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








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Newsday: Yankees are running out of time
(13 Comments - 9/2/2014 12:00:39 pm)

Yankees.com: Yankees Stink
(29 Comments - 9/2/2014 11:09:53 am)

Yankees vs Blue Jays, Sunday August 31, 2014
(19 Comments - 8/31/2014 7:51:54 pm)

Yankees (70-63) @ Blue Jays (67-67), Saturday, August 30, 2014, 1:07pm
(51 Comments - 8/31/2014 1:33:07 pm)

Yankees (69-63) @ Blue Jays (67-66), Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:07pm
(57 Comments - 8/30/2014 1:44:11 pm)

NY Times: In Season of 63 Losses So Far, Yankees Find Few as Agonizing as This One
(29 Comments - 8/29/2014 5:37:03 pm)

Yankees (69-62) @ Tigers (71-60),  Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:08pm
(93 Comments - 8/29/2014 7:31:32 am)

NYDN: Yankees sign Mets reject Chris Young to minor-league deal
(10 Comments - 8/28/2014 1:11:26 pm)

Yankees.com: Detroit sock city: Yanks hammer Price, gain in WC race
(9 Comments - 8/28/2014 1:03:08 am)

Yankees (68-62) @ Tigers (71-59), Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 7:08pm
(85 Comments - 8/27/2014 11:10:42 pm)



Player

Current Projected

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.
-alskor

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.
sabernar

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.
OldYanksFan




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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CAIRO 2014 v0.2’s Extremely Early and Completely Useless 2013 Projected MLB Standings

I figured I had a long offseason ahead of me if I was going to do everything in my power to make the Yankees look better than they are. The thing that needed to be done first was put the Yankees in the context of the rest of MLB.  So I’ve been working on building my CAIRO season simulation disk and gave it a trial run last night.  This was current through rosters as of yesterday morning.

As the title says, this is extremely early and completely useless so think of it more as a goof than anything too serious.  So using CAIRO v0.2 which I’ll probably post tomorrow and the depth charts from MLB Depth Charts and Rotochamp as a rough gauge of playing time, here’s how the 2014 MLB season looks as of November 20.

Date 11/20/2013
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Red Sox 92 70 808 728 53.4% 10.7% 9.8% 73.9%
Rays 87 75 664 587 21.3% 11.6% 11.7% 44.5%
Blue Jays 86 76 816 761 14.9% 10.2% 11.7% 36.8%
Orioles 84 78 750 711 10.4% 6.3% 8.7% 25.4%
Yankees 71 91 674 801 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.5%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Tigers 91 71 773 661 71.1% 4.9% 4.5% 80.6%
Indians 85 77 725 670 21.6% 10.1% 10.0% 41.7%
Royals 79 83 703 758 6.1% 2.0% 4.1% 12.1%
Twins 74 88 707 774 1.2% 0.2% 0.8% 2.2%
White Sox 70 92 711 804 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 91 71 760 641 61.4% 12.9% 9.0% 83.3%
Athletics 86 76 710 641 24.6% 17.6% 16.4% 58.6%
Angels 84 78 664 643 13.8% 12.8% 12.4% 39.0%
Mariners 72 90 617 684 0.2% 0.4% 0.7% 1.4%
Astros 54 108 660 970 0.0% - - -
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Nationals 90 72 697 608 52.9% 19.3% 10.1% 82.3%
Braves 90 72 645 589 45.1% 23.5% 10.5% 79.1%
Phillies 77 85 634 676 1.4% 1.6% 3.8% 6.9%
Marlins 73 89 574 641 0.5% 0.9% 1.7% 3.2%
Mets 68 94 589 682 0.1% - 0.1% 0.2%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Reds 87 75 676 620 34.6% 9.8% 9.3% 53.7%
Pirates 87 75 593 551 36.3% 8.7% 10.3% 55.2%
Cardinals 85 77 621 574 27.1% 9.0% 10.5% 46.5%
Brewers 75 87 706 763 1.3% 0.8% 1.5% 3.6%
Cubs 73 89 625 680 0.9% 0.3% 1.0% 2.1%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Dodgers 88 74 640 584 42.3% 7.0% 10.4% 59.6%
Giants 85 77 607 574 20.0% 6.5% 10.5% 37.1%
Diamondbacks 84 78 618 588 20.0% 6.3% 9.9% 36.2%
Rockies 81 81 852 861 9.9% 3.2% 6.4% 19.6%
Padres 80 82 602 596 7.8% 3.0% 4.1% 14.9%

W: Projected final 2014 wins
L: Projected final 2014 losses
RS: Projected final 2014 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2014 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: Projected wins within one standard deviation

Let me reiterate, these are extremely early and completely useless.  There are literally hundreds of free agents still out there to be signed, and trades to be made, and players to be injured.  There’s also the traditional error bars that projections have, which means you should probably look at this with a 10 game swing on either side of a team’s average projected win total, particularly right now with so much roster churn to come.

But if you are a Yankee fan, like I used to be, this is pretty disheartening.  It’s not surprising, and if you put the lineup and pitching staff together based on how they project in 2014 you will see they are about as far from championship caliber as any team in the American League.  Maybe moreso considering the relative strength of their division. 

No, the Astros are not an AL team, even if they use a DH.

Don’t worry though, the Yankees will sign Carlos Beltran and he’ll make them a 95 win team.

--Posted at 8:09 am by SG / 61 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 26, 2013

NY Times: Yankees Find a Way to Avoid a Sweep

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — At age 37 with cranky knees, Alfonso Soriano is not nearly as swift as he once was. In an earlier life with the Yankees in his middle 20s, Soriano was able to rely on sheer speed and agility as he twice recorded seasons with 40 stolen bases.

Now, stolen bases come more from his mind and the knowledge he has accrued in 15 years in the major leagues, and few were as critical as the one he swiped in the 11th inning Sunday that led directly to a vital 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Summoning every bit of information about the craft of base stealing that he had gleaned from his previous 365 attempts — and with his manager’s blessing — Soriano set out on an 85-foot sprint that changed the course of the game, and perhaps the Yankees’ playoff hopes.

The Yankees really needed to win two of the three games in Tampa Bay over this weekend, but alas they couldn’t do it.  Saturday’s game was the killer, as CC Sabathia looked like vintage CC for just about the whole game except for a four batter stretch that cost the Yankees their 2-0 lead and the game.  CC was pretty much sitting 94-95 all game, something he hasn’t done all year.  Unfortunately, even if he pitches well going forward it’s probably too little and too late.

The big problem the Yankees face now is that they need a lot of help from a lot of crappy teams.  They’re fighting against Cleveland and Oakland teams that have easier schedules going forward, even if the Yankees were able to take care of their own business against Baltimore, Boston and Tampa Bay.  Here are my estimated projected strengths of schedule for each team over the rest of the season, accounting for home field advantage.

Team Opponent W%
Indians .486
Athletics .490
Rangers .492
Yankees .500
Rays .509
Red Sox .512
Orioles .522

And here’s how many wins every team ahead of the Yankees project to end the season with.

TM W
Tigers 98
Red Sox 94
Rangers 93
Rays 93
Athletics 90
Indians 88
Orioles 86
Yankees 85

Let’s put that in the perspective of the expected W-L records over the rest of the season.

Team W L
Yankees 16 16
Rays 19 15
Rangers 18 14
Athletics 18 15
Red Sox 17 13
Indians 17 15
Orioles 16 17

Let’s forget about Boston, Tampa Bay and Texas for now.  I can’t see the Yankees making up the seven or eight games in projected record over the rest of the season to catch any of them.  Yeah, they play Boston seven more times, all at home, but even if they win five of those seven games they still have to make up another five games.  They play the Rays just three more times, so even if they sweep that series they would have to make up another four games.

The Yankees play the Orioles seven more times (three at home, four on the road so they can pass them by beating them.

Which means it’s basically down to winning the games they can win and then watching what Oakland and Cleveland do in these remaining games.

Game #
Angels@Athletics 3
Astros@Athletics 4
Athletics@Angels 3
Athletics@Mariners 3
Athletics@Rangers 3
Athletics@Tigers 4
Athletics@Twins 3
Rangers@Athletics 3
Rays@Athletics 3
Twins@Athletics 4
Game #
Astros@Indians 4
Indians@Braves 3
Indians@Royals 3
Indians@Tigers 3
Indians@Twins 4
Indians@White Sox 4
Mets@Indians 3
Orioles@Indians 3
Royals@Indians 3
White Sox@Indians 2

I’d feel better about the Yankees’ chances if Oakland didn’t have so many games left against the Angels, Astros, Mariners and Twins and Cleveland didn’t have so many games left against the Astros, Twins, White Sox and Mets.

I fear the Yankees have run out of time.  They are probably one of the six best teams in the AL right now, but they haven’t been for too much of the season to make up for it.

--Posted at 8:03 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Best 43 Games Stretches by Every 2013 MLB Team

Tm StartDate EndDate W-L WPCT season WPCT% RS RA
LAD 6/22 8/9 35-8 .814 .583 209 130
PIT 5/14 6/30 30-13 .698 .597 166 131
STL 4/9 5/27 30-13 .698 .571 198 133
TBR 6/16 8/4 30-13 .698 .568 175 124
ATL 6/26 8/14 29-14 .674 .612 221 146
CIN 4/15 5/31 29-14 .674 .567 197 136
DET 6/20 8/8 29-14 .674 .588 236 161
NYY 4/7 5/25 29-14 .674 .521 191 146
OAK 5/15 7/2 29-14 .674 .563 199 147
TEX 4/2 5/19 29-14 .674 .579 210 150
CLE 6/14 8/1 28-15 .651 .537 211 163
TOR 5/5 6/23 28-15 .651 .458 242 181
BOS 4/13 5/27 27-16 .628 .590 215 184
KCR 6/26 8/13 27-16 .628 .525 186 162
CHC 4/5 5/23 16-27 .372 .433 173 180
CHW 6/5 7/25 16-27 .372 .387 184 209
COL 6/13 7/31 16-27 .372 .467 152 202
HOU 4/17 6/2 16-27 .372 .328 171 241
LAA 4/3 5/19 16-27 .372 .445 186 226
MIL 4/19 6/4 16-27 .372 .433 174 209
NYM 4/19 6/8 16-27 .372 .458 143 196
SDP 6/18 8/6 16-27 .372 .450 152 193
SFG 5/16 7/2 16-27 .372 .437 151 189
MIA 5/6 6/23 15-28 .349 .387 137 188

I figured this would give some perspective on just how hard it’s going to be for the Yankees to win 30+ of their 43 remaining games. 

 

--Posted at 8:48 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)




Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 MLB Postseason Odds Through Games of July 21

Date 7/22/2013
Iterations 1,000,000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Red Sox 94 68 825 730 51.6% 23.9% 10.6% 86.1%
Rays 92 70 743 651 34.7% 29.4% 16.5% 80.7%
Orioles 88 74 763 740 11.0% 16.1% 20.9% 47.9%
Yankees 83 79 694 684 2.3% 4.4% 8.9% 15.5%
Blue Jays 77 85 758 748 0.0% 0.8% 1.1% 1.9%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Tigers 91 71 806 682 75.1% 2.2% 4.9% 82.2%
Indians 86 76 758 730 21.6% 4.7% 8.8% 35.2%
Royals 78 84 668 679 2.7% 0.5% 1.7% 4.8%
Twins 70 92 672 778 0.1% - 0.2% 0.3%
White Sox 69 93 658 734 0.1% - 0.1% 0.2%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Athletics 93 69 725 641 74.0% 5.2% 6.6% 85.8%
Rangers 88 74 733 690 23.7% 11.2% 16.6% 51.5%
Angels 80 82 747 709 1.7% 1.2% 2.5% 5.4%
Mariners 74 88 660 727 0.2% 0.1% 0.5% 0.7%
Astros 55 107 625 868 0.0% - - -
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Braves 93 69 694 600 90.0% 0.6% 2.7% 93.2%
Nationals 81 81 635 622 5.9% 1.6% 8.3% 15.8%
Phillies 78 84 647 698 3.2% 0.5% 3.2% 6.8%
Mets 75 87 666 715 0.6% 0.4% 1.0% 1.9%
Marlins 61 101 559 701 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Cardinals 98 64 757 614 68.0% 21.5% 9.7% 99.1%
Reds 91 71 718 622 15.3% 38.6% 31.4% 85.4%
Pirates 91 71 638 603 16.2% 34.8% 32.7% 83.7%
Cubs 73 89 659 695 0.1% - 1.3% 1.4%
Brewers 69 93 660 728 0.0% - 0.2% 0.2%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Diamondbacks 84 78 688 672 41.5% 1.0% 3.0% 45.6%
Dodgers 83 79 647 631 37.9% 0.5% 3.5% 41.8%
Rockies 78 84 742 765 12.6% 0.2% 1.6% 14.3%
Giants 77 85 652 670 6.9% - 0.9% 7.8%
Padres 71 91 642 714 0.7% 0.1% 0.2% 1.0%

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)

At least the Yankees have a good chance of not finishing last.

Should they sell?  Probably.  Will they sell?  Probably not.

--Posted at 9:27 am by SG / 59 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The 2013 MLB Projection Blowout

With Opening Day rapidly approaching, it’s time for my 2013 MLB projected standings blowout.  The idea behind this series of posts is to try and project how the 2013 MLB season might look given what we think we may know right now.  I’ve been doing a version of this since 2005, and you can see the results by looking at the following links.

2005
2006
2007
2008 Pt 1
2008 Pt 2
2009 AL
2009 NL
2010 AL
2010 NL
2011 AL
2011 NL
2012

A quick look at the previous seasons shows that the results are hit and miss.  Projections don’t pretend to be omnisicent, so they can only tell us so much about how things play out.  Hence the following disclaimers.

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 2013 playing time. I used the rosters and depth charts available at MLB Depth Charts plus whatever I’ve read over the offseason 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 2013, the more likely they will be to exceed these projections, and vice versa.

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 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 2006 Tigers projecting to win 80, the 2010 Giants projecting to go 81-81 or the 2012 Orioles projecting to win 70 games.  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 cards when it happens which is why you may see some funny decimal places in the standings that follow.

6) 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.  If the first place team in a division projects to win 85 games, it doesn’t mean 85 wins will win the division, but I’ll get into that into more detail further down in this post.

7) Even if you knew exactly what every player would do, and exactly how much they’d play, you would not get the standings right.  A few one run games or a disparate performance in more crucial situations can cause any team to over/under achieve what their stats say they should have done.  So if that’s true, you have to figure that since we have no idea what any individual player do or how much they’ll play, the margin of error on these is massive.

There’s too much stuff 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/average of all the projections. You can follow the links below to look at 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 specific projected standings look.

CAIRO
Marcel
Oliver
Steamer
ZiPS

I should note that the Marcel projections used here were generated using Python code provided by Jeff Sackmann and are not the “official” projections, although they should be almost identical.  I’ll also mention that ZiPS will have its own projected standings so these should not be considered the official version.  Playing time distribution, run environments and park factors may cause some divergence between what ZiPS forecasts and what mine say.  When in doubt, go with the official version.

With all the disclaimers out of the way, on to the projected standings.  These are the combined results for all five projection systems.  The standings are rounded to the nearest win so if the total W-L doesn’t add up to 2430-2430 that’s why.

American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS% W+/-
Blue Jays 89 73 795 728 29.1% 9.9% 9.6% 48.5% 77-100
Rays 88 74 715 644 27.6% 9.5% 8.8% 45.9% 77-100
Yankees 85 77 774 745 18.6% 7.9% 8.2% 34.7% 73-96
Red Sox 82 80 819 803 15.4% 6.6% 8.2% 30.2% 70-93
Orioles 79 83 738 766 9.3% 4.5% 5.8% 19.6% 68-90
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Tigers 89 73 797 714 46.4% 6.6% 6.8% 59.8% 77-100
Royals 81 81 716 721 19.3% 5.6% 6.5% 31.4% 70-92
Indians 80 82 741 744 18.7% 5.0% 6.2% 29.9% 69-91
White Sox 76 86 718 767 12.4% 4.0% 4.8% 21.2% 65-88
Twins 67 95 693 825 3.2% 0.9% 1.6% 5.6% 56-78
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Angels 91 71 763 656 40.0% 12.3% 9.3% 61.7% 80-103
Rangers 88 74 795 727 30.1% 12.0% 10.0% 52.1% 77-100
Athletics 87 75 731 679 24.6% 12.1% 10.0% 46.6% 75-98
Mariners 73 89 660 722 4.7% 2.9% 3.8% 11.4% 61-84
Astros 60 102 649 866 0.5% 0.3% 0.7% 1.6% 49-72
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Nationals 90 72 690 598 44.5% 11.3% 8.3% 64.0% 79-102
Braves 88 74 673 622 32.3% 11.5% 9.7% 53.5% 77-99
Phillies 80 82 665 680 15.1% 7.2% 7.9% 30.1% 69-92
Mets 73 89 645 703 5.3% 3.1% 4.2% 12.6% 61-84
Marlins 69 93 624 731 2.8% 1.9% 2.5% 7.3% 57-80
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Reds 89 73 741 662 41.0% 8.9% 7.9% 57.8% 78-101
Cardinals 85 77 686 655 26.8% 8.8% 7.8% 43.4% 73-96
Brewers 79 83 704 733 13.4% 5.5% 6.5% 25.3% 67-90
Pirates 78 84 665 691 11.6% 4.3% 5.6% 21.5% 66-89
Cubs 74 88 652 705 7.2% 3.3% 4.1% 14.6% 63-85
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Dodgers 87 75 677 618 30.9% 9.4% 8.9% 49.2% 76-99
Giants 87 75 665 613 28.3% 9.1% 9.0% 46.4% 76-98
Diamondbacks 84 78 716 696 22.7% 8.1% 8.0% 38.8% 73-95
Padres 78 84 643 668 11.0% 4.4% 5.4% 20.8% 66-89
Rockies 74 88 775 847 7.2% 3.2% 4.2% 14.6% 63-85

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)
W+/-: Projected wins within one standard deviation

As noted earlier, this is NOT saying that you can win the NL West by winning 87 games.  It’s saying that the team that finished in first most frequently in that division averaged 87 wins over hundreds of thousands of seasons.  Here are the average win totals for each spot in each division.

Place ALE ALC ALW NLE NLC NLW
1 94 91 95 94 92 92
2 89 84 89 87 85 87
3 85 79 83 80 81 83
4 81 74 73 73 76 78
5 75 66 60 66 70 71
WC1 91 90
WC2 87 86

Here is how each division broke down in terms of percentages using the aforementioned pie charts.

In the AL East, we’ve got the mostly tightly bunched group of teams in baseball, with just 10 wins separating Toronto at the top and Baltimore at the bottom.  Toronto and Tampa Bay look like they’re neck and neck as of right now.  The Yankees are already ravaged by injuries and at this point it doesn’t seem like it would take a lot for them to end up having a losing season and even finish last.  Should they lose Robinson Cano or CC Sabathia for any significant amount of time that may be exactly what happens.  Boston has improved quite a bit from where they were at the end of last season, although they apparently still have a ways to go.  The projections are expecting a big regression from Baltimore, although they have enough talented young players with upside that they could beat their projections by quite a bit.
     

The AL Central basically looks like Detroit and everyone else.  Kansas City and Cleveland are jockeying behind the Tigers.  It’ll be interesting to see what the Indians get out of Scott Kazmir, who did not have a Steamer projection and projected pretty poorly in all the other systems.  He’s throwing harder than he was when last seen in the majors and could surprise some people.  For the Royals, it looks like Big Game James may not get into many big games this year, although stranger things have happened.  The White Sox are projected to fall off a bit from last season, and the Twins look like they aren’t going to be very good.

There’s a new floormat in the AL West, and it’s the Houston Astros.  Can they lose 100+ games for the third year in a row?  The projections think they can.  Houston projects to be so bad that they have essentially balanced out the league difference between the AL and NL.  Last year, the AL went 1150-1118 thanks to interleague play.  If you add Houston’s 55-107 to that you get a record of 1205-1225.  Los Anaheim looks like the favorite here and project to win more games than any other team in baseball, with Texas a strong second.  The Angels do have some concerns in their rotation, which could open the door for the Rangers.  Oakland projects to fall back a bit from last year, but still should be in contention.  Seattle still doesn’t look particularly good, although they should score some more runs this year, which is something.

The Nationals project as favorites in the NL East, especially now that the restrictions are off Stephen Strasburg.  The Braves aren’t quite at their level, but project to be pretty good as well.  The Phillies appear to be showing their age, and if Roy Halladay doesn’t bounce back they could be in trouble.  The Mets don’t look good to me, especially with Johan Santana looking iffy and the Marlins may be as bad as the Astros.  If Placido Polanco is hitting cleanup to ‘protect’ Giancarlo Stanton, it’s hard to see them winning 60 games.

In the Central, the Reds look like the clear favorite.  The Cardinals were closer before losing Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal, but they seem like the second best team in the division.  Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are neck and neck with each other and the Cubs look to be bringing up the rear.

In the West, the Dodgers are spending money like there’s no tomorrow but I’m not so sure they’re spending it all that well.  They project a hair better than San Francisco but given the margin of error inherent in projections there’s really no difference in their projections.  The Diamondbacks had a bizarre offseason and losing Adam Eaton for two months hurts, but they should be in the mix if a few things go their way.  The Padres look a bit better than I expected, although still not good and the Rockies stink.

Usually there’s a surprise team or two in here but this year nothing really stands out.  In general it seems that aside from a handful of really bad teams we’re seeing more parity.  Between that and the second wild card you can pretty much see any team in baseball sneaking into the postseason.  Except the Astros.

And there you have it.  The 2013 projection blowout.  Results are not guaranteed.

On an unrelated note, our sister site, the Replacement Level Red Sox launches today. Check them out at replacementlevelredsox.com.

--Posted at 6:59 am by SG / 45 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

NY Times: Yankees at Payroll Threshold, at Least for Now

As of Dec. 31, 2012, the Yankees’ payroll was right at the targeted threshold of $189 million, give or take a few hundred thousand. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts at BaseballProspectus.com, the Yankees have contractual commitments to 14 players worth $189,475,000. That includes Kevin Youkilis’s new one-year, $12 million contract and the $8.5 million they still owe A.J. Burnett.

But it doesn’t include technically unsigned players like Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova and Clay Rapada, who are under the Yankees’ control but are either arbitration eligible or will have their contracts renewed for 2013. Once the Yankees come to agreements with those players, the payroll will rise, but it won’t affect their seemingly ironclad plan to be under $189 million for 2014, the year that significant luxury tax incentives kick in.

If the Yankees are over the $189 million mark for 2014, their luxury tax rate would soar to 50 percent (they are currently at 40 percent). If they are below it, the rate would plummet to 17.5 percent, and that could translate into potential savings of $50 million. Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ managing general partner, has clearly stated his desire to be under the mark, which is why the Yankees have, for the most part, made only tepid advances in the free-agent market in the past two seasons.

Unless the Yankees work out a trade for Curtis Granderson to clear out payroll space, I’m guessing the roster they have now is the roster they’ll start the season with.  If they can get Scott Hairston to sign for one year that may be the only other major addition.  I suppose if Cesar Cabral shows enough in spring training they could trade Boone Logan as well.

With Hairston, they’re probably around a 90 win team.  That probably puts them in a dead heat with Toronto for first place in the East, although I think the Rays could add a bat that would put them right up there as well.

Happy New Year!

--Posted at 9:12 am by SG / 6 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NYDN: Dickey to Jays makes Girardi’s job tougher

Joe Girardi’s job got a little tougher this week — and he knows it.

The Blue Jays continued their busy winter, trading four players to the Mets in exchange for R.A. Dickey, the National League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Dickey joins a rotation that had already bulked up with the additions of Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, adding them to incumbent starters Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero to form a very deep starting five.

“The Blue Jays have done a lot to improve their team,” Girardi said in an e-mail to the Daily News. “Adding a pitcher like Dickey gives them another quality starter at the top of their rotation. When you look at Toronto’s rotation, it now has a lot of different looks and a lot of experience with Johnson, Buehrle and now Dickey.”

I don’t expect Dickey to repeat his 2012, but CAIRO still likes him a lot in 2013.  As a Jay he projects to put up an ERA of around 3.65 over 211 innings which would be worth somewhere in the area of 4.5 - 5 wins.  Here’s how the AL East now projects adding Dickey to the Jays, Stephen Drew to the Red Sox and a few other tweaks to the other teams’ depth charts.

TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Blue Jays 90 72 805 724 28.2% 10.3% 9.9% 48.4%
Yankees 88 74 790 739 24.4% 10.4% 9.7% 44.5%
Rays 87 75 699 636 23.9% 9.8% 9.2% 42.9%
Red Sox 84 78 815 782 16.6% 7.8% 8.5% 32.9%
Orioles 77 85 729 781 6.8% 4.1% 5.6% 16.6%

The teams are still pretty tightly bunched, but Toronto’s got a bit of a separation from the pack now.  Anyway, projected standings in December don’t really tell us all that much so please Orioles fans don’t kill me.

--Posted at 9:09 am by SG / 36 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How Does Signing Youkilis Impact the AL East?

I re-ran my projected standings with Kevin Youkilis getting 500 PA split among 3B, 1B and DH and here’s how it impacted the AL East projected standings.

Before:

TM  W   Div  WC1   WC2  PS%
Rays 86.0 25.8% 8.4% 10.2% 44.4%
Blue Jays 86.0 25.3% 9.2% 8.2% 42.7%
Yankees 85.0 23.0% 8.6% 7.7% 39.3%
Red Sox 84.0 20.1% 7.7% 8.4% 36.2%
Orioles 73.0 5.8% 3.1% 5.0% 13.9%

After:

TM W Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Blue Jays 86.5 25.3% 9.0% 8.7% 42.9%
Yankees 86.4 25.0% 8.7% 9.2% 42.9%
Rays 86.0 24.6% 8.7% 8.8% 42.1%
Red Sox 82.6 17.9% 6.9% 8.4% 33.2%
Orioles 74.1 7.3% 3.7% 4.8% 15.8%

Difference:

TM W Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Blue Jays 0.5 -0.2% 0.5% 0.2% 0.7%
Yankees 1.4 0.1% 1.5% 3.6% 5.0%
Rays 0.0 0.3% -1.4% -2.3% -3.6%
Red Sox -1.4 -0.8% 0.0% -3.0% -3.0%
Orioles 1.1 0.6% -0.2% 1.9% 1.7%

This includes all the other moves that were made since I ran these as well as some adjustments in playing time so that also affects this, but basically adding Youkilis if he can get 500 PA is worth about a win and a half or so.  Is that worth $12M?  It depends on how much you value a 5% increase in qualifying for the postseason I guess.

--Posted at 8:24 am by SG / 65 Comments | - (0)




Monday, December 10, 2012

CAIRO 2013 v0.2’s Extremely Early and Completely Useless 2013 Projected MLB Standings

Since I was curious about how the big trade between Kansas City and Tampa Bay affected the AL East, I ran some projected standings based on rosters as of last night.  As the title says, this is extremely early and completely useless so think of it more as a goof than anything too serious.  So using CAIRO v0.2 and the depth charts from MLB Depth Charts and Rotochamp as a rough gauge of playing time, here’s how the 2013 MLB season looks as of December 10.

Update: CAIRO v0.5 is now available

Date 12/10/2012
Iterations 100000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Rays 86 76 698 643 25.8% 8.4% 10.2% 44.4%
Blue Jays 86 76 789 741 25.3% 9.2% 8.2% 42.7%
Yankees 85 77 771 738 23.0% 8.6% 7.7% 39.3%
Red Sox 84 78 788 759 20.1% 7.7% 8.4% 36.2%
Orioles 73 89 718 780 5.8% 3.1% 5.0% 13.9%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Tigers 91 71 791 709 46.2% 7.3% 6.0% 59.5%
Royals 84 78 717 701 24.7% 6.4% 8.3% 39.4%
White Sox 80 82 725 755 18.2% 4.4% 6.5% 29.0%
Indians 73 89 692 768 7.3% 2.7% 4.0% 14.0%
Twins 65 97 696 854 3.7% 1.6% 1.6% 6.9%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Angels 95 67 726 616 43.4% 12.8% 9.3% 65.6%
Rangers 88 74 762 699 24.7% 12.1% 10.6% 47.5%
Athletics 88 74 712 653 25.2% 11.0% 8.6% 44.8%
Mariners 74 88 626 692 6.0% 4.3% 5.0% 15.3%
Astros 60 102 651 850 0.6% 0.4% 0.8% 1.8%
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Nationals 94 68 699 590 46.4% 9.9% 8.0% 64.2%
Braves 86 76 686 630 23.8% 11.2% 8.9% 43.9%
Phillies 82 80 666 657 18.0% 7.0% 7.9% 32.9%
Mets 75 87 665 715 8.3% 4.7% 5.3% 18.2%
Marlins 69 93 625 729 3.5% 2.0% 2.9% 8.4%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Reds 91 71 722 635 41.9% 7.9% 7.5% 57.3%
Cardinals 86 76 696 645 28.0% 7.9% 8.7% 44.6%
Brewers 78 84 711 742 12.7% 5.2% 6.5% 24.4%
Pirates 77 85 663 688 11.1% 5.5% 6.6% 23.1%
Cubs 71 91 635 721 6.3% 2.4% 3.5% 12.1%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Dodgers 90 72 677 587 35.0% 9.3% 9.0% 53.4%
Giants 87 75 663 598 27.6% 9.8% 8.2% 45.6%
Diamondbacks 81 81 692 678 15.9% 7.1% 7.1% 30.1%
Padres 81 81 659 654 15.9% 7.7% 7.6% 31.3%
Rockies 71 91 770 865 5.6% 2.4% 2.5% 10.5%

The Astros are going to make it awfully easy for the AL West teams to win the wild cards, aren’t they?

Did I mention that these are extremely early and completely useless?

--Posted at 8:50 am by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, December 6, 2012

2013 CAIRO MLB Projections v0.2

I’ve decided to post an update for CAIRO since the Yankees have made so many significant moves.  Well, maybe not but some teams have.

It can be downloaded at the following link.

cairo_2013_mlb_projections_v0.2.zip

Update: CAIRO v0.5 is now available

As far as what’s changed since version 0.1:
- I’ve moved players that have switched teams
- Added a few players like Kyuji Fujikawa
- Added a tab for projected wOBA platoon splits.  You can replace CAIRO’s projected wOBA with any other you like and it will recalculate them.  These are based on the work done on platoon splits in The Book and a spreadsheet designed by berselius from ObstructedView.net.
- Since I don’t bother with projecting playing time aside from whatever CAIRO spits out, I’ve got additional tabs for batters and pitchers based on the depth charts at RotoChamp.  CAIRO’s more for statistical analysis than Fantasy but hopefully this will help out any people that want to use it for Fantasy and it’s set up so that I can update it very easily in future releases.

As a goof I ran 100 iterations of the 2013 MLB schedule to get some projected standings but won’t post the whole thing.  Here’s how the AL East looks as of last night.

Team W L RF RA Div WC1 WC2
TAM 88 74 687 620 33.5 10.8 11.5
NYA 87 75 773 732 32.0 8.0 7.5
TOR 86 76 797 754 24.5 7.5 14.5
BOS 80 82 793 782 5.0 4.5 5.5
BAL 77 85 728 777 5.0 2.8 4.5

Get to work Cashman!

--Posted at 7:08 am by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)




Friday, November 30, 2012

NY Times: Martin Leaves the Yankees for the Pirates

Russell Martin’s two-year tenure with the Yankees ended Thursday when he agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, leaving the Yankees without a No. 1 catcher.

“I had a great time in New York,” Martin said by phone from Montreal, his hometown. “It was probably the best baseball experience of my life. But this is the business, and it was time to move on.”

It seems to me the Yankees could have matched this deal and I’m not sure why they didn’t.  If it would have taken three years to keep Martin I’d have felt better about letting him walk, but at 2 years and $17M he only has to be worth about 3 wins over two years to be worth it.

We got spoiled by the elite offense that Jorge Posada provided for years as a catcher that makes it a bit harder to appreciate Martin I think.  No, he’s not a great hitter, but neither are the majority of catchers in baseball and there’s pretty some evidence that Martin’s defense makes him even more valuable than his basic stats indicate.

I think this confirms that getting to the target of a $189M payroll in 2014 may be the Yankees #1 focus right now, and that’s going to make it a bit harder to build a super team for 2013.  Of course, you don’t need a super team to win a World Series, but it helps.

I’m not sure where the Yankees will go from here.  I’d be surprised if the starting catcher on Opening Day is on the roster right now.  Here’s the list of free agent catchers and how CAIRO would project them as Yankees.

Last First Age Pos Tm Lg PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO GDP avg obp slg wOBA BR BR/650 BRAR oWAR
Napoli Mike 32 C NYA AL 394 342 86 16 1 22 44 98 9 .250 .344 .493 .360 55 91 29 2.9
Pierzynski A.J. 37 C NYA AL 458 424 114 20 2 12 22 53 12 .270 .309 .412 .313 49 69 18 1.8
Blanco Henry 42 C NYA AL 168 152 36 7 0 6 14 35 3 .234 .298 .396 .304 17 67 6 0.6
Shoppach Kelly 33 C NYA AL 287 251 54 10 1 11 23 90 4 .214 .299 .387 .303 29 66 10 1.0
Snyder Chris 32 C NYA AL 237 202 43 7 0 8 30 57 5 .213 .319 .366 .308 24 65 8 0.8
Barajas Rod 38 C NYA AL 315 286 64 11 0 12 19 60 5 .225 .280 .391 .291 30 62 9 0.9
Olivo Miguel 35 C NYA AL 436 410 95 18 1 18 20 120 8 .231 .265 .415 .290 41 62 13 1.3
Schneider Brian 37 C NYA AL 160 143 31 6 0 3 13 30 4 .219 .291 .335 .281 13 54 3 0.3
Treanor Matt 37 C NYA AL 183 157 33 5 1 3 20 36 3 .211 .304 .312 .282 15 52 3 0.3
Nickeas Mike 30 C NYA AL 267 239 54 11 0 4 24 49 6 .224 .298 .315 .279 21 52 4 0.4
Paulino Carlos 24 C NYA AL 305 287 62 14 1 4 14 58 7 .215 .257 .310 .252 20 42 -1 -0.1

BR: Linear weights batting runs
BR/650: BR pro-rated to 650 PA
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
oWAR: Offensive wins above replacement (BRAR divided by 10, although maybe it should be more like 9.5 now)

Not a particularly inspired bunch.

Napoli’s almost certainly not an option, and I’m guessing Pierzynski will want(and get) two years.  So he’s not an option either.  I don’t even know if Henry Blanco is still playing and I’m not sure why CAIRO thinks so highly of a 42 year old catcher, although I guess it probably has to do with him being utilized in a way that plays to his strengths which makes his rate stats better.  He’s not a starter anyway.  Actually, almost none of these guys are except for Pierzynski and Olivo.

So maybe someone like Olivo, Shoppach, Barajas or Snyder will be on their radar, with an eye on anyone who may get non-tendered.

I don’t know that it’s a huge deal.  I ran some projections last night that have the Yankees as around an 89 win team right now.  Considering they were an 80 win team if they had done nothing and have since re-signed Hiroki Kuroda (4.8 wins), Andy Pettitte (2.8 wins) and Mariano Rivera (1.0 win without leverage, maybe 1.5 with)  that seems about right.  They can probably add a win or two in RF if they can’t upgrade catcher.  I’m also assuming Michael Pineda won’t pitch this year, so if by some miracle he’s able to contribute in the second half that could add a win or two.

For whatever it’s worth at this early stage(ie, not a whole hell of a lot), I’ve got Toronto at around 88 wins assuming relatively good health from Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson but between Bautista’s wrist, Reyes’s hamstrings on turf and Josh Johnson’s injury history that may be somewhat optimistic.  The Rays are at around 86 wins but they can add a bat and get to 90 wins pretty easily by upgrading 1B or the OF (or both).  The Orioles are in the 77 win range, and Boston’s bringing up the rear as they should be at about 74 wins.  Of course those teams aren’t done with their offseasons yet so all of this is subject to change.

--Posted at 9:10 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Monday, October 1, 2012

Reuters: Rangers, Orioles, Yankees make postseason

(Reuters) - Texas closer Joe Nathan’s critical save helped the Texas Rangers clinch a playoff spot with an 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels that also secured postseason berths for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees on Sunday.

Nathan blew a chance for a save in the opening game of a doubleheader with the Angels, allowing two runs in the ninth in a 5-4 defeat, but he nailed down the ninth in the nightcap to launch Texas back into the postseason.

The two-time American League champions (93-66) gained at least a wild-card berth with the victory, which put them two games ahead of Oakland in the American League West with three to play in the regular season.

Baltimore and New York, who both won on Sunday to remain deadlocked in the American League East, also secured at least a wild-card spot thanks to the Rangers’ triumph.

At least this saves me typing “if by some miracle the Yankees make the postseason” for a few days.

The way this season has unfolded leaves a lot of uncertainty about who the Yankees will be playing and where they’ll be playing. 

They could still end up as the #1 seed and have home field advantage through the ALCS if they win one more game than Texas.  That’d give both teams the same record, but since the Yankees won the season series vs. the Rangers they’d get the tiebreaker. 

Obviously if they win one more game than Baltimore they win the AL East outright.  Whichever team wins the AL East will be the #2 seed at the very minimum since Detroit can’t win more than 89 games.  If the Yanks and O’s end up tied then they’ll have to play a one game playoff game for the division title.  Whomever wins that game will get Detroit in the ALDS and whomever loses that game will get to play the second wild card team in a one game play-in, which looks like it’ll most likely be Oakland but could also end up being Tampa Bay or the Angels.

You could see a scenario where the Yankees tie Baltimore, then lose the division playoff game then have to play the second wild card team just to get into the ALDS.  So in theory the Yankees would have to get through two elimination games just to get into the ALDS.  If you assume they’d used CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda in those games, which may not work given the way the rotation is currently configured, you’re looking at an ALDS rotation of Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and ??? in the first three games if by some miracle the Yankees make the ALDS.

Wait, I thought I didn’t have to say if by some miracle anymore?

I think Texas is the best team in baseball, but I don’t necessarily think they’re the scariest opponent the Yankees may face.  They lead the AL in runs scored and have a solid defense and their pitching from top to bottom is strong, but they don’t necessarily have a true dominant #1 starter.  That being said, Yu Darvish has the stuff to pitch like one in any given game and Matt Harrison has had a great year even if he’s pitching a bit over his head.  Ryan Dempster’s ERA hasn’t been great for Texas but his peripherals are actually pretty strong so he is another arm that could give teams fits.

The Tigers have clinched a tie for their division and should be able to set up their rotation to have Justin Verlander going twice in the ALDS, and they’ve obviously got a killer 3-4 in their lineup.  But their defense makes the Yankee defense look like Tampa Bay’s. 

Oakland seems like a possible tough matchup because they can run a bunch of good pitchers at you and have a few guys who have the power to change a game on one swing.  They’re rated as one of the top five defenses in the league by UZR although DRS says they’re closer to average.

Baltimore seems like the weakest possible team out of all of the viable postseason teams, but that doesn’t make them a bad team.  Since August 4 they’ve got a Pythagenpat winning percentage of .654 which is equivalent to a 106 win team.  You can’t completely ignore their early season performance, but you can understand that they’ve changed the composition of their roster significantly enough that it shouldn’t have much bearing in assessing how good they might be right now.

The Rays and Angels face long odds of qualifying for the postseason, but if they get in it’ll be no treat facing either team given their rotations and some of their front-line position players.

The next three days should be exciting.

--Posted at 8:17 am by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 21, 2012

The Postseason Implications of this Series with Oakland

The Yankees’ second half slide really began when they got swept in Oakland in a four game series following a home sweep of Toronto.  Prior to that series, the Yankees had a 10 game lead in the division and were 57-34.  Since the opener of that series on July 19 they’ve gone 29-29 and lost nine games off their division lead.

The A’s and Orioles have 85 wins, and the Yankees have 86.  The other wild card contenders at this point have a pretty hard road ahead of them to catch any of the three.  The Angels are at 81 wins, the Rays are at 80, the Tigers are at 79 and Boston’s at 68.  But it’s certainly not impossible that things could change over the next week.

Here’s how the postseason odds for the AL look as of this morning.

TM W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93.4 68.6 80.1% 10.3% 6.8% 97.1%
Orioles 91.2 70.8 19.6% 35.8% 33.4% 88.8%
Rays 86.5 75.5 0.2% 1.3% 6.0% 7.5%
Red Sox 73.0 89.0 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 72.3 89.7 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88.2 73.9 72.2% 0.1% 0.8% 73.0%
Tigers 86.4 75.6 27.6% 0.1% 1.9% 29.6%
Royals 74.4 87.6 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.7 95.3 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.5 95.5 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96.1 65.9 90.9% 7.4% 1.2% 99.4%
Athletics 91.1 70.9 9.0% 43.0% 38.5% 90.5%
Angels 87.2 74.8 0.0% 1.8% 11.4% 13.2%
Mariners 74.9 87.1 0.0% - - -

W: Projected final 2012 wins
L: Projected final 2012 losses
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)


Here are how they change based on the four possible outcomes of this series.

A’s 3-0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 89.9 72.1 58.2% 4.3% 22.6% 85.1%
Orioles 89.4 72.6 39.2% 5.8% 38.1% 83.1%
Rays 84.9 77.1 0.6% 0.2% 6.0% 6.8%
Red Sox 71.7 90.3 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 71.1 90.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 86.6 75.4 74.2% 0.1% 0.2% 74.5%
Tigers 84.8 77.2 23.8% 0.1% 2.2% 26.1%
Royals 73.1 88.9 0.0% - - -
Twins 65.6 96.4 0.0% - - -
Indians 65.2 96.8 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 94.4 67.6 85.2% 12.8% 0.6% 98.6%
Athletics 91.2 70.8 12.8% 74.8% 16.1% 100.0%
Angels 85.8 76.2 0.0% - 12.5% 12.5%
Mariners 73.4 88.6 0.0% - - -
A’s 2-1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 92.1 69.9 70.9% 9.0% 14.5% 94.4%
Orioles 90.6 71.4 28.3% 18.9% 40.1% 87.3%
Rays 86.2 75.8 0.0% 0.1% 7.2% 7.4%
Red Sox 72.5 89.5 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 71.8 90.2 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 87.6 74.4 76.1% - - 76.1%
Tigers 85.6 76.4 23.1% - 1.8% 24.9%
Royals 74.0 88.0 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.1 95.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95.4 66.6 89.2% 10.0% - 99.1%
Athletics 91.6 70.4 10.0% 61.0% 26.1% 97.1%
Angels 86.7 75.3 0.0% 0.2% 9.9% 10.1%
Mariners 74.2 87.8 0.0% - - -
Yankees 2-1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93.7 68.3 84.1% 10.2% 4.8% 99.1%
Orioles 91.1 70.9 15.5% 42.2% 34.7% 92.4%
Rays 86.3 75.7 0.0% 0.2% 4.0% 4.2%
Red Sox 72.8 89.2 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 72.1 89.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 87.8 74.2 75.3% 0.1% 0.4% 75.8%
Tigers 86.1 75.9 24.3% 0.1% 0.8% 25.2%
Royals 74.3 87.7 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95.8 66.2 95.4% 3.2% 0.6% 99.2%
Athletics 90.7 71.3 4.2% 41.3% 44.0% 89.5%
Angels 87.2 74.8 0.0% 2.2% 10.6% 12.9%
Mariners 74.6 87.4 0.0% - - -
Yankees 3-0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 94.5 67.5 92.6% 6.6% 0.2% 99.3%
Orioles 91.1 70.9 7.0% 58.8% 24.3% 90.1%
Rays 86.3 75.7 0.0% 1.6% 6.5% 8.1%
Red Sox 72.8 89.2 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 72.1 89.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88.1 73.9 74.9% - 0.2% 75.1%
Tigers 86.5 75.5 24.7% 0.4% 1.5% 26.6%
Royals 74.2 87.8 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.3 95.7 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95.7 66.3 96.2% 2.8% 0.6% 99.6%
Athletics 89.9 72.1 3.2% 26.8% 53.3% 83.4%
Angels 87.1 74.9 0.2% 2.6% 13.4% 16.2%
Mariners 74.6 87.4 0.0% - - -

With Baltimore at Fenway for three games, they have a very good chance at solidifying their postseason odds since they’re guaranteed to gain ground on one of the A’s or Yankees if they can win.  Since Boston is really not even an MLB team at this point I’d be shocked by anything less than sweep.  In fact, if it were possible I’d say the Orioles would pick up four wins in three games against Boston.

But the Yankees can’t worry about that.  They just need to win.  Hopefully they can take two of three.

--Posted at 10:17 am by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Postseason Implications of this series with Baltimore

I have to admit that I really have no idea how good the 2012 Orioles are.  Much has been made of the fact that they’ve been outscored this season, but that ignores the fact that their current roster is not the same as the roster they had earlier in the year.  Team talent is not static, and any analysis that assumes that what the Orioles have done all season long is the best way to assess how good they are at this very moment is simplistic and lazy. 

That being said, I’m kind of lazy myself and don’t feel like revising and re-running all their projections right now.  But anyone that wants to discuss how good/bad the Orioles really are should at least acknowledge that they’re no longer giving starts to Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta, and what they did in the rotation in the first half of the year should have little bearing on how good the Orioles will be over the rest of the season.  The fact is, they’re right in the heart of the postseason race and anything can happen from here on out.  They very well could win the World Series if everything falls into place for them.

I also am fairly uncertain about how good the Yankees are right now.  I’m reasonably sure they’re not the 94 win team they projected to be at the start of the year when they had Mo and Brett Gardner and Michael Pineda, and that they probably won’t be that good through the end of the year given the injuries they’ve been dealing with and the apparent loss of Curtis Granderson and Andruw Jones’s ability to hit a baseball.  Jones should be less of a concern than Granderson, but Joe Girardi’s stubborn insistence on playing him against every LHP the Yankees face makes him a lot more important to this team than he ought to be.  Especially when teams are champing at the bit to throw every LHP they can find against the Yankees, which is logical. 

We also don’t know if/when they’ll get Mark Teixeira, Ivan Nova and Andy Pettitte back and what they’ll do if/when they do come back.  All three have the potential to significantly improve this team, but all three have a very realistic chance of not being able to return and be effective.  I don’t think that’s pessimistic, I just think it’s realistic.  If the Yankees can get all three back, they improve the lineup and the rotation and the bullpen and start to look like one of the better teams in baseball, if not the best, again.

Rather than using projections and YTD performance for this run through the postseason implications of this series, I’m going to just assume that the Yankees and Orioles are roughly .500 teams.  So consider this more theoretical than the typical postseason odds I run.

In that case, here’s how the postseason probabilites for the AL look as of this morning. 

TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 90 72 782 677 45.0% 13.6% 15.5% 74.1%
Rays 89 73 694 603 29.2% 12.9% 18.0% 60.2%
Orioles 89 73 699 737 25.8% 12.5% 14.8% 53.0%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 61.7% 1.8% 4.2% 67.6%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 38.3% 2.3% 6.9% 47.5%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 68 94 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.8% 3.8% 0.6% 99.2%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 3.6% 37.6% 21.6% 62.8%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.7% 15.4% 18.6% 35.7%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)

And here’s how they look for each of the possible outcomes of this series.

Orioles 4-0 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Orioles 90 72 699 737 55.6% 11.6% 12.6% 79.8%
Rays 88 74 694 603 27.8% 11.6% 16.3% 55.7%
Yankees 88 74 782 677 15.8% 14.7% 19.1% 49.6%
Red Sox 74 88 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 64.0% 2.0% 3.6% 69.5%
Tigers 86 76 742 692 35.3% 3.0% 5.4% 43.7%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 67 95 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95 67 834 698 93.9% 4.4% 0.9% 99.2%
Athletics 88 74 691 631 3.9% 35.3% 22.3% 61.6%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.4% 16.6% 19.2% 37.1%
Mariners 77 85 632 651 0.0% - - -
Orioles 3-1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Orioles 89 73 699 737 39.0% 14.6% 15.7% 69.3%
Yankees 89 73 782 677 30.2% 15.7% 16.5% 62.5%
Rays 89 73 694 603 30.6% 13.4% 15.9% 59.9%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 64.1% 2.3% 4.2% 70.5%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 35.7% 2.6% 4.9% 43.2%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 67 95 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.5% 3.9% 1.3% 99.6%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 4.1% 33.1% 23.3% 60.5%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.3% 14.3% 18.1% 33.7%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -
2-2 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 90 72 782 677 47.3% 13.7% 13.6% 74.6%
Rays 89 73 694 603 30.1% 12.7% 16.1% 58.8%
Orioles 89 73 699 737 22.6% 11.3% 20.9% 54.8%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 89 73 754 703 60.9% 2.6% 4.0% 67.5%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 39.1% 2.4% 5.9% 47.4%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 68 94 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.7% 4.4% 0.2% 99.3%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 4.2% 35.6% 21.5% 61.3%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.2% 17.2% 18.0% 36.4%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -
Yankees 3-1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 91 71 782 677 67.5% 10.5% 8.7% 86.7%
Rays 89 73 694 603 22.8% 16.8% 17.7% 57.3%
Orioles 88 74 699 737 9.7% 11.3% 18.5% 39.4%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 63.4% 2.0% 2.8% 68.2%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 36.6% 3.0% 5.5% 45.1%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 68 94 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.2% 4.2% 0.9% 99.2%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 4.3% 36.5% 24.5% 65.3%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.6% 15.8% 21.5% 38.8%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -
Yankees 4-0 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 92 70 782 677 79.6% 10.5% 6.1% 96.3%
Rays 89 73 694 603 17.9% 22.0% 23.6% 63.5%
Orioles 86 76 699 737 2.3% 8.5% 13.6% 24.4%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 61.1% 3.0% 4.0% 68.1%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 38.7% 3.1% 6.5% 48.3%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 67 95 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 95.2% 3.7% 0.9% 99.7%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 3.6% 35.1% 24.5% 63.2%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.1% 13.8% 20.7% 35.6%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -

Remember that I’m assuming the Yankees are Orioles are .500 teams.  If you think that’s too pessimistic for the Yankees and too optimistic for the Orioles adjust accordingly.

The Yankees, Orioles, Rays, White Sox, Tigers, A’s and Angels are all bunched within four games of each other, so it’s likely going to be a dogfight to qualify for the postseason.  Hopefully the Yankees are better than a .500 team and can pull away from the pack a bit. 

Getting back to Yanks vs. O’s, your pitching matchups for the series are:

Thursday, September 6, 2012
David Phelps, RHP (3-4, 3.13 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel, RHP (8-6, 3.54 ERA)

Phelps hasn’t been great over his last couple of starts, including his last start against Baltimore where he walked 6 in 4.2 innings.  Hammel was the Orioles’ best starter through June 22 with a 2.61 ERA, but he lost effectiveness over his last four starts, probably at least partially due to a knee injury that ended up requiring surgery that put him on the DL on July 13.  He’s making his first start since returning from the DL and may be rusty.  Let’s hope so.

Friday, September 7, 2012
Phil Hughes, RHP (13-12, 4.18 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen, LHP (12-8, 3.79 ERA)

Hughes was cruising through his last start against Baltimore through five innings, but the wheels came off in the sixth.  Maybe if he walks Mark Reynolds every time he can keep the Yankees in this game.  Wei-Yin Chen was dominant against the Yankees in his last start, but his bullpen and defense ended up making his final line look less than great in a game the Yankees stole thanks to a J.J. Hardy error.

Saturday, September 8, 2012
CC Sabathia, LHP (13-4, 3.42 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders, LHP (1-1, 4.63 ERA)

Two finesse lefties face off in the third game of this series.  The Yankees really needed a big game from CC in his last start against Tampa, but didn’t get it.  I’d like to think they’ll get it here but CC hasn’t looked like CC this year and while his peripheral stats are pretty similar to what they’ve been throughout his Yankee career, his fastball velocity is still down almost 2 mph and I think it’s having a significant impact on his effectiveness.  Saunders is back from Little League, and has made one crappy start and one pretty good one.  As a lefty, he’s sure to give the Yankees fits.

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Freddy Garcia, RHP (7-6, 5.09 ERA) vs. Zach Britton, LHP (5-1, 4.15 ERA)

Garcia’s got a 7.53 ERA over his last three starts while averaging less than 5 innings per game.  He’s given up 12 runs over those three games.  Zach Britton has a 0.94 ERA over his last four starts, and has struck out 29 hitters in 28.2 innings while going 4-0.  Oh, and he’s a lefty. 

I hate these pitching matchups.  It will be a monumental task for the Yankees to win this series.  I suppose Phelps vs. Hammel might be okay if Phelps rebounds a bit and Hammel is rusty.  I’d be shocked if Hughes outpitched Chen.  CC should be able to beat Saunders, but WTF knows?  And that last game looks like a disaster.

I think we’re looking at a split here at best, and wouldn’t be surprised to see the Orioles taking 3 out of 4.  Even if that happens, that just means the Yankees will be down by a game in the division as they head to Boston for three games while the Orioles get to host Tampa Bay for three.  Unfortunately, this will probably be Boston’s version of the postseason.  Fortunately, Boston’s probably not all that good right now and it may not matter.

I realize we feel like the Yankees should be in the postseason every year given their payroll, but it’s kind of fun to have meaningful games in September, isn’t it?  Living and dying on every pitch for a month is an emotional roller coaster but that’s part of the entertainment factor of baseball, and one we don’t necessarily get enough of as Yankee fans who usually are watching their team set up their postseason rotation over the last few weeks of the year.  It’s like an extended version of the postseason.

It also might be a good reminder that just getting into the postseason is a pretty good accomplishment in and of itself and the season’s not a failure if the Yankees don’t win the World Series.  Despite what Randy Levine will surely say at the end of the year if they don’t.

--Posted at 8:19 am by SG / 35 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yankees.com: Dead Team Walking

ST. PETERSBURG—The Rays crushed three homers to power their way to a 5-2 win over the Yankees at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, clinching a series win and in the process pulling within 1 1/2 games of the American League East-leading Yankees.

New York now shares the division’s top spot with the Baltimore Orioles, who routed Toronto, 12-0, earlier in the evening.

The playoffs effectively started tonight.  The Yankees pissed away their 10 game division lead and have lost sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time in 84 games.  So now they have to outplay Baltimore and Tampa Bay over the rest of the season if they want to take the division, something they haven’t been able to do since the All Star Break.

--Posted at 9:12 pm by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 3, 2012

Yankees.com: Yankees’ grip on East lead looser after loss

“It’s not a good feeling,” the Yankees’ Robinson Cano said. “You lose some games, and you just want to win games. You don’t want to put your head down. We’ve just got to turn the page; just be ready for tomorrow.”

That may be more difficult for Cano than others; the second baseman felt discomfort in his left hip trying to flag down the go-ahead hit, Chris Gimenez’s soft eighth-inning dribbler off losing pitcher David Robertson, as it scooted through the right side of the infield.

The Yankees do not expect Cano’s injury to force him to miss more than a day, but now that they’ve seen what was once a 10-game lead in the AL East trimmed to a single contest by virtue of the Orioles’ win over the Blue Jays, off-days are a luxury the Yankees can’t afford.

“I would love to keep the lead,” manager Joe Girardi said. “When you win the division, you don’t really care what you win by. You’d just love to keep the lead. That’s important.”

Scoring runs is also important. Staying healthy too. The Yankees seem to suck at both lately.

--Posted at 8:50 pm by Jonathan / 24 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 30, 2012

NY Times: Looking for Cushion Before Tough Stretch, Yankees Have a Hard Fall

As the Yankees head into an important 10-game stretch, it would have served them well to wrap up their final game against the last-place Toronto Blue Jays with a series-winning victory. Then they could have moved on to more significant matters, like playing their divisional rivals, with a clear conscience.

Instead they were sloppy and ineffective, allowing the scrappy Blue Jays to leave town with an 8-5 victory Wednesday afternoon and a series win. The Yankees made three errors, handed back leads, dropped balls and surrendered 12 hits in a game that should make Yankees fans shudder about their prospects against the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays.

With no game scheduled Thursday, the Yankees will have a full day to ruminate over one of their worst performances of the year.

Yesterday’s game was rough, and I’m seriously thinking this team will blow their division lead now.  To lose to this version of Toronto, at home, in a game started by CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ?  The Blue Jays came into this series having lost seven straight games and then won two out of three.  The Cleveland Indians have won one of their last 14 games.  Guess who they got the lone win against?

We’re waiting for Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera to come back from injury to save the team while ignoring the fact that we’ve been cursing them all year for their less than inspired performance. 

What makes it especially frustrating is that there doesn’t appear to be any clear great teams in baseball.  Texas’s injuries in the rotation make them appear slightly more vulnerable than they were.  I don’t think anyone fears the Tigers or White Sox much.  The Rays can pitch, but their offense isn’t the stuff of nightmares, and Baltimore seems like a classic case of overachieving.  The whole National League is underwhelming, unless you think re-creating the 2011 Red Sox makes the Dodgers better than the 1927 Yankees.

We probably don’t have to wait until the end of September to see if the Yankees will lose the division.  They can make or break their season over the next 10 games.  Hopefully they start it off by taking the upcoming home series vs. Baltimore before they go on the road for 10 games (3 at Tampa Bay, 4 at Baltimore, and 3 against Boston).

 

--Posted at 5:55 am by SG / 71 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 27, 2012

Toronto Sun: Yankees looking vulnerable

NEW YORK - There is blood in the water in The Bronx and the sharks are beginning to circle.

On the morning of July 19, after completing a sweep of the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium the day before, the New York Yankees woke up with a 10-game lead in the American League East. Life was good.

Thirty-eight days later, the Blue Jays are back in town and suddenly there is reason for concern.

That 10-game lead? It’s been sliced to four games and the Tampa Bay Rays, once a speck in the distance, just keep getting bigger and bigger in the Yankees’ rear-view mirror. And don’t look now, but the Baltimore Orioles are right there behind the Rays, breathing down the necks of the Yankees.

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays on their 2012 AL East title.

 

--Posted at 10:44 am by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 24, 2012

NYDN: Yankees may need dominant final run to best AL East rivals

With six games remaining against the Rays and seven against the Orioles — all 13 of those games coming during a 17-day stretch beginning Aug. 31 — the Yankees will have every opportunity to control their own destiny.

“We play everyone,” Derek Jeter said. “It’s going to be tough, but all the teams that are close to us, we play. If we win, we win.”

The Rays have been the hottest team in baseball, entering Thursday 18-6 since July 28 to trim their deficit in the AL East from 9½ games to three.

While it’s true that the division will likely be decided mostly by how the Yankees, Rays and Orioles play against each other over the final stretch of the season, here’s how the three teams’ schedules compare.

Orioles xW Rays xW Yankees xW
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 vs Athletics 1.14 3 @ Indians 1.90
4 vs White Sox 1.77 3 @ Rangers 1.41 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Yankees 1.06 4 @ Blue Jays 2.22 3 vs Orioles 1.94
3 @ Blue Jays 1.35 3 vs Yankees 1.50 3 @ Rays 1.50
4 vs Yankees 1.57 3 vs Rangers 1.53 4 @ Orioles 2.43
3 vs Rays 1.24 3 @ Orioles 1.76 3 @ Red Sox 1.57
3 @ Athletics 1.26 3 @ Yankees 1.38 3 vs Rays 1.62
3 @ Mariners 1.33 4 vs Red Sox 2.18 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Red Sox 1.19 3 vs Blue Jays 1.79 3 vs Athletics 1.77
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 @ Red Sox 1.01 3 @ Twins 1.89
3 vs Red Sox 1.31 4 @ White Sox 2.04 4 @ Blue Jays 2.31
3 @ Rays 1.12 3 vs Orioles 1.88 3 vs Red Sox 1.69

xW are expected wins for each series using Bill James’s Log 5 methodology accounting for home field advantage.  According to that, the Orioles should win about 16 of their remaining games, the Rays should win about 20 and the Yankees should win about 22.  If we remove the games against each other, the schedules look like this.

Orioles xW Rays xW Yankees xW
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 vs Athletics 1.14 3 @ Indians 1.90
4 vs White Sox 1.77 3 @ Rangers 1.41 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Blue Jays 1.35 4 @ Blue Jays 2.22 3 @ Red Sox 1.57
3 @ Athletics 1.26 3 vs Rangers 1.53 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Mariners 1.33 4 vs Red Sox 2.18 3 vs Athletics 1.77
3 @ Red Sox 1.19 3 vs Blue Jays 1.79 3 @ Twins 1.89
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 @ Red Sox 1.01 4 @ Blue Jays 2.31
3 vs Red Sox 1.31 4 @ White Sox 2.04 3 vs Red Sox 1.69
11.14 13.31 14.83

The most difficult part of the Orioles’ schedule over the rest of the season is probably those four games against the White Sox and the three games in Oakland.  They also have 9 games left vs. Toronto, who should be better with this weekend’s expected returns of Jose Bautista and Brandon Morrow.

The Rays probably have the most difficult remaining schedule of the three teams with six games against Texas and four games at Chicago. 

In theory, the Yankees have the benefit of playing the slumping Indians and Twins three times apiece and have 10 games left against Toronto, although that’s likely to be less of an advantage with Bautista back and Morrow probably starting three of those games. 

The common thorn in the ass for all three teams is the six games they have against Boston.  As much as the Red Sox have underwhelmed this season, they’ll surely relish the chance to play spoiler for someone.

On paper, the Yankees have the easiest schedule of the three teams, but it probably won’t matter much if they don’t play well against Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

--Posted at 8:03 am by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 13, 2012

Crunch Time

The Yankees will open up a seven game home stand tonight against Texas in the first of a four game series.  They follow that up with three games against Boston before hitting the road for three games against the White Sox.  That will end a brutal stretch where they’ve played 20 straight days.

Their lead in the AL East is down to 5 games over Tampa Bay and 5.5 games over Baltimore.  Tampa Bay will play three games at Seattle followed up by four games at Anaheim.  Then they’ll host the Royals for three games over that same stretch.

All due respect to the Orioles, I don’t consider them the threat that Tampa Bay is so I’m not including them here. 

Given the comparative schedules of the Yankees and Rays I’d expect the Yankees to lose some more ground over this stretch.  What I don’t know is how much is a reasonable expectation.  But we can estimate it using log 5 expectations for both teams.

I’d estimate that the Yankees as presently constituted (minus CC and A-Rod) are about an 88 win team and the Rays are about an 89 win team.  So here is how their schedules compare through August 22.

Date Game YxW Game RxW
8/13/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Mariners 0.52
8/14/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Mariners 0.52
8/15/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Mariners 0.52
8/16/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/17/2012 Red Sox@Yankees 0.54 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/18/2012 Red Sox@Yankees 0.54 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/19/2012 Red Sox@Yankees 0.54 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/20/2012 Yankees@White Sox 0.47 Royals@Rays 0.67
8/21/2012 Yankees@White Sox 0.47 Royals@Rays 0.67
8/22/2012 Yankees@White Sox 0.47 Royals@Rays 0.67
Total 5.09 5.29

YxW: Yankees’ expected wins
RxW: Rays’ expected wins

It turns out that those four games for the Rays in Anaheim make the gap between the two teams’ schedules smaller than I thought.  We should probably expect the Yankees to go 5-5 over the next 10 games, so hopefully the Rays won’t do much better than that.  The Yankees will play the Rays six times in September, and that has the potential to determine the outcome of the AL East, so it behooves the Yankees to maintain as much separation from them as they can.

For whatever it’s worth, excluding their games against each other, the Rays probably have the tougher schedule from August 23 on.  Their opponents have a collective estimated winning precentage of about .515 while the Yankees’ opponents have one of .485.  So the Yankees are theoretically still in a pretty good position for taking the division.  Whether or not they’ll take advantage of that is a bigger question.

 

--Posted at 9:28 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Friday, July 27, 2012

The Postseason Implications of this series with Boston

We’re down to a mere 12 remaining games against Boston this year, with three of those slated for this weekend in the first road series at DNYS for Boston.  How we’ve gotten to four days from August with Boston making their first trip to the Bronx I don’t really understand, but here we are.  So we’ll pick this up from the the last time I ran these.

Anyway, the Yankees had a chance at really hurting Boston’s somewhat slim division title chances over this past week as the Red Sox have lost 5 of their last seven.  If that sounds familiar, it should because it’s exactly what the Yankees did over the same time period.  So no ground gained, which is annoying, but better than the alternative.

The Yankees can’t eliminate Boston this weekend, but they can make it pretty close to impossible for the Red Sox to catch them.  Here’s how the AL East’s postseason odds stand as of this morning.  The overall odds for all the teams are actually a bit lower than this but I removed the variance from the simulations to focus on the impact of the series, so keep that in mind.

TM W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95.1 66.9 93.0% 3.5% 2.0% 98.5%
Rays 82.2 79.8 2.0% 8.5% 13.7% 24.2%
Red Sox 81.3 80.7 2.0% 5.8% 10.3% 18.1%
Blue Jays 80.3 81.8 2.0% 4.0% 5.3% 11.3%
Orioles 77.3 84.7 0.0% 1.5% 1.0% 2.5%

Here’s how those change based the possible outcomes of this three game set.

Red Sox 3-0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93.1 68.9 94.5% 1.5% 1.0% 97.0%
Red Sox 82.6 79.4 1.5% 10.8% 17.7% 30.0%
Rays 81.2 80.8 0.5% 6.8% 14.2% 21.5%
Blue Jays 79.3 82.7 1.5% 6.8% 4.7% 13.0%
Orioles 76.3 85.7 0.0% 1.0% 1.0% 2.0%
Red Sox 2-1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95.3 66.7 96.0% 1.0% 0.5% 97.5%
Rays 83.0 79.1 0.0% 9.0% 11.5% 20.5%
Red Sox 82.7 79.3 1.0% 6.8% 14.5% 22.3%
Blue Jays 80.2 81.8 2.0% 1.3% 5.5% 8.8%
Orioles 79.0 83.0 1.0% 1.5% 2.0% 4.5%
Yankees 2 -1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95.8 66.2 99.0% 0.0% 1.0% 100.0%
Rays 82.2 79.8 0.0% 6.3% 15.2% 21.5%
Red Sox 81.2 80.8 0.0% 3.5% 8.3% 11.8%
Blue Jays 80.0 82.0 0.0% 2.0% 6.8% 8.8%
Orioles 77.5 84.5 0.0% 0.5% 4.0% 4.5%
Yankees 3 -0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 97.3 64.8 99.0% 1.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Rays 83.1 78.9 1.0% 10.8% 17.3% 29.1%
Red Sox 81.1 80.9 0.0% 4.5% 7.8% 12.3%
Blue Jays 80.1 81.9 0.0% 2.5% 7.5% 10.0%
Orioles 78.1 83.9 0.0% 1.0% 0.0% 1.0%

Like I said, once you return variability to the simulations the Yankees odds of making the postseason in the last two scenarios isn’t really 100.0%.  But it’s pretty damn high.

Your pitching matchups for the weekend are:

Friday, July 27, 7:05 PM ET
Aaron Cook vs. Phil Hughes

Saturday, July 28, 4:05 PM ET
Jon Lester vs. CC Sabathia

Sunday, July 29, 8:05 PM ET
Felix Doubront vs. Hiroki Kuroda

Those seem like pretty favorable matchups for the Yankees overall.  Aaron Cook’s been pretty effective despite racking up strikeouts with the frequency of a Yankee hit with RISP, and every Hughes start in DNYS has the potential for setting a record for HRs allowed by a pitcher, so that game seems like the one with the highest variablity.  I think the Yankees can probably split the next two games at the very least, so tonight’s game is the key I think.

Missing Alex Rodriguez for this series stinks, but at least Boston is still missing David Ortiz.  I’d lay 50/50 odds that Eric Chavez will be healthy by the end of this series, assuming Jayson Nix gets the starts on Saturday and Sunday with lefties going.

I really, really, really would love a sweep, because with the way the Yankees played on the West Coast they owe it to us.  But taking two out of three would also suffice.

--Posted at 8:36 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CBS NY: Yankees’ Gardner Suffers Third Setback; CC Set To Return

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — CC Sabathia found the whole experience of his first trip to the disabled list with the Yankees a little “embarrassing,” and he is looking forward to making his first start in more than two weeks.

Brett Gardner might have to wait even longer to return from an elbow injury.

Sabathia will make his first start since June 24 on Tuesday night against Toronto. Out with a groin strain, he says he’s feeling well enough to pitch as long as he needs to and thinks the time off might have been more beneficial to his left arm than the groin.
...
Gardner was sore a day after he had four at-bats in a three-inning simulated game and was being kept off the field Monday. The speedy outfielder has already had two setbacks in his recovery from a strained elbow that has sidelined him since April 18.

At this point, Gardner may do the unthinkable and break Damaso Marte’s record for setbacks in a season.  Are we comfortable with a platoon of Andruw Jones/Raul Ibanez and DeWayne Wise on defense for the rest of the year?  Jones has a .339 wOBA vs. RHP this year and Ibanez has a .338 wOBA vs. LHP.  The average AL LF has a wOBA of .331, so assuming that Jones and Ibanez can keep up what they’ve done the Yankees would be slightly better than average on offense although they probably give away some of that on defense.  They can use Wise in spots where defense can be leveraged more optimally I guess.

It seems like a seller’s market right now with so many teams still having a reasonable chance at the second wild card, so I don’t know who’s available and what the price will be.  Here are how I have each teams’ odds of qualifying for the postseason as of this morning.

TM PS%
Yankees 93.2%
Rangers 92.2%
Nationals 83.0%
Reds 78.7%
Braves 71.5%
Giants 61.8%
White Sox 60.7%
Angels 59.3%
Cardinals 58.8%
Pirates 46.6%
Tigers 45.8%
Red Sox 43.2%
Dodgers 32.9%
Rays 32.0%
Indians 27.9%
Diamondbacks 25.0%
Mets 20.2%
Athletics 19.2%
Blue Jays 17.4%
Brewers 11.5%
Orioles 6.3%
Marlins 4.6%
Phillies 4.1%
Royals 1.8%
Rockies 1.0%
Mariners 0.8%
Twins 0.3%
Cubs 0.3%
Padres 0.3%
Astros -

I’d probably say any team under 20% should be a seller, but they may feel differently.  So who may be available from those teams, and what would they cost?

--Posted at 8:24 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yankees.com: Yanks grind out late rally to push Rays aside

It looked like the Rays were well on their way to making it 10 straight losses for the Yankees at The Trop when Carlos Pena launched a two-run homer off Boone Logan into the right-field stands, putting Tampa Bay ahead, 3-1, in the seventh—especially after New York missed a prime scoring opportunity in the top half of the inning.

But David Robertson pitched a clean eighth inning—a welcome experience for him after admittedly blowing Monday’s game, a 4-3 loss—and Tampa Bay relieved Price with Farnsworth, a righty.

Farnsworth walked leadoff batter Eric Chavez and struck out Derek Jeter, then issued free passes to Curtis Granderson and Teixeira to load the bases. Alex Rodriguez then walked on six pitches, bringing in Chavez and trimming the Rays’ lead to one run.

“I wasn’t getting ahead of them, first off, on strike one, which obviously was huge,” Farnsworth said. “They’re going to sit on their one pitch, and they’re not going to swing. ... It’s all on me for not throwing strikes.”

Girardi added that it’s not always easy for hitters to leave the bat on their shoulder when a pitcher is throwing so many balls, especially when they could just as easily hit their way back into the game.

“We’ve got guys who can change the complexion of the game with one swing,” Girardi said. “But they remained patient, and I give them a lot of credit.”

Robinson Cano took care of things from there, knocking a two-run single to center field off left-hander Jake McGee—who relieved Farnsworth—to give the Yankees the lead. The hit also gave Cano eight straight games with at least one RBI.

“Every win’s a big win, but it’s good to get that monkey off your back,” Cano said. “You want to be able to win one and get over it. You don’t want to go to Boston losing three games.”

No, you certainly don’t want that, Robinson.

In other somewhat odd news, the Yankees claimed Darnell McDonald off waivers.  This likely means we won’t be seeing Brett Gardner before Labor Day. Of 2013.

--Posted at 12:09 am by Jonathan / 10 Comments | - (0)




Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 MLB Projected Standings and Postseason Odds through June 3

It’s been a while since I last ran these, so here’s how things look as of this morning.  Team projections are based about 2/3 on their average pre-season projection from here and 1/3 on YTD performance in component runs scored and allowed, with some adjustments for roster changes and injuries.

Date 6/4/2012
Iterations 1000000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Yankees 90 72 811 705 35.5% 16.8% 13.6% 65.9% -4.6 -25 -7
Rays 89 73 740 667 30.4% 18.0% 14.1% 62.5% 0.0 -25 -16
Red Sox 86 76 836 750 21.2% 15.1% 14.2% 50.4% -4.1 7 16
Blue Jays 82 80 776 755 9.1% 8.5% 10.9% 28.5% 0.4 2 -20
Orioles 78 84 711 782 3.8% 4.6% 6.9% 15.3% 7.9 -1 -37
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
White Sox 85 77 731 735 43.4% 4.1% 5.5% 53.0% 9.0 24 -37
Indians 81 81 749 763 24.3% 3.6% 5.4% 33.3% -0.9 -18 11
Tigers 81 81 756 738 23.5% 3.1% 5.1% 31.7% -4.7 -28 2
Royals 74 88 685 747 7.6% 1.0% 2.1% 10.6% -0.5 -20 -18
Twins 66 96 701 837 1.3% 0.1% 0.3% 1.7% -5.6 -29 15
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 97 65 840 690 80.3% 6.5% 4.0% 90.8% 5.7 33 -12
Angels 85 77 700 639 16.8% 15.2% 12.6% 44.7% -5.0 -42 -22
Mariners 74 88 680 721 1.9% 2.4% 3.8% 8.1% -0.2 -2 -20
Athletics 71 91 645 713 1.0% 0.8% 1.6% 3.5% -5.0 -62 -43
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Nationals 88 74 659 614 29.3% 12.0% 10.8% 52.1% 3.8 -24 -42
Braves 87 75 730 681 25.0% 11.2% 10.7% 47.0% -0.6 16 15
Marlins 85 77 689 667 19.8% 10.2% 10.3% 40.3% 1.6 -18 -14
Phillies 85 77 693 640 18.4% 10.4% 10.5% 39.3% -4.2 -5 11
Mets 80 82 694 747 7.6% 5.2% 6.8% 19.6% 6.5 11 -6
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Reds 91 71 701 643 50.0% 11.7% 8.1% 69.8% 3.8 -14 -17
Cardinals 89 73 758 676 35.7% 13.0% 9.7% 58.4% 2.0 27 -2
Brewers 80 82 701 699 8.3% 4.8% 6.0% 19.1% -4.7 2 34
Pirates 77 85 611 693 4.9% 2.9% 4.3% 12.0% 5.3 -57 -59
Astros 69 93 630 745 0.8% 0.4% 0.8% 2.0% 5.7 25 -11
Cubs 65 97 630 744 0.3% 0.1% 0.3% 0.7% -6.1 -26 -6
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Giants 87 75 660 638 39.4% 6.1% 6.4% 51.8% 2.5 -12 -10
Dodgers 87 75 659 659 38.3% 6.2% 6.8% 51.3% 11.6 18 -31
Diamondbacks 80 82 681 683 13.9% 3.5% 4.9% 22.4% -3.7 -12 10
Rockies 77 85 784 782 7.9% 2.2% 3.5% 13.6% -5.5 37 52
Padres 65 97 604 694 0.5% 0.1% 0.2% 0.7% -10.6 -43 5

W: Projected final 2012 wins
L: Projected final 2012 losses
RS: Projected final 2012 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2012 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: 2012 revised projected wins minus 2012 pre-season projected wins
RS+/-: 2012 revised projected runs scored minus 2012 pre-season projected runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2012 revised projected runs allowed minus 2012 pre-season projected runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

The Yankees have regained their rightful place at the top of the division, although they can lose that tomorrow pretty easily.  They’re projecting to end the year almost five wins worse than they originally projected to, but at least so far no one aside from Texas in the AL looks like they’re likely to be much better.

The biggest surprise for me here is the White Sox, who are nine games ahead of their pre-season projections and now have a greater than 50% chance at their division.  There is little evidence of luck in their component stats, so they haven’t gotten lucky in terms of wins vs. actual performance so far this year.  Whether it will continue is the question, but no one else in their division looks all that great so why not? 

I am getting way too much schadenfreude out of the Phillies now projecting to fourth and Cliff Lee having 0 wins despite a 3.00 ERA.  Good choice Cliff!  THe Nationals now hold a slight edge over the Braves in a pretty balanced division from top to bottom.

The Reds have passed St. Louis in the NL Central, which currently looks like a two team race.  The Cubs and Padres are probably duking it out for worst team in baseball, which should please Twins and Astros fans.

The Dodgers are still the biggest overall gainer vs. pre-season projections although now it appears they’ll be neck and neck with San Francisco for the NL West. 

There are still four months left, so a lot of this can/will change.  So consider it more of a checkpoint than a prediction.

--Posted at 7:29 am by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Postseason Implications of This Week’s Series with Tampa Bay

The Yankees begin a six game homestand tonight with Tampa Bay.  Tampa Bay is tied for first place with Baltimore, but it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re better than Baltimore and are a bigger threat to the Yankees’ chances at winning the division. 

At the beginning of the season, the Yankees projected about three games better than Tampa Bay (94 wins vs. 91 wins) but the Rays now have a 3.5 game lead and the Yankees are a bit weaker with Michael Pineda on the shelf.  Based on what’s happened so far and playing out the rest of the season according to how the teams project going forward gives me a final AL East standings projection that looks something like this.

TMWLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Rays917176168244.6%26.0%12.8%83.4%2.1-4-1
Yankees917183371842.8%26.0%13.2%82.0%-3.7-46
Red Sox84788417696.9%9.2%16.6%32.7%-7.11235
Blue Jays82807737554.9%8.3%13.4%26.6%1.20-21
Orioles78847197830.9%2.3%4.8%8.0%8.36-36

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: 2012 revised projected wins minus 2012 pre-season projected wins
RS+/-: 2012 revised projected runs scored minus 2012 pre-season projected runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2012 revised projected runs allowed minus 2012 pre-season projected runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

The pitching matchups for this series are as follows.

Tuesday, May 8: The Undefeated James Shields (5-0, 3.05 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (3-1, 5.58 ERA)
Wednesday, May 9: Jeff Niemann (2-3, 4.05 ERA) vs. David Phelps (0-1, 3.74 ERA)
Thursday, May 10: David Price (5-1, 2.35 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (4-0, 4.15 ERA)

So here are how the standings and postseason odds change based on the various potential outcomes of this series.

Rays 3-0WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Rays936976168261.0%18.8%8.3%88.1%3.8-4-1
Yankees897383371826.2%28.5%17.0%71.7%-5.3-46
Red Sox83798417695.6%11.7%15.4%32.8%-7.51235
Blue Jays83797737556.2%10.2%15.1%31.5%1.50-21
Orioles78847197831.0%2.8%5.4%9.2%8.36-36
Rays 2-1WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Rays927076168251.9%21.4%12.5%85.7%2.7-4-1
Yankees907283371836.4%26.4%14.6%77.4%-4.3-46
Red Sox83798417695.6%10.5%16.7%32.8%-7.41235
Blue Jays83797737555.4%9.6%12.9%27.9%1.40-21
Orioles78847197830.8%2.0%6.5%9.3%8.06-36
Yankees 2-1WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Yankees917183371844.7%24.9%13.9%83.5%-3.4-46
Rays917176168240.4%24.5%13.2%78.1%1.8-4-1
Red Sox83798417697.9%9.9%16.1%34.0%-7.21235
Blue Jays82807737555.5%8.4%12.7%26.5%1.20-21
Orioles78847197831.5%3.0%5.7%10.2%8.26-36
Yankees 3-0WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Yankees927083371852.1%22.1%11.3%85.5%-2.6-46
Rays907276168233.9%26.6%15.7%76.2%0.8-4-1
Red Sox84788417697.7%11.2%15.1%34.0%-7.11235
Blue Jays82807737555.1%7.6%14.5%27.2%1.20-21
Orioles78847197831.1%2.4%6.4%10.0%8.46-36

Sure, it’s early.  And yes, the Yankees play the Rays enough times over the rest of the season to make up any ground they lose in this series, but this is still a pretty important series.  You might even say it’s the most important series of the season so far.

--Posted at 9:45 am by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 MLB Starting Pitching Through April 24

TeamIPTBFRAERAFIPxFIPBB/BFK/BF
Nationals104.74012.151.722.032.855.5%24.2%
Cardinals112.04392.732.573.063.425.7%17.8%
Rangers120.74972.832.763.253.907.6%19.1%
Pirates86.73543.012.83.103.867.3%14.7%
Phillies117.34733.142.843.173.205.3%20.1%
White Sox110.74423.173.093.423.637.9%23.8%
Athletics122.04953.322.953.634.196.1%13.3%
Marlins100.34143.503.413.303.516.5%18.4%
Giants107.74393.593.513.663.806.8%19.6%
Dodgers104.74353.613.013.633.809.4%21.8%
Rays107.34533.773.444.164.319.9%16.1%
Blue Jays109.74434.023.785.454.329.3%13.5%
Tigers95.34064.253.873.293.436.2%21.4%
Reds106.04484.423.993.924.236.5%14.3%
Angels106.04404.504.334.243.405.9%20.2%
Mariners107.74544.514.433.623.885.9%18.3%
Mets96.34184.583.923.623.257.7%20.8%
Indians84.03674.614.184.194.319.0%13.9%
Astros108.34664.654.244.144.028.2%16.7%
Diamondbacks108.04564.754.334.173.687.5%18.4%
Cubs106.04554.754.253.423.638.8%21.8%
Braves101.74304.784.163.803.999.1%19.3%
Brewers102.74414.914.823.913.607.0%21.8%
Padres104.04454.934.153.923.8511.0%19.8%
Orioles100.34335.024.224.334.159.5%18.7%
Royals88.03865.324.814.114.4911.7%16.8%
Rockies88.33905.404.894.964.839.5%12.6%
Red Sox94.34135.725.634.924.229.9%17.9%
Yankees96.34276.175.514.353.446.1%21.1%
Twins95.04237.016.735.504.386.9%13.0%

FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
xFIP: Expected fielding-independent pitching

Twins pitching vs. the Yankees: 2-2, 6.09 RA
Twins pitching vs. the rest of the league: 3-11, 5.88 RA

Remember how the Yankees’ starting pitching was supposed to be a strength?  Now they’re hoping a 40 year old who hasn’t pitched in a year can ride in and save the day.

CC should be fine.  I think Nova’s a good bet for continued success thanks to the big improvement in his peripherals.  Whether that makes him a 2 or a 3 I don’t know, but it’s probably safer to think he’s a 3.  Kuroda will also be ok I think, but I don’t think he’s a 2 in the AL.  It’d be nice if Phil Hughes wasn’t awful, because with Michael Pineda looking less and less likely to pitch this year Andy Pettitte could in theory fill one hole between Hughes and Freddy Garcia, but he can’t fill two.  My guess is Garcia’s start on Saturday will be his last for this turn in the rotation.

Despite what they’ve shown to date I’d bet a reasonable amount of money the Yankees will not remain the second worst starting rotation in MLB by the end of the year.  I think they have a chance to crack the top 20.

--Posted at 9:51 am by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 MLB Offenses through April 23

TmR/GBR/G
NYY6.066.18
TEX5.765.83
ATL5.474.71
CLE5.295.08
TOR5.124.65
BOS5.075.18
STL4.945.15
COL4.804.91
TBR4.754.57
HOU4.474.33
CHW4.444.45
SFG4.444.49
LAD4.414.34
DET4.383.85
ARI4.294.22
MIL4.294.14
BAL4.254.27
LgAvg4.204.24
LAA4.194.02
MIA3.804.01
MIN3.714.04
CHC3.653.01
WSN3.623.87
KCR3.564.20
SDP3.533.41
SEA3.532.96
NYM3.504.12
CIN3.313.36
OAK2.893.09
PHI2.823.13
PIT2.001.87

R/G: Runs scored per game
BR/G: Linear weights batting runs per game

Yes, I realize posting this means the Yankees will not score for the next week.

 

--Posted at 7:52 am by SG / 38 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, April 22, 2012

How have the first two weeks of the 2012 MLB season changed team projections?

We’re roughly about 10% of the way throught the 2012 regular season, which is a pretty small sample size to make sweeping observations about how good or bad teams are.  That doesn’t mean that what’s happened to this point isn’t important, because it is.  I wanted to see what teams have seen the biggest shifts in their outlooks based on how they projected coming into the year compared what they have done since.

The way I looked at this involves three basic steps.

1) Get 2012 projections.  In this case I’m using the average of the 2012 MLB projection blowout that I ran at the beginning of April.
2) Estimate revised team strength.  For now, this is just a basic weighted average of the team’s projections heading into the year and their Pythagenpat performance to this point.  I’m not making any adjustments for injuries/roster changes/etc., yet,  although as we get deeper into the season I’ll probably do that.
3) Run the rest of the 2012 MLB season through my Monte Carlo simulator and see what happens.  This includes a variable that alters team strength in each iteration to account for things that projections can’t account for.

Here’s what it says.

Date 4/22/2012
Iterations 100000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Yankees 94 68 848 718 49.0% 14.1% 24.0% 87.1% -0.8 12 7
Rays 87 75 764 695 23.9% 15.0% 34.6% 73.5% -2.0 -1 12
Red Sox 83 79 828 765 13.9% 11.2% 28.1% 53.1% -7.6 -2 32
Blue Jays 81 81 780 775 11.6% 7.8% 21.4% 40.9% -0.5 6 0
Orioles 70 92 712 812 1.6% 1.9% 6.2% 9.7% 0.1 -1 -6
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Tigers 88 74 780 730 46.6% 6.1% 17.7% 70.4% 2.9 -4 -6
Indians 86 76 779 758 33.4% 8.2% 22.3% 63.9% 3.6 12 7
White Sox 78 84 706 755 11.2% 4.4% 12.9% 28.5% 1.6 -1 -18
Royals 70 92 697 771 4.5% 0.8% 5.6% 10.9% -4.8 -8 6
Twins 70 92 720 824 4.2% 0.9% 3.7% 8.8% -1.6 -11 3
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 99 63 822 679 78.2% 7.4% 8.0% 93.6% 8.4 15 -24
Angels 85 77 738 667 17.0% 16.4% 28.9% 62.3% -5.1 -3 6
Mariners 73 89 672 734 2.8% 3.2% 7.8% 13.8% -1.5 -10 -7
Athletics 72 90 687 739 2.0% 2.8% 9.0% 13.8% -4.1 -20 -17
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Braves 90 72 734 664 32.5% 11.3% 23.7% 67.5% 2.3 20 -2
Phillies 88 74 677 611 25.9% 12.4% 21.6% 59.9% -1.4 -21 -17
Nationals 88 74 674 639 27.5% 10.4% 24.4% 62.3% 3.8 -8 -17
Marlins 82 80 699 672 11.3% 8.4% 18.2% 37.9% -1.8 -8 -9
Mets 74 88 677 749 2.8% 3.0% 8.5% 14.3% 0.2 -6 -3
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Cardinals 94 68 740 662 53.9% 10.5% 16.8% 81.1% 7.2 9 -17
Brewers 86 76 700 677 21.2% 9.5% 19.0% 49.7% 1.2 1 13
Reds 84 78 699 665 18.7% 9.6% 21.5% 49.7% -2.9 -16 5
Pirates 73 89 639 726 3.3% 1.8% 6.2% 11.3% 1.5 -29 -26
Cubs 68 94 652 757 1.8% 1.6% 2.8% 6.2% -3.2 -4 7
Astros 66 96 607 747 1.2% 0.3% 1.2% 2.7% 1.9 3 -8
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Giants 85 77 672 649 29.6% 5.3% 14.9% 49.8% 0.6 0 2
Dodgers 83 79 649 674 22.7% 5.3% 11.1% 39.1% 8.1 8 -17
Diamondbacks 83 79 687 677 22.8% 4.3% 14.1% 41.2% -1.3 -6 3
Rockies 81 81 751 744 20.1% 4.9% 12.6% 37.6% -1.2 3 13
Padres 72 90 638 690 4.8% 1.4% 5.1% 11.3% -3.5 -9 2

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: 2012 revised projected wins minus 2012 pre-season projected wins
RS+/-: 2012 revised projected runs scored minus 2012 pre-season projected runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2012 revised projected runs allowed minus 2012 pre-season projected runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

Good thing for Cliff Lee he signed with the young upstart Phillies instead of the old decrepit Yankees.  And remember how the Rangers and Angels looked to be neck and neck heading into the year?  Yeah.  The Dodgers seem to have snuck their way into the division race now, but other than that the division standings look pretty similar to how they did entering the season.

And here’s a chart that shows the changes in revised team wins projections for each team.

TM W+/-
Rangers 8.4
Dodgers 8.1
Cardinals 7.2
Nationals 3.8
Indians 3.6
Tigers 2.9
Braves 2.3
Astros 1.9
White Sox 1.6
Pirates 1.5
Brewers 1.2
Giants 0.6
Mets 0.2
Orioles 0.1
Blue Jays -0.5
Yankees -0.8
Rockies -1.2
Diamondbacks -1.3
Phillies -1.4
Mariners -1.5
Twins -1.6
Marlins -1.8
Rays -2.0
Reds -2.9
Cubs -3.2
Padres -3.5
Athletics -4.1
Royals -4.8
Angels -5.1
Red Sox -7.6

The Rangers have been destroying the competition and look like they’re probably the best team in baseball.  The Dodgers and Cardinals are the biggest positive surprises in the National League so far.  The Angels are the biggest disappointment in the AL.

But the Red Sox have to be the most pleasant surprise in baseball for me.

--Posted at 9:17 am by SG / 62 Comments | - (0)




Monday, April 16, 2012

CBS Sports: MLB Preview: Minnesota at New York

Including postseason, Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees have won 33 of 40 at home against the Twins over the past decade, and Yankee Stadium fans will likely be relishing the chance to rudely greet Minnesota starter Carl Pavano.

Minnesota (2-7) was swept over the weekend by Texas at home, and now faces a major nemesis. The Yankees (5-4) have eliminated Ron Gardenhire’s club from the playoffs four times in the decade since he took over as Twins manager, and he’s well aware of his poor record in the Bronx.

“We just play the schedule,” Gardenhire told MLB.com. “We’ll go to New York for four tough games, and then off to Tampa for three more tough ballgames. So it’s a tough road trip.”

The Twins didn’t project to be very good this year and so far they’re living up to that.  While they’re probably better than the 36-126 pace that they’re on, they may be the worst team in the American League.  Which would make them the favorite for the NL Wild Card.  The Twins’ primary problem this year has been offense.  Only Oakland is scoring fewer runs per game than them.  Their pitching has also been pretty crappy with an RA of 5.33 per game, but that’s better than four other teams.  Interesting note, Tampa Bay has the worst RA in the league.  Mentioning this allows me to post this very irritating table of Tampa Bay’s 2012 pitching splits so far.

Split W L RA FIP IP H R ER HR BB SO BF BB/BF K/BF BABIP
Boston Red Sox 0 3 11.63 7.78 24 39 31 31 7 16 16 124 12.9% 12.9% .381
New York Yankees 3 0 4.00 5.09 27 21 12 12 2 18 16 119 15.1% 13.4% .232

If it makes you feel better, I’m sure Tampa Bay’s fan is not happy about this either.

Back to the Twins, the pitching matchups for this series are:

Monday, April 16, 7:05 PM ET
Carl Pavano vs. Freddy Garcia

Tuesday, April 17, 7:05 PM ET
Francisco Liriano vs. CC Sabathia

Wednesday, April 18, 7:05 PM ET
Jason Marquis vs. Hiroki Kuroda

Thursday, April 19, 7:05 PM ET
To be announced vs. Phil Hughes

You have to give the Twins the edge in that Thursday match up.  Pavano vs. Garcia is probably a tossup, and I’d give the Yankees the edge in the other two matchups.  A sweep of a four game series is tough no matter how poor the opponent, but I’ll be disappointed in anything less.

This also means that Ivan Nova will start the first game of the Yankees’ next series in Fenway.  I trust Nova more than any other pitcher in the rotation right now (given the way CC’s looked so far) to pitch decently against Boston, which means he’ll probably get shelled.

--Posted at 1:24 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Tale of Two Defenses

Player Tm Lg Pos CH PM AvgPM Diff RS
Rodriguez, Sean TB AL SS 6 6 5 1 1
Brignac, Reid TB AL SS 5 5 4 1 1
Rodriguez, Alex NYY AL 3B 7 6 5 1 1
Joyce, Matt TB AL LF 3 3 3 0 0
Keppinger, Jeff TB AL 2B 2 2 2 0 0
Rodriguez, Sean TB AL 2B 2 2 2 0 0
Zobrist, Ben TB AL RF 3 3 3 0 0
Teixeira, Mark NYY AL 1B 1 1 1 0 0
Gardner, Brett NYY AL LF 1 1 1 0 0
Swisher, Nick NYY AL RF 6 5 5 0 0
Johnson, Elliot TB AL 2B 3 2 2 0 0
Nunez, Eduardo NYY AL SS 3 2 2 0 0
Longoria, Evan TB AL 3B 2 1 2 -1 0
Pena, Carlos TB AL 1B 3 2 3 -1 0
Jennings, Desmond TB AL CF 3 2 3 -1 0
Jones, Andruw NYY AL LF 1 0 1 -1 -1
Cano, Robinson NYY AL 2B 5 2 4 -2 -2
Jeter, Derek NYY AL SS 4 1 3 -2 -2
Granderson, Curtis NYY AL CF 8 4 7 -3 -2
Total TB 32 28 27 1 1
Total NYY 36 22 30 -8 -6

CH: Fieldable chances in Zone Rating
PM: Plays made (CH converted into outs)
AvgPM: PM by average defender over same # of chances
Diff: PM minus AvgPM
RS: Runs saved compared to average (Diff times run value at position of a play made)

Sample size, blah blah blah.  Defensive metrics, blah blah blah.

--Posted at 10:43 am by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

CAIRO 2012 v1.0 and Final Pre-season MLB Standings Projection

I’ve uploaded the final pre-season 2012 CAIRO projections and projected standings.  They can be downloaded here.

cairo_2012_v1.0.zip

Yeah, I know Opening Day was technically last week.  Sue me.

Here are the standings and of course, the pie charts.  I should be posting more projected standings from other systems later today, so I’ll save the disclaimers and explanations for after that’s all done.

Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
AL East NYA 96 66 848 713 52.8% 19.6% 11.1% 83.5% 86 - 106
AL East BOS 91 71 857 751 23.7% 21.0% 16.1% 60.8% 81 - 101
AL East TAM 91 71 765 667 22.4% 25.7% 14.9% 63.0% 81 - 101
AL East TOR 79 83 771 793 0.8% 2.4% 3.1% 6.2% 69 - 89
AL East BAL 70 92 736 838 0.4% 0.1% 0.5% 1.0% 60 - 80
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
AL Central DET 87 75 803 741 55.2% 1.3% 10.3% 66.8% 77 - 97
AL Central CLE 84 78 759 721 36.4% 2.4% 9.3% 48.0% 74 - 94
AL Central CHA 74 88 699 806 3.0% 0.2% 0.8% 4.0% 64 - 84
AL Central KC 73 89 682 754 3.6% 0.2% 0.8% 4.6% 63 - 83
AL Central MIN 71 91 725 815 1.8% 0.0% 0.3% 2.1% 61 - 81
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
AL West TEX 93 69 809 685 54.2% 12.7% 17.3% 84.1% 83 - 103
AL West LAA 92 70 739 640 44.7% 14.3% 14.6% 73.6% 82 - 102
AL West OAK 74 88 685 753 0.5% 0.3% 0.9% 1.7% 64 - 84
AL West SEA 73 89 669 742 0.6% 0.0% 0.6% 1.2% 63 - 83
AL WC1 93
AL WC2 90
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
NL East PHI 91 71 690 610 51.0% 15.1% 9.0% 75.0% 81 - 101
NL East ATL 86 76 705 664 20.5% 16.4% 10.2% 47.1% 76 - 96
NL East WAS 85 77 669 632 17.7% 12.8% 9.7% 40.1% 75 - 95
NL East FLA 83 79 710 694 10.3% 8.6% 7.0% 25.9% 73 - 93
NL East NYN 74 88 665 737 0.7% 0.8% 0.8% 2.2% 64 - 84
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
NL Central STL 89 73 728 654 47.2% 11.1% 9.4% 67.7% 79 - 99
NL Central MIL 86 76 695 646 29.2% 11.6% 11.8% 52.6% 76 - 96
NL Central CIN 85 77 707 670 22.7% 10.8% 11.2% 44.8% 75 - 95
NL Central PIT 71 91 653 743 0.6% 0.3% 1.0% 1.9% 61 - 81
NL Central CHN 71 91 648 748 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.9% 61 - 81
NL Central HOU 61 101 584 752 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 51 - 71
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
NL West SF 85 77 663 634 36.5% 5.2% 10.2% 51.9% 75 - 95
NL West ARI 84 78 692 674 33.9% 3.0% 9.2% 46.0% 74 - 94
NL West COL 82 80 755 750 21.2% 2.9% 6.6% 30.7% 72 - 92
NL West SD 76 86 635 674 4.1% 0.9% 1.6% 6.6% 66 - 86
NL West LAN 75 87 622 671 4.3% 0.3% 2.5% 7.1% 65 - 85
NL WC1 90
NL WC2 88

Div: Percentage of times team won division
WC 1: Percentage of times team won first wild card
WC 2: Percentage of times team won second wild card
PS%: Total percentage team qualified for the postseason (DIV + WC1 + WC2)
W 1 Std: Wins within one standard deviation

--Posted at 7:45 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CAIRO 2012 v0.5 and More Somewhat Useless Projected Standings

I’ve uploaded the latest version of the 2012 MLB CAIRO projections. They can be downloaded here.

The only changes from version 0.4 were moving players who were signed/traded to their new teams.  I think this will probably be the last release until right before Opening Day unless I find any issues.

I figured since I’ve updated again I’d run another set of projected standings so here is what they look like.

Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL East NYA 97 65 844 692 54.3% 22.5% 8.0% 84.8%
AL East TAM 92 70 772 660 23.2% 27.4% 14.1% 64.8%
AL East BOS 92 70 862 745 22.1% 27.0% 15.3% 64.4%
AL East TOR 78 84 758 795 0.4% 1.2% 2.6% 4.1%
AL East BAL 70 92 734 847 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL Central DET 88 74 814 741 60.7% 1.6% 12.7% 75.0%
AL Central CLE 84 78 763 729 32.1% 0.8% 9.5% 42.4%
AL Central CHA 74 88 705 805 3.5% 0.2% 1.0% 4.7%
AL Central KC 74 88 687 762 3.3% 0.0% 0.8% 4.1%
AL Central MIN 67 95 720 861 0.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.5%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL West TEX 92 70 812 695 51.2% 8.6% 17.0% 76.8%
AL West LAA 91 71 741 653 47.0% 9.9% 16.6% 73.5%
AL West OAK 76 86 685 735 0.7% 0.6% 1.7% 2.9%
AL West SEA 74 88 673 729 1.2% 0.2% 1.0% 2.4%
AL WC1 94
AL WC2 91
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL East PHI 92 70 701 605 60.8% 12.4% 9.1% 82.2%
NL East WAS 86 76 676 625 18.6% 18.2% 9.1% 45.8%
NL East ATL 85 77 700 676 13.2% 12.5% 11.0% 36.7%
NL East FLA 82 80 708 699 7.3% 8.0% 7.1% 22.3%
NL East NYN 75 87 670 733 0.3% 1.2% 1.8% 3.2%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL Central STL 90 72 737 654 47.8% 12.4% 10.3% 70.5%
NL Central CIN 87 75 715 665 27.3% 11.6% 12.1% 51.0%
NL Central MIL 86 76 696 645 24.6% 12.3% 11.7% 48.6%
NL Central CHN 71 91 650 745 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.5%
NL Central PIT 68 94 649 764 0.1% 0.0% 0.3% 0.4%
NL Central HOU 60 102 584 773 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.3%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL West SF 85 77 663 630 38.1% 3.1% 8.4% 49.5%
NL West ARI 84 78 659 634 33.5% 3.6% 8.9% 46.1%
NL West COL 81 81 761 759 18.3% 3.0% 6.6% 27.9%
NL West SD 76 86 633 668 5.2% 0.8% 2.2% 8.2%
NL West LAN 75 87 621 669 4.9% 0.7% 1.8% 7.3%
NL WC1 90
NL WC2 88

Div: Percentage of times team won division
WC 1: Percentage of times team won first wild card
WC 2: Percentage of times team won second wild card

These look more realistic to me than the last set I ran with Marcel.  Probably a bit high on the Yankees, but since CAIRO was created to make the Yankees look better than they are that stands to reason.

I am a bit surprised that Washington now projects better than Atlanta, even if it’s just a one game edge.  The only other major differences from this and the Marcel version is St. Louis at the top of the NL Central and San Francisco and Arizona above Colorado, both of which make sense to me.

Anyway, it’s still early, this is still not that useful, etc.,

--Posted at 9:58 am by SG / 43 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, January 28, 2012

Still Too Early 2012 MLB Standings Projection

Instead of running these with CAIRO this time I used Marcel, mainly out of curiosity in seeing what an unbiased projection that was not created to make the Yankees look better than they are would say.

It says this.

Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL East NYA 92 70 785 682 45.3% 20.3% 10.4% 76.0%
AL East BOS 90 72 830 750 27.9% 26.1% 10.8% 64.8%
AL East TAM 88 74 717 646 23.7% 21.2% 12.2% 57.1%
AL East TOR 81 81 723 727 3.0% 6.9% 6.8% 16.7%
AL East BAL 70 92 694 806 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL Central DET 84 78 747 708 43.0% 2.4% 10.1% 55.4%
AL Central CLE 83 79 722 708 30.6% 2.9% 7.8% 41.3%
AL Central CHA 79 83 686 703 15.2% 1.5% 4.2% 20.9%
AL Central KC 79 83 691 714 10.8% 1.9% 4.1% 16.9%
AL Central MIN 68 94 693 813 0.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.5%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL West LAA 87 75 719 663 43.7% 6.1% 11.4% 61.2%
AL West TEX 87 75 765 707 38.2% 6.9% 13.4% 58.6%
AL West OAK 82 80 682 674 14.9% 3.1% 7.4% 25.3%
AL West SEA 76 86 649 689 3.2% 0.7% 1.6% 5.5%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL East PHI 90 72 689 615 44.8% 16.5% 10.7% 72.0%
NL East ATL 89 73 668 608 38.2% 19.2% 9.9% 67.3%
NL East WAS 83 79 645 634 10.8% 10.3% 8.1% 29.2%
NL East FLA 80 82 682 690 5.7% 5.2% 5.4% 16.3%
NL East NYN 74 88 630 680 0.6% 1.5% 1.2% 3.2%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL Central CIN 89 73 719 647 60.4% 8.4% 10.9% 79.7%
NL Central STL 84 78 708 681 24.6% 10.7% 7.0% 42.2%
NL Central MIL 81 81 678 672 13.1% 6.7% 7.7% 27.5%
NL Central PIT 72 90 657 732 1.6% 0.2% 1.0% 2.8%
NL Central CHN 70 92 668 761 0.4% 0.2% 0.4% 1.0%
NL Central HOU 66 96 617 749 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL West COL 85 77 749 711 32.1% 6.4% 10.9% 49.4%
NL West ARI 85 77 685 656 30.8% 7.3% 10.8% 48.9%
NL West SF 85 77 629 606 29.6% 5.4% 11.3% 46.3%
NL West LAN 76 86 618 659 4.1% 1.5% 2.7% 8.2%
NL West SD 75 87 608 653 3.4% 0.6% 2.5% 6.4%

Div: Percent of time team won division
WC 1: Percent of time team won first wild card
WC 2: Percent of time team won second wild card

We still don’t know if there will be a second wild card yet, so you can chop off that column and subtract that percentage from the team’s over playoff percentage. 

Because Marcel regresses more heavily than other projections and because it assumes every one who hasn’t played in MLB projects as league average, you see a tighter spread here than you’ll see in other projected standings.  The standard deviation for team wins in my last CAIRO projections was about 9.  In this version it’s 7.1.  That may be more realistic if you think about how little we really know about how good/bad players and teams are, even though what will actually happen in 2012 will show a much bigger spread more in line with other projected standings.

Here are the average win totals for the placings in each division and for the two wild cards.

Div Place Avg W
AL East 1 96
AL East 2 91
AL East 3 86
AL East 4 80
AL East 5 69
Div Avg W
AL Central 1 89
AL Central 2 83
AL Central 3 79
AL Central 4 75
AL Central 5 67
Div Avg W
AL West 1 92
AL West 2 86
AL West 3 81
AL West 4 74
AL WC 1 91
AL WC2 88
Div Avg W
NL East 1 94
NL East 2 88
NL East 3 83
NL East 4 78
NL East 5 72
Div Avg W
NL Central 1 92
NL Central 2 85
NL Central 3 80
NL Central 4 74
NL Central 5 69
NL Central 6 63
Div Avg W
NL West 1 91
NL West 2 85
NL West 3 81
NL West 4 77
NL West 5 71
NL WC1 89
NL WC2 87

What this shows is that on average a team needed 96 wins to win the AL East, etc.,.

Some obvious things to consider would be:

- the difference between Yu Darvish (and other imports) and a league average pitcher
- prospects who project better than league average
- players who switched to parks that will affect their projections since Marcel does not park-adjust

Despite all that, the ordinal rankings seem reasonable.  The only differences between this and CAIRO in that regard are that I have St. Louis ahead of Cincinnati and the Diamondbacks and Giants ahead of Colorado.

This is current through Francisco Cordero signing with Toronto, and assumes Prince Fielder at 1B and Miguel Cabrera playing a terrible version of 3B for Detroit in 70% of their games, and DHing in 25% of them. 

--Posted at 8:19 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CAIRO 2012 v0.3 and Some Extremely Early and Completely Useless 2012 Projected Standings

I’m releasing CAIRO 2012 v 0.3 today which mainly fixes a problem with a handful of pitchers like Alexi Ogando and Ross Ohlendorf and moves players to new teams where applicable.  I figure it’d be a good time to run some projected standings even though they are too early to be of any real value.

DISCLAIMER: This is very limited in telling us much about how 2012 will play out for a large number of reasons.

1) There are still a lot of roster changes coming.  This may give us some sense of how the offseason has impacted teams to this point and it also shows us how things might look if nothing changed from now until April.  Which won’t happen.

2) It’s too early to construct meaningful rosters for a lot of teams, so these projections will favor the teams that have essentially completed their 2012 rosters.

3) In addition to that, projection systems are inherently limited.  They are designed to estimate a player’s true talent based on what they’ve done so far and also by factoring in things like age and how similar players have performed in the past.  They will generally be in the ballpark for the general population of MLB players, but they can miss significantly on individual players which can obviously affect certain teams more heavily than others.

Anyway, using the depth charts from the wonderful MLB Depth Charts and includng playing time from players on the 40 man roster who don’t necessarily figure to be part of the the opening day 25 man rosters to account for organizational depth and playing out next season 100,000 times, here’s how CAIRO v0.3 sees things as of December 13, 2011.  These were run with Aramis Ramirez as a Brewer, but I didn’t remove any of the non-tendered players from yesterday from their rosters.

Date 12/13/2011
Iterations 100000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Yankees 94 68 862 740 59.0% 16.8% 75.9%
Red Sox 91 71 868 763 31.1% 26.1% 57.2%
Rays 85 77 717 654 9.5% 11.8% 21.4%
Blue Jays 75 87 773 817 0.3% 0.6% 0.9%
Orioles 68 94 741 853 0.0% 0.1% 0.1%
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Tigers 89 73 780 703 54.3% 4.7% 59.0%
Indians 87 75 751 696 40.8% 5.9% 46.6%
White Sox 77 85 723 795 3.3% 1.5% 4.8%
Royals 73 89 684 760 1.6% 0.2% 1.8%
Twins 66 96 698 829 0.0% - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Rangers 93 69 812 697 58.0% 13.7% 71.6%
Angels 90 72 720 640 39.5% 16.6% 56.1%
Mariners 77 85 653 668 2.3% 2.0% 4.2%
Athletics 71 91 636 686 0.3% 0.1% 0.4%
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Phillies 92 70 681 598 60.6% 10.5% 71.1%
Braves 87 75 711 662 24.9% 13.8% 38.7%
Marlins 81 81 716 695 8.2% 4.4% 12.6%
Nationals 80 82 665 668 4.9% 3.2% 8.1%
Mets 76 86 669 710 1.4% 1.6% 3.0%
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Brewers 92 70 700 646 52.5% 14.3% 66.7%
Cardinals 90 72 708 648 36.8% 19.3% 56.2%
Reds 84 78 724 704 10.1% 10.8% 20.9%
Cubs 74 88 649 727 0.3% 1.1% 1.4%
Pirates 70 92 656 758 0.4% - 0.4%
Astros 60 102 569 759 0.0% - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Giants 88 74 656 613 46.3% 6.4% 52.7%
Diamondbacks 86 76 647 613 31.2% 6.4% 37.6%
Padres 81 81 620 613 11.3% 4.6% 15.9%
Dodgers 79 83 624 644 7.9% 2.9% 10.8%
Rockies 76 86 726 776 3.4% 0.6% 4.0%

The most shocking thing here is the Astros projecting to win 62 games IMO.  I also am amused by the fact that the Marlins don’t really project any better than the Nationals despite all their largesse this offseason.

Also, be aware that I haven’t accounted for the stupid new second wild card thing yet, since I am not certain that it will be implemented for this upcoming season, and rremember that this is more for fun than utility and take it in the appropriate spirit.

--Posted at 11:22 am by SG / 44 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 ALDS Preview: Rays vs. Rangers

Who will be facing the Tigers in the ALCS this year?  Let’s see what the numbers say.

I don’t particularly find any series previews that focus on what a team did in the preceding full season of much use.  It doesn’t really matter if a team scored 5.2 runs per game and allowed 4.2 runs per game over the preceding six months.  Rosters change, injuries happen, players come and go, talent changes, and player and team performance is often subject to fluctuations that are not predictive.  What I want to know is how many runs will the team and roster as currently configured score and allow?

Because of that, for these previews I’ll be using projections in lieu of 2011 stats.  Despite having my own system in CAIRO, I’m going to use the Hardball Times’s Oliver forecasts since I haven’t had the time to re-run CAIRO for this year.  Oliver is updated weekly during the season and includes 2011 MLEs for players who saw time in the minors.

The biggest consideration in trying to see how any series may shape up is allocating playing time.  So here are depth charts for the two teams, based on the assumption that each team will make 25 outs at the plate over 5 games.  Since we don’t have finalized postseason rosters, these are guess-timates and are subject to change.

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Jennings, Desmond LF 21 .266/.334/.415 14 2.66 .328
Upton, B.J. CF 21 .235/.328/.402 14 2.57 .323
Longoria, Evan 3B 21 .268/.365/.510 13 3.30 .376
Zobrist, Ben 2B 21 .261/.358/.437 13 2.87 .349
Damon, Johnny DH 21 .272/.343/.430 14 2.76 .339
Joyce, Matt RF 21 .263/.349/.463 14 2.94 .352
Kotchman, Casey 1B 20 .271/.335/.395 13 2.29 .324
Jaso, John C 15 .247/.329/.357 10 1.53 .309
Rodriguez, Sean SS 18 .237/.315/.402 12 2.04 .314
Starter Total 179 .259/.340/.426 118 22.96 .336
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Ruggiano, Justin OF 0 .250/.301/.395 0 0.00 .304
Shoppach, Kelly C 3 .208/.303/.379 2 0.30 .302
Johnson, Elliot IF 0 .247/.286/.384 0 0.00 .286
Fuld, Sam OF 2 .250/.322/.357 1 0.21 .304
Guyer, Brandon OF 0 .281/.325/.444 0 0.00 .330
Canzler, Russ IF 0 .263/.328/.450 0 0.00 .337
Lobaton, Jose C 0 .241/.316/.365 0 0.00 .303
Brignac, Reid SS 5 .235/.276/.336 4 0.39 .269
Bench Total 10 .230/.293/.352 7 0.91 .286
Team Total 189 .257/.338/.422 125 23.86 .334

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Kinsler, Ian 2B 20 .262/.342/.458 13 2.78 .346
Andrus, Elvis SS 20 .271/.322/.344 14 1.99 .296
Hamilton, Josh LF 20 .313/.358/.544 13 3.30 .383
Cruz, Nelson RF 20 .282/.334/.543 13 3.15 .370
Young, Michael DH 20 .312/.356/.471 13 2.82 .358
Beltre, Adrian 3B 20 .295/.333/.513 13 2.93 .360
Napoli, Mike C 20 .286/.362/.559 13 3.34 .390
Moreland, Mitch 1B 20 .274/.334/.444 13 2.55 .337
Chavez, Endy CF 17 .282/.312/.392 12 1.80 .304
Starter Total 177 .287/.340/.477 117 24.65 .350
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Murphy, David OF 4 .279/.334/.428 3 0.50 .333
Martin, Leonys OF 2 .265/.313/.374 1 0.21 .302
Gentry, Craig OF 2 .265/.322/.360 1 0.21 .303
German, Esteban IF 1 .271/.343/.366 1 0.12 .318
Torrealba, Yorvit C 3 .271/.320/.385 2 0.32 .310
Blanco, Andres C 0 .263/.295/.362 0 0.00 .285
Treanor, Matt C 0 .223/.307/.321 0 0.00 .284
Bench Total 12 .272/.326/.392 8 1.36 .316
Team Total 189 .286/.339/.471 125 26.01 .348

Outs: Outs at the plate (assumes 25 outs per 9 innings, calculated as (1 - OBP) times PA + GDP per PA
BR: Linear weights batting runs
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
vs. L/R: Projected wOBA splits vs. LHP/RHP using regressed platoon splits

These tables just show the primary lineup and potential bench players, with a PA estimate.  That PA estimate is used to calculate how outs the players will make and how many runs they will provide (BR).  PA are added to get the team to 125 outs for a five game series, and then we have an estimate for how many runs the team would project to score.

We can do the same thing with the pitching staffs, allocating 45 innings to see how many runs they’d project to give up. 

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Niemann, Jeff SP1 6 2.7 4.11 3.95 4.11
Shields, James SP2 7 3.1 4.03 3.70 3.68
Price, David SP3 7 3.0 3.84 3.41 3.50
Hellickson, Jeremy SP4 6 2.6 3.85 3.55 3.97
Davis, Wade SP5 2 1.0 4.61 4.34 4.51
Moore, Matt SP6 2 1.0 4.57 4.23 4.10
SP7 0 0.0
SP8 0 0.0
Starter Total 30 13.5 4.04 3.73 3.87
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Farnsworth, Kyle CL 3 1.2 3.53 3.27 3.23
Peralta, Joel SU 3 1.1 3.35 3.10 3.50
Cruz, Juan SU 2 1.1 4.75 4.40 4.40
McGee, Jake SU 2 1.0 4.56 4.22 4.03
Gomes, Brandon MR 2 0.9 4.21 3.90 3.71
Ramos, Cesar MR 2 1.2 5.18 4.80 4.43
Howell, J.P. MR 1 0.5 4.64 4.30 4.08
De La Rosa, Dane LR 0 0.0 5.03 4.66 4.40
Sonnanstine, Andy LR 0 0.0 5.43 5.03 4.88
0.0
Reliever Total 15 7.0 4.18 3.87 3.83
Team Total 45 20.4 4.09 3.78 3.85
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Wilson, C.J. SP1 14 5.7 3.67 3.33 3.27
Holland, Derek SP2 11 5.5 4.51 4.24 4.26
Harrison, Matt SP3 6 2.8 4.25 3.97 4.04
Lewis, Colby SP4 1 0.4 3.82 3.51 3.74
Ogando, Alexi SP5 2 0.8 3.77 3.35 3.44
Feldman, Scott SP6 0 0.0 4.82 4.40 4.47
Hamburger, Mark SP7 0 0.0 5.17 4.79 4.97
SP8 0 0.0
Starter Total 34 15.3 4.06 3.74 3.75
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Feliz, Neftali CL 3 1.2 3.51 3.25 3.27
Adams, Mike SU 2 0.7 3.06 2.83 2.95
Uehara, Koji SU 2 0.7 3.07 2.84 2.98
Gonzalez, Michael SU 1 0.5 4.36 4.04 4.00
Oliver, Darren MR 2 0.8 3.42 3.17 3.12
Lowe, Mark MR 1 0.5 4.45 4.12 4.01
Tateyama, Yoshinori MR 0 0.0 3.80 3.52 3.35
Valdez, Merkin LR 0 0.0 5.43 5.03 4.36
Kirkman, Michael LR 0 0.0 5.36 4.96 4.53
0.0
Reliever Total 11 4.3 3.49 3.24 3.27
Team Total 45 19.6 3.92 3.62 3.63


RA: Runs allowed per 9, calculated as 1.08*ERA
ERA: Earned runs allowed per 9
FIP: Fielding independent pitching

We don’t have etched in stone rotations for this series.  All I know for certain is that C.J. Wilson will start Game 1 for Texas, and that it’s likely Jeff Niemann gets the ball in Game 1 for the Rays.  The Rangers may use Alexi Ogando as a starter but I’ve got him as a reliever for now.

Given these assumptions for playing time, we can then use the runs scored and runs allowed projections to get a Pythagenpat winning percentage which gives us an idea of how strong a team is in the context of this series.

Team Gms RS RA wpct p162
TB 5 23.9 20.4 .572 93
TEX 5 26.0 19.6 .631 102

RS: Projected runs scored
RA: Projected runs allowed
wpct: Pythagenpat winning percentage
p162: # of wins per 162 games using wpct

Oliver LOOOVES Texas.  I don’t know if they’re better than Philly in Oliver, but they’re better than everyone in the AL.  So, running this matchup through a Monte Carlo simulator gives me these odds.

Texas: 59.1%
Rays: 40.9%

I’ll look at Yankees/Tigers tomorrow.

--Posted at 7:15 pm by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sportsday DFW: With home-field advantage on line, Rangers plan on bringing “A” game for season final

With one game left, the Rangers could still end up playing any of three teams:

• If the Rangers win, they will return home to play the wild card winner, which may not be determined until Thursday. Boston and Tampa Bay enter the final game tied. If both teams have the same result on Wednesday, they will play a tiebreaker game Thursday in Tampa.

• If the Rangers lose and Detroit loses, Texas will still hold home field advantage. The Tigers start their game with Cleveland at 6 p.m. CT, an hour before the first pitch of the Rangers-Angels game.

•If the Rangers lose and Detroit wins, the Rangers will head to New York to face the New York Yankees on Friday.

I think Texas is a better team than Detroit, even though the Yankees handled them pretty well this year.  Detroit is probably a more difficult team in a five game series than they’d be in a seven game series, but I don’t think that pushes them past Texas.. 

I suppose I really don’t care who the Yankees face.  I can see them beating anyone and losing to anyone.  Both Detroit and Texas are good teams that pose a potential obstacle.

The only thing I care about is that whichever of the teams isn’t facing the Yankees is facing Tampa Bay.

--Posted at 9:02 am by SG / 98 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What are the AL Wild Card Odds as of Today

According to Baseball Prospectus, the Red Sox are still favored to win the wild card over the Rays, 55.1% to 44.9%.  This is based on assumed team strengths of .600 for the Yankees, .562 for the Red Sox, .528 for the Rays and .434 for the Orioles.

The first and most obvious problem here is assuming that a Yankee team that’s not playing for anything is going to be the equivalent of a 97 win team, particularly with them already announcing they won’t be pitching any pitchers that are going to be on the postseason roster in tomorrow’s game.  Similarly, we have enough information to look at all four teams and see how strong they really may be over the next two games to see if the odds change appreciably.

I’m going to use the format below when I start my postseason previews.  I’m using The Hardball Times’s Oliver forecasts, since I haven’t had time to re-run CAIRO for 2011.  These projections are the most up-to-date ones (updated weekly) and include 2011 MLEs, so I think they’re solid.  These were last updated on Monday.

First, here’s a rough stab at the teams I’d expect the Yankees and Rays to field over the next two days.

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Jeter, Derek SS 5 .306/.363/.416 3 0.64 .345 .369 .337
Granderson, Curtis CF 5 .259/.342/.496 3 0.74 .358 .314 .374
Teixeira, Mark 1B 5 .265/.357/.498 3 0.75 .369 .380 .364
Rodriguez, Alex 3B 5 .289/.367/.527 3 0.80 .382 .389 .380
Cano, Robinson 2B 5 .312/.359/.511 3 0.77 .374 .358 .381
Swisher, Nick RF 5 .271/.364/.475 3 0.72 .364 .375 .359
Montero, Jesus DH 5 .278/.329/.483 3 0.67 .348 .361 .340
Martin, Russell C 5 .252/.345/.380 3 0.57 .326 .344 .320
Gardner, Brett LF 5 .269/.353/.376 3 0.62 .326 .306 .332
Starter Total 45 .278/.353/.463 29 6.28 .355 .355 .354
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Posada, Jorge DH 5 .259/.345/.448 3 0.66 .347 .347 .347
Jones, Andruw OF 4 .251/.344/.502 3 0.60 .363 .381 .357
Nunez, Eduardo IF 5 .278/.308/.381 3 0.51 .301 .302 .300
Chavez, Eric 3B 4 .245/.296/.355 3 0.38 .288 .257 .300
Romine, Austin C 4 .246/.289/.364 3 0.38 .287 .300 .283
Dickerson, Chris OF 4 .239/.315/.341 3 0.40 .295 .272 .299
Pena, Ramiro IF 4 .239/.283/.327 3 0.32 .269 .256 .273
Cervelli, Francisco C 0 .263/.314/.365 0 0.00 .298 .310 .293
Bench Total 30 .252/.312/.389 21 3.24 .308 .304 .309
Team Total 75 .268/.337/.433 50 9.52 .336 .335 .336


Outs: Outs at the plate (assumes 25 outs per 9 innings, calculated as (1 - OBP) times PA + GDP per PA
BR: Linear weights batting runs
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
vs. L/R: Projected wOBA splits vs. LHP/RHP using regressed platoon splits

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Jennings, Desmond LF 8 .266/.334/.415 5 1.01 .328 .340 .321
Upton, B.J. CF 8 .235/.328/.402 5 0.98 .323 .339 .316
Longoria, Evan 3B 8 .268/.365/.510 5 1.26 .376 .393 .369
Zobrist, Ben 2B 8 .261/.358/.437 5 1.09 .349 .357 .345
Damon, Johnny DH 8 .272/.343/.430 5 1.05 .339 .322 .346
Joyce, Matt RF 8 .263/.349/.463 5 1.12 .352 .319 .357
Kotchman, Casey 1B 8 .271/.335/.395 5 0.91 .324 .300 .331
Jaso, John C 4 .247/.329/.357 3 0.41 .309 .286 .313
Rodriguez, Sean SS 4 .237/.315/.402 3 0.45 .314 .332 .304
Starter Total 64 .260/.342/.429 42 8.29 .338 .335 .337
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Ruggiano, Justin OF 1 .250/.301/.395 1 0.11 .304 .312 .297
Shoppach, Kelly C 4 .208/.303/.379 3 0.41 .302 .323 .292
Johnson, Elliot IF 0 .247/.286/.384 0 0.00 .286 .292 .280
Fuld, Sam OF 1 .250/.322/.357 1 0.10 .304 .284 .310
Guyer, Brandon OF 1 .281/.325/.444 1 0.13 .330 .338 .315
Canzler, Russ IF 0 .263/.328/.450 0 0.00 .337 .371 .303
Lobaton, Jose C 0 .241/.316/.365 0 0.00 .303 .301 .304
Brignac, Reid SS 4 .235/.276/.336 3 0.31 .269 .246 .274
Bench Total 11 .233/.297/.368 8 1.06 .293 .292 .289
Team Total 75 .256/.335/.420 50 9.35 .331 .329 .330


Even at less than full strength, the Yankees probably have the better offense on the field.

For the pitching, it’s a bit trickier but I’ll take a shot anyway.

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Sabathia, CC SP1 0 0 3.70 3.43 3.28
Colon, Bartolo SP2 5 3 4.82 4.04 3.97
Nova, Ivan SP3 0 0 4.77 4.36 4.33
Garcia, Freddy SP4 0 0 4.60 4.36 4.33
Burnett, A.J. SP5 0 0 5.21 4.82 4.49
Hughes, Phil SP6 0 0 4.45 4.12 4.17
Betances, Dellin SP7 4 2 5.36 4.96 4.83
Brackman, Andrew SP8 0 0 6.80 6.30 5.88
Starter Total 9 5 5.06 4.45 4.35
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Rivera, Mariano CL 1 0 3.03 2.81 2.89
Robertson, David SU 1 0 3.75 3.47 3.05
Soriano, Rafael SU 1 0 3.61 3.34 3.64
Logan, Boone SU 1 0 4.32 4.00 3.77
Wade, Cory MR 1 0 4.38 4.06 4.09
Ayala, Luis MR 1 1 4.50 4.17 3.92
Noesi, Hector MR 0 0 4.59 4.25 4.03
Proctor, Scott LR 1 1 5.78 5.35 5.21
Laffey, Aaron LR 1 1 5.56 5.15 4.59
Kontos, George LR 1 1 5.38 4.98 5.02
Reliever Total 9 4 4.48 4.15 4.02
Team Total 18 10 4.77 4.30 4.19


RA: Runs allowed per 9, calculated as 1.08*ERA
ERA: Earned runs allowed per 9
FIP: Fielding independent pitching

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Price, David SP1 7 3 3.84 3.41 3.50
Shields, James SP2 0 0 4.03 3.70 3.68
Hellickson, Jeremy SP3 7 3 3.85 3.55 3.97
Niemann, Jeff SP4 0 0 4.11 3.95 4.11
Davis, Wade SP5 0 0 4.61 4.34 4.51
Moore, Matt SP6 0 0 4.57 4.23 4.10
SP7 0
SP8 0
Starter Total 14 6 3.84 3.48 3.74
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Farnsworth, Kyle CL 1 0 3.53 3.27 3.23
Peralta, Joel SU 1 0 3.35 3.10 3.50
Howell, J.P. SU 1 1 4.64 4.30 4.08
Cruz, Juan SU 1 1 4.75 4.40 4.40
McGee, Jake MR 0 0 4.56 4.22 4.03
Gomes, Brandon MR 0 0 4.21 3.90 3.71
Ramos, Cesar MR 0 0 5.18 4.80 4.43
De La Rosa, Dane LR 0 0 5.03 4.66 4.40
Sonnanstine, Andy LR 0 0 5.43 5.03 4.88
Reliever Total 4 2 4.07 3.77 3.80
Team Total 18 8 3.89 3.54 3.75


Obviously the assumption here is 18 innings over two games.  I don’t know if the Yankees would actually start Dellin Betances tomorrow, but I’m not sure who else they’d consider and the difference over four projected innings is minimal.

I am not going to bother with defense here, since it’s mostly covered in the pitching projections and trying to tease out two games of defense is more likely to be counter-productive than tell us anything useful.

How about the Red Sox and Orioles?

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Ellsbury, Jacoby CF 8 .306/.349/.482 5 1.20 .357 .341 .363
Crawford, Carl LF 8 .286/.327/.443 5 1.05 .333 .304 .345
Pedroia, Dustin 2B 8 .290/.362/.454 5 1.13 .355 .370 .349
Ortiz, David DH 8 .286/.367/.548 5 1.32 .390 .354 .405
Gonzalez, Adrian 1B 8 .327/.412/.588 5 1.51 .426 .389 .443
Lowrie, Jed 3B 8 .259/.316/.409 5 0.91 .316 .341 .303
Drew, J.D. RF 8 .263/.346/.454 5 1.06 .349 .319 .359
Saltalamacchia, Jarrod C 8 .235/.290/.416 6 0.86 .305 .285 .316
Scutaro, Marco SS 8 .281/.347/.394 5 0.96 .328 .361 .295
Starter Total 72 .281/.346/.465 47 10.00 .351 .340 .353
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Aviles, Mike IF 0 .268/.296/.413 0 0.00 .305 .319 .298
Varitek, Jason C 0 .234/.303/.434 0 0.00 .317 .332 .311
Jackson, Conor OF 2 .250/.324/.364 1 0.21 .309 .325 .302
Aviles, Mike IF 0 .268/.296/.413 0 0.00 .305 .319 .298
McDonald, Darnell OF 0 .269/.316/.449 0 0.00 .326 .339 .310
Gathright, Joey OF 0 .239/.291/.311 0 0.00 .269 .255 .272
Lavarnway, Ryan C 2 .255/.332/.467 1 0.27 .345 .358 .338
Drew, J.D. OF 0 .263/.346/.454 0 0.00 .349 .319 .359
Bench Total 4 .252/.328/.415 3 0.48 .327 .342 .320
Team Total 76 .280/.345/.462 50 10.48 .350 .340 .351

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Angle, Matt LF 8 .250/.309/.313 6 0.72 .280 .224 .336
Hardy, J.J. SS 8 .260/.305/.430 6 0.93 .317 .335 .311
Markakis, Nick RF 8 .288/.352/.419 5 1.02 .341 .318 .351
Guerrero, Vladimir DH 8 .295/.329/.460 5 1.03 .341 .356 .336
Wieters, Matt C 8 .261/.324/.414 5 0.93 .324 .327 .323
Jones, Adam CF 8 .282/.318/.457 5 1.00 .333 .336 .332
Reynolds, Mark 1B 8 .236/.332/.521 5 1.21 .362 .383 .355
Davis, Chris 3B 8 .271/.321/.476 5 1.08 .341 .318 .350
Andino, Robert 2B 8 .254/.297/.361 6 0.75 .289 .303 .283
Starter Total 72 .267/.321/.428 49 8.67 .325 .322 .331
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Tatum, Craig C 0 .219/.276/.292 0 0.00 .256 .268 .252
Fox, Jake C 0 .265/.323/.476 0 0.00 .343 .349 .339
Adams, Ryan 3B 0 .258/.307/.385 0 0.00 .305 .336 .275
Bell, Josh IF 0 .239/.290/.407 0 0.00 .303 .308 .301
Hudson, Kyle IF 0 .226/.282/.263 0 0.00 .250 .230 .252
Reimold, Nolan OF 1 .255/.334/.437 1 0.13 .337 .349 .330
Florimon Jr., Pedro OF 0 .224/.278/.329 0 0.00 .268 .268 .268
Bench Total 1 #N/A 1 0.13 .337 .349 .330
Team Total 73 #N/A 50 8.80 .325 .323 .331

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Beckett, Josh SP1 0 0 3.76 3.51 3.85
Lester, Jon SP2 7 3 3.63 3.43 3.45
Bedard, Erik SP3 5 2 4.02 3.62 3.59
Lackey, John SP4 0 0 4.89 4.51 4.14
Wakefield, Tim SP5 0 0 4.93 4.61 5.27
Miller, Andrew SP6 0 0 6.40 5.58 5.01
Weiland, Kyle SP7 0 0 5.56 5.15 4.97
Buchholz, Clay SP8 0 0 4.02 3.59 4.14
Starter Total 12 5 3.79 3.51 3.51
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Papelbon, Jonathan CL 2 1 3.29 3.05 2.93
Bard, Daniel SU 2 1 3.37 3.12 3.51
Wheeler, Dan SU 1 0 3.96 3.67 4.11
Albers, Matt SU 0 0 4.59 4.25 3.97
Morales, Franklin MR 0 0 4.88 4.52 4.75
Atchison, Scott MR 0 0 3.81 3.53 3.57
Doubront, Felix MR 0 0 5.35 4.95 4.67
Aceves, Alfredo LR 1 0 4.00 3.70 4.02
Bowden, Michael LR 0 0 4.97 4.60 4.79
Buchholz, Clay LR 0 0 3.88 3.59 4.14
Tazawa, Junichi LR 6 2 3.55 3.29 3.50
Team Total 18 7 3.71 3.43 3.51

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Britton, Zach SP1 5 2 4.44 4.11 4.04
Simon, Alfredo SP2 5 3 5.13 4.60 4.48
Matusz, Brian SP3 0 0 4.96 4.69 4.59
Hunter, Tommy SP4 0 0 4.60 4.38 4.48
Vandenhurk, Rick SP5 0 0 5.64 5.09 5.38
Guthrie, Jeremy SP6 0 0 4.39 4.14 4.41
SP7 0
SP8 0
Starter Total 10 5 4.78 4.36 4.26
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Johnson, Jim CL 1 0 3.93 3.64 3.65
Gregg, Kevin SU 1 1 4.76 4.41 4.35
Patton, Troy SU 1 1 5.18 4.80 4.72
Bergesen, Brad SU 1 1 4.91 4.55 4.57
Accardo, Jeremy MR 1 1 4.78 4.43 4.18
Berken, Jason MR 1 1 5.28 4.89 4.40
Eyre, Willie MR 1 1 4.70 4.35 4.25
Rapada, Clay LR 1 0 4.44 4.11 3.76
Reyes, Jo-Jo LR 0 0 5.72 5.30 4.92
Strop, Pedro LR 0 0 4.59 4.25 3.90
Reliever Total 8 4 4.75 4.40 4.23
Team Total 18 10 4.77 4.37 4.25


Yeah, yeah, yeah, so what does all this nerdy crap mean?

It means this.

Team Gms RS RA wpct
NYA 2 9.5 9.5 .499
BOS 2 10.5 7.4 .656
TB 2 9.4 7.8 .584
BAL 2 8.8 9.5 .471

And if we use those numbers adjusted for home-field advantage to play out the last two games of the season, here’s what I get for the wild card odds.

Rays: 50.9%
Red Sox: 49.1%

Should be interesting.

--Posted at 4:50 pm by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yankees.com: Burnett helps Yanks burn Red Sox in Game 1

NEW YORK—Nearly three years have passed, but A.J. Burnett has finally done what the Yankees asked when they chased him so passionately as a free agent: Beat the Boston Red Sox.

The right-hander hurled 7 2/3 strong innings on Sunday, defeating the skidding Red Sox, 6-2, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

Burnett’s effort ended a string of 10 overall starts against the Red Sox—including nine as a Yankee—dating back to Sept. 19, 2008, taking advantage of a Boston club that continues to fret about their postseason chances.

While Burnett may not have a place in the first-round postseason rotation, where Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia could follow CC Sabathia in the American League Division Series, he offered some optimism for his inclusion in some form.

Burnett’s final line looks pretty good, but he was shaky early.  Through four innings he’d thrown 32 strikes and 29 balls.  Over the rest of the game he threw 32 strikes and just 12 balls, and ended his day by striking out the last two batters he faced.  It’s only natural to wonder how much of his performance can be attributed to pitching against a Boston team that’s probably pressing versus him battling through adversity.  I suppose we can say that we’ve seen that when A.J.‘s bad enough, he can make the worst team in MLB look good (the Twins), so this outing has to be viewed positively, although I’m sure it won’t be by some.

If I had to guess, he’s probably earned a shot at the postseason rotation, maybe as the #4 in the ALDS should the Yankees by some miracle be up 2-1.  I’m fine with that, provided he’s got a short leash with someone like Bartolo Colon or Phil Hughes shadowing him.  There’s no reason to think he’d be appreciably worse than either of them in a single start.

Tampabayrays.com: Four homers help Rays gain ground

ST. PETERSBURG—A home-run barrage coupled with an inspired pitching performance led the Rays to a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

By winning, the Rays moved to within a half-game of the American League Wild Card-leading Red Sox, who lost to the Yankees in the first game of a day-night double-header on Sunday.

We’re about two hours away from a game that has the potential to be an absolute smorgasbord of schadenfreude.

--Posted at 3:14 pm by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, September 24, 2011

NY Post: MLB will add wild-card teams, hold one-game playoff: sources

Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement for Major League Baseball are moving at a fast pace and one issue the sides have all but agreed upon is adding two wild-card teams and holding one-game playoffs in each league to determine which of the wild cards advances, The Post has learned.

One person involved in the talks described that scenario as a done deal and another hedged a little by saying it is likely to play out that way, but nothing will be finalized until an entire CBA is inked.

Both sources said because there would be just a one-game playoff added, the second wild-card team could be installed as early as next year, but the new system will go into effect no later than 2013.

Why wait?  Implement it now and let Boston and Tampa Bay play each other to determine who gets into the ALDS.

--Posted at 9:48 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Can The Yankees Get Swept By Tampa Bay and Still Win the AL East?

Here are the shedules for the rest of the season for the teams that are still relevant in the AL wild card/East race.

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w Rangers w Angels w
9/20/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0 @Athletics 0 @Blue Jays 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0 @Athletics 0 @Blue Jays 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/22/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0 @Athletics 0 @Blue Jays 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 0 Mariners 0 Athletics 0
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 0 Mariners 0 Athletics 0
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 0 Mariners 0 Athletics 0
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0 @Angels 0 Rangers 0
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0 @Angels 0 Rangers 0
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0 @Angels 0 Rangers 0
current final current final current final current final current final
W 92 92 88 88 85 85 88 88 83 83
L 60 70 66 74 67 77 65 74 70 79


The good news is that the Yankees’ magic number over LAAA of AA is one.  The next Yankee win or Angels loss makes it a three way dance, as Paul Heyman would call it.  I am going to guarantee that the Angels lose one of their last nine games, so let’s play around with the three way dance scenarios.

Here’s where we are now.

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w
9/20/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/22/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0
current final current final current final
W 92 92 88 88 85 85
L 60 70 66 74 67 77

Here’s where we are assuming Boston and Tampa Bay win all their non-Yankee games.

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w
9/20/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 1 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 1 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/22/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 0
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 0
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 0
current final current final current final
W 92 92 88 93 85 88
L 60 70 66 69 67 74

A 1 in the ‘w’ column to the right of each team’s name is a win.  I guess that means you can put it on the right side.  So what this table shows is Boston winning all five of their games against the Orioles, which means 93 wins before considering whatever they may do against the Yankees and Tampa Bay sweeping Toronto.

The Rays have to win at least five games against the Yankees if they want to get to the 93 wins Boston would have if/when they win all their games against Baltimore.  If that were to happen, we’d be looking at this:

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w
9/20/2011 Rays 1 Orioles 1 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 1 @Yankees 1
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 1
9/22/2011 Rays 1 @Yankees 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 1
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 1
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 1
current final current final current final
W 92 94 88 93 85 93
L 60 68 66 69 67 69

In this scenario, the Yankees would have to sweep Boston to beat them out for the division and to give Tampa Bay the wild card.  Any loss by Boston vs. the Orioles means the Yankees can take 2-3 against them and still go 2-5 vs. Tampa Bay.

Of course, it’s all moot if Tampa Bay doesn’t sweep the Blue Jays.

If the Yankees win two of their next four games vs. Tampa Bay and Boston wins their two games vs. Baltimore, the Yankees can clinch a tie for the AL East by winning one of the three games vs. Boston.  If Boston loses one of their next two against Baltimore the Yankees can clinch the East against them at home.  That would be fun.

So I’m hoping for a 2-2 split with Tampa Bay over the next four games with Boston losing one of the next two to the O’s which gives the Yankees three shots to clinch against Boston.

--Posted at 10:36 am by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yankees.com: Swisher provides only offense in walk-off loss

It was another one-run loss for the Yankees, who managed just four hits all night and had their three-game winning streak snapped.

“We’ve had three tough ones on this road trip, lost three games by one run,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s a tough one, because you figure your offense is usually going to score more than one run.”

Despite the loss, the Yankees maintained a four-game lead in the American League East thanks to Toronto’s 5-4 win over second-place Boston. New York’s magic number is now 11 and the Yankees will enjoy an off-day Thursday before heading to Toronto for a three-game set starting Friday.

Losing a game against a crappy team when your starter gives up 1 run over 7 1/3 innings is somewhat annoying, isn’t it?

I turned off the game when I saw Rafael Soriano warming up to come in, but it doesn’t seem like I missed much.  My chief issue with last night was the way Girardi handled the 8th inning on offense.  After Andruw Jones was hit by a pitch, Girardi pinch-ran for him with Brett Gardner.  Miguel Olivo is a fairly good catcher in terms of stealing bases, but Girardi didn’t even bother trying to let Gardner steal, opting instead to give Seattle a free out by having Russell Martin bunt Gardner to second.  I’ll grant that the bunt in and of itself is probably defensible if you look at things like run expectancy and win probability although it’s probably not optimal.

What was not defensible was what happened after the bunt.

Jamey Wright is a RHP who’s bounced around MLB for 16 seasons.  He’s been about average for a reliever over the last three years (ERA+ of 104).  He has the type of platoon split you’d expect from a RHP in his career, although it’s worth noting he’s been better vs. LHB over the last three season.

Still, there was no reason to let Eduardo Nunez hit after the Martin bunt.  You have a fully stocked bench to avoid that from happening.  When I saw Nunez coming up my first thought was “WTF?”  Then I thought, “well maybe Girardi wants to be cautious with Eric Chavez and rest him.”  That thought then melded into, “WTF?”  He could pinch-hit for Nunez with Jorge Posada or Chris Dickerson and then use Ramiro Pena for defense if he didn’t want to use Chavez.”  The defensive upgrade alone by replacing Nunez with a warm body makes it the smart move.  Instead, Nunez, who’s hit .236/.288/.312 since the All Star Break over 172 PA,  grounded out on the second pitch of his PA, shocking probably one person on the planet.  Maybe two if you count Binder™ as a sentient being, and the Yankees didn’t score.

It gets better though.

In Nunez’s very next PA, Girardi PINCH HIT FOR HIM WITH ERIC CHAVEZ. If you were willing to do it in the 10th inning with two outs and the bases empty, why wouldn’t you have done it in the eighth inning with the go-ahead run on 2B and one out?

Anyway, it was a crappy game and a tough one to lose given the fact that both Tampa Bay and Boston had lost earlier.  So I guess in that sense it was a fitting ending to a crappy road trip that saw the Yankees lose 4 of 7 games when they could probably have put away Boston in the AL East for good. 

--Posted at 9:32 am by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 12, 2011

Down The Stretch They Come

Instead of just throwing a bunch of percentages up here like I’d normally do right about now, I wanted to take a more granular look at the remaining schedule for the AL postseason contenders.

The Yankees have won 88 games.  The teams in the AL who can exceed that this point are Boston, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Texas, LAAAAAA of AA, Cleveland, the White Sox and Toronto.  If all those teams won the rest of their games, here’s where they’d end the year.

Team W L GR Max
NYY 88 57 17 105
BOS 85 61 16 101
DET 84 62 16 100
TB 81 64 17 98
TEX 83 64 15 98
LAA 80 66 16 96
CLE 72 72 18 90
CWS 73 72 17 90
TOR 74 73 15 89


Because most of those teams play at least a few games against each other, they can’t all win all their remaining games.  Cleveland has three games left with the Rangers and four games left with the White Sox, for example.  So if they win all their games, Texas can only win at most 93, and the White Sox can only win 86, etc.,  I feel comfortable in saying that it’s not likely either Cleveland or the White Sox will win more games than the Yankees over the rest of the year.  For the purposes of assessing the Yankees’ postseason chances, Detroit’s a non-factor in this scenario, because they can’t contend for the wild card AND win more games than the Yankees.

Toronto plays nothing but teams on that list for the rest of the year, with two vs. Boston, three vs. the Yankees, four vs. the Angels, three vs. the Rays, and three vs. the White Sox.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’ll lose at least two of those.  So I’m going to only look at the other teams.

Team NYY BOS DET TB TEX LAA
NYY 3 6
BOS 3 4
DET
TB 6 4
TEX 3
LAA 3


Texas and California have three games left against each other.

Tampa Bay has six games left vs. the Yankees and four games vs. Boston.

The Yankees have those six games vs. the Rays and three games vs. Boston.

Detroit gets to beat up on cream puffs for the rest of the year, and are right now the team with the highest playoff probability in the American League.  So I’m going to say they’re in.

That means you’ve got five teams fighting for three playoff spots. 

The first number to think about is that 96 from Anaheim.  If they get there, that means Texas can only get to 95. So 96 wins is effectively the clinching number to eliminate the AL west runner-up from the wild card.  That obviously goes down each time Texas and LAA lose.

If Tampa Bay can get to 98, that means Boston can only get to 97 and the Yankees can only get to 99.  So getting to that 97 from Boston is the bar for the Yankees, although it would only be a tie.  Again, that obviously goes down as the Rays/Red Sox lose.

That means the Yankees’ magic number for tying for a postseason spot is nine, and for taking one outright is 10.  In the event that the Yankees and Red Sox tied for the last spot, the season series between them wouldn’t matter, and there’d be a one game play-in.

Which the Sox would win handily.

--Posted at 9:39 am by SG / 72 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 5, 2011

Monte Carlo Standings and Postseason Odds Through September 4, 2011

American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Yankees 99 63 870 657 63.0% 36.7% 99.7%
Red Sox 98 64 860 694 36.9% 62.3% 99.3%
Rays 87 75 705 630 0.1% 0.9% 1.0%
Blue Jays 79 83 745 749 - - -
Orioles 64 98 694 841 - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Tigers 89 73 740 724 94.2% - 94.2%
White Sox 82 80 672 681 4.0% - 4.0%
Indians 80 82 688 720 1.9% - 1.9%
Twins 71 91 662 791 - - -
Royals 67 95 706 782 - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Rangers 91 71 815 696 92.1% 0.0% 92.1%
Angels 86 76 666 650 7.9% 0.0% 7.9%
Athletics 75 87 654 668 - - -
Mariners 69 93 574 678 - - -
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Phillies 103 59 736 555 98.0% 2.0% 100.0%
Braves 94 68 678 605 2.0% 95.4% 97.4%
Mets 80 82 723 733 - 0.0% 0.0%
Nationals 75 87 632 688 - - -
Marlins 73 89 647 717 - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Brewers 95 67 723 659 98.7% 0.2% 98.9%
Cardinals 86 76 761 714 1.3% 2.1% 3.3%
Reds 81 81 751 711 - - -
Pirates 74 88 633 706 - - -
Cubs 70 92 664 768 - - -
Astros 56 106 610 787 - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Diamondbacks 89 73 713 689 83.2% 0.1% 83.3%
Giants 85 77 575 585 15.9% 0.3% 16.2%
Dodgers 80 82 641 630 0.8% 0.0% 0.8%
Rockies 78 84 744 751 0.1% - 0.1%
Padres 71 91 614 637 - - -

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)

Not looking like too much suspense aside from seeding at this point.

--Posted at 9:14 am by SG / 10 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Implications of this Series with Boston

At this point, I have Boston as around a 2-1 favorite for winning the AL East.

So, here’s how that changes based on the various potential outcomes for this series.

Now W L Div
Red Sox 100.0 62.0 67.5%
Yankees 97.9 64.1 32.5%
Yankee Sweep W L Div
Yankees 98.8 63.2 56.5%
Red Sox 98.0 64.0 43.0%
Yankees 2-1 W L Div
Red Sox 99.4 62.6 59.5%
Yankees 98.0 64.0 40.5%
Boston 2-1 W L Div
Red Sox 100.1 62.0 71.5%
Yankees 97.6 64.4 28.5%
Boston sweep W L Div
Red Sox 100.9 61.1 84.0%
Yankees 96.2 65.8 16.0%

Tampa Bay is still technically in the divisional picture, their chances just aren’t registering above the .5% threshold needed to be seen here.  The fact that Boston and the Yankees play each other six times makes it that much harder for the Rays to catch both.

So basically, if the Yankees still want a realistic shot at winning the division, they have to sweep this series.  I probably don’t have to tell you that the likelihood of that is slim.

--Posted at 7:39 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More on Run Differentials

Last week I looked at the Yankees’ run differential and made the point that actual runs scored and allowed can be a bit misleading, and that it’s probably more instructive to look at the context neutral value of the offensive events for and against a team to get a better sense of how good they have actually been.  For the hell of it I decided to look at this for all teams in MLB as of this morning.

Team RS RA bRS bRA RS - bRS RA - bRA Gap
Pirates 436 469 415 503 21 -34 55
Yankees 603 436 577 455 26 -19 45
Padres 431 438 413 448 18 -10 28
Reds 542 510 522 511 20 -1 21
Phillies 504 375 500 391 4 -16 20
Blue Jays 534 522 515 522 19 0 18
Braves 476 426 467 428 9 -2 11
Royals 505 551 509 566 -4 -15 11
Diamondbacks 516 502 499 493 17 9 9
Nationals 449 471 445 475 4 -4 7
Rays 485 452 481 453 4 -1 5
Angels 441 419 457 439 -16 -20 5
Cardinals 552 500 538 490 14 10 4
Indians 478 486 458 469 20 17 3
Rockies 528 536 519 529 9 7 2
Twins 449 559 420 532 29 27 2
Athletics 442 456 430 440 12 16 -5
White Sox 453 468 451 457 2 11 -9
Mets 518 507 525 504 -7 3 -10
Red Sox 625 479 628 472 -3 7 -11
Dodgers 418 456 429 454 -11 2 -13
Marlins 462 503 471 497 -9 6 -15
Mariners 376 439 362 409 14 30 -16
Rangers 589 490 582 466 7 24 -17
Brewers 512 486 508 462 4 24 -19
Astros 437 574 451 568 -14 6 -20
Orioles 462 598 473 586 -11 12 -23
Cubs 474 571 481 552 -7 19 -26
Giants 399 411 414 399 -15 12 -28
Tigers 508 514 512 484 -4 30 -35

RS/RA: Actual runs scored/allowed
bRS/bRA linear weights batting runs scored/allowed.
Gap: RS - bRS minus RA - bRA.  The larger the number, the more a team has outplayed their peripherals.  Basically, positive is bad here and negative is good.

What this table is saying is that, for example, the Yankees have scored about 26 more runs and allowed 19 fewer runs than their peripheral stats say they should have.  That doesn’t mean you should subtract 4.5 wins from their total on the season.  It just means that their Pythagenpat record/run differential is a bit misleading.  In the Yankees’ case they’ve got 73 Pythag wins and 69 actual wins, so they haven’t really taken advantage of this in actual wins. 

Contrast that with Pittsburgh, who’ve stumbled lately.  They were playing over their heads all year, and unfortunately the correction has been ugly.  At 55-59, they’re still two wins ahead of their 53-61 Pythag record, and if you look at that gap they are probably not even that good.

--Posted at 2:57 pm by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, July 7, 2011

Probable Pitchers: Rays at Yankees, July 7 - 10

Thursday, July 7, 7:05 PM ET
Jeff Niemann (46.3 IP, 5.63 RA, 4.60 FIP) vs. Bartolo Colon (73.0 IP, 2.84 RA, 3.50 FIP)

Friday, July 8, 7:05 PM ET
Jeremy Hellickson (103.7 IP, 3.39 RA, 4.55 FIP) vs. Freddy Garcia (91.0 IP, 3.36 RA, 4.21 FIP)

Saturday, July 9, 1:05 PM ET
David Price (124.0 IP, 3.63 RA, 2.98 FIP) vs. A.J. Burnett (113.7 IP, 4.51 RA, 4.71 FIP)

Sunday, July 10, 1:05 PM ET
James Shields (134.7 IP, 2.74 RA, 3.32 FIP) vs. CC Sabathia (136.7 IP, 3.36 RA, 2.82 FIP)

Saturday looks like a guaranteed loss, and Sunday looks like a coin flip, so let’s hope the Yankees can steal the first two.

--Posted at 1:22 pm by SG / 5 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Brief Foray into Run Differentials and Component Stats

At this point in the season, the Yankees have the second best winning percentage in the AL.

Team a%
CLE .623
NYY .574
BOS .536
TEX .536
DET .527
TBR .527
SEA .509
LAA .500
TOR .500
OAK .474
CHW .466
BAL .463
KCR .455
MIN .315

Over a full season at the actual winning percentage the Yankees would be about a 93 win team, with Cleveland at 101.

Now of course over 1/3 of a season actual winning percentage can be misleading since teams might be winning or losing more games than their actual performance merits.  So you can look at something like Pythagenpat to get a better sense of how well a team has played so far and what it might mean going forward.

Team p%
NYY .629
CLE .582
TEX .563
TBR .543
TOR .542
BOS .540
LAA .506
OAK .496
DET .486
CHW .480
SEA .478
KCR .462
BAL .422
MIN .322


If you do that, the Yankees look more like a 102 win team, which would be eight wins better than Cleveland and 11 wins better than Boston.

Although Pythagenpat does a pretty good job of estimating a team’s level of play, their actual runs scored and runs allowed might be skewed due to better or worse than expected performances in high leverage situations that are not necessarily repeatable going forward.

You can use linear weights batting runs to account for that.  What’s nice about doing that is you can put offense and pitching/defense on the same scale if you use all the same components.

Team b%
NYY .599
TEX .568
BOS .562
CLE .559
TOR .533
TBR .526
OAK .526
LAA .524
DET .504
CHW .479
SEA .469
KCR .435
BAL .423
MIN .343

This method also shows that the Yankees have played better than any other team in the AL, and would have them at around 97 wins, five wins ahead of Cleveland and six games ahead of Boston.

We do need to be cognizant that how a team has played so far only tells us so much about how good they are now and how good they’ll be going forward.  Regression towards the mean, injuries/roster changes and a whole host of other things are going to have an impact on how a team does moving forward.

But at least as of right now, the Yankees have probably been the best team in the league and the difference isn’t trivial.

All this is moot when Rafael Soriano returns to blow games though.

--Posted at 6:20 pm by SG / 26 Comments | - (0)



What A Difference Five Days Can Make

On May 28 in this post I referenced some standings projections I’d done at that point, which had the Red Sox projected to end the year around 93-69, with the Yankees at 91-71 and the Rays at 88-74. Here’s how that compares to a re-run as of last night’s games.

Team5/28 xW6/1 xWD xW
Yankees91.293.22.0
Blue Jays76.678.51.9
Rays87.586.6-0.9
Orioles74.272.9-1.3
Red Sox93.190.1-3.0

xW: Expected wins

Thank you White Sox.

Enjoy it while you can, since the Angels are going to sweep the Yankees this weekend and effectively return things to how they were on 5/28.

--Posted at 7:19 am by SG / 50 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, May 28, 2011

TGS NY: Joe’s handling of ‘pen not so mighty

David Robertson got out of a bed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at 4:30 a.m. Eastern time Friday morning. Nearly 20 hours later, he was on the mound at Safeco Field, doing his job to perfection, pitching an overpowering eighth inning against the Mariners.

Trouble was, the game had already been lost two innings earlier.

But that’s what happens when a manager sticks to a game plan even if the game no longer fits his plan.

Robertson, back from a mission of mercy to his tornado-ravaged hometown, was no doubt the most tired man in the Yankee bullpen. He was also the only one able to do his job. Unfortunately, by the time he was asked to do it, it was too late. At the time, the Yankees trailed 4-3, and that’s the way it would stay.

I didn’t get to watch the game, so I’d be interested in everyone else’s take, but here’s how I see the situation.  With Burnett at 97 pitches with five walks through five innings, I don’t think anyone would quibble with the fact that he was pulled prior to the sixth inning.  So the question then is who should have started the bottom of the sixth.  With Adam Kennedy (LHB), Miguel Olivo (RHB) and Carlos Peguero (LHB) due up, I can understand the thought process behind starting the sixth inning with Boone Logan.  You need to get four innings out of your bullpen, so unless you want one of Robertson, Joba Chamberlain or Mariano Rivera to pitch two innings you needed to get some outs from someone other than those three.

Logan allowed a leadoff single to Kennedy.  So now with a RHB up and with the likelihood of a pinch-hitter for Peguero to re-gain the platoon advantage, going to the bullpen for a RHP made sense as well.  Unfortunately, Girardi opted for Luis Ayala instead of Robertson and that’s when the game was lost.

Ayala probably would have pitched an inning at some point in the game, so the real problem is that he and Logan didn’t do their jobs.  However, once Kennedy reached Girardi should have used a better pitcher due to the leverage of the situation, and not the pitcher who’s ordinal spot in the bullpen hierarchy was now due.  If you intended to pitch Robertson or Chamberlain if necessary anyway, they’d have been the better choices in that spot.  If they extended themselves to get out of the inning, you could then go to Ayala to begin the seventh with whichever of Robertson or Chamberlain wasn’t used as a safety net to get the game to Rivera.

Again, the real issue is that Logan and Ayala didn’t execute.  But it’s fair to say that Girardi’s deployment of the bullpen after Logan is also culpable. 

The Yankees really don’t have much margin for error on this road trip if you look at the schedule for the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays over the rest of this West Coast swing.

Date Yankee xW xL Red Sox xW xL Rays xW xL
5/28/2011 @ Mariners .58 .42 @ Tigers .53 .47 vs Indians .58 .42
5/29/2011 @ Mariners .58 .42 @ Tigers .53 .47 vs Indians .58 .42
5/30/2011 @ Athletics .51 .49 vs White Sox .62 .38 vs Rangers .54 .46
5/31/2011 @ Athletics .51 .49 vs White Sox .62 .38 vs Rangers .54 .46
6/1/2011 @ Athletics .51 .49 vs White Sox .62 .38 vs Rangers .54 .46
6/2/2011 @Mariners .54 .46
6/3/2011 @ Angels .54 .46 vs Athletics .59 .41 @Mariners .54 .46
6/4/2011 @ Angels .54 .46 vs Athletics .59 .41 @Mariners .54 .46
6/5/2011 @ Angels .54 .46 vs Athletics .59 .41 @Mariners .54 .46
4.32 3.68 4.72 3.28 4.95 4.05

At this point Boston and the Rays have around a one game advantage over the Yankees over the next nine days, at which point the Yankees will return home to face Boston, Cleveland and Texas on a nine game home stand.  It’s not inconceivable that the Yankees could be trailing Boston and/or Tampa Bay by three or four games by then.  And that’s not exactly the kind of home stand that would allow the Yankees to catch up if they falter on the rest of this trip. 

Right now I’ve got Boston projected to finish around 93-69, the Yankees around 91-71 and Tampa Bay around 88-74.  If that’s how things still look by the end of this road trip I’d happily take it.

--Posted at 8:34 am by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, May 15, 2011

NY Post: Selfish squad of pretenders, not contenders

The bottom line is that the Yankees are nothing special right now and haven’t been for quite some time. These Yankees need to get it in gear in so many ways, not just because Posada has had a problem with being “disrespected.” And not just because he removed himself from the lineup an hour before the 6-0 loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, saying he “couldn’t play” and needed time to “clear my head.”

I have no opinions on the headline and/or the teams’ alleged selfishness.  I just think this team is tough to watch right now.  I’m also frustrated that they’ve pissed away the chance to take advantage of Boston and Tampa Bay’s slow start to the year.

Losing five of six games at home to Kansas City and Boston is a disaster, and one that looks like a distinct possibility with Jon Lester going tonight against Freddy Garcia.  After tonight the Yankees then have to go to Tampa Bay for two games where of course they’ll draw David Price and James Shields in those games.

--Posted at 9:49 am by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Implications of This Weekend’s Series with Boston

You may or may not have heard, but the best team in baseball history has gotten off to a rough start at 0-6.  It’s important to understand what that means in the big picture.  It’s too small of a sample size to meaningfully change our estimate of how good they are.  However, those games do count, and they do need to be factored into whatever we forecast Boston to do going forward.

If Boston was a 94-95 win team over 162 games at the start of the year, they’re probably still a 94-95 win team.  However, they only have 156 games left to play.  At the same winning percentage, they’re more like a 91 win team now.  Here’s a quick look at the average projections for the AL East at the start of the season according to the aggregate from the Diamond Mind Projection Blowout.

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Red Sox 94.4 67.6 817 687 42.1% 17.8% 59.8%
Yankees 92.4 69.6 812 707 32.8% 18.2% 51.0%
Rays 86.1 75.9 762 704 16.0% 13.4% 29.4%
Orioles 78.6 83.4 748 777 6.0% 6.5% 12.5%
Blue Jays 73.9 88.1 686 751 3.1% 3.2% 6.3%

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)

It’s certainly possible that some of these projections were wrong from the start, but we don’t have enough information to know that yet.

Re-running that exercise taking into account what’s actually happened to this point gives us these revised results.

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Yankees 92.1 69.9 812 707 40.2% 16.4% 56.6%
Red Sox 91.1 70.9 817 687 36.5% 19.3% 55.8%
Rays 81.8 80.2 762 704 12.9% 9.5% 22.4%
Orioles 77.8 84.2 748 777 6.3% 6.9% 13.2%
Blue Jays 73.5 88.5 686 751 4.2% 3.5% 7.6%

So if everything played out as projected going forward (it won’t), the Yankees are now slight favorites in the AL East.  That was easy enough.

Using that as our new baseline, here are how those would look depending on the various potential results of the Yankees’ three game series in Fenway this weekend.

Boston Sweeps

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Red Sox 92.4 69.6 817 687 41.3% 18.2% 59.5%
Yankees 90.1 71.9 812 707 34.1% 16.9% 51.1%
Rays 83.0 79.0 762 704 14.0% 10.8% 24.8%
Orioles 78.3 83.7 748 777 7.8% 6.9% 14.7%
Blue Jays 73.0 89.1 686 751 2.8% 3.5% 6.3%

This is basically how things looked in the preseason, with Boston about two games better than the Yankees.

Boston wins 2 of 3

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Red Sox 91.4 70.6 817 687 37.3% 17.3% 54.6%
Yankees 91.3 70.7 812 707 35.9% 18.0% 53.9%
Rays 82.4 79.6 762 704 15.7% 11.5% 27.1%
Orioles 78.3 83.7 748 777 7.8% 7.8% 15.6%
Blue Jays 73.4 88.6 686 751 3.4% 3.3% 6.7%

For all intents and purposes that makes things a dead heat.

Yankees win 2 of 3

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Yankees 92.0 70.0 812 707 40.6% 18.6% 59.1%
Red Sox 90.6 71.4 817 687 35.9% 18.1% 53.9%
Rays 81.9 80.1 762 704 13.0% 9.4% 22.4%
Orioles 78.6 83.4 748 777 8.0% 7.7% 15.7%
Blue Jays 72.8 89.2 686 751 2.6% 3.7% 6.3%

While not my ideal scenario, I would approve of this outcome.

Yankees Sweep

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Yankees 93.9 68.1 812 707 47.2% 17.0% 64.2%
Red Sox 89.3 72.7 817 687 29.6% 16.8% 46.4%
Rays 82.3 79.7 762 704 13.4% 10.7% 24.1%
Orioles 77.7 84.3 748 777 6.5% 6.5% 13.0%
Blue Jays 73.1 88.9 686 751 3.3% 3.6% 6.9%

This is my preferred result.

These odds can swing pretty wildly after just a few games, so don’t take them too seriously.  This is particularly true in baseball where divisional rivals play each other so frequently.

Now obviously it’s really early in the season and we have no idea what will actually happen, but can you imagine the hysteria if the Yankees take all three games? 

Looking at the pitching matchups, the Yankees are probably underdogs in the first two games.

Friday, April 8
Phil “88 mph” Hughes vs. John “World Series Hero” Lackey

Saturday, April 9
Ivan Nova vs. Clay Buchholz

The good news is they should probably be slight favorites in the finale

Sunday, April 10
CC “Future Red Sock” Sabathia vs. Josh “Guardian of playing the game right” Beckett

So the most likely scenario is that the Red Sox take two of three, and really that’s fine with me.  I just don’t want to see the Yankees get swept.

--Posted at 6:00 pm by SG / 74 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, February 26, 2011

Phillies @ Yankees : February, 26, 2011, 1:00 PM ET **Spring Training Chatter**

The game’s on YES.  Tune in to see Derek Jeter’s first ground out of 2011 and Bartolo Colon’s final appearance as a Yankee.

--Posted at 9:20 am by SG / 154 Comments | - (0)




Monday, January 24, 2011

Updated Still Too Early 2011 AL East Standings Projection

With the Rays signing Johnny Damon/Manny Ramirez and the Jays trading Vernon Wells for Mike Napoli/Juan Rivera I was curious to see how it may AL East projected standings from this post may have changed, and here it is.

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Red Sox 94.9 67.1 834 693 45.5% 16.3% 61.8%
Yankees 90.3 71.7 819 739 25.4% 17.4% 42.8%
Rays 88.1 73.9 736 663 19.8% 15.1% 34.9%
Blue Jays 77.9 84.1 721 738 5.6% 5.6% 11.2%
Orioles 75.5 86.5 732 796 3.8% 4.0% 7.8%

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)

Things appear to be getting pretty tight.  This is going to make Boston beating out the 1927 Yankees as “best team of evah” particularly noteworthy.

--Posted at 9:50 am by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, January 22, 2011

Question Of The Day

Would you rather have?

a) Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, a first round draft pick in a deep draft and $28.75 million dollars
b) Rafael Soriano

--Posted at 10:30 am by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Extremely Early CAIRO 2011 MLB Projected Standings

Around this time every year I like to run projected standings for the upcoming MLB season.  It’s very limited in telling us much about how 2011 will play out since there are still a lot of roster changes coming, but it may give us some sense of how the offseason has impacted teams to this point and it also shows us how things would look if nothing changed from now until April.  Which won’t happen.

Since this point is not readily comprehensible for people of limited intelligence I’ll reiterate it. It’s too early to construct meaningful rosters for a lot of teams, so these projections will favor the teams that have essentially completed their 2011 rosters. 

In addition to that, projection systems are inherently limited.  They are designed to estimate a player’s true talent based on what they’ve done so far and also by factoring in things like age and how similar players have performed in the past.  They will generally be in the ballpark for the general population of MLB players, but they can miss significantly on individual players which can obviously affect certain teams more heavily than others.

So, anyway, using the depth charts from the wonderful MLB Depth Charts and includng playing time from players on the 40 man roster who don’t necessarily figure to be part of the the opening day 25 man rosters to account for organizational depth and playing out next season 10,000 times, here’s how CAIRO v0.3 sees things as of December 27, 2010.

Date 12/28/2010
Iterations 10000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Red Sox 98.1 63.9 856 690 54.6% 15.6% 70.2% 9.1 38 -54
Yankees 89.1 72.9 835 740 23.2% 21.7% 44.9% -5.9 -24 47
Rays 87.1 74.9 707 640 17.9% 18.7% 36.6% -8.9 -95 -9
Blue Jays 74.1 87.9 693 737 2.6% 5.8% 8.4% -10.9 -62 9
Orioles 70.1 91.9 723 813 1.8% 2.9% 4.7% 4.1 110 28
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Twins 85.7 76.3 752 715 33.3% 6.2% 39.5% -8.3 -29 44
White Sox 84.5 77.5 735 711 28.4% 6.2% 34.5% -3.5 -17 7
Tigers 84.0 78.0 727 712 27.5% 4.6% 32.0% 3.0 -24 -31
Indians 73.9 88.1 728 802 8.2% 2.7% 10.8% 4.9 82 50
Royals 66.9 95.1 678 815 2.8% 1.1% 3.9% -0.1 2 -30
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 89.2 72.8 746 673 50.1% 4.5% 54.6% -0.8 -41 -14
Athletics 82.1 79.9 678 667 26.1% 4.3% 30.4% 1.1 15 41
Angels 77.9 84.1 665 690 15.5% 3.2% 18.7% -2.1 -16 -12
Mariners 72.2 89.8 635 703 8.4% 2.5% 10.9% 11.2 122 5
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Phillies 96.1 65.9 754 618 54.5% 11.0% 65.5% -0.9 -18 -22
Braves 88.5 73.5 754 690 26.6% 13.3% 39.9% -2.5 16 61
Mets 76.6 85.4 675 702 7.1% 4.5% 11.6% -2.4 19 50
Marlins 77.3 84.7 679 708 8.7% 5.0% 13.7% -2.7 -40 -9
Nationals 72.4 89.6 659 733 3.2% 2.0% 5.2% 13.4 -51 -141
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Cardinals 90.2 71.8 746 676 35.0% 12.0% 47.0% 4.2 10 35
Brewers 87.2 74.8 698 650 27.9% 8.9% 36.7% 10.2 -52 -154
Reds 85.5 76.5 723 689 23.5% 8.2% 31.7% -5.5 -67 4
Cubs 79.3 82.7 742 761 10.5% 6.3% 16.8% 4.3 57 -6
Pirates 67.7 94.3 671 808 2.1% 1.2% 3.3% -6.3 28 38
Astros 65.8 96.2 604 732 1.1% 1.0% 2.1% 3.8 -32 -36
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rockies 85.9 76.1 768 732 31.7% 5.9% 37.6% 2.9 -2 15
Giants 84.2 77.8 699 667 24.1% 6.6% 30.6% -7.8 2 84
Dodgers 83.3 78.7 677 659 20.3% 7.2% 27.5% 3.3 10 -33
Padres 81.2 80.8 647 652 17.7% 5.0% 22.6% -8.8 -18 71
Diamondbacks 73.8 88.2 690 757 6.4% 1.9% 8.3% 3.8 -30 -25

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+/-: 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)

The only reason I am showing wins and losses to one decimal place is so I don’t have to answer questions about why the wins and losses don’t add up to exactly 2430.  There is no way to imply that something like this can be precise to that level.

Did I mention that it’s still too early to do this, and that it shouldn’t be taken seriously?

I guess it’s not exactly news that Boston and Philadelphia look to be the two best teams in baseball right now.  Although it’s easy for lazy analysts to make the claim that Tampa Bay is going to be bad because they lost Carl Crawford and their whole bullpen, it’s just not true.  They’ve won the AL East in two of the past three seasons, and they have a ton of pitching talent in the minors.  Jake McGee looks like a potentially dominant closer.  They also won 96 games last year despite getting very little production out of first base and DH.  Losing Crawford hurts, but Desmond Jennings is another good prospect who has a chance to mitigate that a bit as well.

Toronto tends to project worse than they actually end up doing every year, mainly because they’ve always seemed to get better than expected pitching.  They’ve lost John Buck and Shaun Marcum from last year’s team, and CAIRO is expecting Jose Bautista will not hit 54 HRs again which explains most of their drop.

The Orioles tend to project better than they actually end up doing every year, but perhaps they’ll Buck that trend in 2011.

As for our Yankees, they’re still a good team.  They’re just not as good as Boston on paper right now.  That doesn’t mean they can’t win the division, it just means that they need some players to exceed their projections (A.J.?) and/or some players from Boston/Tampa Bay to underperform some of their’s.  If they can add Andy Pettitte or some league average starter who can give them 180 innings or so that’s probably worth another two wins over Ivan Nova/Sergio Mitre.

Right now the AL Central looks pretty tightly bunched at the top between the White Sox, Tigers and Twins.  Cleveland should be able to hold off KC for fourth place, although if Melky-mania runs wild who knows?

The West looks like Texas’s to lose, even without Cliff “The Big Train” Lee. LA of A could pick up about three wins if they sign Adrian Beltre, but that alone doesn’t seem like it’d be enough to get them up to Texas’s level.

I don’t know if the Phillies are as good as Boston, although they may be a better short series team.  They are almost certainly the tallest midget in the circus known as the National League, but they’re not some 110 win juggernaut on paper.  The Braves seem to be the second best team in the NL East and should at least be a strong contender for the wild card.

The Cardinals still appear to have the best front-line talent in the NL Central although Milwaukee has improved themselves significantly.  The Reds are not far off from the top either.

The NL West is also tightly bunched at the top, with only about four wins separating first place through fourth.

Did I mention that it’s too early for this to be taken too seriously?

--Posted at 10:00 am by SG / 134 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Should We Be Rooting For the Rays or Rangers Tonight?

I was thinking about this last night, and was wondering about how the Yankees matched up against their two potential opponents in the ALCS.  I’m not going to run through all the projections and stuff now, but I was just curious about how the teams matched up in terms of platoon advantage.

In a seven game series, it’s likely the Yankees would try and get at least four games out of lefties, but maybe even five if they try and start CC Sabathia on three days rest twice.  So a team that has more righties would be a harder matchup.

Using rough depth charts, here’s how the Ray, Rangers and Yankees compare in terms of PA by batter-hand over a seven game series.

Rays: 115 PA by RHB, 124 PA by LHB, 26 PA by switch-hitters
Rangers: 151 PA by RHB, 80 PA by LHB, 25 PA by switch-hitters
Yankees: 86 PA by RHP, 81 PA by LHB, 99 PA by switch-hitters

Of course the quality of the hitters matters, which this ignores.

On the pitching side, here’s how they compare in terms of batters faced by pitcher hand.

Rays: 195 PA by RHP, 66 BF by LHP
Rangers: 183 BF by RHP, 75 BF by LHP
Yankees: 118 BF by RHP, 144 BF by LHP

If you knew nothing about any of these teams except these numbers, you’d say the Yankees match up better against the Rays, who don’t have as many left-handed pitchers or right-handed batters. 

Of course, we do know more than that.  On paper the Rays look like the better team, and since I hate the wild card it’d be nice if they advanced and the Yankees beat them as a sort of solace for failing to win the division.  But I have a hunch that Texas would be a more difficult opponent with the way they match up.

--Posted at 12:06 pm by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2010 ALDS Preview: Rangers vs. Rays

Who will the Twins play in the next round?

Since Joe Maddon took his time to get his roster in, this is going to be be quick.

Here are the Rangers’s position player projections.

Lineup Pos 2010 OBP 2010 wOBA Proj OBP Proj wOBA PA Outs BR Def
Elvis Andrus SS .335 .296 .310 .309 20 14 2 0.1
Michael Young 3B .331 .336 .340 .341 20 13 3 -0.3
Josh Hamilton CF .411 .444 .366 .392 20 13 3 0.0
Vladimir Guerrero DH .346 .361 .355 .374 20 13 3 0.0
Nelson Cruz RF .372 .405 .343 .374 20 13 3 0.3
Ian Kinsler 2B .380 .357 .352 .357 20 13 3 0.1
Mitch Moreland 1B .360 .362 .319 .316 15 10 2 0.1
Bengie Molina C .292 .275 .286 .302 10 7 1 0.0
Julio Borbon LF .304 .287 .314 .297 10 7 1 -0.1
Andres Blanco 2B .326 .298 .311 .297 10 7 1 0.0
David Murphy LF .355 .356 .334 .340 10 7 1 0.0
Cristian Guzman SS .308 .289 .305 .302 5 3 0 0.0
Chris Davis 1B .279 .267 .286 .319 0 0 0 0.0
Matt Treanor C .285 .266 .289 .277 3 2 0 0.0
Jorge Cantu 1B .301 .302 .317 .330 5 3 1 0.0

The biggest issue the Rangers probably have on the position player side is Josh Hamilton’s health.  He’s playing through a rib injury and it may affect his availablity and his effectiveness.

And their pitching projections,

Pitcher Role 2010 RA 2010 FIP Proj RA Proj FIP IP R
Cliff Lee SP1 3.56 2.59 3.75 3.40 14 5.8
C.J. Wilson SP2 3.66 3.59 3.93 3.68 6 2.6
Colby Lewis SP3 4.04 3.51 4.70 4.03 6 3.1
Tommy Hunter SP4 3.87 4.99 5.19 4.98 5 2.9
Neftali Feliz CL 2.73 2.97 4.13 3.60 3 1.4
Darren O’Day SU 2.18 3.58 3.26 3.61 3 1.1
Darren Oliver MR 2.97 2.64 3.41 3.43 3 1.1
Derek Holland MR 4.71 4.04 5.94 4.63 2 1.3
Alexi Ogando MR 1.33 3.16 3.75 3.77 2 0.8
Dustin Nippert MR 4.37 4.95 5.47 4.97 1 0.6

Texas has got a pretty good pitching staff, especially when you account for the historical tendency of their home park to boost offense.  Obviously Cliff Lee’s as good as any pitcher out there, and having him going twice in a series is a pretty good thing.

As far as the AL East champs, here are their projections.

Lineup Pos 2010 OBP 2010 wOBA Proj OBP Proj wOBA PA Outs BR Def
John Jaso C .371 .343 .343 .324 15 10 2 -0.1
Carlos Pena 1B .324 .325 .352 .366 18 12 3 0.0
Sean Rodriguez 2B .305 .312 .323 .338 20 14 3 0.3
Jason Bartlett SS .318 .298 .332 .318 20 13 2 0.1
Evan Longoria 3B .372 .380 .367 .391 21 13 4 0.4
Carl Crawford LF .353 .374 .342 .347 21 14 3 0.3
B.J. Upton CF .324 .339 .341 .334 20 13 2 0.0
Ben Zobrist RF .345 .325 .351 .341 20 13 3 0.4
Rocco Baldelli RF .208 .238 .303 .331 5 3 1 0.0
Reid Brignac SS .308 .306 .300 .306 10 7 1 0.0
Matt Joyce RF .359 .361 .321 .330 10 7 1 0.1
Kelly Shoppach C .308 .296 .311 .329 3 2 0 0.0
Dan Johnson 1B .341 .337 .350 .347 5 3 1 0.0
Desmond Jennings CF .292 .267 .316 .311 1 1 0 0.1

Pitcher Role 2010 RA 2010 FIP Proj RA Proj FIP IP R
David Price SP1 3.06 3.44 4.01 4.15 14 6.2
James Shields SP2 5.67 4.26 4.73 4.15 6 3.2
Matt Garza SP3 4.13 4.43 4.23 4.41 6 2.8
Wade Davis SP4 4.19 4.83 5.06 4.84 6 3.4
Rafael Soriano CL 2.05 2.79 3.09 3.21 3 1.0
Grant Balfour SU 2.60 2.75 3.45 3.30 3 1.2
Joaquin Benoit MR 1.52 2.52 3.73 3.68 3 1.2
Dan Wheeler MR 3.75 4.19 4.24 4.41 1 0.5
Randy Choate MR 4.67 3.50 4.50 3.93 2 1.0
Jeff Niemann MR 4.47 4.66 4.83 4.70 1 0.5

David Price is probably better than that projection, but we won’t know that for a while.  Although James Shields had an ugly season, a lot of that had to do with a pretty high BABIP. I’m still surprised he’s starting Game 2 though.

So you’ve got:

Team Offense Defense Pitching Pythagenpat p162
Rangers 24.1 0.2 20.8 .568 92
VS
Rays 24.5 1.7 21.0 .613 99

And 10,000 simulations of that series says:

Rays: 53.9%
Rangers: 46.1%

--Posted at 12:44 pm by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yankees.com: Yankees clinging to AL East lead after loss

NEW YORK—CC Sabathia was chased in a seven-run sixth inning as the Rays defeated the Yankees, 10-3, on Thursday at Yankee Stadium, reducing New York’s advantage in the American League East to a half-game.

Congratulations to the Rays and their fans on winning the AL East.

On the plus side, at least now we won’t have to hear and read the bleating and whining about CC Sabathia winning an ‘undeserved’ Cy Young.

--Posted at 9:41 pm by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)



The Implications of Tonight’s Game with Tampa Bay

The Yankees and Rays will face off for the last time in the regular season later tonight (weather permitting).  The Yankees still hold a 1.5 game lead on the Rays, but a loss tonight would tie the two in the loss column.

At this point, it’s a virtual certainty both teams are going to the postseason.  So the question is which team is going to end up taking the division since it means home field advantage and a possible seeding advantage.

The Rays lead the season series 9-8, so the best the Yankees can do is tie it by winning tonight.  Why does that matter?  Because it’s the first tie-breaker when two teams from the same division end the year qualifying for the postseason with the same record.

So if the Yankees don’t win tonight, the Rays will win the AL East if the Yankees and Rays end the season with the same record.

How about if the Yankees do win tonight, by some miracle? In that instance, the season series is tied which means they have to move onto the second tie-breaker.  Here’s how Major League Rule 33 and Major League rule 34 describe that.

The Club with the higher winning percentage in head-to-head competition between the two tied Clubs during the championship season; or

If the Clubs remain tied, then to the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in intradivision games during the championship season; or

If the Clubs remain tied, then to the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games during the championship season; or

If the Clubs remain tied, then to the tied Club with the higher winning percentage in the last half plus one of intraleague games during the championship season, provided that such additional game was not a game between the two tied Clubs. This process will be followed game-by-game until the tie is broken.

The Rays have three intradivisional games left after tonight, at home hosting the Orioles.  They currently have a record of 40-28 against the rest of the AL East.

The yankees have nine intradivisional games left after tonight, three at home vs. Boston and then six on the road against Toronto and Boston.  They are currently 35-27 against the rest of the AL East.

If the Rays lose all the rest of their AL East games starting tonight, they end with an intradivision record of 40-32.  So the Yankees would only have to take four of nine from Toronto/Boston to tie that.  However, the more likely scenario is Tampa Bay picking up two wins against Baltimore which means the Yankees would have to go 6-3 against Toronto/Boston to match them.

My Monte Carlo simulator currently puts the AL East odds at:
Yankees: 64.8%
Rays: 35.1%

That is high for the Yankees because my simulator awards ties a share of the division, so if the Yankees and Rays finish the year with the same record they each get 0.5 of the division title.  Someday I’ll fix that, but for now just mentally adjust that in your head.

If the Yankees win tonight (haha), the odds go to:
Yankees: 75.9%
Rays: 23.1%

And when the Yankees lose tonight, the odds go to:
Rays: 54.0%
Yankees: 46.0%

Again, mentally adjust those to account for the tie-breakers.

That’s a pretty big swing on one game, huh?

It almost seems to me like the Yankees have to win this game if they want the division, but at this point it’s not worth going above and beyond for it.  If it happens, great.  If not, take your chances on the road to start the postseason.

--Posted at 10:11 am by SG / 42 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yankees.com: Pinch of Posada helps Yanks retake first

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jorge Posada connected for a pinch-hit home run leading off the 10th inning Tuesday, putting the Yankees back in first place in the American League East with an 8-7 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Mariano Rivera shut the Rays down for a save in the 10th -- aided by Greg Golson's game-ending throw to nail Carl Crawford at third base trying to advance on a fly ball to right field.

Golson's "pew pew" laser throw was pretty nice.

Since the start of the Orioles series on September 6th, the Yankees have appeared offensively challenged, particularly with RISP.

PABBKHHRAVGOBPSLGBAbipwOBA
9/6 - 9/14 without RISP2372351515.239.316.352.293.306
9/6 - 9/14 w/ RISP881114130.186.306.257.224.272


As you can see, the Yankees have stunk it up w/ RISP in the past couple weeks, although perhaps a bit unlucky with balls in play. However, they haven't looked much better batting without RISP. Obviously, this is a pretty small sample size, but it's been frustrating to watch nonetheless, especially against playoff bound teams like the Rangers and Rays.

--Posted at 10:31 pm by Jonathan / 30 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 13, 2010

The Implications of This Series With Tampa Bay

Postseason odds as of this morning (September 13)
Yankees: 97.5 wins, 49.0% Division, 48.5% wild card
Rays: 97.6 wins, 51.0% Division, 47.3% wild card
Red Sox: 89.9 wins, 0.0% division, 3.6% wild card

At this point if both teams played to expectations going forward, the Rays are slight favorites.  Boston’s not technically at 0.0% but with rounding that’s where they are right now.

Postseason odds if Tampa sweeps the next three games
Yankees: 96.1 wins, 23.5% Division, 70.4% wild card
Rays: 98.8 wins, 76.2% Division, 23.4% wild card
Red Sox: 89.7 wins, 0.3% Division, 5.4% wild card

If this scenario unfolds, not only do the Yankees’ chances for winning the AL East plummett, their overall odds of making the postseason also drop and it puts the division back in play for Boston although their chances are still microscopic.  So this shouldn’t happen because we’ve suffered long enough.

Postseason odds if Tampa takes two of the next three games
Yankees: 97.1 wins, 39.3% Division, 57.0% wild card
Rays: 97.9 wins, 60.5% Division, 39.3% wild card
Red Sox: 89.7 wins, 0.2% Division, 3.4% wild card

Probably the most likely outcome here, and one that should still keep the division in play for the Yanks, albeit with a slightly reduced probability.

Postseason odds if the Yankees take two of the next three games
Yankees: 98.1 wins, 62.5% Division, 35.8% wild card
Rays: 96.9 wins, 37.4% Division, 60.2% wild card
Red Sox: 89.7 wins, 0.1% Division, 3.4% wild card

Yeah, like that’ll happen…

Postseason odds if the Yankees sweep
Yankees: 99.2 wins, 81.4% division, 17.6% wild card
Rays: 96.0 wins, 18.6% division, 77.7% wild card
Red Sox: 89.7 wins, 0.1% division, 3.5% wild card

You can stop laughing now.

I realize that the advent of the wild card makes a lot of people care less about the division, but I still think winning the division is important.  It’s a validation of the entire organization over the marathon of 162 games.  Granted, there’s some good fortune generally needed to win it, but it’s certainly less than is needed to win a postseason series.

I also think that getting home field advantage is important.  While I believe it’s true that the majority of postseason series do not go the distance, that doesn’t necessarily reduce home field advantage to only being important if the series goes the full five or seven games.  I think part of the importance of home field advantage is the fact that you get to start the first two games of any series at home, where you are more likely to win each game. 

I don’t know if we can tease out the impact of that in any postseason series so consider it a theory with no empirical data to back it up though.

I never really cared about the 40 man roster being available to teams in September, but after watching Texas run 50 lefties out of their bullpen every night, I wonder if having seven games in September against your primary divisional rival is fair.  The Rays probably have the best farm system in MLB, and have now augmented their bullpen and bench with some of those players.  Then again, the Yankees were able to bring up Greg Golson which is also an unfair advantage.

The fact that the Yankees and Rays have seven games left against each other probably limits the usefulness of an exercise like this though.  Frankly, whichever team wins more of those seven games probably wins the East.

--Posted at 10:03 am by SG / 37 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yankees.com: Bombers win close finale against White Sox

Marcus Thames hit his third homer of the series and Ivan Nova was stellar in his second big league start.

That pretty much sums it up.  The Yankee bullpen made things interesting in relief of Nova but pitched 3.1 scoreless innings and the Yanks held on for the 2-1 win and split their six game road trip against Toronto and the White Sox.

Thames has been a critical part for a team that’s gotten a lot of disappointing performances from some of their expected key players.  It’s not often that an NRI to spring training ends up being a key contributor all season, but that’s exactly what Thames has been.  Just keep him off the field…

Nova looked better today than he did in his first start IMO.  The velocity was still impressive, but he seemed to have better command of his curve this time and threw it a bit more.

BrooksBaseball.net PitchFX Tool: Ivan Nova, 8/29/2010

 Pitch Type  Avg Speed  Max Speed  Avg H-Break  Avg V-Break  Count  Strikes / %   Swinging Strikes / % 
 FA (Fastball) 94.2   97.1  -4.34  8.01  63   44 / 69.84% 5 / 7.94%
 CH (Changeup) 87.3   87.3  -2.81  3.25  1   1 / 100.00% 0 / 0.00%
 CU (Curveball) 83.0   87.1  3.09  -4.32  24   13 / 54.17% 3 / 12.50%

Frankly, at this point I’d rather see Nova starting than anyone except CC or Hughes (at least until Pettitte comes back). 

Also of note, Joba Chamberlain hit 100 mph in the eighth inning (and 91 on his slider once). 
BrooksBaseball.net PitchFX Tool: Joba Chamberlain, 8/29/2010

 Pitch Type  Avg Speed  Max Speed  Avg H-Break  Avg V-Break  Count  Strikes / %   Swinging Strikes / % 
 FF (FourSeam Fastball) 98.1   99.6  -3.85  11.87  11   9 / 81.82% 0 / 0.00%
 SL (Slider) 88.6   91.3  2.01  2.02  11   7 / 63.64% 4 / 36.36%

Fast gun, or is his stuff all the way back?

 

By winning tonight, the Yankees guaranteed picking up a game on one of Tampa Bay or Boston tonight, unless they can’t get their game in for some reason.  I am holding my nose and rooting for Boston tonight.

--Posted at 4:38 pm by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sporting News: Pettitte rehab stalls; Yankees lefty still sore

Andy Pettitte’s return to the Yankees has been further delayed. The team said in a statement Tuesday that an MRI exam revealed the left-hander still has “a small persistent strain of the left groin.”

Pettitte reported problems Tuesday after throwing lightly during batting practice. The MRI was scheduled soon afterward.

It’s starting to look more and more likely that a Pettitte return would not happen before mid-September, if at all.  As far as what that means, let’s consider the worst case scenario, that Pettitte’s done for the season.
- With 43 games left in the season, we can probably assume each spot in the rotation will get 8-9 more turns.
- Dustin Moseley’s CAIRO projection is to have an RA of about 5.98 over the rest of the season compared to Pettitte’s projected rest of season 3.98.  Moseley’s RA may seem high, but the fact of the matter is, he’s never shown himself to be as good as he’s been so far for the Yankees and there’s still not enough data to assume he’s established a new talent level.
- Now obviously, since Moseley’s not as good as Pettitte, we should probably assume he would average something closer to five IP/start than Pettitte’s six IP/start.  We can give the ten inning difference to the bullpen.
- So you’re looking at something like 40 IP and 27 runs from Moseley and another 8 IP and 3.5 runs from the bullpen instead of 48 IP and 21 runs in the case of Pettitte

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.  The Yankees are also going to have to deal with:

Phil Hughes’s innings limit
I’m not sure Hughes’s innings limit is a big deal at this point.  It’s generally thought to be in the 175 inning range.  He’s thrown 134 innings and with 8 starts left, if the Yankees restrict him to 5 IP/start or skip him once he’ll be right there.  Of course, we know that if you skip a pitcher’s start it will more than double his ERA over the rest of the season.

Javier Vazquez’s complete collapse
Frankly, this is probably the biggest problem the Yankees faced heading into the stretch run.  I wouldn’t even try to project Vazquez at this point, because nothing he did in his career prior to this season tells us anything about him if he doesn’t regain his stuff.  Really, I don’t envision a scenario where he suddenly picks up 3 MPH on his fastball after it’s been missing for five months. The Yankees should probably not be favored to win any of the games that he starts, because he’s pretty much replacement level at this point.  With Pettitte gone, the Yankees don’t have the option to skip Vazquez a time or two to see if he’s really just dealing with dead arm, or to help him clear his head, or for whatever reason.  If they wanted to pull him from the rotation now, it’d mean starting Sergio Mitre and Moseley in 40% of the games left this season.  I’m thinking that’s not too exciting, but then again, is Vazquez and Moseley starting 40% of the games left this season any more exciting?

A.J. Burnett’s Jeckyl and Hyde routine.
I will project Burnett rest of the season.  He’ll have an RA between 0 and 1,000,000,000 and will average somewhere between 0 inning and 9 innings per start.

Time is still on the Yankees side, and we need to be cognizant of that fact, but right now, this may be the worst version of the 2010 Yankees we’ve seen so far this year.  Can the Yankees as currently constituted play as well as Tampa Bay is likely to play over the rest of the season?  Probably, but maybe not.  And while it’s true that Boston has to outplay them by six games with fewer than 45 games left just to tie them, it’s also true that they can match the Yankees in all non head-to-head matchups and then sweep them in the remaining six head-to-head games to do it.

Should we panic?  No. 

Should we be concerned?  I think so.

If the Yankees were a 96 win team at full strength heading into the season, how good are they now without Pettitte, with Kei Vazquez instead of Javy Vazquez and with several of their key offensive performers having disappointing years?

I think the safe answer is, worse. 

But they’re still pretty good, which we should probably try and remember.

--Posted at 9:30 am by SG / 61 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yankees.com: Yanks fall to Rays on Hughes’ one mistake

Derek Jeter led off with a single to center field, and Nick Swisher followed that up by slamming his 19th home run of the season to right field. Tampa Bay right-hander Wade Davis looked rattled, and it was hard to imagine the rookie would recover.

But after giving up three hits in the first inning, Davis dominated the next six. And the Rays took advantage of the lone mistake by Yankees starter Phil Hughes—Matt Joyce’s three-run homer in the sixth—to escape the matchup between baseball’s two best teams with a 3-2 win before a sellout crowd of 36,973 at Tropicana Field.

It’s hard to get that upset over this loss.  Hughes curveball looked excellent, and but for one bad pitch, the Yankees may have ended up the victor.  Sure, they didn’t hit a lick after the first inning, but Wade Davis looked pretty sharp.

Really, the worst part of the game was that a perfect two innings of relief from Joba were wasted in a loss.  Go figure.

In other news, it looks like the Yankees have added Austin Kearns in addition to Lance Berkman.

--Posted at 12:13 am by Jonathan / 8 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, July 18, 2010

NY Times: Pettitte Exits, but Yankees Beat Rays

Compared with the injury to the Yankees’ starting pitcher on Saturday, Sunday’s mishap was merely mundane. Unlike A. J. Burnett, who cut the palms of his hands when angrily slamming them into a clubhouse door Saturday, Andy Pettitte was merely throwing a pitch when he strained his left groin muscle Sunday.

But while Burnett’s injury probably will not force him to miss a start, Pettitte’s injury could force him onto the disabled list.

Why couldn’t Burnett have strained his groin and Pettitte cut his palms?

Pettitte’s been the Yankees’ best starter this year, so this hurts.  It sounds like he could miss up to five weeks, which is not cool.  As for who fills his spot, it’ll probably be Dustin Moseley or Sergio Mitre, neither of which excites me much.  Until we know how much time Pettitte’s likely to miss, it’s tough to really assess the impact.

Pettitte’s injury put a damper on a solid win.  The Yankees were down 3-0 after only ten pitches and with AL All Star Game starter David Price on the mound for Tampa Bay.  Luckily for us, the Yankees have Robinson Cano, who put them right back into the game with a two-out, two-run triple in the bottom of the first to cut the deficit to 3-2.  The beleaguered Yankee bullpen was able to finish the game after Pettitte left, allowing two runs over the last six innings while their teammates scored seven more.  I was happy to see Joe Girardi go right to David Robertson when Pettitte had to leave with two on and a 3-1 count on Kelly Shoppach.  At this point, Robertson is probably the best non-Mo reliever in the bullpen (I really don’t give a crap what Joba’s FIP is), and the game had the potential to get ugly right there.  I’ll also throw CHP a bone and thank him for a good inning.  That makes two good games in his Yankee career I think.

This is a series we have to be happy with, as the Yankees took two of three from their chief AL East rival and opened up a three game lead in the division.  In doing so while Boston lost three of four at home against Texas, the Yankees also have managed to pick up a seven game lead on the Red Sox in the loss column.  In order for Boston to catch the Yankees now, they have to be seven games better over less than half a season.  With eleventy billion aces, that’s certainly plausible, but it’s also somewhat unlikely.

--Posted at 7:57 pm by SG / 38 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yankees.com: Yanks win one for The Boss, Sheppard

Joe Girardi’s eyes were damp, and several of his Yankees stared into space as they stood clapping. Most everyone at the Stadium was on their feet, cheering, for about three minutes following a video tribute to George Steinbrenner, part of the emotional ceremony Friday night celebrating the famous owner before the Yanks’ first game since The Boss’ death on Tuesday.

Steinbrenner and The Voice - P.A. announcer Bob Sheppard, who died on Sunday - were both feted during a 20-minute tribute in which closer Mariano Rivera laid two long-stem roses on home plate to honor each Yankee icon and shortstop Derek Jeter called both men “shining stars in the Yankee universe.”

After honoring The Boss, the Yankees then honored Steinbrenner’s prime directive - to win - by rallying to beat the Rays, 5-4, in front of 47,524. Nick Swisher hit a game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning off Lance Cormier, knocking in Curtis Granderson from second base and bringing most everyone in the ballpark to their feet. “The agenda today was winning,” Swisher said. “On a day like this when we celebrate his life, we’ve gotta take him out with a ‘W.’... It was Mr. Steinbrenner’s day.”

A fitting ending to an emotional game for the Yankees.

--Posted at 1:51 am by Jonathan / 19 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monte Carlo Wins and Postseason Odds Report Through Games of July 7, 2010

I just realized I haven’t run my Monte Carlo simulations for wins and postseason odds since May 25, so here’s an update through yesterday’s games.

When these were last run, the Yankees were on pace for around 97 wins and they had about a 70.2% chance at making the postseason.  Their probability of taking the AL East was around 33.5%, trailing Tampa Bay who were at 51.9%.  Boston was at around 36.4% for making the postseason and 14.1% to take the AL East.

For the going forward projections, I’m using 60% 2010 Pythagenpat and 40% 2010 pre-season projections.  Team performance over the rest of the season then gets added to actual 2010 W/L to estimate each team’s projected final win total and postseason odds.

Team pW opW pW+/-
Padres 91.6 75.9 15.7
Mets 88.4 76.1 12.3
Blue Jays 76.3 65.1 11.2
Reds 91.0 80.6 10.4
Rangers 94.3 84.4 9.9
Tigers 85.1 77.9 7.2
Rays 98.3 91.2 7.1
White Sox 85.3 79.8 5.5
Braves 93.4 88.3 5.1
Twins 88.0 83.1 4.9
Yankees 100.5 96.1 4.4
Angels 82.3 78.0 4.3
Giants 85.2 81.1 4.1
Rockies 87.5 83.8 3.7
Royals 74.3 71.5 2.8
Red Sox 92.9 92.9 0.0
Marlins 79.9 80.0 -0.1
Dodgers 86.2 86.3 -0.1
Cardinals 90.3 90.6 -0.3
Athletics 77.3 79.2 -1.9
Nationals 72.6 74.8 -2.2
Phillies 86.3 89.7 -3.4
Astros 64.5 68.8 -4.3
Brewers 74.4 81.6 -7.2
Cubs 74.5 83.1 -8.6
Indians 67.0 79.9 -12.9
Mariners 67.9 81.4 -13.5
Pirates 57.2 72.3 -15.1
Diamondbacks 65.0 82.2 -17.2
Orioles 52.6 74.6 -22.0

pW: Updated projected wins as of July 7
opW: Original pre-season projected wins
pW+/-:pW - opW

This table shows how many wins every team is now projected to end the season with, sorted in descending order of improvement compared to the preseason.

Break up the Padres! 
I think I like these probabilities better than the last ones.

Team ppo% opo% po%+/-
Rangers 86.3% 38.9% 47.4%
Padres 57.6% 13.2% 44.4%
Reds 62.5% 21.3% 41.2%
Rays 75.4% 46.1% 29.3%
Braves 68.3% 42.9% 25.4%
Mets 37.5% 13.0% 24.5%
Yankees 83.0% 63.0% 20.0%
Twins 44.6% 34.8% 9.8%
Tigers 25.9% 19.9% 6.0%
Cardinals 56.3% 50.9% 5.4%
White Sox 29.3% 24.8% 4.5%
Rockies 31.9% 30.3% 1.6%
Blue Jays 0.6% 1.9% -1.3%
Giants 21.8% 23.3% -1.5%
Astros 0.0% 4.4% -4.4%
Royals 2.6% 9.3% -6.7%
Pirates 0.0% 7.6% -7.6%
Orioles 0.0% 8.3% -8.3%
Angels 12.2% 21.6% -9.4%
Dodgers 28.0% 38.5% -10.5%
Nationals 0.6% 11.1% -10.5%
Marlins 6.1% 19.3% -13.2%
Red Sox 37.0% 53.0% -16.0%
Athletics 2.7% 23.8% -21.1%
Phillies 26.3% 48.0% -21.7%
Brewers 1.4% 23.5% -22.1%
Indians 0.2% 25.4% -25.2%
Cubs 1.8% 27.2% -25.5%
Diamondbacks 0.1% 25.6% -25.6%
Mariners 0.2% 29.4% -29.2%

ppo%: Re-projected probability of making playoffs
opo%: Original projected probability of making the playoffs
po%+/-:ppo% - opo% (increase or decrease in playoff probability)

This table compares every team’s current probability of making the postseason with their pre-season projections, sorted in descending order of increase in probability.

Hard to believe that a team as awful as the Yankees are now at 83.0% to make the postseason, but that’s almost certainly due to me rigging these numbers to make the Yankees look better than they are.

FWIW, revised AL East odds are now:
WOE: 51.5%
Rays: 36.4%
16 Aces + best defense evah: 12.0%

--Posted at 2:02 pm by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)




Monday, June 28, 2010

Inter-league Play’s Impact on the AL East Race

I don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned my thoughts on interleague play, but I’ll just say I’m not a fan and leave it at that.

Most of the reasons I hate it are aesthetic, but one of the chief issues I have with with it is that it can create a slightly different playing field for teams that are competing for the same thing.  I don’t think that impact is huge, but it doesn’t have to be huge to make a difference.

So I figured with the exhibitions games over, I’d see how the interleague play schedule and results may have impacted the AL East.  With all due respect to Toronto, I don’t think they’re going to be in the mix all year so I’m just looking at the big three.

So what I did was calculate the log5 win expectations for each team’s interleague schedule.  I’m using 2010 Pythagenpat records with a .04 home field advantage.  This is then compared to the actual wins for each team, and here’s how it looks.

 Boston  xW aW  Yankees  xW  aW  Tampa Bay  xW aW
 @PHI .48  0   @NYM .51  1  @HOU  .73  0 
 @PHI .48  1   @NYM .51  0  @HOU  .73  1 
 @PHI .48  1   @NYM .51  0  @HOU  .73  1 
 PHI .54  1   HOU .83  1  FLA  .58  0 
 PHI .54  1   HOU .83  1  FLA  .58  1 
 PHI .54  0   HOU .83  1  FLA  .58  0 
 ARI .70  1   PHI .58  1  @ATL  .47  1 
 ARI .70  1   PHI .58  0  @ATL  .47  0 
 ARI .70  1   PHI .58  0  @ATL  .47  0 
 LAD .60  1   NYM .57  0  @FLA  .52  0 
 LAD .60  1   NYM .57  1  @FLA  .52  1 
 LAD .60  1   NYM .57  1  @FLA  .52  0 
 @COL .49  0   @ARI .68  0  SDP  .50  0 
 @COL .49  0   @ARI .68  1  SDP  .50  0 
 @COL .49  1   @ARI .68  1  SDP  .50  1 
 @SFG .47  0   @LAD .58  1  ARI  .70  0 
 @SFG .47  1   @LAD .58  0  ARI  .70  1 
 @SFG .47  1   @LAD .58  1  ARI  .70  0 
 Total 9.5  13    8.9  11   8.9  7 
 Diff  3.5     2.1    -1.9 

xW: Expected wins using Bill James’s log5 methodology
aW: Actual wins
Diff: aW - xW

Now, I haven’t adjusted this for pitching matchups and I have not incorporated any projection data, so there’s probably some margin of error in here.

As you can see here, Boston’s benefitted the most from interleague play, but the Yankees also did better than expected.  Tampa Bay is the team that was hurt the most.

--Posted at 9:19 am by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, June 26, 2010

Regression Can Be Cruel

Coming into 2010, the Tampa Bay Rays projected to be right near the top of the AL East, bunched together with Boston and the Yankees in various orders depending on the projection system, somewhere in the 93-96 win range.  They roared out of the gate by winning 32 of their first 44 games and built up a 6 game lead in the division. 

Through May 23 and those first 44 games, they’d scored 240 runs and allowed 138, a pace equivalent to full season totals of 884 runs scored and 508 runs allowed.  As impressive as their .727 winning percentage was(a pace equivalent to 118 wins over a full season),  their Pythagenpat winning percentage was even better at .736.

The Rays are a good team, but no one’s THAT good. 

Since then, the Rays have scored 130 runs and allowed 141, a pace equivalent to 752 runs scored and 816 runs allowed.  They’ve gone 11-18 (a .379 winning percentage) although their Pythagenpat winning percentage is .470. 

In total on the season, they’ve scored 370 runs and allowed 279, a pace of 812 runs scored and 619 runs allowed.  Their 43-30 current record (.589 winning percentage) is about three wins worse than their 46-27 Pythagenpat (.629 winning percentage) record.

The offense has been a bit worse over the last 29 games.  After putting up a team wOBA of around .334 through their 32-12 start, they’ve hit for a wOBA of about .324.  That hasn’t really been their problem.

The real problem is their pitching.  Their pitching staff had an RA of 3.09, ERA of 2.87 and a FIP of 3.85 over the first 44 games, and since then they have an RA of 4.96, ERA of 4.57 and FIP of 4.65.  The defense hasn’t been an issue, at least according to zone rating, as they’ve consistently been above average all year.

The Rays are on about a 95 win pace now, which I’d probably estimate is about where they should be.  So I wouldn’t expect them to continue to slump as they have.

I’m not sure if I’d rather see the Rays or Red Sox make the postseason this year.  I can see the case for wanting to face both and wanting to avoid both if by some miracle WOE and the worst bullpen ever sneak in.

--Posted at 11:42 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yankees.com: Posada out three to four weeks

NEW YORK—An MRI on Jorge Posada’s ailing right foot revealed a hairline fracture on the bottom of the foot that will sideline the catcher for three to four weeks.

“Something was wrong, because I couldn’t walk right,” Posada said while sporting a boot on his right foot after the Yanks’ 10-6 loss to the Rays on Wednesday. “I’ve never had a problem with my feet before. This is something where you have to transfer your weight from one side to the other. This is something we have to take care of. I can’t really do too much.”

I disagree with Posada that he’s never had a problem with his feet before, but that’s a different issue.

In other news, the Tampa Bay Rays have clinched the 2010 World Series title.  Congratulations to the team and their fans.

--Posted at 9:14 am by Jonathan / 53 Comments | - (0)




Friday, April 30, 2010

Monte Carlo Wins and Postseason Odds Report through Games of April 29, 2010

It’s been a week since I last ran these, so here’s an updated look at the estimated wins and playoff probabilities.

Team pW opW pW+/- gain/loss
Rays 98.7 91.2 7.5 0.7
Mets 81.0 76.1 4.9 3.8
Padres 80.3 75.9 4.4 2.2
Cardinals 94.5 90.6 3.9 0.7
Twins 86.8 83.1 3.7 -0.8
Yankees 99.1 96.1 3.0 -1.1
Tigers 80.2 77.9 2.3 1.9
Giants 83.2 81.1 2.1 0.8
Athletics 81.3 79.2 2.1 -1.6
Nationals 76.6 74.8 1.8 1.5
Phillies 91.2 89.7 1.5 -2.7
Rockies 84.8 83.8 1.0 -0.5
Blue Jays 65.7 65.1 0.6 -1.6
Mariners 81.5 81.4 0.1 -1.0
Reds 80.4 80.6 -0.2 1.7
Diamondbacks 81.9 82.2 -0.3 3.0
Angels 77.5 78.0 -0.5 1.0
Cubs 82.0 83.1 -1.1 1.2
Rangers 83.2 84.4 -1.2 -0.6
Marlins 78.7 80.0 -1.3 -1.0
Indians 78.2 79.9 -1.7 -0.8
Pirates 70.1 72.3 -2.2 1.5
Brewers 79.2 81.6 -2.4 -5.5
Red Sox 90.4 92.9 -2.5 3.0
Astros 66.2 68.8 -2.6 1.0
White Sox 77.2 79.8 -2.6 2.5
Royals 68.3 71.5 -3.2 -1.7
Dodgers 81.6 86.3 -4.7 -3.9
Braves 83.4 88.3 -4.9 -4.1
Orioles 67.0 74.6 -7.6 0.4

pW: Re-projected wins
opW: Original projected wins
pW+/-:pW - opW
gain/loss change from prior run

I’ve added a new column which shows the change from the prior run.  So pW+/- shows the change from the pre-season projections, and gain/loss shows the change from the last time these were run.  Taking the Yankees as an example, they’re still three wins ahead of their originally projected win total, but their estimated win total dropped by about a win since the last time these were run.

The Rays are still the team that’s furthest ahead of where they were projected, but when we projected them coming into the season we assumed incorrectly that the league would not roll over for them.  I’m calling on Bud Selig for an investigation.  And break up the Mets, this week’s biggest gainers.

Looking at it in terms of playoff probabilities:

 Team  ppo% opo%  po%+/-  gain/loss
 Rays 70.6%  46.1%   24.5%  0.7% 
 Cardinals 68.6%   50.9%  17.7%  4.8% 
 Twins 46.8%  34.8%   12.0%  -2.4% 
 Phillies 56.8%   48.0%  8.8%  -6.0% 
 Yankees 71.8%  63.0%   8.8%  -4.8% 
 Mets 20.8%  13.0%   7.8%  8.7% 
 Padres 20.3%  13.2%   7.1%  5.9% 
 Giants 28.8%  23.3%   5.5%  3.3% 
 Athletics 28.0%   23.8%  4.2%  -4.1% 
 Rockies 34.0%  30.3%   3.7%  -1.4% 
 Tigers 23.2%  19.9%   3.3%  2.8% 
 Nationals 12.0%   11.1%  0.9%  1.8% 
 Diamondbacks 24.7%   25.6%  -0.9%  7.9% 
 Blue Jays 1.0%  1.9%   -0.9%  -0.5% 
 Mariners 28.0%   29.4%  -1.4%  -1.4% 
 Reds 19.3%  21.3%   -2.0%  4.2% 
 Astros 1.8%  4.4%   -2.6%  0.2% 
 Marlins 16.2%  19.3%   -3.1%  0.1% 
 Pirates 4.2%  7.6%   -3.4%  1.1% 
 Angels 17.9%  21.6%   -3.7%  1.0% 
 Cubs 23.5%  27.2%   -3.7%  3.8% 
 Rangers 34.8%  38.9%   -4.1%  1.5% 
 Royals 4.4%  9.3%   -4.9%  -2.0% 
 Brewers 16.8%  23.5%   -6.7%  -12.7% 
 Indians 18.2%  25.4%   -7.2%  -3.3% 
 Orioles 1.0%  8.3%   -7.3%  -0.2% 
 White Sox 15.9%   24.8%  -8.9%  4.4% 
 Dodgers 24.2%  38.5%   -14.3%  -10.5% 
 Red Sox 38.4%  53.0%   -14.6%  8.3% 
 Braves 27.9%  42.9%   -15.0%  -11.3% 

ppo%: Re-projected probability of making playoffs
opo%: Original projected probability of making the playoffs
po%+/-:ppo% - opo% (increase or decrease in playoff probability)
gain/loss change from prior run

I preferred the version of this chart that had Boston at the bottom.

The Yankees are still ahead of their pre-season projections, but lost some ground this week.  Here’s how the division races shape up at this point.

 Date  4/30/2010       
 Iterations  10000        
 American League         
 TM W  L RS  RA Div  WC
 Yankees 99.1  62.9   883  717  42.5%  29.4% 
 Rays 98.7  63.3   822  684  41.2%  29.4% 
 Red Sox 90.4  71.6   817  699  15.9%  22.5% 
 Blue Jays 67.0  95.0   746  819  0.2%  0.8% 
 Orioles 65.7  96.3   684  819  0.2%  0.8% 
 TM W  L RS  RA Div  WC
 Twins 86.8  75.2   827  804  44.3%  2.5% 
 Tigers 80.2  81.8   743  780  21.0%  2.2% 
 Indians 78.2  83.8   784  814  16.3%  2.0% 
 White Sox 77.2  84.8   739  773  14.4%  1.5% 
 Royals 68.3  93.7   719  826  4.0%  0.5% 
 TM W  L RS  RA Div  WC
 Rangers 83.2  78.8   781  754  32.6%  2.1% 
 Angels 81.5  80.5   717  703  25.4%  2.6% 
 Athletics 81.3  80.7   729  725  25.7%  2.4% 
 Mariners 77.5  84.5   756  788  16.4%  1.5% 
 National League         
 TM W  L RS  RA Div  WC
 Phillies 91.2  70.8   825  725  47.2%  9.6% 
 Marlins 83.4  78.6   760  709  19.7%  8.2% 
 Mets 81.0  81.0   772  788  14.4%  6.5% 
 Braves 78.7  83.3   752  773  10.8%  5.4% 
 Nationals 76.6  85.4   714  779  7.9%  4.2% 
 TM W  L RS  RA Div  WC
 Cardinals 94.5  67.5   751  668  59.8%  8.8% 
 Cubs 82.0  80.0   739  727  14.9%  8.6% 
 Brewers 80.4  81.6   728  743  11.8%  7.6% 
 Reds 79.2  82.8   765  769  10.0%  6.8% 
 Astros 70.1  91.9   683  799  2.5%  1.7% 
 Pirates 66.2  95.8   655  785  1.1%  0.6% 
 TM W  L RS  RA Div  WC
 Rockies 84.8  77.2   784  742  26.5%  7.5% 
 Padres 83.2  78.8   701  693  22.3%  6.5% 
 Giants 81.9  80.1   743  724  18.4%  6.4% 
 Dodgers 81.6  80.4   759  715  18.1%  6.1% 
 Diamondbacks 80.3   81.7  673  708  14.8%  5.5% 

W: Projected 2010 wins
L: Projected 2010 losses
RS: Projected 2010 runs scored
RA: Projected 2010 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage

At this point the Yanks and Rays are effectively in a dead heat.

--Posted at 7:43 am by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, April 18, 2010

What Does What’s Happened So Far in 2010 Tell Us? (Re-visited)

With another Yankee win and Red Sox loss in the books, I figured I’d run another set of Monte Carlo simulations using the same methodology as in this post.

Team pW opW pW+/-
Twins 87.4 83.1 4.3
Athletics 83.4 79.2 4.2
Rays 95.3 91.2 4.1
Giants 84.9 81.1 3.8
Phillies 93.1 89.7 3.4
Yankees 99.5 96.1 3.4
Cardinals 92.3 90.6 1.7
Blue Jays 66.3 65.1 1.2
Pirates 73.1 72.3 0.8
Tigers 78.6 77.9 0.7
Rockies 84.5 83.8 0.7
Braves 88.8 88.3 0.5
Marlins 80.5 80.0 0.5
Padres 76.3 75.9 0.4
Mets 76.1 76.1 0.0
Indians 79.5 79.9 -0.4
Mariners 80.9 81.4 -0.5
Dodgers 85.7 86.3 -0.6
Nationals 74.1 74.8 -0.7
Royals 70.8 71.5 -0.7
Cubs 82.3 83.1 -0.8
Rangers 83.5 84.4 -0.9
Diamondbacks 81.1 82.2 -1.1
Reds 78.7 80.6 -1.9
Angels 76.0 78.0 -2.0
Brewers 79.5 81.6 -2.1
White Sox 76.7 79.8 -3.1
Red Sox 88.8 92.9 -4.1
Astros 64.2 68.8 -4.6
Orioles 68.3 74.6 -6.3

pW: Re-projected wins
opW: Original projected wins
pW+/-:pW - opW

Team ppo% opo% po%+/-
Rays 60.4% 46.1% 14.3%
Twins 47.9% 34.8% 13.1%
Phillies 59.4% 48.0% 11.4%
Yankees 73.9% 63.0% 10.9%
Athletics 34.4% 23.8% 10.6%
Giants 32.5% 23.3% 9.2%
Cardinals 59.9% 50.9% 9.0%
Braves 44.1% 42.9% 1.2%
Rockies 31.2% 30.3% 0.9%
Tigers 20.1% 19.9% 0.2%
Pirates 7.5% 7.6% -0.1%
Blue Jays 1.6% 1.9% -0.3%
Marlins 18.6% 19.3% -0.7%
Padres 11.3% 13.2% -1.9%
Mariners 27.1% 29.4% -2.3%
Royals 7.0% 9.3% -2.3%
Cubs 24.5% 27.2% -2.7%
Mets 10.1% 13.0% -2.9%
Astros 1.4% 4.4% -3.0%
Dodgers 35.3% 38.5% -3.2%
Nationals 7.8% 11.1% -3.3%
Rangers 35.5% 38.9% -3.4%
Indians 21.8% 25.4% -3.6%
Diamondbacks 21.5% 25.6% -4.1%
Reds 16.5% 21.3% -4.8%
Brewers 18.3% 23.5% -5.2%
Orioles 2.3% 8.3% -6.0%
Angels 15.3% 21.6% -6.3%
White Sox 15.8% 24.8% -9.0%
Red Sox 36.9% 53.0% -16.1%

ppo%: Re-projected probability of making playoffs
opo%: Original projected probability of making the playoffs
po%+/-:ppo% - opo% (increase or decrease in playoff probability)

By winning two more games than they should have against Boston in Fenway, the Rays have jumped past the Twins as the team who’s improved their playoff probabilites the most.  Boston loses a few more percentage points, because they should have taken two of three from Tampa Bay at home, instead of losing all three.

Like the Rays, the Yankees picked up another few percentage points on their playoff chances as well.  We’ll have to see if they can sustain this pace with the dreaded West Coast trip coming up.  I’ll put up an updated log5 look at the West Coast swing later on Monday.

--Posted at 11:18 pm by SG / 77 Comments | - (0)



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