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ZiPS projected record for the Orioles with Jimenez+Cruz: 78-84


skanar

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The last thing I have ever been called is a homer and this projection smells like doo. No way, this team has solid depth. Only missing piece is a closer IMO. We hope that turns out better than we are expecting currently.

I am curious what they have Flaherty and Markakis at. I think both of them improve a good bit.

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If you want to project us as the 4th best team in the AL East, fine. I can understand the argument, but it's a crazy to think this team will be under .500.

I think the Rays, Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees should all finish pretty close (provided relatively healthy seasons and no unforeseen collapses).

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There are a couple fundamental reasons why ZIPS underrates the Orioles. It regresses pitching statistics based on DIPS theory and BAPIP rates. The system is not going to rate non-strikeout, fly ball pitchers all that favorably (relative to the alternative) nor is it going to adjust much for a strong defense behind those pitchers. Tillman, Chen, and Gonzalez are all fly ball pitchers with only okay (or good in Tillman's case) K rates so ZIPS is going to be pessimistic about them.

We also have a team lacking in strong track records (though it is getting better each season) which plays a roll. The system takes weighted averages for four years of data (three years for very young or old players). So at least some of Chris Davis' 2014 projection factors in that he was a .707 OPS hitter in 2011 and had a .571 OPS in 2010. Tillman is going to have the same problem there as well. It is going to look at Miguel Gonzalez, see a pitcher who was a 28 year-old rookie, and compare him to other 28 year-old rookies with mediocre stuff. Those guys tend to not make it.

It is not necessarily that it is a bad projection system. Projection systems can only cover so many different scenarios. You can see when you read about what it takes into account, how the Orioles as a whole might suffer a bit. FWIW, I think the win totals for teams for ZIP always tend to be a little low. Some team is going to win more than the Dodgers' 91-win projection and the Red Sox are likely not winning the AL East with 88 wins. Some team is also likely going to lose more than the 93 losses the Astros are projected for. If I remember right, it seems to be that way every season where the win-distribution is more tightly grouped than it will be in actuality.

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