoff Percentage: 46.2%
As much as Boston improved defensively, Tampa Bay may have the best defense in baseball. It's probably either them or Seattle anyway. While they got better than expected seasons out of Ben Zobrist and Jason Bartlett, they also got worse than expected seasons out of a lot of key players like Scott Kazmir, Dioner Navarro, B.J. Upton, Pat Burrell and Andy Sonnanstine to name a few. If Jeff Niemann can build on his solid 2009 and David Price can take a step forward they'll have one of the better rotations in baseball. Their division is going to make it tough, but there's no reason they can't hang in there all year.
Average Projected Wins: 75
Division Title Percentage: 3.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 5.3%
Playoff Percentage: 8.2%
The Orioles are starting to show the fruits of a renewed dedication to their farm system with Brian Matusz joining the rotation and Chris Tillman lurking. With Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold as young offensive players still 25 or younger, they have a chance to build a pretty good offense as well, but getting into contention in the AL East won't be easy, at least probably not in 2010.
Average Projected Wins: 65
Division Title Percentage: 0.7%
Wild Card Percentage: 1.2%
Playoff Percentage: 1.8%
At least they have Roy Halladay. Oh, wait. It's not going to be a pretty season for the Blue Jays, I don't think, although they seemingly are always able to produce league average pitching from unexpected places, which they're going to need to do again if they want to avoid 100 losses.
Average Projected Wins: 83
Division Title Percentage: 31.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.8%
Playoff Percentage: 34.8%
Losing Joe Nathan hurts, but they've got a lot of good arms in the bullpen so they should be able to cobble something together. They've got Denard Span, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel as a solid offensive core and a decent if unspectacular rotation that should keep them in games. If the reports out of winter league were true and Francisco Liriano has regained his stuff after struggling coming back from Tommy John surgery the last couple of years, they could have an ace in the making.
Average Projected Wins: 80
Division Title Percentage: 22.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.2%
Playoff Percentage: 25.4%
Getting Grady Sizemore and Jake Westbrook back should help. Adding Russ Branyan could also eventually help if he can come back from a herniated disk in his back, but I am a little surprised that they project to be around .500.
Average Projected Wins: 80
Division Title Percentage: 21.4%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.4%
Playoff Percentage: 24.7%
CAIRO actually thinks the White Sox are the best team in the AL Central, by a hair over the Twins. The other systems are less sanguine. They've got the makings of a very good rotation if they can keep Jake Peavy healthy and with Daniel Hudson around should Freddy Garcia falter. While the offense looks a little shaky, if Alexis Rios hits to his projections that'll be a decent upgrade over what they got out of CF last year and having Gordon Beckham for a full season should also be an upgrade over last year.
Average Projected Wins: 78
Division Title Percentage: 17.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 2.7%
Playoff Percentage: 20.0%
The Tigers rotation looks a little suspect to me after Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello. Adding Johnny Damon will help the offense a little although it remains to be seen how he will adjust to life away from DNYS (Disgraceful New Yankee Stadium). They've got Austin Jackson penciled in to start in CF and lead off. While he's still young and very toolsy and someone I think will eventually be a solid major leaguer, he doesn't project well right now so a lot hinges on how he adjusts to the majors.
Average Projected Wins: 72
Division Title Percentage: 8.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 1.1%
Playoff Percentage: 9.3%
Any team that has Yuniesky Betancourt, Jose Guillen and Kyle Farnsworth has to be considered a contender for 100 losses.
Average Projected Wins: 84
Division Title Percentage: 35.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.7%
Playoff Percentage: 38.9%
In the most tightly bunched division in baseball, the Rangers rate as slight favorites. Their projections may be a little pessimistic since I limited Rich Harden to around 120 innings. If Vladimir Guerrero can stay healthy he could rebound nicely in Arlington, and they look to have a solid defense and some very interesting young pitching with Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland around.
Average Projected Wins: 81
Division Title Percentage: 25.6%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.8%
Playoff Percentage: 29.4%
The Mariners may have the best defense in baseball, although it's hard to imagine them improving on last year's. Adding Cliff Lee is a big boost obviously, although he's not starting the year with the team thanks to an abdominal injury which may linger a bit. I've got Erik Bedard penciled in for about two months of starts, if he can make more than that he should help them exceed these projections. Conversely if he can't then they'll probably be a bit worse.
Average Projected Wins: 79
Division Title Percentage: 20.5%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.3%
Playoff Percentage: 23.7%
Without knowing how much they'll get out of Ben Sheets and Justin Duscherer it's tough to know how good the A's might be. I gave Sheets about 25 starts on average and Duscherer 15. They have some depth in the rotation beyond the starting five, but it's still a downgrade if they have to use it. They've got a good defense and a pretty good bullpen as well, but the offense is a little lackluster so scoring runs may be a problem. Still, at an average projection of 79 wins, they're in the mix for the division if the other teams' projections are close.
Average Projected Wins: 78
Division Title Percentage: 18.7%
Wild Card Percentage: 2.9%
Playoff Percentage: 21.6%
Are the Angels really 19 games worse than they were in 2009? I guess it depends on if you think they were actually a 97 win team in 2009 and how much losing Chone Figgins, John Lackey and Darren Oliver hurts. CAIRO actually has them favored in the West, although it's got the whole division projected to be within three games of each other so I'm not sure how meaningful that is. Having Scott Kazmir for a full season should help, and Hideki Matsui should be a solid DH although he has had health issues for most of the last few years. Really though, a lot hinges on how much Brandon Wood can contribute as the primary 3B and how much of his 2009 value Kendry Morales can hold onto. If Ervin Santana can get back to where he was in 2008 that would also be a big help. Again, like with Oakland, at a projection of 78 wins in the AL West, they should at the very least be in the mix for the division.
Anyone that wants to play around with the raw data from the Diamond Mind simulations can download it here.
And that's your 2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout. Results are NOT guaranteed.
On an unrelated note, if you are interested in helping out one of the best saberists around, Tangotiger is running community playing time forecast project and is looking for input from any fans who want to contribute. You can access the survey at this link:
Next entry: Looking Ahead to 2010 - Position Player Wrapup