Picking the Top of the NL East

Two things were dumped on the DC area over the course of the weekend: an unfathomable volume of snow, and the news that Yoenis Cespedes was turning down the Nationals’ offer and returning to the Mets. In Washington, Cespedes would’ve replaced someone who’s already a decent center fielder. In New York, Cespedes will replace someone who’s already a decent center fielder. But now Juan Lagares is valuable depth, instead, and for either team, Cespedes represented some sort of improvement. So it was a damaging blow, effectively concluding what for the Nationals has been a frustrating offseason of almosts. The Mets, on the other hand, have reason to celebrate. They kept Cespedes, and on their own terms.

In a way it’s an extension of the Nationals’ narrative of disappointment. It’s also an extension of the Mets’ narrative of triumphant underdogging. There’s carryover from the last regular season, when the Nationals were one of the most disappointing winning teams in memory. That’s going to remain the most recent baseball until there’s even more recent baseball, but for the Nationals it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Spoiler alert: this is going to be another poll post. I’m going to ask you to pick the top of the NL East. I’ll offer my own pick, but I’ll put it down in the comments, so as to avoid any bias.

As we all learned literally just last season, it’s dangerous to make any assumptions before the year begins. How many of us were handing last year’s NL East title to Washington in February? There’s risk here, because you never really know what’s going to happen, but it’s with a high degree of confidence I predict the NL East winner will be either the Nationals or the Mets. The Phillies expect to be in a wonderful position, three years from now. The Braves have at least a handful of players other teams would recognize as being major-league players. The Marlins strike me as an in-between ballclub, although in fairness they could be something given sufficient health. Maybe the Marlins will mess this up, but I doubt it. I expect the division to play out in basically the same order.

So let’s talk about the top two. The easy position is that the Mets are the favorites, because they just stormed past the Nationals and made it to the World Series. They have Cespedes again, now, and they have all that young pitching, so you could say they have psychological momentum on their side. The Nationals know 2015 was a disaster, above-.500 record be damned, but even given all this, here’s one table of interest:

Mets Wins and Nationals Wins
Team 2015 Wins 2015 Pythag 2015 BaseRuns 2016 Steamer
Mets 90 89 90 86
Nationals 83 89 90 88

Last year, the Mets cleared the Nationals by seven games. They had basically identical run differentials, and they had basically identical performance differentials, overall. Now for the upcoming year, Steamer is even giving the Nationals a slight edge, and though ZiPS might slightly prefer the Mets, it seems like it’s close, based on the depth charts. I’m not trying to argue that the projections are right or wrong — they are what they are, as calculated. But the projections appear to agree that the 2016 NL East should be awful close. Trendlines make the brain want to believe otherwise. It’s up to the individual to figure out whether the Mets should be favored, or if that’s just recency bias.

For what it’s worth, the Nationals right now have slightly better World Series odds. So the suggestion the Nationals might keep up isn’t just coming out of the projection systems that FanGraphs bothers to host. The Mets feel like the team to beat. Yet feelings can misrepresent the reality of things.

Here’s a quick review of how the depth charts break down, mostly leaving out bench guys, prospects, and middle relievers. So you can try to compare the Mets and the Nationals side-by-side:

Mets and Nationals 2016 Rosters
Position Mets Nationals
C d’Arnaud Ramos
1B Duda Zimmerman
2B Walker Murphy
SS Cabrera Turner
3B Wright Rendon
LF Conforto Werth
CF Cespedes Revere
RF Granderson Harper
SP deGrom Scherzer
SP Harvey Strasburg
SP Syndergaard Gonzalez
SP Matz Roark
SP Colon Ross
RP Familia Papelbon
RP Reed Kelley
RP Bastardo Perez

The Nationals can’t quite keep up with the Mets’ number of would-be aces, and though this year could see the debut of Lucas Giolito, the Mets could try to counter with Zack Wheeler. The big Nationals advantage is the presence of Bryce Harper — he’s probably the best player on either roster. He’s quite possibly the best player in the whole National League. But the Mets might have the deeper lineup overall, depending on how you feel about Michael Conforto, and depending on how you feel about bouncebacks from Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth. August just found that the Nationals might lead the league in bounceback potential, which sounds about right, but another way of putting that is that in the most recent regular season, a good number of Nationals players under-performed. How much of a comeback should be taken for granted?

Of course, there’s one big variable that leaves so much of this up to the reader. The Mets are returning much of their roster and coaching staff. They know that they just won, and they feel good about what they pulled off. The Nationals, meanwhile, have replaced Matt Williams with Dusty Baker, and there are some who figure 2015 was more or less Williams’ fault. Baker is supposed to be a player’s manager, which could improve the team’s atmosphere, and you’ve also got Ian Desmond and Drew Storen gone, among others. In a new year with a new manager, maybe the Nationals can turn the page. Or maybe they’re just too poisoned. Maybe you think there’s something about the Nationals that causes them to under-achieve. Jonathan Papelbon is still around, possessing great responsibility. I don’t have a mathematical way to investigate the Nationals’ dynamic, but that could be where you assign the greatest difference between these two teams. I’m curious about however you feel.

The poll, then. Assuming that the division comes down to the Mets and the Nationals, how do you think it’s going to play out, given what we know now? Do you buy the projections that say it’s almost a coin flip, or do you see a reason to strongly favor either side? This is your chance to express your disagreement with the numbers. Or your agreement. This is your chance to express whatever.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
screamin_jay
Member
screamin_jay
4 months 3 days ago

even if syndergaard is good, harvey comes back with no issues, wheeler polishes his command, degrom isn’t a one year wonder and all the pen guys can continue outperforming underlying peripherals…the mets will still lose at least 13 games vs the nats, and cost themselves any shot at contending for anything. and most met fans will still hate philly and atlanta more than the evil perfect franchise

elobell
Member
elobell
4 months 3 days ago

I think DeGrom has proven he’s not a 1 year wonder, considering he had an almost identical 2014 as his 2015, just with 50 more IP this year. This post reads like it was written a year ago.

Joser
Member
Joser
4 months 3 days ago

The “evil perfect franchise”? What does Jeffrey Loria have to do with this?

BurleighGrimes
Member
BurleighGrimes
4 months 3 days ago

Are you sure you didn’t sleep through 2015? As mentioned above, this really does read like a post from last offseason. deGrom has proven he’s not a one-year wonder, Syndergaard is good, Harvey is back, and Wheeler is hurt (for now). Strange.

SandyK
Member
SandyK
4 months 2 days ago

He posted the exact same comment on an FG article a year ago:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-enormous-trade-value-of-stephen-strasburg/#comment-4914583

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 2 days ago

At least your user name is accurate; nowhere do you claim to be:

sensible_jay
accurate_jay
calm&rational_jay

Other user names that were considered but perhaps already taken?

unhinged_jay
ranting_jay
reallyenjoysthatESPNshowwheresStephenASmithandSkipBaylessscreamateachother_jay

Rob
Member
Rob
4 months 2 days ago

I’m so disappointed we can’t use random comment names anymore! Actually considered registering that last one to use here…

screamin_jay
Member
screamin_jay
4 months 2 days ago

lol whatever

this popular characterization of me, that literally everyone just accepts for whatever reason, as some wfan caller-level moron/nutjob who says things based in no reason or fact is just exhausting.

fredsbank
Member
fredsbank
4 months 2 days ago

“the mets will still lose at least 13 games vs the nats, and cost themselves any shot at contending for anything”

Ok Jay, what reason or fact are you basing this claim off of? I would think you have some more inside knowledge, given that a 5-13 record is terrible enough, and you’re placing it as the Mets maximum possible performance against the Nationals.

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 1 day ago

screamin_jay is from the future!

Phillies113
Member
Member
4 months 3 days ago

I think the Nationals will have a better shot than most are giving them credit for. They have a lot of guys coming off injuries and, despite their lack of impact moves this winter, still have a very strong club. Didn’t they lead the league in games lost to the DL or something like that? I don’t know; too lazy to look it up.

diehardmets
Member
diehardmets
4 months 3 days ago

St. Louis was by far the most injured team in MLB last year, but, more relavently, the Mets were more injured than the Nats:

https://www.mangameslost.com/end-of-regular-season-mlb-disabled-list-games-missed-and-tmitt-metrics-october-5-2015/

Anon21
Member
Anon21
4 months 3 days ago

It was the same story in 2013, where injuries got the blame even though the Braves lost more time and more projected production to the DL. Nats fans are always eager to talk about injuries to excuse their favorite team’s failures, but they like to pretend that their rivals enjoy excellent health.

screamin_jay
Member
screamin_jay
4 months 3 days ago

nats fans crucify med staff and cry about minor injuries while rooting for a team that has yet to actually lose an important player for substantial portion of a season when anything mattered to their fanbase, based on DC SPORTZ bogeyman and need to paint themselves as poor, long-suffering fans = ok
having concern over a pitcher’s injury/regression based on previous performance/injury history and franchise track record with injuries = totally unreasonable and akin to rooting for bad things to happen to perpetuate a shtick or just a symptom of obvious lunacy

paqza
Member
paqza
4 months 2 days ago

Most people are suggesting they have just under a 50% chance of taking the division. That sound about right. It’s nearly a coin-toss on paper.

goquakers
Member
goquakers
4 months 3 days ago

I think the article misses one key ingredient why the Mets will be better: Depth.

They have a bench of Lagares, De Aza, Flores, Tejada and Plawecki and have starting pitcher depth with Wheeler/Verrett/Montero and, if all stay healthy, Colon becomes RP depth. Most of these guys are solid second division starters or were starters last year. Guys get hurt. Both the Mets and the Nats had a ton of injuries last year. The Mets, however, can basically replace a 2.5 War player with a 1.5-2 War at any position.

hebrew
Member
Member
hebrew
4 months 3 days ago

so much this. i think it’s been an entirely underestimated portion of the Mets offseason.

Wright isn’t going to play 162 games – Cabrera/Flores will see time at third, all three of them can play SS, and both Flores and Tejada can spell/fill-in for Walker at 2B.

Lagares and De Aza can play CF and/or the corners at at least a replacement level, and both are a better bench option than whatever hodge podge the Mets were throwing out there last year.

Anon21
Member
Anon21
4 months 3 days ago

One team will probably end up being substantially healthier than the other, and that team will win. Ex ante, it’s nearly impossible to predict which team will be healthier, but I think the Nationals have a somewhat more injury-prone roster, so I’ll go with the Mets by a couple of games.

paqza
Member
paqza
4 months 2 days ago

The Mets also have a much deeper bench and have their talent spread out more over their roster. If any of Harper, Scherzer, Strasburg, or Rendón miss significant time, the Nats will be a lot worse off than, say, if Wright or Céspedes gets hurt.

JohnZeeDoe
Member
JohnZeeDoe
4 months 3 days ago

Nats by 2.5. They still have money to spend as needed for injury/performance replacements besides having prospects to trade if absolutely necessary. Mets may be tapped out for money.

Anon21
Member
Anon21
4 months 3 days ago

Doesn’t really seem like the Nationals are inclined to pull off big in-season deals, though.

paqza
Member
paqza
4 months 2 days ago

The Mets are already deeper, too, which needs to be taken into account. The Nats will need to spend more to get to the depth level the Mets already have.

jsolid
Member
Member
jsolid
4 months 2 days ago

Nats by 2.5 ? Are you also predicting a rainout which will not be made up? Ballsy.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 2 days ago

That’s what I thought too! BOLD MOVE.

yougottalovethepain
Member
yougottalovethepain
4 months 2 days ago

I’m not a fan of either team but my opinion is the Mets have a deeper roster of position players. The Mets also have a stronger rotation 1-5 and are a little deeper in the pen. Then there’s the intangibles, the most glaring of which is the Nats propensity to choke. Taking everything into consideration I think the Mets will win the division by 5+ games.

Luy
Member
Luy
4 months 2 days ago

Propensity to choke doesn’t seem like a 100% results based analysis at all.
Teams choke, until they don’t. Players don’t choke, until they do.

Choking is narrative-driven small sample size nonsense.

yougottalovethepain
Member
yougottalovethepain
4 months 1 day ago

I gave a general overview of baseball reasons why I think the Mets are a better team than the Nats. You’re correct that choking is not an objective form of analysis, but it is a subjective observation. The Nats have had a strong, balanced team that won 363 games the past 4 years. All that talent and regular season wins has amounted to two trips to the LDS, where they lost as the favorites both times. Last year they were predicted to win the WS by many baseball pubs and were in first place on 7/30, sitting at 56-46, three games on top of the division. They went 27-36 down the stretch and missed the playoffs. So while I probably shouldn’t mix analysis with observations the Nats have been a big disappointment to their fans. Just ask them. As stated before I’m not a fan of either team.

wobatus
Member
wobatus
4 months 2 days ago

What’s with the half game?

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
4 months 3 days ago

Mets by 2.

I would be fascinated by an AL central poll. Projected wins – Cle 84 Det 82 Chi 81 KC 79 Min 78.

I’ll take the Royals.

Cory Settoon
Member
4 months 3 days ago

I want to take the Nats because they have a seemingly better chance to acquire players mid season.

I just can’t pick them because they have under performed two years in a row. And sadly we cannot trust Harper to play 150+ games.

Mets by 2.

paqza
Member
paqza
4 months 2 days ago

The Nats were prevented by their ownership group from acquiring players at the deadline as recently as 2015. They only got Papelbon, if memory serves. The Mets were not crippled in the same way; in fact, they acquired Céspedes, Uribe, Johnson, Clippard, and Reed.

jdbolick
Member
Member
4 months 3 days ago

Miami could end up making it a three team race. Whilst significant regression for Dee Gordon is to be expected, Steamer’s projection is particularly harsh. Lack of depth in the rotation is a major weakness, otherwise the Marlins have a lot of potential to push the Mets and Nationals.

BurleighGrimes
Member
BurleighGrimes
4 months 3 days ago

I think the Marlins shot at contending is a very outside shot. They just don’t have the pitching to compete with the top dogs in the division.

senor_mike
Member
senor_mike
4 months 2 days ago

In general I agree. If you believe the NL East winner will require 88 wins, that means the Marlins would need to make 17 wins (or 13 going by BaseRuns).

Taking an optimistic viewpoint
– Stanton in the lineup for a full season could add 2
– Fernandez in the rotation for a full season another 4
– Addition of Chen another 2 vs his replacement
– Positive regression from Ozuna and Yelich could account for a total of 3
– Zero negative regression from Gordon or Prado

I am sure I missed a few factors here and there, but that’s an overly optimistic stance adding roughly 11 WAR, which even then I don’t think is enough for the division. Competitive? Absolutely.

GR200
Member
GR200
4 months 3 days ago

Nats by 4. Strasburg is now underrated, but if he’s healthy he’s a 5/6 win pitcher. And so is Scherzer. They have a nice back end rotation (Roark and Ross) Rendon & Werth will very likely do better. Trea Turner is a good SS. They appear to me as clearly better.

On the Mets side, Cespedes and Granderson will regress – they’re more like 3 wins players than 7 & 5. Conforto’s floor might be lower that what we saw last season. And their defense is going to be ugly.

(sorry for my English, I’m French)

BurleighGrimes
Member
BurleighGrimes
4 months 3 days ago

Your English is better than many native speakers I know!

FM Mood
Member
FM Mood
4 months 3 days ago

You’re English is extremely good.

paqza
Member
paqza
4 months 2 days ago

Your English is great!

I’m not so sure about your player evaluation, though. The Mets clearly have the better rotation and are better, on paper, at catcher, first base, centerfield, and left field. The Nats are clearly better in right field. Third base, shortstop, and second base are big question marks. Both teams’ third basemen struggled due to injury in 2015, the Mets have the surer SS whereas the Nats have the player with higher upside, and Murphy and Walker are even. The Mets have the much stronger bench.

It’s incorrect to look at one team or the other and say that one is clearly better.

vivalajeter
Member
vivalajeter
4 months 1 day ago

I agree that Cespedes and Granderson will regress. Maybe Granderson has another 5 win season left in him, but it certainly can’t be counted on.

But with Cespedes, most of his production was with the Tigers last year. He put up less than 3 wins for the Mets. So even if he is a 3 win player, that’s not really a dropoff from what they got last year, since Cuddyer put up 0.0 WAR in over 100 games. They’ll just be spreading how his production over the course of the 2016 season, rather than concentrating it in 2 months like they did in 2015.

Matthew
Member
4 months 3 days ago

I think the bullpens will be the real x factor here. Beyond the closers there seems to be a good amount of volatility in both bullpens. In my opinion whichever team can hold more late inning leads will win the division by the slimest of margins. I think the way the Nationals use Lucas Giolito could play a large role in the final outcome. I’d be interested to see them take a Cardinals approach and stick Giolito in the bullpen for the stretch run, I think his stuff could really play up and give them a very formidable late inning team with possibly 2 IPs from Giolito and Papelbon closing.

BurleighGrimes
Member
BurleighGrimes
4 months 3 days ago

These two teams feel so evenly stacked on paper that I agree with the above poster who said that the division will most likely come down to health. I pick Mets in two.

FM Mood
Member
FM Mood
4 months 3 days ago

Huh, I picked tie and am super surprised by the poll results. I was honestly expecting the tie option to be by far the greatest percentage. Maybe it’s the wording? I feel like if the question was picking between these five options; Mets are much better, Mets are better, about the same, Nationals are better, Nats are much better; than the vast majority would pick the “about the same”. Or maybe I’m wrong. I just don’t see any real talent different between these clubs, basically a complete toss up for the division for me. Should be a good show.

JCCfromDC
Member
JCCfromDC
4 months 3 days ago

Meh. Last offseason the Nats, Red Sox, Marlins and Padres all get the most buzz, none made the playoffs and the Nationals had the best record of the four. But it’s still weeks until pitchers and catchers report and there’s a helluva lot of snow outside, so I’ll just put in my vote for both teams to have good health and a scintillating race … with the Nats coming out on top by two games.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to staring out the window and waiting until Spring.

Bronnt
Member
Bronnt
4 months 3 days ago

So you’re saying I just threw away the $300 I put on the Braves the win the NL Pennant?

And here I thought signing Kelly Johnson made them a lock.

psiogen
Member
psiogen
4 months 2 days ago

Tough call. The Mets seem to have much better depth, while the Nats are top heavy. I’m tempted to pick against the Nats as too closely resembling the star-crossed 2007–9 Mets, where the core of superstars (Wright, Beltran, Reyes, Santana) couldn’t quite carry a roster filled out with aging injury-prone veterans and scrubs. But I don’t think these Nats have done as bad a job of team-building as those Mets teams.

I’m betting on a close fight, but I think this year at least the loser will make the wild card game.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 2 days ago

Nats
Marlins
Mets
Braves
Phils

paqza
Member
paqza
4 months 2 days ago

How do you figure?

jpg
Member
jpg
4 months 2 days ago

That dude has been trolling every article pertaining to Mets for a while now. Pay him no mind.

jpg
Member
jpg
4 months 2 days ago

I picked the Mets by 5+. Better starting rotation, better rotation depth, better bullpen, better position player depth. Other than defense, I just don’t see a clear advantage for Washington. I suppose their offense could be better but it’s going to rely on a lot of things going right. It’ll require Harper having another otherworldly year coupled with good health and bounce backs from some combination of Rendon, Zimmerman, Werth and Ramos.

kule
Member
kule
4 months 2 days ago

After being reminded about how one player in baseball rarely changes a team’s outlook in the tanking post, I went with the Mets by 2, since they have anywhere slight to solid advantage at most positions besides RF and possibly RP

paqza
Member
paqza
4 months 2 days ago

The Nats need a lot more than the Mets do to break right in order to win the division. The Nats are top heavy and lack the depth the Mets have. The Nats, if healthy, will compete. The Mets, even with multiple injuries, will compete. So I’ll have to go with the Mets by at least 4 games.

Matt Mosher
Member
Member
Matt Mosher
4 months 2 days ago

The Mets are clearly the better team, but the Nationals were the clear favorite a year ago and we know how that worked out.

senor_mike
Member
senor_mike
4 months 2 days ago

I picked the Mets by 2, largely because I believe their depth makes them less susceptible to inevitable injuries that both teams stand to deal with. I also believe that Steamer is under projecting the BABIPs of many of the Met starters, but I didn’t factor that into my vote.

On the Steamer BABIP note, I am hoping this community may help me figure out why 6 of the Met primary position players are projected by Steamer to have curiously low BABIPs in 2016.
Please forgive the data structure here:

Player: Projected BABIP / 2015 / Career / # 200+ PA seasons below projected
========
Duda: .281 / .285 / .291 / 1 of 5
Cespedes: .292 / .323 / .304 / 1 of 4
Walker: .288 / .306 / .307 / 1 of 6
Wright: .314 / .351* / .339 / 2 of 12
Granderson: .273 / .305 / .301 / 2 of 10
Cabrera: .278 / .306 / .307 / 1 of 8

So 6 players predicted to have BABIPs near their career worst seasons, and going off of memory I remember the same issue with the 2015 Steamer projections for the Mets (can no longer find them in the archives).

Any help would be appreciated.

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 2 days ago

Steamer is just god awful for hitters. But it comes out at the beginning of the offseason and gives FanGraphs something to write about, so they’d never get rid of it.

senor_mike
Member
senor_mike
4 months 2 days ago

I’m not going to go that far because projections are notoriously difficult to get right by their inherent nature of presenting the most probable outcomes. Some guys tank and some guys explode, and further predicting that is itself more of an art form than a science.

However, I do think there could be possible issues with the team-specific variables used, which would cause inaccurate probable outcomes. That’s really what I’m hoping to figure out here, if there is a legitimate mathematical explanation for those oddball BABIP rates.

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
4 months 2 days ago

Without looking at the actual data too closely, a couple things come to mind:

1) could be that most hitters run a fairly consistent BABIP when they’re healthy but an injury absolutely craters it. If you’re throwing up .320, .315, .255, .325, then a prediction of .310 will be both a) mathematically reasonable and b) lower than almost all seasons

2) I’d be curious as to whether Steamer predicts league-wide BABIP to be (reasonably) consistent year-to-year. If not (that is, if it seems like *everyone*’s or nearly everyone’s predicted BABIP is too low, that could be a problem.

3) If it is consistent, though, maybe there’s something that causes it to underestimate the number of plate appearances it gives to players it predicts to have higher BABIPs.

I don’t know if any of these make sense, and I’m, ahem, willing to let someone else do the legwork of looking at the data league-wide, but those just came to mind as possible explanations if we’re brainstorming here…

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
4 months 2 days ago

In fact, I’m pretty sure #3 above *doesn’t* make sense. So, whatevs. BABIP be wack, y’all

senor_mike
Member
senor_mike
4 months 2 days ago

It seems like it’s going to require DB access to really pound through this efficiently, but here’s a quick-and-dirty of the Nationals

Player: Projected BABIP / 2015 / Career / # 200+ PA seasons below projected
=============
Harper: 334 / .369 / .333 / 2 of 4
Rendon: .316 / .321 / .314 / 1 of 3 (tied one year)
Murphy: .330 / .278 / .314 / 5 of 6
Werth: .316 / .253 / .327 / 3 of 11 (tied one year)
Zimmerman: .302 / .268 / .314 / 2 of 10
Revere: .333 / .338 / .325 / 3 of 5
Ramos: .276 / .256 / .281 / 2 of 4

For the most part, it seems Steamer is much more optimistic that Nationals players will return to their career BABIP, and then Murphy to blow it out of the water. The exceptions are Werth and Zimm, likely due to health and/or reasons.

I can buy health/age for Granderson and Wright as being a reason for pessimism, but it’s far more questionable for Duda, Cespedes, Walker and Cabrera.

senor_mike
Member
senor_mike
4 months 2 days ago

@jruby: I’m going to randomly sample some other teams that play in parks that are known to suppress BABIP, and if I can’t find them I’ll focus on run suppression parks

@wobatus: No worries dude. Actually I’m glad you pointed it out, because I believe I recall Murphy’s WAR projection to be at something like 2.1 (or maybe even 1.9?) while he was still an FA and subject to the Citi park factors. But now with Washington he’s up to 2.5. Strikes me as odd for it to jump so high when the BaseRuns component should be accounting for park factor already.

wobatus
Member
wobatus
4 months 2 days ago

You want to know what’s funny:

Murphy’s carer babip, .314, 2015 babip .278, steamer projection, .330.

So Murphy departs the Mets and is expected to light it up babip wise with the Nats. His triple slash from steamer is .308/.350/.440.

Of course, Murph went more for power last year. Anyway, just a funny quirk.

wobatus
Member
wobatus
4 months 2 days ago

Sorry senor mike, I see you mentioned the steamer projected Murphy surge.

Travis L
Member
Member
Travis L
4 months 1 day ago

All those players are pretty old, especially considering one of the important skills for BABIP is speed. Speed ages *terribly*.

Also I believe many of those players are flyball hitters, which decreases BABIP.

Also quite a few homers amongst the group. Are strikeouts correlated with whiffs? Quite a few prominent whiffers here.

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 1 day ago

Strikeouts and whiffs shouldn’t have anything to do with BABIP

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 1 day ago

And while some of those guys are older, getting a year older and losing a step isn’t going to crater a guys BABIP by 30 points

kldub4life
Member
kldub4life
4 months 2 days ago

I am a Mets fan and am very excited about bringing Cespedes back. However I’m favoring the Mets in the division.

If I am to rank who I think the 4 best hitters will be for these 2 teams in 2016:

1. Harper: may not repeat last year but this a no brainer
2. Rendon: a healthy Rendon is a special hitter
3. Cespedes: a high ceiling and a solid floor, plus he could be playing for a bigger contract
4. Zimmerman: to me he is the reason I am favoring the Nats, I think as he became comfortable at 1st we saw his production start to increase as the season went on.

senor_mike
Member
senor_mike
4 months 2 days ago

A healthy Zimmerman is still a good hitter, but not the great hitter he used to be. Plus moving over to 1B zaps a lot of his value, largely canceling out his offensive pluses.

It’s really tough seeing a scenario where he beats 2.5 WAR, even with a full season of health. More than likely he falls into the 1.5-2.0 range playing a full year.

dovif
Member
dovif
4 months 1 day ago

Only a Washington homer can think Rendon who had 1 good season and very mediocre minor league numbers and a horrible 2nd season would be the 2nd best player. A reasonable observer would have an of of harper, cespedes and granderson. Confertos minor league numbers are far superior than Rendon and is more likely to stay an above average ml player. Rendon need to prove his 1 20 hr season was not a complete fluke unsupported by any minor league and ml numbers

kldub4life
Member
kldub4life
4 months 1 day ago

Not a Bad homer at all lol.

Conforto has a bright future that I am really excited about but I am not sure I can even be sure he is a full time starter right now.

I believe in Rendon’s talent and look at 2015 as a lost season, moving forward I am looking at a triple slash floor of 280/345/450, and has upside with a very enviable batting order slot ahead of Harper.

kldub4life
Member
kldub4life
4 months 1 day ago

Should have been a Nat homer

senor_mike
Member
senor_mike
3 months 27 days ago

Rendon is way better than you are giving him credit for. He blew through the minors in about 1 year (like Conforto), and in his largest body of work – 2013 AA – he posted a crazy 191 wRC+.

Him breaking out as a 23/24yo in 2014 wasn’t really a surprise to anyone, neither were his struggles last year when dealing with pretty serious injuries. I am a Met fan by the way.

kldub4life
Member
kldub4life
4 months 2 days ago

Meant to say favoring the Nats.

Brian P. Mangan
Member
Brian P. Mangan
4 months 2 days ago

Among starters, ZiPS appears to have the Mets leading by about two games after adding in Cespedes: http://thereadzone.com/2016/01/25/with-cespedes-the-mets-hold-a-slight-edge-in-the-national-league-east/

Factor in the Mets additional depth (platoons + preparedness for injuries) and I think Mets +2/+3 is a good forecast.

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 1 day ago

While I think the Nats are a good team, I don’t expect the division to be particularly close. Here’s what it comes down to:

I believe the Mets are noticeably better than the Nationals at C, 1B, 2B, CF, LF, SP3, SP4, and RP1

The Nationals are noticeably better at RF, and… that’s it. Yes, right field is a massive edge, and you can say that Rendon could have a better season than Wright, but it’s pretty much where the noticeable edges stop.

And then you look at depth – where the Mets have 2 WAR guys like Lagares, de Aza, and Flores on the bench and prospects like Herrera, Cecchini, and Nimmo in the minors – and it’s no longer in doubt which team is better, despite what the muddled projections think.

Young players who may or may not be major league ready that the Nationals are relying on to fulfill serious roles (think Taylor and Turner) are the same type of guys that the Mets decided could use another year (Herrera is a big example of this).

Only way I see this division going to the Nats is if one of the Mets big 3 goes down with tommy john and Harper continues his ascent to Bonds (plus a bit of cluster luck). Definitely not impossible, just not likely in my opinion. The Mets have a high floor with their depth.

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