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

Monday, March 28, 2011

The 2011 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout - National League Edition

Rather than repeat all the disclaimers I’ll just point you to the American League edition..

Here are the aggregate projected 2011 NL standings using the five projection systems I used.

National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W Std RS Std RA Std W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Phillies 90.6 71.4 734 645 40.0% 10.7% 50.7% 81-101 707-761 620-671 -6.4 -38 5
Braves 87.3 74.7 732 669 29.7% 10.9% 40.6% 77-97 705-759 643-695 -3.7 -6 40
Marlins 81.9 80.1 697 684 15.2% 7.1% 22.3% 72-92 671-724 658-710 1.9 -22 -33
Mets 79.5 82.5 710 725 10.6% 5.5% 16.2% 69-89 683-736 698-752 0.5 54 73
Nationals 72.3 89.7 670 749 4.4% 2.3% 6.8% 62-82 644-696 721-776 3.3 15 7
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W Std RS Std RA Std W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Reds 85.5 76.5 734 695 31.1% 8.2% 39.3% 76-96 707-761 669-721 -5.5 -56 10
Cardinals 83.3 78.7 747 726 25.0% 8.1% 33.1% 73-93 720-775 699-753 -2.7 11 85
Brewers 83.1 78.9 725 706 21.5% 7.1% 28.7% 73-93 698-752 679-732 6.1 -25 -98
Cubs 79.8 82.2 715 723 15.2% 5.8% 21.0% 70-90 688-742 696-750 4.8 30 -44
Pirates 70.2 91.8 682 782 5.0% 1.9% 6.9% 60-80 656-708 754-810 13.2 95 -84
Astros 65.9 96.1 588 725 2.1% 0.9% 3.1% 56-76 564-612 698-752 -10.1 -23 -4
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W Std RS Std RA Std W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Giants 88.0 74.0 691 632 36.8% 8.4% 45.2% 78-98 665-718 606-657 -4.0 -6 49
Dodgers 83.6 78.4 672 653 23.2% 7.8% 31.0% 74-94 647-698 628-679 3.6 5 -39
Rockies 83.1 78.9 764 742 21.1% 7.4% 28.5% 73-93 736-791 715-770 0.1 -6 25
Padres 79.0 83.0 657 682 13.0% 5.3% 18.3% 69-89 631-682 656-708 -11.0 -8 101
Diamondbacks 73.0 89.0 668 735 6.0% 2.5% 8.4% 63-83 642-694 708-762 8.0 -45 -101


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)

As I mentioned in the AL post, you need to differentiate between the projected win totals for the teams and how many wins it will take to win each division.  Here is that data, again based on the aggregate of the five projections I ran.

Division NL East
Place # W
1 94
2 87
3 83
4 77
5 70
Division NL Central
Place # W
1 91
2 85
3 81
4 77
5 71
6 64
Division NL West
Place # W
1 92
2 86
3 82
4 77
5 71
NL Wild Card 89

 

Since NL fans have to watch a worse brand of baseball, it’s only fair to include pie charts for them too.

I’ll run through the divisions and teams briefly.

NL East
Philadelphia Phillies
Average Projected Wins: 91
Division Title Percentage: 40.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 10.7%
Playoff Percentage: 50.7%

The Phillies are probably the best team in the National League, but I don’t think they’re head and shoulders above every one else.

Why they might be better than projected: They’ve got a chance to have one of the greatest rotations in history.

Why they might be worse than projected:  If Chase Utley misses significant time, that’s a serious problem for the Phillies.  Brad Lidge has looked shaky so far ths spring velocity-wise and if he struggles in high-leverage situations that could lead to a few more losses.  Despite Cliff Lee’s claim that he signed with the Phillies because the Yankees were getting old, the Phillies are actually the oldest team in baseball.

Atlanta Braves
Average Projected Wins: 87
Division Title Percentage: 29.7%
Wild Card Percentage: 10.9%
Playoff Percentage: 40.6%

Most of the talk about the NL East has focused on Philadelphia, but the Braves look like a legitimate threat.

Why they might be better than projected: They Braves have two very talented 21 year-olds penciled into their lineup in Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman, both of whom could blow away their projections.  They’ve also got some nice young arms in both the majors and minors that could help them out on the field or as trade chips.

Why they might be worse than projected: Chipper Jones is still one of their best hitters, but he’s an injury risk.  They look to have a good offense but are lacking in true power threats, aside from Dan Uggla I suppose.

Florida Marlins
Average Projected Wins: 82
Division Title Percentage: 15.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 7.1%
Playoff Percentage: 22.3%

The Marlins don’t look like strong contenders right now, but they’ve got a lot of interesting young players and are not that far away from becoming one.

Why they might be better than projected: It’s probably dependent on some of their younger players exceeding their projections and getting a better than expected performance out of Javier Vazquez.  Mike Stanton is probably one of the better candidates in baseball to really break out if he can cut down his Ks a bit.

Why they might be worse than projected: Chris Coughlan hasn’t rated well as a LF, and now they’re asking him to play CF.  The youth of the team doesn’t just mean upside, it could also potentially mean downside.

New York Mets
Average Projected Wins: 79
Division Title Percentage: 10.6%
Wild Card Percentage: 5.5%
Playoff Percentage: 16.2%

The Mets aren’t an awful team, but they’re just not a good one.

Why they might be better than projected: Mostly health.  If they can get a full season out of Chris Young and get Johan Santana back sooner than expected that makes them a bit better.  I assumed that Santana and Young would only pitch about 50% of the season each.  The track record of Sandy Alderson as a GM should give the Mets fans hope that he can make smart moves that will help them going forward.

Why they might be worse than projected: They may get nothing out of Young and/or Santana.  The Wilpon’s financial situation may require them to cut payroll which may have an effect on their roster and personnel moves.

Washington Nationals
Average Projected Wins: 72
Division Title Percentage: 4.4%
Wild Card Percentage: 2.3%
Playoff Percentage: 6.8%

The unfortunate Stephen Strasburg injury is a set-back for 2011, but the prognosis is good for his return.  The loss of Adam Dunn has been off-set by the addition of Jayson Werth and they’ve added a few more pieces so they should be a bit better this year.

Why they might be better than projected: Their defense looks to be pretty good and may help them prevent more runs than expected.

Why they might be worse than projected: The rotation isn’t great, particularly without Strasburg, although there are a couple of guys with upside there.  They’ve got a lot of hope invested in Jayson Werth, whose at an age where decline should be expected.

NL Central
Cincinnati Reds
Average Projected Wins: 85
Division Title Percentage: 31.1%
Wild Card Percentage: 8.2%
Playoff Percentage: 39.3%

Last year’s surprise team looks like the favorite again in a tightly bunched group at the top of the NL Central.

Why they might be better than projected: Joey Votto was a deserving MVP, but the projections expect him to regress a bit in 2011.  If he can hold onto to more of his 2010 performance that should help the Reds.  They look to be a good defensive team too.  Jay Bruce gives them potential upside on offense and Aroldis Chapman might be the most valuable reliever in baseball, particularly if he’s not used as a closer and deployed in mostly high-leverage situations.

Why they might be worse than projected: The health of their rotation is a concern, between Edinson Volquez’s TJS in 2009, Bronson Arroyo’s mono and Johnny Cueto’s inflammed shoulder. Scott Rolen’s still pretty good, but he’s 36 and they don’t have a ton of depth behind him if he misses a lot of time.

St. Louis Cardinals
Average Projected Wins: 83
Division Title Percentage: 25.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 8.1%
Playoff Percentage: 33.1%

The Cardinals were tied with the Reds (and Brewers) before they lost Adam Wainwright for the season, but they should still be in the mix.

Why they might be better than projected: Dave Duncan seems to be able to coax better than expected performances out of pitchers that you wouldn’t expect, so they may be able to cobble together enough to off-set most of the loss of Wainwright.

Why they might be worse than projected: Right now Kyle McClellan looks like the fifth starter, and while he’s been an effective reliever, he may not be as good as projected as a starter.  They’re very dependent on their front-line talent, and should they lose any of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday or Chris Carpenter for a significant amount of time it’ll be a real problem.  It’s also possible that the Lance Berkman starting OF experiement ends up as an unmitigated disaster.

Milwaukee Brewers
Average Projected Wins: 83
Division Title Percentage: 21.5%
Wild Card Percentage: 7.1%
Playoff Percentage: 28.7%

The Brewers added Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum to their rotation, which is a huge upgrade. It’s probably Prince Fielder’s final year in a Brewer uniform and it looks like they’ve got a chance to make it an interesting one.

Why they might be better than projected: If they can find a replacement level SS, it’d be an upgrade on Yuniesky Betancourt.  I ran these prior to the Nyjer Morgan acquisition so that may also help a bit.

Why they might be worse than projected: Greinke’s starting the year on the DL and if he’s out longer than expected that’s a problem.  Their defense doesn’t look very good, which means their pitching may end up appearing worse than projected.  Betancourt is subtraction by addition.

Chicago Cubs
Average Projected Wins: 80
Division Title Percentage: 15.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 5.8%
Playoff Percentage: 21.0%

The Cubs are sort of like the Mets, in that they’re not horrible, but need a few breaks to get into contention.

Why they might be better than projected: The offense looks average, but it has some upside.  If Matt Garza is able to take better than expected advantage of moving out of the DH league that gives them a boost.

Why they might be worse than projected: The lineup isn’t particularly young aside from Starlin Castro.  The health of Carlos Zambrano and Aramis Ramirez is always a concern as well.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Average Projected Wins: 70
Division Title Percentage: 5.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 1.9%
Playoff Percentage: 6.9%

The Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992. They have some interesting players but still look a bit away from being a contender.

Why they might be better than projected: They’ve got some position players with upside like Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen.  They get to play the Astros a lot.

Why they might be worse than projected: 2011 should be more of a development/transition year which means that the short-term goal of winning games is a lower priority than building towards contention in the future.

Houston Astros
Average Projected Wins: 66
Division Title Percentage: 2.1%
Wild Card Percentage: 0.9%
Playoff Percentage: 3.1%

On average, only the Padres are projected to drop off more than the Astros in 2011.  Their biggest problem looks to be offense.

Why they might be better than projected: They’ve actually got a pretty good rotation that might keep them in more games than expected. They get to play the Pirates a lot.

Why they might be worse than projected: The catching situation is a bit ugly, and they may be best-served trading some of their players with an eye on being competitive in the future.  You have to wonder about whether or not Brad Hawpe can hit(and field 1B for the first time) in one of the hardest parks to hit in, although he’s a rare Rockies hitter whose managed to keep most of his value on the road.

NL West
San Francisco Giants
Average Projected Wins: 88
Division Title Percentage: 36.8%
Wild Card Percentage: 8.4%
Playoff Percentage: 45.2%

Last year’s World Series champs shocked the world by rampaging through the postseason and beating the unbeatable Cliff Lee twice in the World Series.  They look like the favorites this year in their division.

Why they might be better than projected:  If the newly svelte (well, svelter anyway) Pablo Sandoval can hit more like he did in 2009 than he projects to hit in 2011, that’s a big boost.  Brandon Belt could force his way into the lineup, for now I’ve assumed he’ll only get into about 30-40 games.  Their pitching is great, which could help them do better than expected in one run games.

Why they might be worse than projected: Their lineup beyond Buster Posey and Sandoval (and possibly Belt) is a bit on the old and average side, and they’ve got some less than stellar defenders with Pat Burrell in LF and Miguel Tejada as SS.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Average Projected Wins: 84
Division Title Percentage: 23.2%
Wild Card Percentage: 7.8%
Playoff Percentage: 31.0%

Unfortunately for Dodgers fans, their team is in the headlines more for the ongoing divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt and less for what they’ve done in building the team in 2011.  There’s some talent here though, and it’s not hard to see them contending.

Why they might be better than projected: Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley both seem like guys who can exceed their projections to me.  It’s hard to believe, but Clayton Kershaw is just 23 and might get even better.

Why they might be worse than projected: I really like Marcus Thames, but not as a starting OF.  I don’t see a Thames/Jay Gibbons LF platoon doing particularly well offensively or defensively.  Rafael Furcal has battled injuries throughout his career and if he misses time that would be a problem.  Their whole OF defense has the potential to be abysmal.

Colorado Rockies
Average Projected Wins: 83
Division Title Percentage: 21.1%
Wild Card Percentage: 7.4%
Playoff Percentage: 28.5%

The Rockies and Dodgers are essentially in the same spot, a few wins behind the Giants and ahead of the Padres.  The raw numbers belie how effective the Rockies pitching staff has been of late.  While Ubaldo Jimenez projects to give back some of his 2010 value, they should get more value out of the rest of the rotation, so the Rockies should be a contender this year.

Why they might be better than projected: The pitching looks solid, so their best bet for exceeding these numbers is out-hitting their projections. 

Why they might be worse than projected: Troy Tulowitzki is almost certainly their best position player and he missed 40 games in 2010 and 61 games in 2008.  If he can’t play a full season that’s a tough hurdle for the Rockies to overcome.

San Diego Padres
Average Projected Wins: 79
Division Title Percentage: 13.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 5.3%
Playoff Percentage: 18.3%

After five great months, the Padres tanked in September and missed the postseason.  Then they traded their best hitter to Boston for Casey Kelly, who’s apparently the greatest pitching prospect in the history of ever.

Why they might be better than projected: PETCO seems to help the Padres get better pitching than expected at times, and they have some decent upside players in Will Venable, Chase Headley and Cameron Maybin.

Why they might be worse than projected: Mat Latos is going to be out on opening day with what’s being described as a sore right shoulder.  If he misses significant time that’s a pretty big hit.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Average Projected Wins: 73
Division Title Percentage: 6.0%
Wild Card Percentage: 2.5%
Playoff Percentage: 8.4%

Much like the Pirates and Mariners, the Diamondbacks should be better in 2011 simply due to the Plexiglass Principle (aka regression towards the mean). They’ve brought in some players to battle for 1B and LF and they traded away Mark Reynolds, but the rest of their offensive core is intact from 2010.

Why they might be better than projected: Their hopes for improvement probably start with Justin Upton, whose performance fell off quite a bit between 2009 and 2010.  Whether that indicates some good fortune in 2009 or bad fortune in 2010 is the question there.  They also probably need Zach Duke to exceed his projections whenever he returns from the DL.  I’ve assumed that Russell Branyan and Juan Miranda will split time at 1B, but Branyan projects better so he should probably play more and if he does that’s another upgrade.

Why they might be worse than projected: The defense looks shaky, and while Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson are two pretty good starters to have, I don’t think the same can be said for Joe Saunders and Aaron Heilman.


Overall, I don’t really see anything surprising here, but I do think the fact that the Phillies aren’t as good as the MSM seems to think they are is pretty interesting.

--Posted at 6:56 am by SG / No Comments | - (0)

Comments

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