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  1. The Braves look like the Nationals stiffest competition in the NL East, and the gap there might be smaller than I’ve thought previously.

    (deadpans) You don’t say. Why, a respected baseball commentator told me not three weeks ago that the Pecota forecasts putting the Braves and Mets two wins apart were completely plausible, and that it was my problem if I didn’t see that!

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 11:38 am

  2. Any chance the Brewers’ SP ranking will be updated to include Lohse? Also, I stated this on that page, but Hiram Burgos and Tyler Thornburg are way ahead of Hellweg on the depth chart.

    Comment by SecondHandStore — March 27, 2013 @ 11:38 am

  3. Well, well, well…….it looks like those of us who thought the Braves were better than portrayed by the national media just might be right.

    Comment by JT Grace — March 27, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  4. Is someone patient enough to explain to poor old Candy how the [park adjusted] positional WAR estimates were further adjusted to get the ones in the table above?

    Comment by Candy LaChance — March 27, 2013 @ 11:43 am

  5. Adding Lohse in to the rotation and removing Hellweg from the depth chart in favor of Burgos adds a total of +1.7 WAR to the Brewers pitching staff, so you can push them up to 82 wins after that signing.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 27, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  6. My only comment would be is that all AL teams get a boost from their DH and the list isn’t really accurate in that sense when comparing AL to NL teams. Now i realize the Tigers would still top the nationals 92 to 88 wins but maybe for future reference you separate the teams by leagues? Just a suggestion.

    Comment by Teddy — March 27, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  7. I remember a certain writer claiming the Braves being only two wins better than the Mets was plausible. It’s an opinion yea, but an opinion that far off base threatens credibility.

    Comment by Shawn — March 27, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  8. [repost from yesterday and the final part of this series]

    MLB Cool Names ELITE EIGHT BRACKET

    PITCHERS
    (2) Hisanori Takahashi
    (3) Bruce Kastulo Chen

    (1) Sefat Farid Yu Darvish
    (4) Alberto Alburquerque

    HITTERS
    (2) Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton
    (3) Mariekson Julius “Didi” Gregorius

    (1) Jurickson Barthelomeus Profar
    (4) Covelli Loyce “Coco” Crisp

    So, who do you have winning it all?

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 27, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  9. I thought one of the posts stated that the replacement level team for this exercise would only come in around 38 or 39 wins, not the 41-42 the win estimates above suggest?

    Comment by Anonity — March 27, 2013 @ 11:50 am

  10. I believe this would be mitigated a bit if Pitcher hitting was factored into the NL teams SP WAR, correct? There would still be a bit of an issue when comparing a NL team to an AL team, but at least the AL teams weren’t getting a free boost from DH WAR

    Comment by This Guy — March 27, 2013 @ 11:52 am

  11. Second wild card spot in the NL could be competitive for a lot of teams. Should make for an interesting end of the season.

    Comment by Evan — March 27, 2013 @ 11:52 am

  12. It ended up being 41 once all the corrections were made.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 27, 2013 @ 11:52 am

  13. Think of it as a league adjustment. The AL has been better than the NL for a while now, so putting them side by side, the AL teams should come out ahead. The win totals for the NL teams will go up bit because they benefit from playing a weaker slate of teams, but as we noted, this imperfect system doesn’t account for scheduling issues. There are a lot of ways we could improve on these projections, but one of its big selling points is its simplicity.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 27, 2013 @ 11:55 am

  14. lol, is it me, or have Braves fans been PMSing a LOT lately?

    Comment by Eminor3rd — March 27, 2013 @ 11:57 am

  15. Yeah, I saw that – it was a glib response that ducked the question. And yet, even as a Braves fan I’m actually less bullish on this year’s team than are a lot of other fans. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying the Braves will be bad. I just wouldn’t be shocked by an 84-6 win season, considering the question marks surrounding the rotation (Hudson’s attrition, Medlen’s regression, Minor’s development, Teheran’s age, etc.) and the lack of position player depth.

    Comment by Adam — March 27, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

  16. Our team gets no respect!

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

  17. It might just be because we are sick and tired of every national media outlet constantly singing the praises of the Nationals while downplaying the Braves. All we are saying is that our team is pretty good too.

    By the way, the only “PMSing” fans I see are Giants fans. I have never seen such a whiny bunch. They have cried and moaned about almost every single ranking.

    Comment by JT Grace — March 27, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

  18. Well, I think anyone who answers most everything in a chat with a really high degree of professed certainty is going to have a number of embarrassing misses. Say what you like about ol’ Joe Morgan, but he mostly stayed out of that trap.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

  19. You must be a man of most phlegmatic disposition, not to be shocked by a season in which 72 games are rained out.

    I think the Braves have a lot of variability in both directions. But to say that a plausible central tendency is an 82-win season was, as you say, very glib.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  20. Looks good with the obvious caveat that pitching WAR based on FIP is completely flawed so it is going to shift the reality around quite a bit.

    Comment by Ender — March 27, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

  21. Hurray. All the braves fans have come out to cheer because they’ve found a result that supports their own opinions.

    Comment by Simon — March 27, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  22. Those poor, poor Pirates. I bet they go into the last day of the season with all 80 of their wins and a chance to break the streak, only to lose in extra innings.

    Comment by RMD — March 27, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  23. Kinda sad how analysis on this site has degraded to the point of simply adding up WARs and calling it a day.

    Comment by Manifunk — March 27, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

  24. Yeah, it’s really too bad that this is the only article Fangraphs is planning to publish this year.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

  25. When I saw the two names coming back to the Angels in the Vernon Wells trade, I thought of you.

    Comment by Philip Christy — March 27, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

  26. So The Jays, Yankees and Rays at 85 wins, and the Red Sox at 84. Could be a very interesting year in the AL East.

    Did these projections take into account all the Yankees injuries?

    Comment by Danny — March 27, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

  27. this will make it all the sweeter when the Giants sweep the Tigers again in the World Series and Scutaro takes home MVP honors!!

    Go team!!!

    Comment by mooks — March 27, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

  28. I will go out on a limb and say that WAR underestimates the Giants, Athletics, cardinals, Reds, and Nationals. There is no one obvious reason: some of these teams have good defense, others bad. Perhaps we should add WAR for the manager as strategist? Surely Bochy can squeeze wins out of situations that will elude other managers. I also find the relative gap between the Tigers and the rest hard to believe. Their defense is still poor.

    Comment by glib — March 27, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

  29. Giants fans are clearly the most whiny. That is an objective truth.

    But don’t sell yourself short, Braves fans.

    Comment by batpig — March 27, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

  30. Man, seeing them in a row like that makes those catcher numbers look insanely inflated.

    Comment by Charlotte — March 27, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  31. Cardinals also have a lot of injury risk. So whatever supposed strategic advantage they might have is probably negated.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — March 27, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  32. Maybe this year teams are much more closely bunched together in terms of talent than previously, but it is still surprising to me that only 2 teams in all of baseball are projected for 90 or more wins. Last year, 9 teams finished with 90 or more wins. And the highest projected team win total is 94 wins, whereas 6 teams last year had 94 or more wins. I guess the whole search for parity thing is finally paying off?

    Comment by phoenix2042 — March 27, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

  33. I’ve thought all along that the Tigers were the best team in the league. Incredible rotation (and rotation depth), solid bullpen, stacked offense including some of the game’s best players, and now their defense isn’t even bad except at SS (which is arguable if you believe how well Peralta grades out in UZR), 3B, and 1B.

    Comment by Timeghoul — March 27, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  34. Al Al!!

    Comment by Matt — March 27, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

  35. Projected win totals will always be more conservitave, as they don’t account for schedule differences, and luck. Based on the projections above it’s likely that there will be about 9 teams with 90 wins or more.

    Comment by twomorecuts — March 27, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

  36. Projections tend to assume teams are static for the year (as they should), so they do not account for things like mid-season trades, season-ending injuries, etc.

    Generally bad teams tend to trade players for prospects in the middle of the season, and the better teams get them, or the worse teams start playing young players more often, etc. That means the projection of the better teams improve, while the the teams out of the playoffs get worse. This accounts for the larger “real” disparity than projected disparity from worst to best.

    Comment by bill — March 27, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

  37. Defense is a key component in WAR…?

    Comment by Dave — March 27, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  38. There’s also plain luck–a team that wins, say, 98 games will almost always have beat the most reasonable projections that could have been crafted for them coming into the season.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

  39. As opposed to ordering the teams based on some other criteria and calling it a day?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 27, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

  40. Andrelton Simmons is GOD, OKAY!?

    Comment by Dan Ugglas Forearm — March 27, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

  41. I like the methodology. It will be interesting trying to figure out how it so badly missed on Baltimore’s win total. A markedly better team than the one the at started 2012 will lose 18 more games? I’m a bit skeptical. Perhaps, you forgot to add magic into the equation?

    Comment by Bill — March 27, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

  42. Maybe we just feel a little vindicated since everyone and their brother is grossly overrating the Nationals this year.

    As for Simmons, why has he become some sort of a joke around this site? He was just projected by ESPN as being the best overall defender in major league baseball this season. He may or may not be a good hitter this year but his glove is special.

    Comment by JUpton_MVP — March 27, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  43. How did you manage to read 84-86 wins as 84 wins and 6 losses?

    Comment by Baltar — March 27, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

  44. Not worth $11M by a long shot. And this should be Lohse’s best remaining year.

    Comment by Baltar — March 27, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

  45. They are probably insanely low, since framing is not taken into account. The catchers should get a portion of the pitchers’ WAR.

    Comment by Baltar — March 27, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

  46. I get so tired of people who have no understanding of projections.

    Comment by Baltar — March 27, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

  47. We were fine with the catcher ranking!

    Comment by pitnick — March 27, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

  48. For context, here are the exact quotes (from 2 different chats):

    Comment From nik: Do you agree with Jon Morosi and Jayson Werth that the Phillies may be the Nats biggest challenge?

    Dave Cameron: I think the Phillies and Braves are similar in overall talent level. Atlanta might be a bit better, but the gap isn’t huge. Anyone arguing that one team is clearly better than the other is wrong.

    12:02 Comment From Mike: How far apart are the Nats, Braves and Phillies?

    12:02 Dave Cameron: Big gap between Washington and the other two, small to non-existant gap between ATL and PHI.

    Comment by Cream — March 27, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

  49. “Magic” has a habit of not carrying over from one season to the next. Prepare to be disappointed when your team fails to win some one-run games this year.

    Comment by Baltar — March 27, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  50. The Yanks certainly have good pitching, but way too much of their roster is devoted to bad, old or spare part Blue Jays from the last 3 years. Juan Rivera, Ben Fransisco, Vernon Wells, Jayson Nix, Lyle Overbay… I hope the Yanks sign Corey Patterson!

    Comment by Radivel — March 27, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  51. Well, well, well…….it looks like those of us who thought (our team) were (whichever of better/worse fits in line with what i want to think) than portrayed by the national media just might be right.

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 27, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

  52. let me guess, you’re a giants fan?

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 27, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

  53. The defense forecasts were pretty conservative, and some of them were just bizarre (Zobrist is an above average SS? Brett Pill an above average LF? Etc.)

    Comment by pitnick — March 27, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  54. Joe Morgan rarely answered the questions. Hard to get trapped.

    Comment by AJT — March 27, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

  55. Solid bullpen? The Tigers bullpen is not good. They have a bunch of Valverde-clones who have trouble throwing strikes and not much depth. Also, yes, the Tigers defense is bad. When you mention 3/4 of the infield defense as bad, on a staff with multiple starters with groundball tendencies (Porcello and Fister, at least), that is an issue.

    Comment by Scott — March 27, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  56. Magic can carry over year to year if you sign the right witch doctors.

    Comment by Jaack — March 27, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

  57. ZIPS already adjusts individual player stats for league. I assume you used a different team replacement level for AL and NL teams in arriving at team wins, which should adjust for league also. Am I right about that, or did you use an average replacement level for calculating team wins?

    Comment by CJ in Austin Tx — March 27, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  58. What if you just sign Alexei Casilla and Danny Valencia instead?

    Comment by leoleo — March 27, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

  59. His answers were such B.S. The Braves and Nats are VERY close talent wise, just as the projections above show. To say that there is a “small to non-existant gap between ATL and PHI” is just unbelievably bad reporting. The ONLY areas where PHI is better than ATL is with the first 2 starting pitchers and 2B.

    Some writers just need to admit that they are biased against certain clubs. Last year Cameron predicted the Braves to finish 4th in the NL East. How did that work out?

    Comment by JUpton_MVP — March 27, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

  60. worthless exercise.

    Comment by Scooter McFinch — March 27, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  61. Don’t hate us because we won 2 of the last 3 World Series.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — March 27, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

  62. I’d be surprised if the Astros win 64 games.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — March 27, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

  63. A lot of people have raised issues with both the projections for the Rockies (lol too high) and the Giants (lol too low). I think part of the reason might be (compounding) park effects.

    Obvious Coors Field exists. The Rockies last year also put out one of the worst pitching staffs I have ever seen. I think the combination of those two factors might skew with park effects for both pitchers and hitters. Likely, the Rockies will regress somewhat and merely just be bad pitching wise. But the park-adjusted values will look better than they should because they are using last years data which might be an outlier due to a combination of park and talent.

    Same thing with the Giants. Last year, AT&T was by some measures the most pitcher-friendly park season in decades. In reality, it was likely the combination of a talented pitching staff, good defense and an already pitcher friendly park. Giants pitching is probably then undervalued if we use last years park effects.

    Comment by dustygator — March 27, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

  64. Because that’s not how number ranges are presented in any system of writing that I’m aware of? Regardless of the total number of digits in the numbers you’re ranging, you always reproduce at least two digits in the terminal range. Thus, 84–86, correct, 84-6 = 72 missing games.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  65. “Some writers just need to admit that they are biased against certain clubs”

    Well at least that is a totally unbiased perspective brought to us by the ultra-objective “JUpton_MVP”. No fan bias there whatsoever!

    Comment by Jason B — March 27, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  66. Kettlebell Seesaw Press.

    Comment by leoleo — March 27, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

  67. We don’t, we hate you because of “WAAAAHH! Our guy should be ranked 8th and he’s 13th! Clearly this site has an unwavering bias and deep-rooted hatred of all things San Francisco! I am outraged and indignant!”

    Unbunch those panties and wipe the spittle from the corners of your mouth; the sun will almost surely rise tomorrow with the Giants still our reigning world champions…

    Comment by Jason B — March 27, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  68. Wrong quote, bro. From the 2/20/13 chat:

    Comment From Anon21
    re: Pecota standings projections (for the NL East, since those are the only ones I’ve looked at). When your system spits out projections that look implausible (Braves win 82 games, Mets win 80), should you try to correct what went “wrong” (relative to consensus), or is that antithetical to forecasting?

    Dave Cameron: If you think ATL winning 82 games or NYM winning 80 is implausible, then the problem is likely more with your perception than with the system.

    And yet! Here we are, and it still is looking completely implausible without multiple serious injuries to Braves players. That’s what I’m riding Dave about.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

  69. “Maybe we just feel a little vindicated since everyone and their brother is grossly overrating the Nationals this year.”

    I wouldn’t feel too vindicated until the season is…you know…actually played. These rankings ultimately mean zero.

    If the season works out as you hope, then feel free to strut about and trumpet your team’s unabashed awesomeness to your heart’s content.

    Comment by Jason B — March 27, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

  70. Eh. Vindication comes after the season, not when Fangraphs releases their WAR rankings. But it will come, brother.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

  71. Aggregate team height was also considered; we all know those Lilliputian Astros can’t possibly compete with the towering Rangers.

    Comment by Jason B — March 27, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

  72. How many wins do you want catchers to be credited for for pitch framing?! Lawd.

    Comment by Jason B — March 27, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

  73. Those aren’t the quotes he was talking about.

    Anon21 –
    “re: Pecota standings projections (for the NL East, since those are the only ones I’ve looked at). When your system spits out projections that look implausible (Braves win 82 games, Mets win 80), should you try to correct what went “wrong” (relative to consensus), or is that antithetical to forecasting?”

    Dave –
    “If you think ATL winning 82 games or NYM winning 80 is implausible, then the problem is likely more with your perception than with the system.”

    Now implausible might not have been the right word to use, but those projections clearly deserved some scrutiny when compared to other projection systems and the “smell test.” Dave saying the issue was with the guy asking the question and not system seems unnecessarily snarky when you consider the guy had a point.

    Comment by Alex — March 27, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

  74. Are they using last year’s park effects? I thought it was rolling three-year average or something like that.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

  75. Beat me to it…his answer is pretty hilarious in light of the fact that these projections set the difference as 14 wins, compared to just 2 for Pecota, but then again I stopped paying attention to Pecota after the whole Matt Weiters debacle.

    Comment by Alex — March 27, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

  76. Yeah it seems like the forecasts would tend to underrate good defensive teams and overrate bad ones, but that is just a gut feeling based on the always reliable eyeball test.

    Comment by Alex — March 27, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  77. Dude. I wish I could play shortstop like Andrelton Simmons.

    Comment by God — March 27, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

  78. Jason, I created this name as a joke since Cameron said that he voted for Bryce Harper as his pre-season MVP favorite. As fans, most of us are at least a little biased. Writers for national websites are supposed to be impartial. However, Cameron has shown over a period of time now that he simply cannot be impartial when discussing the Braves. From predicting them to finish in 4th in their division last season (an eventual 94 game winner) to continually making fun of one of the most exciting young shortstops in baseball (and now even his acolytes are even making fun of Simmons). And now he is saying that the Phillies and Braves are close talent-wise but the Nats are far ahead of them. Whaaaaat???????

    Again, I didn’t come to this conclusion lightly. All of the other writers on this site seem pretty impartial so it’s not like I think that about every writer here.

    Comment by JUpton_MVP — March 27, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

  79. The vindication comes from a computer projection showing that the Nationals and Braves are truly close to one another talent wise….and not miles and miles apart as some national analysts seem to think.

    However, the FINAL vindication will come when the Braves win the World Series this year.

    Comment by JUpton_MVP — March 27, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  80. This offseason it’s seemed like dogma on FG that the Giants are superior to the Dodgers. I realize 2 wins isn’t much, but the fact that even the Dbacks are ahead of the Giants kinda makes me wonder how this narrative was formed? Simply the WS? Are the Dodgers just not as SABR-sexy as the Giants? Does all their spending get annoying? Or have the writers in trying to temper the expectations (rightly, in my opinion) in the MSM, overstated it?

    Seems like it could be a heck of a race out west.

    Comment by Beasy Bee — March 27, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

  81. you were an integral piece of the team, hurtlockertwo?

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 27, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

  82. They’re actually using 2004 park effects just to screw with everybody

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 27, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  83. I thought it would be interesting to think of these rankings in terms of betting. So I compared the projected win totals here with the betting lines for each team. Most of the fangraphs rankings and betting lines are within 1 or 2 wins, which is expected. A few other teams – like the Jays, Giants and Nationals – the punters like better than fangraphs, by 4 wins. I was interested in the teams with the biggest gap in expected performance. Here are the 5 teams with the largest gap in expected wins. I put the betting line first, fangraphs win total second.

    Rockies – 70.5 / 80
    Cubs – 72.5 / 78
    Reds – 91 / 86
    Marlins – 63 / 68
    Astros – 59.5 / 64

    I don’t really have any analysis. I do think that the Rockies projection is the only one that really sticks out as way off base. The fact that there is so much consistency between betting lines and these projections – except for the Rockies – is a red flag.

    I also think it would be interesting to compare these projections with the betting lines at the end of the season. I know Nate Silver’s model, for example, included betting lines in his recent presidential analysis.

    Comment by Bryan — March 27, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  84. In retrospect, you are right. I was looking for those quotes that could be potentially perceived as a slight against the Braves and stopped with those two. The Mets one was from a different chat.

    What’s interesting is that I agree with him on this statement. So if you assume that the probability is normally distributed, there is a decent chance of those outcomes.

    If you assume the Braves are a true 88 win team, their spread with +/- 1 std deviation would be 77-100. The Mets, as a 74 win team would be 63-85. This is with a std deviation of 11.5. This translates to a roughly 30% chance that the Mets would meet or exceed 80 wins 30. Similarly, the Braves would be expected to win 82 or fewer games 30% of the time.

    Again, this assumes a normal distribution with a standard deviation of 11.5 (which is the best guess I’ve found online).

    I don’t know about you all, but I would not consider an outcome with a 30% probability (Braves winning 80) to be implausible.

    Comment by Cream — March 27, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

  85. I understand your larger point, but he did say ‘or’. The likelihood of both of those happening does seem to be relatively implausible. The likelihood of at least one of them occurring would seem to be plausible.

    Comment by Cream — March 27, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

  86. Yeah Cameron has been down on the Braves all season. He implied he thought they were the sixth best team in the national league in some other chat and kept on avoiding the question when I’d ask him why he thought the dbacks were better

    Comment by Tim — March 27, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

  87. What’s implausible is forecasting that as your central tendency, as Pecota did. Sure, if Juan Francisco accidentally rips Kris Medlen’s right arm off and uses it as a bat, the Braves will end up winning fewer games. Likewise, if Bryce Harper hits 120 home runs, the Braves won’t place anywhere close to the Nationals.

    But you’re supposed to project based on the most likely outcome, and I maintain that any projection spitting out the Braves as most likely a .506 team, given their current roster, is producing implausible results.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  88. Good point, but in that case I think he was ducking the question that I posed, which was that the combination of those two projections was implausible. Maybe that didn’t come across clearly in the question; either way, I think Dave’s answer projected a dismissive attitude towards the Braves that was not warranted by the evidence.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

  89. Oh, I absolutely think that the PECOTA projections for the Braves and the Mets are nuts. I wish there was a way to bet against it, but unfortunately, no bookie is dumb enough.

    Comment by Cream — March 27, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

  90. the al east looks intense

    Comment by adohaj — March 27, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

  91. It could because it is 2013 and their logo is a screaming Native American. Doesn’ explain why everyone’s been so bullish on the Indians, though.

    Comment by Gandalf — March 27, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

  92. Dave, I just don’t buy the pessimistic 2.2 WAR for Mariners bullpen. They have too many quality arms there. If the Mariners struggle and they trade 3 of those guys for prospects by July then maybe we will be around 2.2 WAR. Otherwise I put them in the top 5 in baseball.

    Comment by Patrick — March 27, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

  93. So far as I’m aware, their logo is either a tomahawk or a stylized letter A. If you’re thinking of the awful spring training caps, those were never adopted and certainly aren’t the Braves’ “logo.”

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

  94. there’s really no reason to be pedantic here. whether or not the syntax fits with any formal system, its completely clear what he meant. Believe it or not, communicating clearly is more important than adhering to formal systems. Saying something like a 90-72 win season is even more awkward and strange anyway

    Comment by Joe — March 27, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

  95. I’m a Braves fan, and while Cameron may be underrating the team, the NL is close enough that it’s not insane to put the Reds, Giants, Dodgers, Cards, D’Backs, or even the Phillies ahead of the Braves. The difference is not as great as people are making it out to be. He has his opinion and there’s nothing crazy about it. It is crazy to assume he has a vendetta against the Braves, and that kind of talk is eerily reminiscent of what you would seem on ESPN’s comment pages.

    Also, for the record, I don’t think there’s any evidence that he picked the Braves to finish fourth last year. He had the Phillies and the Marlins in the playoffs (which was not uncommon), but he mentioned the Braves as one of the top five teams in the NL. (Also, 12 of the 20 writers didn’t have the Braves in the playoffs last year.)

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/fangraphs-staff-predicts-2012/

    Comment by mmanovich — March 27, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

  96. i thought i was a little more obvious than that

    Comment by mooks — March 27, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  97. It wasn’t completely clear to me what he meant; I thought he’d left a digit off the six on the way to stating a won-lost record. (Yes, I know now after checking that that wouldn’t add up, but people (like me) who can’t count also read comments here.) And I pretty obviously was not being pedantic, insofar as I responded with a joke.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 27, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

  98. *Raises hand* Braves fan here and while I am excited about the start of the season and how things could go for the Braves this year, I have to say the starting pitching to me is a bit of a concern. They aren’t horrible but I wouldn’t say they’re particularly great either.

    Comment by Jeff_H — March 27, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

  99. I’m downvoting this just because there’s some very different traps that Joe Morgan fell into, like being a national baseball analyst who would respond to questions (in June or even later) that he “hadn’t seen them play that much.”

    Comment by Bronnt — March 27, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

  100. Since pitchers in the NL hit nearly as often as DH’s, shouldn’t we include that in the projections? We can’t just assume all pitchers hit like Tommy Hanson.

    Comment by TomahawkChopper — March 27, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  101. I prefer Starlin Castro, myself.

    Comment by Zeus — March 27, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

  102. Betting sites like Intrade were a very small part of Silver’s formula and the site ended up shutting down anyhow. Surprise, surprise- the projection system that relied entirely upon the opinions of people with enough spare cash to gamble on election results was skewed in the plutocrat’s favor. Including Intrade was a bad idea for Silver’s projections and including betting lines in MLB win projections is just as bad.

    Comment by LHomonacionale — March 27, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  103. Why on earth would Cameron be biased against the Atlanta Braves? Does that make any sense at all? Come on.

    Comment by Dave — March 27, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

  104. Ah yes, the myth of AL superiority rears it’s ugly and insipid head once again.

    Comment by Dave's Camel Toe — March 27, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

  105. The NL had a higher OPS at every position except for CF than the AL. Nice job perpetuating the myth tho.

    Comment by Dave's Camel Toe — March 27, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

  106. I’m pretty sure pitchers would have negative WAR for the most part. (At least you’d hope so — a AAAA hitter better be a better hitter than a pitcher.)

    Comment by Simon — March 28, 2013 @ 12:37 am

  107. Sure enough, only 62 pitchers had posted positive hitting WAR last year. And the highest WAR for a pitcher was 1.0 (Mike Leake).

    Comment by Simon — March 28, 2013 @ 12:43 am

  108. Rusty Kuntz will win the 1st base coach title for sure.

    Comment by Simon — March 28, 2013 @ 12:46 am

  109. Hey! I’m Simon says!

    Comment by Simon — March 28, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  110. An issue here is dynamicity of Rosters.

    Projection systems project for the year, because that’s what fans care about, but with the general shake-up around the mid-season trade block it is ridiculous to think a projection system can legitimately predict with decent accuracy further than the AST.

    Comment by yep — March 28, 2013 @ 1:37 am

  111. Nonsense. He always picked some random team cited consistency as the main reason that they would do well. Then something about how their shortstop isn’t fit to lick the mud off Davey Concepcion’s shoes.

    Comment by The Party Bird — March 28, 2013 @ 2:00 am

  112. They’re bad at the corner infield positions, but Peralta is probably above average even if you strongly regress his UZR numbers for the last two seasons. Infante is fine too. With good defense up the middle and in the outfield, I don’t think defense is any worse than merely “the thing the Tigers are least good at.” (Ok, besides baserunning.)

    Comment by The Party Bird — March 28, 2013 @ 2:12 am

  113. Dave, i agree with this for the most part. The calculations put the worst teams at the bottom ,the better teams atop. With that said you even said cleveland has holes , i.e. nick swisher batting clean up, starting pitching obv. With that said in a weak division. I think the bull pen is under rated at one time working together pestano and perez were 36-1 last season.

    Comment by camfrommaine41 — March 28, 2013 @ 7:12 am

  114. Kazmir is 29, brett myers is a work horse dice k is two years removed from Tommy john surgery. Matt capps is a good bull pen option. The tribe hhas marwho has the abiltty to hit 40 hr

    Comment by camfrommaine41 — March 28, 2013 @ 7:24 am

  115. The NL having higher OPSs proves nothing. One, some of the most offensive parks (Coors, Chase, etc…) are in the NL, so you’d have to park adjust that. Two, the higher OPSs could indicate that that NL pitching is inferior to AL pitching. Three, you’re completely ignoring defense and baserunning.

    Comment by suicide squeeze — March 28, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  116. I really liked this series on team strengths and weaknesses based on ballpark factors and depth of position. Much better than the “blah, blah, blah” writers usually subject us too. They all seem to drone on about the same things over and over. As a fantasy player I’m not so interested in team strength but position strength. We all know that ballplayers are so prone to injury that these injuries that are bound to occur will certainly derail even the best of drafts or sucessful auctions. Good insight into depth and their projections. Thanks Mr. Cameron and I’m hopeful of more of the same in the future.

    Comment by JamesR — March 28, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  117. He was down on them last year too. I have never accused a writer of being biased but it is extremely obvious that Cameron is not impartial when it comes to the Braves. I have no idea why. On all other topics he is on point and an exceptional writer.

    Comment by JUpton_MVP — March 28, 2013 @ 9:13 am

  118. mmanovich, he predicted in one of his chats last year that the Braves would finish 4th in the NL East, ahead of only the Marlins.

    Again, I have NEVER accused a writer of being biased, and I didn’t make that accusation lightly. However, it is really, really obvious. If you have read every one of his chats for the last 2 – 3 years you would have noticed it too.

    Comment by JUpton_MVP — March 28, 2013 @ 9:22 am

  119. Why yes I was, I helped pay their fricking salary douchebag.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — March 28, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  120. Those sound like some very mediocre witch doctors.

    Comment by That Guy — March 28, 2013 @ 9:56 am

  121. mman, the theme here is we want to feel like Dave has an axe to grind against our beloved and awesome Braves! Now don’t bother bringing up evidence to the contrary, we plan on just ignoring and dismissing that! We’d rather hang our hats on a single comment in a single chat to show this massive bias and undeserved hatred! GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!

    Comment by Jason B — March 28, 2013 @ 10:55 am

  122. I think the Rockie’s SP just HAS to be overrated in these lists – every pitcher they’re stocked with is projected at least league average in WAR/IP and the only reason they aren’t in the top half of the majors is their innings limits. I guess it’s possible that limiting their innings gives them better performance (I’m enjoying the experiment as a non-fan of course).

    Comment by That Guy — March 28, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  123. My apologies for the lack of clarity. I meant a range of 84 to 86 wins. Obviously.

    Comment by Adam — March 28, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

  124. JUpton-I’ve read his chats over the last several years, and I’m just not buying it. Maybe he suggested we were fourth at one point and I forgot, but he didn’t have us there in his final prediction. He’s said very good things about Heyward, Medlen, and Chipper, and he’s praised the BJ Upton signing. The main slight is the Andrelton Simmons issue, and he’s mainly just saying that he wants more data before signing off on him as an elite defender. (Szymborski basically has said the same thing.) I can understand looking at what the scouts and people around the league say, in conjunction with how he looks to the eye, and concluding that he’s elite. But, seeing that this is a saber site, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Cameron being cautious and wanting more data. But basically what I’m saying is that Cameron slightly underrating the Braves, even if he does it for three straight years, is not enough evidence of a strong bias. He hasn’t claimed they’re a terrible teams…he just thinks more highly of the Cards or D’Backs or someone. I do understand that you’re not making this claim lightly, but I think you need a larger sample and more extreme data to draw that conclusion.

    Comment by mmanovich — March 28, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  125. While I agree that the Tigers are the most likely to end up with the best record, I think that is much different than saying they are the best team. I think if the 2012 stats were somehow weighted against opponents (which is hard I know), I think that the Angels and Rangers would come out ahead of them. Of course, to get back to WAR in 2013, you need to adjust for opponents again and you would get back to something really close to these standings.

    It’s so close. Everyone is the best team!

    Comment by Daniel — March 28, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

  126. Around this time last year someone asked him in a live talk what chance the nationals had, listing all the players who were coming back and he said that the fan was assuming that the luck would be all good in 2012 and not typical like it was in 2011.

    Nobody has a glass ball, I don’t think he was wrong to say those thing; just that a person who believes that he has a glass ball is more than a little silly.

    Comment by snack man — March 28, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

  127. Am I the only one who notices that if you add all of the numbers in the “Wins” column and divide by 30 you get exactly 81? Is this system that good? Or did they fudge the numbers to make that happen?

    Comment by Jeff — March 28, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

  128. Well sure, the odds are they’ll win some other number of games

    Comment by Ivan Grushenko — March 29, 2013 @ 3:36 am

  129. This seems like a valid point, but how different are the pitchers at hitting from one team to another? Is there a team that will gain 1 WAA+ by pitcher hitting?

    Comment by Ivan Grushenko — March 29, 2013 @ 3:38 am

  130. The projections show Atlanta getting 4 WAR from their catchers, I don’t think there’s any chance that happens with McCann’s health. And it looks like they’re going to lose Venters. So I think the ATL projection is a few wins too high.

    Comment by bleh — March 29, 2013 @ 8:48 am

  131. That a good question about the methodology. Player performance is based on the strength of the opponents faced, at least some what.

    While these ‘projections’ do not factor in the schedule, actual player performance already does, at least to some extent. Unless ZIPS / Steamer already consider strength of opponents in their projections…

    Comment by Erik — March 29, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

  132. I think these are my favourite set of predictions I have seen done by anyone,

    Comment by James — March 31, 2013 @ 2:47 am

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