You are correct, sir!

David Pinto of Baseball Musings predicts the AL East. You can tell it's an accurate and sophisticated projection because the Yanks come out on top. Check it out.

16 comments… add one

  • Pinto is such a Yankee homer.

    Hudson March 31, 2009, 11:46 pm
  • It wouldn’t have been any fun if everyone picked the good guys.

    LocklandSF March 31, 2009, 11:55 pm
  • (Pinto had the Yanks in 1st, the Jays in 3rd, and the Rays in 4th in 2008. Hey, he got Boston and Baltimore right!)

    Hudson March 31, 2009, 11:59 pm
  • At the risk of sounding like a Boston homer, I’m going to add my disagreement here.
    Not with picking the Yankees first. That’s entirely reasonable. They’ve got a terrific team, but first of all, he has them six games better than the Red Sox and 13 wins better than the Rays. Not one single projection system or Web site has them so far in front. Likewise, some of the reasons Pinto lists left me scratching my head:
    Full seasons from Posada and Matsui boost their 0.8 value wins, and if Cano just reverts to his mean, the Yankees will add three wins there.
    Those “full seasons” are ifs as large or larger than any of the ifs on the Red Sox. And which mean is Cano supposed to revert to? His career OPS+ is 109. You can’t just pretend 2008 never happened.
    Kerrigan was force to rehabilitate her knee to get ready for the Olympics, and the therapy made her stronger, leading to the best performance of her life. A-Rod is going through that kind of training right now, possibly increasing his strength beyond what a normal spring training would bring.
    Seriously? So A-Rod’s bum hip is actually a good thing? Did Pinto forget he will still need surgery after the season’s over? And how exactly will A-Rod’s conditioning improve the results he’s posted with the Yankees to this point? It seems that would be a tall enough order, even when healthy.
    Without any help from the bench, New York is looking at a season with their wins in the high 90s. That’s the floor, not the ceiling.
    That’s laughable. No team has their floor projection in the high 90s. Not the Red Sox, not the Yankees, not the Rays.
    Contrast to Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, which is an unabashed Yankee fan site and has the Yankees in first based on its computer simulations of all the teams using all the projection systems and adding some injury assumptions. They have the Yanks up by two games, an eminently reasonable projection, and they add this:
    Given the margin of error we’re dealing with here, I’d say [the Red Sox] are basically even with the Yankees, although they’re tough to project given the uncertainty of some of their off-season signings.

    Paul SF April 1, 2009, 12:52 am
  • “They’ve got a terrific team, but first of all, he has them six games better than the Red Sox and 13 wins better than the Rays.”
    Sincere, if stupid question, but does WAR actually translate in a linear way to the standings?

    Nick-YF April 1, 2009, 7:08 am
  • I see the Yanks lucky to win 95 games. And I think the Sox have better depth in case of injuries. I don’t see how the Yanks improved as much as they needed to, especially on the offensive side. Now, with A-Rod out, it’s that much more obvious.
    The Yanks have the pitching edge, on paper, over every team in the division. But they might have the third best offense unless almost every single one of their unknowns (Jeter, Damon, Swisher, Nady, Cano, Posada, Matsui, and Gardner) exceeds what they did in 2008. I don’t see that happening. They seem more likely to me to finish in third than they do in first. Splitting the difference leaves the wild card.
    That leaves the division to the Sox in my opinion. Better depth around the field and 1A pitching. But it will be close. The Rays will win at least 90 games. So I can easily see all three teams within five games of each other. It should be a great season and hopefully every team finds good health.

    Rob April 1, 2009, 7:44 am
  • The best part is that at the end he puts up the following chances of each team winning the division:
    1. Yankees, 32%
    2. Red Sox, 30%
    3. Rays, 28%
    He has each of them only 2 percentage points apart, but then has the Yanks 6 games higher than the Sox and the Rays 13 games back. Something isn’t adding up.

    Atheose April 1, 2009, 7:46 am
  • Wow, Pinto actually shows the Yankees as having the third-best offense in the division. So his separation is really based on the pitching. And I don’t see the gap as large as WAR makes it out to be, unless the Sox insist on pitching Penny and Wakefield into June or July.

    Rob April 1, 2009, 9:33 am
  • Talk about unsustainable:
    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/power-surge-before-first-swing/
    But when you’ve been a playground for the rich…

    Rob April 1, 2009, 10:00 am
  • Sincere, if stupid question, but does WAR actually translate in a linear way to the standings?
    To be honest, I don’t know, but if it doesn’t then it’s pretty much a worthless stat. The whole point of converting production into wins is to make it very easy to determine a player’s (or an offense’s or a pitching staff’s) value to a team based on the currency of baseball. If you need to then take another step to find out the “true” wins that currency is based on, well, that makes no sense.

    Paul SF April 1, 2009, 11:00 am
  • Yes, WAR translates directly to the standings…the “W” stands for Wins. Essentially if you add up the WAR for every player on the team, and add that to the total of a Replacement Level team (which is like 48 wins or something), that theoretically gives you the total number of games the team is expected to win.
    Of course the real challenge here is actually projecting the WAR for each player.
    I agree he’s too optimistic about the Yanks – I’ve seen plenty of projection systems this year that have them winning, but it’s never by more than 2 games or so. 6 is far too many. Frankly, considering A-Rod’s status, I think the Yanks and Sawx are pretty much dead even right now.

    Mark - YF April 1, 2009, 2:57 pm
  • still not sure how 3 teams in the same division win 90+ games. so the o’s and jays are expected to win about 10 games apiece of the possible 72 intra-division games they play.

    sf rod April 1, 2009, 4:14 pm
  • “But they might have the third best offense unless almost every single one of their unknowns (Jeter, Damon, Swisher, Nady, Cano, Posada, Matsui, and Gardner) exceeds what they did in 2008. I don’t see that happening…”
    Let’s take a closer look at the names you mentioned:
    Jeter: Hand injury.
    Damon: Not much room for improvement, I agree.
    Swisher: Career lows in hitting and terrible BABIP last year. If he repeats his 2008 season I will be shocked.
    Posada: Really? He missed most of last season. The team offense improves if he hits instead of Molina, no matter what.
    Nady: Coming off a career year. He’ll probably regress to his 105-ish OPS+ above-average.
    Cano: Awful first-half slump last year, unlucky BABIP numbers. I don’t see that happening again.
    Matsui: Also a question mark, but it’s likely he’ll play in more than 93 games this season as a full-time DH.
    Gardner: Gritt Gritner was a September call-up. Even if he doesn’t develop the OBP skills needed for his speed to be effective, his glove should save more run than Melky’s.
    Given Posada and Matsui’s injuries and Swisher and Cano’s career-worst years, it’s not hard to see immediate improvement in 2009.

    doug YF April 1, 2009, 7:21 pm
  • “still not sure how 3 teams in the same division win 90+ games. so the o’s and jays are expected to win about 10 games apiece of the possible 72 intra-division games they play.”
    Heck, they almost did it last year and the Yanks were not as strong as they are this season. New York finished in 3rd with 89 wins. The Jays actually won 86. I’d be surprised if there weren’t three 90+ win teams in this division.

    Nick-YF April 1, 2009, 7:32 pm
  • HEY, HEY, HEY!
    I’m an old man. Batting average still matters to nme. What the hell is WAR?
    And will someone please tell me where I can find definitions/explanations for the sabremetric terms?

    I'mBillMcNeal April 1, 2009, 11:08 pm
  • Doug, you make a solid argument. I don’t think you can line up each of these guys and pick out who will bounce back and who will not. There is a legitimate explanation for each of their struggles, and it is perfectly reasonable to expect that each individual will rebound nicely.
    However, given that there are eight players with “unknowns,” it is not unreasonable to expect that, collectively, some of them will not rebound.
    To me, the questions become, who will not rebound and how critical are those players’ contributions to the big picture?
    Certainly, they all could be just fine.
    Impossible, no. Implausible, yes.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 1, 2009, 11:16 pm

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: