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  1. I admit that I am also a Phillies fan and may be biased, but if you check the win values on the 25-man rosters going into next year, even with Lowe, the Mets will fall short of the Phillies. Without Lowe, the CHONE projections seemingly put the Phils about 8 wins better than the Mets, Bill James’ puts them about 4-5 wins better, Marcel about 5 wins, and Ron Shandler about 3-4 wins better. I’m guessing that even with the Mets grabbing Lowe, the Phillies would have about a 1-2 win advantage over the Mets, giving them probably a 55-60% chance of beating them over the course of 162 games. With Perez or Wolf, I’m guessing about a 65% chance of being better. And if you look at Florida, Atlanta, and Washington’s projections, none of them look to be .500 teams. It’s most likely a two horse race, with the Phillies more likely the winner.

    Comment by MattS — December 30, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  2. Have the Fightins given up on Lowe? A groundball pitcher would look great in front of Rollins, Utley, and Feliz. FIP be darned.

    The Mets should be much better next year with a bona fide bullpen, even if K-Rod is overrated.

    Comment by don — December 31, 2008 @ 12:54 am

  3. Just wondering where you heard the value of the contract on the table? Metsblog reports that it is 3/36. Which would be pretty good value according to your calculations. If it were 12 mil a year, the Mets would be paying less than market value every year.

    Comment by jskelly4 — December 31, 2008 @ 1:21 am

  4. Does anyone really believe that Randy Wolf is better than Oliver Perez right now? Those projections seem to me to be putting a it too much emphasis on FIP type stats without enough weight to actual performance.

    Over the last two seasons, Wolf has actually had ERA+ of 97 and 93, while Perez has been at 120 and 100. Yes, Perez has had the benefit of being an extreme flyball pitcher, in a reasonably neutral park with some great outfield defense behind him. Maybe he’s not as good as the raw numbers suggest. But he also has some plus stuff that probably contributes to keeping BABIP a bit on the low side.

    This is one where I’d guess Marcel ends up closer than Chone. It’s not a big difference, maybe, but I’d guess Olie for the Mets next year would again supply an ERA around 4.25, while Wolf I would expect more around 4.45.

    Comment by acerimusdux — December 31, 2008 @ 5:45 am

  5. The point is that ERA is much more prone to fluctuations due to factors like you mentioned as well as defense. The Mets had one of the top defenses last year and the year prior via several defensive metrics. This is why we speculated that Javy Vazquez would’ve looked great for the Mets.

    Perez’s controllable skills do not project as favorably as Wolf’s. Could Perez prove to be better than Wolf? Sure. But if you put Wolf’s controllable skills in front of the Mets defense, as opposed to the ones he played for recently, you might be surprised to see a very similar, if not better, pitcher.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — December 31, 2008 @ 11:44 am

  6. Matt, I’ll be running the official numbers later on these two teams and will let you know what I get. I would highly suggest using a few different systems as opposed to one to get the overall results, and I’m curious to know how the bullpens are evaluated in the projections you’ve seen. I cannot imagine that the Phillies are projected to be 8 wins better than the Mets. If we assume they sign Lowe, which they are on the verge of doing, their rotation projects to be +2.5 wins better than the Phillies.

    If the Mets bullpen has a +0.5 win advantage now, that means the Phillies lineup would have to be +11 wins better than the Mets for +8 wins to come to fruition. I can’t see that happening.

    These teams are much closer.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — December 31, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

  7. Oliver Perez’s controllable skills certainly do project as well as Wolf’s. His BB, SO, and HR rates don’t. But, those aren’t really the *only* controllable skills. They’re just the easiest to quantify.

    I’m not arguing against the value of FIP here, just that it isn’t always the *only* thing to look at. In this case, we also have one guy who is 32 years old next year, whose best years and stuff are likely behind him, and whose actual results haven’t been that good since 2003, and another guy who is only 27 next year, who was still averaging 91.2 mph on his fastball, and getting reasonable results.

    FIP certainly is generally more reliable than relying only on ERA. But best results will usually come from considering some combination of both, as well as external factors and observation. Most often, I think you would weight FIP more heavily. But I commented on this case mainly because I think it’s one of the exceptions. This is one where I think the monkey will beat the machine.

    Comment by acerimusdux — December 31, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

  8. eric, first off, big fan of your work and secondly, your analysis is usually right on the money (at least when i compare it to my own findings and conclusions)…and as a mets fan, i have no qualms saying it.

    right now i have the phillies 2 wins up on the mets heading into 2009. if it comes to be, my projections are for lowe to give the mets a 3 win bounce. so on paper, that means pretty much means the mets and phillies are just about even. this should, at the very least, be a very exciting season to look forward to for mets and phillies fans.

    Comment by AE — December 31, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  9. AE, thanks, glad to see Mets and Phillies fans CAN get along! I’m posting tonight my projections for each team. They slightly differ from yours, but just ever so slightly. I’m going to include Lowe in the mix for the Mets because I just don’t see him signing elsewhere. The tough part for the Mets is that their bench doesn’t seem to be complete. Tatis and Reed will be there, so will Castro. After that, I don’t see any infielders. I just see Marlon Anderson and Angel Pagan, and Nick Evans as well, all of whom are outfielders. Benches don’t generally add a ton of wins to a team so it is a miniscule differential, but after I post tonight, I’d be very curious to see how you arrived at your numbers, too.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — December 31, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  10. eric,

    i explain my (very simple) method poorly here:
    http://eightoclockthelightsareonatshea.blogspot.com/2008/12/im-completely-replaceableeven-though-i.html
    (please note, it’s not a sports blog, although sometimes i blog about sports sometimes.)

    anyway, i’ve updated my numbers quite a bit since then and will probably have a more in depth post up this weekend with numbers that i think are legit with legit playing time forecasts. i will post both my mets and phillies projections.

    i have the mets winning 86 games right now (without lowe) and the phillies winning 88. i’m curious to see your numbers as well…looking forward to your post.

    Comment by AE — December 31, 2008 @ 5:10 pm

  11. We have no bench yet (we’ve been linked to Alex Cora), but here are my projections for reference: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p0f4isoUgbTh93DuTmbcNIA

    Comment by Sam — December 31, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  12. Sam, our projections differ in a few areas. Not sure how you arrived at your numbers for several players or what systems you used, but I like to use several different systems and weight them based on past reliability and such. I also include Derek Lowe in my projections and have Schneider as the starter, not Castro.

    I also have Jeremy Reed and Fernando Tatis on the bench, as well as Castro. Benches don’t add a ton and it isn’t as if this would vastly shift the projections.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — December 31, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

  13. In both this and the comparison between the Mets and Phillies, there is one consideration missing. The theory that young pitchers who throw more than 30 innings over their career highs in a given season are likely to have injury/ineffectiveness problems the next season. Recent history is full of examples, but going into last season Kyle Kendrick, Tom Gorzelanny, Dustin McGowan, Fausto Carmona, Ubaldo Jimenez, Yovanny Gallardo and Brian Bannister all fit the prfile and all had the requisite struggles in one area or another. Going into 2009, Cole Hamels and Mike Pelfrey are both members of this group. I would expect both to see some trouble in 2009. We could go more deeply into this, but the evidence is there to support the theory quite well. This is one place where strict numbers are not enough to make a good projection as one needs to look at some context. In the case of both Pelfrey and Hamels the relevant context is 2008’s overuse.

    Comment by ScottD — January 2, 2009 @ 12:35 am

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