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

Monday, March 28, 2011

The 2011 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - American League Edition

Opening Day is just days away, so it’s time to present my annual Diamond Mind Projection blowout.  The idea behind this is to take several projection systems and run the 2011 season multiple times through Diamond Mind Baseball, which I consider to be the most statistically accurate baseball simulator available.

I’ve done a version of this since 2005.  If you want to see how previous runs have gone, here are the links:

2008 Pt 1
2008 Pt 2
2009 AL
2009 NL
2010 AL
2010 NL

As you can see if you look at the prior runs, the results can be hit and miss, but that’s certainly understandable. 

Before I present the projected standings, it’s disclaimer time.

1) Projection systems are inherently limited in their accuracy, particularly for pitchers. We can get a rough idea of how most players will perform by looking at their past histories and how similar players have performed, and factoring in aging and regression, but abilities/talent can change in ways that can’t be forecasted.

2) Playing time distribution in these simulations will not match actual 2011 playing time. I used the rosters and depth charts available at the absolutely awesome MLB Depth Charts as my guide to set these up as realistically as possible, but it’s a possible source of error. Rosters were set up to have 35-40 or so active players per team, and to get a reasonable amount of playing time from the bench and extra pitchers, to more closely model reality. Basically, no players are set to play more than 90% of the time, starting catchers are restricted to at most about 75% of the games, and I’ve made sure teams get a non-trivial amount of starts from their 6-8 starters. The healthier a team is in 2011, the more likely they will be to exceed these projections.

3) We cannot predict injuries and/or roster changes. These simulations do try to adjust projected playing time based on past health issues, so someone like Brandon Webb or Erik Bedard is not expected to make 30 starts. I’ve also included random injuries which may lead to some of the outlying results you see, but there’s no way to account for all the fluctuations that will happen with rosters this season.

4) These are NOT my predictions. These are projections based on running a computer simulation hundreds of thousands of times with projection data that is inherently limited. If your favorite team doesn’t project well, don’t blame me, blame the computers and spreadsheets that projected them. I guess you can blame me for the CAIRO results if you want, otherwise you can take heart in the 2005 White Sox projecting to win 79 games, the 2006 Tigers projecting to win 80, or the 2010 Giants projecting to go 81-81.  These are not meant to tell you how the season is going to play out.  I prefer to think of them more as a starting point for discussion, with a range of something like 10 wins in either direction based on how things actually end up playing out.  You can look at them and argue about why you think some teams will be better or worse.

5) Since this is all automated, I don’t break ties. I simply award all ties a share of either the division title or wild card when it happens which is why you may see some funny decimal places in the standings that follow.

6) While the Diamond Mind engine is pretty good at giving us some variance in player and team performances over multiple simulations, it’s not quite good enough to model reality. Diamond Mind’s standard deviation for team wins is generally in the six to seven win range, but given the possible variations in playing time and in player performance, a better standard deviation is probably closer to the 10 to 13 win range. So I’ve taken the results from each set of projections (which I ran 1,000 times) and then run them through a Monte Carlo simulator 100,000 times. It won’t change the average win totals much, but it will give us a slightly higher standard deviation on team wins which will give us slightly different division and wild card percentages which should be more realistic.

7) These are the averages of hundreds of thousands of simulated seasons, so the results will tend to regress towards the mean. The final standings will not look like this, because they only play the season once. The idea behind is not necessarily to tell us how the final standings will look. Think of it more as a starting point for discussion. You can look at these and think about why you think teams will be better or worse.

OK, so now that the disclaimers are out of the way, onto the projected standings. I am showing W-L to one decimal place to deal with displayed rounding issues and so I don’t get people asking me why the wins and losses don’t add up to exactly 2430, not to imply that these results are that precise.

There’s too much crap to fit it all into one post, so I’ve created a separate post for each projection system I will use this post to show the results of the aggregate for the American League. You can follow the links below to look at the National League’s aggregate results and the individual projection systems’ results.

This year, I’m using five different projection systems.  You can click on each of the links below to get some more information about each system and to see how their projected standings look.

The 2011 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - National League Edition

Bill James

In the past I included CHONE and ZiPS.  Unfortunately, CHONE is not available this season and the ZiPS disk came out too late for me to use it.

American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W Std RS Std RA Std W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Red Sox 94.4 67.6 817 687 42.1% 17.8% 59.8% 84-104 788-846 661-714 5.4 -1 -57
Yankees 92.4 69.6 812 707 32.8% 18.2% 51.0% 82-102 783-840 680-734 -2.6 -47 14
Rays 86.1 75.9 762 704 16.0% 13.4% 29.4% 76-96 734-789 678-731 -9.9 -40 55
Orioles 78.6 83.4 748 777 6.0% 6.5% 12.5% 69-89 720-775 749-805 12.6 135 -8
Blue Jays 73.9 88.1 686 751 3.1% 3.2% 6.3% 64-84 659-712 724-779 -11.1 -69 23
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W Std RS Std RA Std W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Tigers 84.6 77.4 723 693 31.2% 6.4% 37.7% 75-95 696-750 667-719 3.6 -28 -50
Twins 84.4 77.6 767 733 30.7% 6.6% 37.3% 74-94 739-794 706-760 -9.6 -14 62
White Sox 82.8 79.2 723 721 25.6% 6.3% 31.9% 73-93 696-750 694-748 -5.2 -20 -24
Indians 74.3 87.7 720 779 8.8% 2.6% 11.4% 64-84 693-747 751-807 5.3 74 27
Royals 68.4 93.6 680 806 3.7% 1.2% 4.9% 58-78 654-706 777-834 1.4 4 -39
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W Std RS Std RA Std W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 88.0 74.0 746 680 45.7% 5.9% 51.6% 78-98 719-774 654-707 -2.0 -41 -7
Athletics 84.6 77.4 681 646 31.3% 6.1% 37.4% 75-95 655-707 620-671 3.6 18 20
Angels 77.9 84.1 666 687 14.9% 3.6% 18.5% 68-88 640-691 661-713 -2.1 -15 -15
Mariners 73.6 88.4 639 711 8.1% 2.2% 10.3% 64-84 614-665 685-738 12.6 126 13

W: Projected 2011 wins
L: Projected 2011 losses
RS: Projected 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)
W Std: Wins range within one standard deviation
RS Std: Runs scored within one standard deviation
RA Std: Runs allowed within one standard deviation
W+/-: 2011 projected wins minus 2010 actual wins
RS+/-: 2011 projected runs scored minus 2010 actual runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2011 projected runs allowed minus 2010 actual runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

One thing I need to note, since it may not be obvious. Those standings are NOT saying the Tigers are going to win the AL Central with 84.6 wins. They are saying the Tigers projected to win the AL Central most frequently(31.2% of the time) and that they averaged 84.6 wins.  Those are two separate things. In order to actually win the division, the AL Central winner had to win 90 games on average.

Here are the average wins for each place in the AL, plus the wild card.

Division AL East
Place # W
1 98
2 91
3 86
4 79
5 72
Division AL Central
Place # W
1 90
2 84
3 80
4 74
5 67
Division AL West
Place # W
1 91
2 84
3 78
4 71
AL Wild Card 92

Regular readers know that this whole exercise is an excuse to make fancy pie charts, so here’s how the AL division title percentages look for the aggregate in pie chart form.

I’ll run through the divisions and teams briefly:

AL East

Boston Red Sox
Average Projected Wins: 94
Division Title Percentage: 42.1%
Wild Card Percentage: 17.8%
Playoff Percentage: 59.8%

Boston projects as the best team in baseball, but they don’t project to be some 110 win juggernaut.  They obviously added a couple of nice pieces in Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, but they lost two very important players from last year’s team in Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez.  The bulk of Boston’s projected improvement is based on the assumptions of better health from some of their key players who missed significant time last year, and on some bounce back years from some of their pitchers who struggled. 

Why they might be better than projected: There’s little doubt that Adrian Gonzalez has moved from a park that suppresses offense significantly to one that boosts offense.  You never know exactly how an individual player’s performance will be affected by moving to a new park, so there’s a chance that his projections may not fully capture how much he’ll benefit.  So if Gonzalez is able to take more advantage of Fenway than expected, he may exceed his projections
In addition to that, while most of the projections expect some bounce back from Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka, any one of them or all of them might be able to outperform their projections.
They may also get better than expected performance out of shortstop if Jed Lowrie can stay healthy and take away some of Marco Scutaro’s time.

Why they might be worse than projected: You shouldn’t read too much into spring training performance, but Beckett has looked pretty shaky.  If he’s not healthy or he’s lost some zip even a modest bounce back may be asking too much.  Kevin Youkilis hasn’t played a lot of 3B over the past two years, and there’s a chance his defense there might be lacking, although he’s got good numbers at 3B in his career.  They may also have trouble with lefties in the late innings with their bullpen if Dennys Reyes and/or Hideki Okajima are ineffective, although Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks and Jonathan Papelbon have generally been pretty effective against them.  Their lineup may be a bit more susceptible to LHP.

New York Yankees
Average Projected Wins: 92
Division Title Percentage: 32.8%
Wild Card Percentage: 18.2%
Playoff Percentage: 51.0%

The Yankees are probably not as good as Boston, although with the error bars in any projection a gap of two wins is effectively not much of a gap.  At least one NL team’s scouts seem to think the Yankees are better.

Why they might be better than projected: I’ve assumed that Jesus Montero will only get about 200 PA, but if he’s able to exceed that and play passable defense the Yankees can probably get a few more runs out of him than they would out of Russell Martin and/or Francisco Cervelli. 

It’s not likely, but I don’t think anyone would be shocked to see Alex Rodriguez put up an MVP-caliber season, which is not something he’s projected to do.  He’s tearing the cover off the ball in spring training, although that’s not necessarily predictive.

The Yankees’ rotation has a lot of uncertainty in it, but but if A.J. Burnett can pitch closer to how he did in 2009 and they get serviceable pitching out of Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia they’ll be in in pretty good shape.  They’ve also got some intriguing arms that are long on potential in AA and AAA that may end up helping them out as the season proceeds.

Why they might be worse than projected: Derek Jeter may set the all-time record for grounding into double plays.  The lineup looks strong, but they’re not particularly young and there’s a chance they’ll get worse than expected performances/missed time from some of their key players and they don’t have a ton of depth behind the starters.  Jorge Posada’s bat would probably still play well at catcher, but it’s uncertain how well it’ll play as a DH.  The uncertainty that may help the Yankee rotation out-perform their projections could also cause it to crash and burn.

Tampa Bay Rays
Average Projected Wins: 86
Division Title Percentage: 16.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 13.4%
Playoff Percentage: 29.4%

The Rays have won the AL East in two of the past three seasons.  Despite that, the “experts” aren’t expecting a lot out of Tampa Bay since they lost their entire bullpen and Carl Crawford.  Of course, those experts should probably take a look at how they built that bullpen in the first place.  Most were traded for at a minimal cost or signed relatively cheaply and there’s no reason to think they can’t cobble a similarly good pen together in 2011. 
Why they might be better than projected: They’ve got youth on their side with a lot of their key players.  They also have a lot of flexibility with players who can play several positions and hit well, which should help mitigate any injuries or poor performances.  It’s looking less likely that B.J. Upton’s going to turn into a superstar, but you never know.

Why they might be worse than projected: Some of their younger players like Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson may have some growing pains, and some of their hopes for contending are contingent on Ben Zobrist hitting a bit better than he did in 2010 coming off a back injury. 

Baltimore Orioles
Average Projected Wins: 79
Division Title Percentage: 6.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 6.5%
Playoff Percentage: 12.5%

The Orioles may have improved more than any other team in baseball, at least if you compare their projections to their 2010 performance.  Their lineup looks pretty good, and Brian Matusz looks like he’s on his way to becoming one of the best young pitchers in baseball.  The Orioles played very well after Buck Showalter took over, although that in and of itself is not necessarily predictive.

Why they might be better than projected: They could see better than expected performances out of Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, all of who have been somewhat disappointing relative to expectations so far.  If they can get good performances out of some of their non-Matusz young starters like Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen and Chris Tilman and can get a reasonable number of starts out of Justin Duchscherer their pitching could surprise.

Why they might be worse than projected: Vladimir Guerrero and Derrek Lee have seen their best days, but still project decently, so if they underperform a bit that could hurt.  There’s a non-zero chance they get nothing out of Duchscherer and some of their young starters struggle.

Toronto Blue Jays
Average Projected Wins: 74
Division Title Percentage: 3.1%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.2%
Playoff Percentage: 6.3%

The Jays projections seem low to me, although I guess that’s largely a function of playing in a tough division.

Why they might be better than projected: Jose Bautista is probably a completely different player than he was in 2008 and the first five months of 2009, but the projections don’t know that.  If he’s closer to 2010 Bautista than he’s projected to be that will make the offense better.  The subpar performances of Adam Lind, Travis Snyder and Aaron Hill in 2010 may be hurting their projections as well.  They’ve got some interesting young arms in the rotation who could also be better than expected.

Why they might be worse than projected: The offense doesn’t look great, particularly if Edwin Encarnacion is the primary DH and Juan Rivera is the primary LF.  The defense may be a bit less than great with Jose Bautista at 3B and Adam Lind at 1B.

AL Central
Detroit Tigers
Average Projected Wins: 85
Division Title Percentage: 31.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 6.4%
Playoff Percentage: 37.7%

A busy offseason has vaulted Detroit to the top of the projected AL Central.  They’ve probably got the best pitcher in their division in Justin Verlander and one of the top hitters in baseball with Miguel Cabrera.

Why they might be better than projected: The Tigers are heavily right-handed which is a benefit in Comerica park.  Rick Porcello’s raw numbers looked worse in 2010 than they were in 2009, but his FIP was actually about 0.40 runs better, so he may pitch better than a projection that doesn’t account for that would think. 

Why they might be worse than projected: There’s not a lot of depth here.  An injury to one of their front-line players like Cabrera or Verlander or Victor Martinez would be tough to overcome.  They have some good defenders but their overall defense doesn’t look all that great.  They’re counting on Phil Coke making the transition to the rotation and that’s a risk in terms of both performance and innings.

Minnesota Twins
Average Projected Wins: 84
Division Title Percentage: 30.7%
Wild Card Percentage: 6.6%
Playoff Percentage: 37.3%

The Twins return essentially the same team that won the AL Central in 2010, minus J.J. Hardy but plus Joe Nathan.

Why they might be better than projected: Francisco Liriano had a very good year in 2010 and if you look at his peripherals it looks even better.  However, his projections include a less than great 2009.  If the reason for that 2009 was due to limitations as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery then his projections probably underrate him.  Getting a full season out of Justin Morneau may also help, as I’ve assumed he’ll only play about 75% of the games due to his concussion issues.

Why they might be worse than projected: Their outfield defense isn’t very good, particularly Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer.  While most projections try to account for defense when projecting pitching, they may not be penalzing the Twins enough.  Morneau may miss a non-trivial amount of time, which would also obviously hurt.  They’ve got Alexi Casilla penciled in as the starting SS, but he’s only played 233 innings there in his career so he may not be up for the task.  They’re also counting on Tsuyohsi Nishioka at 2B, and it’s tough to know exactly how his game will translate from Japan.

Chicago White Sox
Average Projected Wins: 83
Division Title Percentage: 25.6%
Wild Card Percentage: 6.3%
Playoff Percentage: 31.9%

The White Sox added Adam Dunn, who should be a huge upgrade over what they got out of DH last year.  They’ll also have a full season of Edwin Jackson.

Why they might be better than projected:  The biggest reason I can think of is Edwin Jackson.  He was a completely different pitcher for the White Sox that he’s been at any point in his career, although it was only 11 starts.  His BB/9 was 2.16 compared to 3.86 career, and his K/9 rate jumped to 9.24 compared to 6.68.  If that was due to Don Cooper’s coaching and not just a nice little run that was due more to luck than skill he could be a lot more valuable than expected.  It’ll be interesting to see how Gordon Beckham does this year, as he fell off significantly from his 2009.

Why they might be worse than projected: The White Sox have generally been one of the healthiest teams in baseball, but Jake Peavy is a major injury risk based on his past history and the drop-off after him is pretty steep.  They’ve got Brent Morel slated as the starting 3B.  His defensive reputation is quite good, but his bat’s still an uncertain proposition.

Cleveland Indians
Average Projected Wins: 74
Division Title Percentage: 8.8%
Wild Card Percentage: 2.6%
Playoff Percentage: 11.4%

The Indians are probably the youngest team in baseball.  They return most of a team that was pretty bad in 2010.

Why they might be better than projected: Grady Sizemore’s trying to make his way back from injury.  Prior to that he was one of the best players in baseball and if he’s able to recapture most of that and play regularly it’ll help.  Their rotation is young and that may help them pitch better than projected. 

Why they might be worse than projected: Aside from Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Santana (and a healthy Sizemore), their position players aren’t particularly great.  It’s tough to see them scoring a lot of runs as presently constituted, and their defense last year was pretty lousy.  A repeat of that could make their run prevention worse than projected.

Kansas City Royals
Average Projected Wins: 68
Division Title Percentage: 3.7%
Wild Card Percentage: 1.2%
Playoff Percentage: 4.9%

With Zach Greinke now in Milwaukee, it’s looking like another painful year for the Royals in 2011, but their future looks a lot brighter.

Why they might be better than projected: The Royals might have the best farm system in baseball and some of those prospects may start contributing this year. 

Why they might be worse than projected: The Royals are probably not even going to sniff contention, so it may make sense to make moves with the future in mind that could hurt them in the short-term.  The package they got back for Greinke doesn’t look all that great, and right now it looks like they are going to have Jeff Francoeur hitting in the middle of the lineup, something that Braves and Mets fans probably get hives about.

AL West
Texas Rangers
Average Projected Wins: 88
Division Title Percentage: 45.7%
Wild Card Percentage: 31.3%
Playoff Percentage: 51.6%

2010’s AL Champions look like the class of the AL West. 

Why they might be better than projected: I’ve seen it expressed in more than one place that the Rangers need to replace Cliff Lee and that losing him is going to hurt, but is losing 109 innings of 3.98 ERA that big of a deal? 
The defensive upgrade from Michael Young to Adrian Beltre at 3B is huge on paper, but projections may understate it.  Derek Holland has the stuff to be better than projected and that would slot in nicely behind C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis.  I’ve restricted Brandon Webb to about 10 starts, so if he can make more than that and pitch as projected they’ll benefit.

Why they might be worse than projected: 2010 was Wilson’s first full season as a starter in the majors, so I suppose there’s some risk that he breaks down at some point.  Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler have both shown problems with staying healthy at times and losing either of them for a significant amount of time (particularly Hamilton) would be a big blow.  They may get nothing out of Webb. 

Oakland Athletics
Average Projected Wins: 85
Division Title Percentage: 31.3%
Wild Card Percentage: 6.1%
Playoff Percentage: 37.4%

Despite scoring 37 runs more than they allowed, the A’s finshed 2010 at 81-81.  The projections expect them to be less unlucky in 2011 and pick up those 3-4 missing wins.

Why they might be better than projected: They should be a pretty good defensive team, which may not be fully captured in their pitching projections. 

Why they might be worse than projected: They’ve got some health concerns in their pitching staff, and their offense isn’t great. A lot of their pitchers had ERAs well below their FIPs/xFIPs and may regress more than projected, although some of that difference is probably due to park.

LA Angels
Average Projected Wins: 78
Division Title Percentage: 14.9%
Wild Card Percentage: 3.6%
Playoff Percentage: 18.5%

A bad offseason following their first losing season since 2003 has the Angels projected behind Texas and Oakland.  However, they’ll have a full season of Dan Haren and the return of Kendrys Morales as upgrades.

Why they might be better than projected: An outfield of Vernon Wells in LF, Peter Bourjos in CF and Torii Hunter in RF could be the best defensive OF in baseball.  That could be particularly beneficial to Jered Weaver who is a fly ball pitcher.  At this point it looks like Scott Kazmir the budding ace has morphed into Scott Kazmir the replacement level pitcher, but he’s still young and might be able to recapture some of his former glory.

Why they might be worse than projected: Their catching situation stinks, and they don’t have much depth behind their starters.  Fernando Rodney as closer seems like a good way to lose some close games late.

Seattle Mariners
Average Projected Wins: 74
Division Title Percentage: 8.1%
Wild Card Percentage: 2.2%
Playoff Percentage: 10.3%

Picked by many to be in contention in the AL West in 2010, the Mariners instead lost 101 games.  They scored an abysmal 513 runs and actually over-performed their pythagorean W-L by four games.  Of course, they weren’t really that bad, they just had a lot of things go wrong which means they should be better in 2011 just by dumb luck, although they still don’t look like a contender.

Why they might be better than projected: Erik Bedard looks healthy, but I’ve assumed he’ll only pitch about 15 games.  If they can get a full season out of him they’ll be a bit better. 

Why they might be worse than projected: Their offense still looks pretty lousy, and if they’ve decided they can’t contend they may try and flip some of their players for prospects.

For the NL edition, click here.

And there you have it, the 2011 Diamond Mind projection blowout.  Results are not guaranteed.

--Posted at 6:59 am by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)


Page 1 of 1 pages:

Something’s wrong with your blowout SG.  You have the Yankees finishing - on average - only 2 games behind the greatest team evah.  Not to mention, they have a non-zero chance of finishing AHEAD of Boston.  Actually, some commentators on FanGraphs have said with authority that there’s a good chance the Yankees will finish fourth in the division.  Are you sure you didn’t accidentally exclude other systems and use just CAIRO for this?

As always, great work.  I hope that some of the people saying this off-season has been a disaster will notice this.

You have the Astros logo instead of the Rangers in the pie chart. Thanks for all the work on this, by the way.

I guess that picture of Texas threw me off…

Thanks SG, great work!

Gotta like this outcome.  Basically every system has the Yanks within spitting distance of Boston, and the Yankees have a much more obvious avenue to improvement in the rotation, either through prospects developing, or a mid-season trade.

[4] And they’ve also got decent potential of replacing ineffectual position players as well, due to their pitching prospects in the system, plus a handful of position player prospects that may amount to something.  Not to take away from what SG is doing, but I wouldn’t mind at all if sometime between SG wrapping up his various previews, and opening day (or a little after), if Kyle would give his rundown on the Yankee farm system. 

IMHO, there are as many as 4 position players who will see time in AAA this year (not counting Nunez), who have a shot at being a regular starter in the big leagues.  Not necessarily with the Yankees, of course.  Romine and Montero, obviously.  Plus Laird and Brewer.  We’ve done Romine/Montero quite a bit.  Laird, there are questions if his bat will play in the majors, mostly will he make contact enough for his power to be an asset.  Also some question of his position.  If he’s a 3B, his bat will play.  If he’s a corner OF or a 1B, he’s got some work.

I haven’t seen Brewer yet, but he’s marched steadily through the system.  What I’ve inferred is that he’s a jack of all trades, master of none.  Looks like he *can* play CF, but is better suited to the corners, and he’s got the arm for RF.  Should be above average in the corners, but won’t get the “elite” tag.  Looks to have double-digit HR power, but is in the 12-16 range, so not a power hitter.  Has decent speed, and will probably steal 20-30 bases a year (if he gets enough PT), but will never be considered a burner.  Walks, K’s, batting average, all of it he’s average to above average, but doesn’t excel in anything.  Because of that, he’s going to be a guy that will be regularly underrated, but I think could develop into a regular 2-4 WAR player for several years.

Thanks so much, SG.

So you’re saying there’s a chance.

That’s what I hate about this site.  There just isn’t enough content. 

More seriously, it’s reassuring to see that despite “losing” Cliff Lee—I somehow missed his career as a Yankee—the Bombers aren’t entirely out of the playoff picture.

BTW, on the subject of how projections aren’t stone-carved predictions, I’ve come to think of projections as representing “what we might expect” from a player of a given record, age, etc.

I’ve come to think of projections as representing “what we might expect” from a player of a given record, age, etc.

I think that’s a good one.  I believe that accurately, projections are attempting to project what a player’s *talent level* will be for the coming season(s).  So if you project Jeter to have a .770 OPS (for example), you’re saying you think his talent level supports a .770 OPS.  Off of that, will be some random variation, some injuries (or lack of), etc, that will end up being his production.

Hopefully Youk looks as good at third this year as he did in left field during that one game the Sox stuck him there back in 2009.  That was a fun game to watch

Thanks, SG!

[10] I don’t think we’ll be quite that fortunate.

What I do think is likely is that his defensive skills have deteriorated a bit, or the wear and tear of a tougher defensive position affects his offense.

He’s also more likely to get hurt at 3B, but I’m not rooting for an opposing player to get injured, even someone as loathsome as Youkilis.

[12] I AM rooting for Cliff Lee to get hurt. Not out of spite, just so it will potentially lower the age of the Phillies 25 man roster.

Coincidentally, the midday hosts on WEEI this morning were talking about their expectations for the Red Sox.  One of them was adamant that Boston would win 100 games.  It occurred to me that he was using the term “100-win team” as a synonym for “really good team.”  Essentially, his reasoning is as follows:  He thinks the RS are a really good team, really good teams often win 100 games, ergo Boston will probably win 100 games.  Pressed to explain his prediction, he cited the acquisitions of Crawford and Gonzales and the “rebuilding” of the BP.  I think he also alluded to the fact that Youk and Pedroia were injured last year (I guess that means they’re immune from injury this year).  But that was pretty much the extent of the analysis. 

For the Red Sox to win 100 games isn’t out of the question, but I would think that’s a very tall order when you have two other legitimate playoff contenders in your division, in addition to two other teams that could easily be .500.  It’d be a much easier prediction to make if the Sox were the only good team in their division.

Not that it’s predictive of anything, but it’s interesting to note that the Red Sox have won 100+ games in a season approximately never (they last won that many in 1946).

I think he also alluded to the fact that Youk and Pedroia were injured last year (I guess that means they’re immune from injury this year).

Remember in the old action games in the arcade, where after dying and you start the next life, you’ve got 3-5 seconds of immunity.  Same thing.

[14] The euphoria and grandiosity of the RSN mediots this winter has continued unabated since the Crawfish and Gonzo acquisitions.  If the bubble is popped, they will revert to depressive caterwauling, resentment and hatemongering—the other side of the same coin of RSN neurosis.

[1]  The funnny thing is after skimming through all the pie graphs in Projectapalooza is that the system under which the Yanks win the division the most is the Bill James system, so if the SoSH have an issue with projection systems biased towards the Evil Empire, they should take it up with Bill James, not SG.

I am so pumped that real baseball starts this week.

I really liked this bit from the 2010 Blowout:

“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”

I’d say that was very true.

[16] Don’t the Sawx still pay Bill James as a consultant? Maybe they should have him take what SG uses to skew CAIRO towards the Yankees and make a Red Sox version for his projection system.

I am so pumped that real baseball starts this week.


I just purchased my annual package and plan to test it out on the Roku during the ST game in a few hours. For those interested, I will let the results be known.

[21] I’m going to purchase this very evening, I upgraded to a 27” monitor this winter though and have no need to port the image to a TV.

[22] I prefer to have my laptop free for complaintchatter during games. I don’t want to have to jump out of full screen mode to call Joba a fat cow after he gives up a grand slam, which he did on my birthday. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go burn my Joba Rules t-shirt.

[23] Whenever something goes wrong in the world I blame Joba. For example, Moose retiring after 2008 and not getting the WS ring he deserved: Joba’s fault.

Seeing the pie charts reminded me that I really like the Cincinnati mascot.

Also, I appreciated all number crunching…er…go SG.

It looks like Mr. Met’s evil cousin

[23] Also, you need a dedicated RLYW laptop, I’m getting mine soon.

Actually, it appears the Roku mlb deal isn’t operational until the season starts. Lame.

FWIW, Aceves has been optioned to AAA Pawtucket.

[29] Not everyonce can be an ace, even if it’s in his name.

Well, when you have 16+ aces, at least three of them are going to be stuck in the minors.

How does Theo do it?

This has got to be the worst complaint thread ever.

This is the first season in quite some time I won’t be able to watch most Yankee games, as I’ve dropped my Time Warner cable subscription.  Until solves the moronic blackout restriction problem (at which point I’ll buy it) I’m going to only see the My9 and ESPN / Fox games.  Enjoy the season guys, I just couldn’t justify $80/month to watch Yankee games.

This has got to be the worst complaint thread ever.

I think we’re resting up for Opening Day.

Enjoy the season guys, I just couldn’t justify $80/month to watch Yankee games.

You may want to check out StreamTorrent, depending on the quality of your connection.

[34] The black out restrictions are terrible. It’s pretty pathetic that internet TV isn’t exempt from that nonsense. On the other hand, using proxies isn’t too difficult.

BTW, does anyone know if the replay function on MLB is also subject to black outs?

“Enjoy the season guys, I just couldn’t justify $80/month to watch Yankee games.”

Seriously?  I guess I’m going to feel better about not getting

I think the $80/month is the cost of Time-Warner, not  The issue with is the stupid blackout policy that restricts anyone who lives within 1000 miles of a team’s stadium from watching their games.  The 1000 miles is a slight exaggeration, but the blackout policy is ridiculous.

Romulo sold into Japanese servitude.

I get the comcast extra innings package, which, for the early bird, costs $180 a season.  I get maybe 90%+ of the Yankees’ games.

[38] Yeah MLB is something like 150 for the whole season. Depending on where you are, the blackouts make it not worth it. I’ll only miss 3 Yankees games this year due to regional blackouts.

MLB(dot)tv is $120 for the whole season (or $150 if you buy it month by month). I am pretty sure the black out restriction doesn’t affect watching replays of games on the service. It just means you have to wait until something like an hour and a half after the game finishes to watch it. It ends up affecting out of market mlb(dot)tv users during FOX, tbs, and ESPN games, or even Saturday games that aren’t on FOX but start something like after 1:10 EST and before 5:05 EST (or some such nonsense). I am pretty sure the live radio streams are never blacked out and are included with the service as well (nice for a Saturday afternoon game or if you find yourself in a locale with a slower than normal connection).

Also, many of the smartphones out there have ways you can use your mlb(dot)tv membership to watch/listen to games on them.

“Also, many of the smartphones out there have ways you can use your mlb(dot)tv membership to watch/listen to games on them.”

Hmm, yeah, I can see not getting any work done this summer, losing my job and the respect of my kids, and hiding behind the dumpster of some Starbucks to get free bandwidth.

Thanks for the info, all.

Hey SG, RAB has you saying these aren’t predictions.  They sure look like predictions to me.

Hey SG, RAB has you saying these aren’t predictions.  They sure look like predictions to me.

You need to read the disclaimers(#4). I said the same thing. 

My predictions would look a bit different.  Predictions wouldn’t include uncertainty/probability, they’d just be straight up final standings/win totals.

“These are NOT my predictions.”

I was reading “my” here as referring to the fact that non-CAIRO data is used.

“Predictions wouldn’t include uncertainty/probability”

We have a different idea of what “prediction” means then, I’ll have to check what’s standard English and what’s science jargon etc.

We have a different idea of what “prediction” means then, I’ll have to check what’s standard English and what’s science jargon etc.

I always took a prediction to be different from a projection or forecast, in that a prediction was a definitive statement that was not necessarily based on data(but could be).  A projection or forecast should be based on data and should at least acknowledge that there is a range of possible outcomes.

I’m not a scientist though, although I could ask my scientist brother what he thinks.

[46] prediction is a personal opinion, projections are more unbiased. With prospects you can project their ceiling, but predict how close they come to it.

   /prɪˈdɪkt/ Show Spelled[pri-dikt] Show IPA
–verb (used with object)
to declare or tell in advance; prophesy; foretell: to predict the weather; to predict the fall of a civilization.
–verb (used without object)
to foretell the future; make a prediction.


   /n. ˈprɒdʒɛkt, -ɪkt; v. prəˈdʒɛkt/ Show Spelled[n. proj-ekt, -ikt; v. pruh-jekt] Show IPA

–verb (used with object) pro·ject

to set forth or calculate (some future thing): They projected the building costs for the next five years.

Distinctions between common vernacular and scientific jargon aside, it is difficult to glance at the blog today and not get the impression that somebody is trying to predict baseball.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go burn my Joba Rules t-shirt.

Wecome home, Brother.

Distinctions between common vernacular and scientific jargon aside, it is difficult to glance at the blog today and not get the impression that somebody is trying to predict baseball.

Why would you ever try to predict baseball?

[47] Projections acknowledge and even expose their assumptions so you can validate what they’re based on.

Predictions are what Nostradamus did. Or does. Or will do again. Time doesn’t seem to have much affect on ol’ N-Da.

[51] You know Nietzsche’s idea of Eternal Recurrence, right?  Per which Joba is going to torture over and over forever.

You know Nietzsche’s idea of Eternal Recurrence, right?

I *do* feel like we’ve done this all before…

sick pie charts, thanks.

Anyway, what is the mistake that “these are projections” is supposed to warn people away from?  Thinking that the above table claims the Yankees are going to win exactly 92.4 games?  That “W Std” is just there for decoration?

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