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PECOTA takes on standings


DrungoHazewood

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BP article from yesterday. Nate Silver piece on projected standings, and where he thinks the system underrated/overrated/nailed individual players.

Exerpts from O's relevant bits:

                       W         L         RS     RA     AVG     OBP    SLGBoston Red Sox         93        69        892    762    .280   .361   .464New York Yankees       93        69        897    771    .280   .362   .454Toronto Blue Jays      80        82        813    831    .271   .342   .449Tampa Bay Devil Rays   78        84        806    834    .275   .338   .446Baltimore Orioles      74        88        754    823    .274   .333   .423

And:

Baltimore Orioles (74-88)

Take the Over: PECOTA doesn’t take into account second-half splits, but if it did Nick Markakis’ projection would be closer to the .311/.364/.532 that he posted after the All-Star Break.

Take the Under: Given that Melvin Mora’s mid-career breakout was a bit suspect to begin with, I tend to read a lot into the decline he experienced last season.

Sticking to My Guns: Daniel Cabrera was another guy who got quite a bit better in the second half...PECOTA is already forecasting a breakout of sorts so I’m not going to reach above and beyond it...

The Verdict: There’s more upside than downside on the pitching staff, but Markakis excluded, the opposite is true of the offense, where Markakis and Corey Patterson are the only projected regulars on the right side of 30. Plus, it’s a tough division. We’ll call the Orioles EVEN on their 74-88 forecast.

I know those 74 wins won't be popular around here, but being completely objective (and not assuming any huge breakouts) I'm not sure how you can project them to any better than about .500.

My own guess is:

90th percentile - 87 wins

75th - 83 wins

50th - 78 wins

25th - 74 wins

10th - 70 wins

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A 74 win, 5th place Orioles team in 2007 would make for an interesting time at the trade deadline and in the offseason. The pitching gets a bit better, and the offense gets worse.

If Mora performs under his projections, it would be a really difficult dilemma. And it would show exactly why you tread very carefully about extending players in their mid-thirties and giving them a no trade clause, even if they are a fan favorite.

If the PECOTA projections pan out, it would be hard to envision a winning season ever with the current cast of players. As Silver points out, the Orioles would almost have to do something about having too many position players on the wrong side of 30. I don't see how you could keep the nucleus together until 2009 and expect to win.

Would Flanagan, Duquette and Perlozzo survive? My bet is that Angelos lets them finish their contracts, as long as attendance hasn't gone under 2 million. Angelos does not favor paying anyone to see around.

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Since the PECOTA projections for individual players are not public, it's hard for me to assess where I think they are wrong. However, 754 runs scored seems extremely low to me. Here are some projections I did along with several others:

(Frobby, Marcels, ZiPS, CHONE, Bill James, MLB.com)

Millar: .780/.790/.775/.769/.811/.798

Roberts: .780/.802/.790/.766/.768/.791

Tejada: .850/.865/.868/.852/.856/.852

Mora: .750/.805/.794/.743/.784/.820

Hernandez: .800/.803/.801/.818/.782/.801

Markakis: .835/.815/.798/.816/.859/.796

Patterson: .755/.738/.708/.754/.733/.714

Payton: .745/.731/.735/.755/.737/.728

Huff: .815/.801/.821/.828/.818/.802

Gibbons: .800/.797/769/.779/.789/.809

Bako: .600/.637/.489/.591/---/---

Knott: .740/.769/.765/.719/---/---

Gomez: .690/.740/.684/.721/.695/---

Using a very simple system where the top 10 players are weighed equally and the last 3 each get a 1/3 share, the average OPS comes out to be .781, .787, .773, .778, and .780, respectively. (My own "official" team projection is .778 because it assumes a certain number of AB for each of these players and also 350 AB by "others.") All of these were in the same ballpark and would lead to the O's scoring way more than 754 runs (even if Knott is replaced by someone like Bynum). If someone who has access to PECOTA could tell me where it varies significantly from the above I would appreciate it.

P.S. - the thread where I did my "offical" best case/mid-case/worst case projections seems to have disappeared. I'm pretty sure I started that thread on Jan. 1. When I run a search for all my threads, there is a huge time gap of about 5 weeks in December/January. Can anyone on the OH staff can explain this to me?

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Since the PECOTA projections for individual players are not public, it's hard for me to assess where I think they are wrong. However, 754 runs scored seems extremely low to me. Here are some projections I did along with several others:

(Frobby, Marcels, ZiPS, CHONE, Bill James, MLB.com)

Millar: .780/.790/.775/.769/.811/.798

Roberts: .780/.802/.790/.766/.768/.791

Tejada: .850/.865/.868/.852/.856/.852

Mora: .750/.805/.794/.743/.784/.820

Hernandez: .800/.803/.801/.818/.782/.801

Markakis: .835/.815/.798/.816/.859/.796

Patterson: .755/.738/.708/.754/.733/.714

Payton: .745/.731/.735/.755/.737/.728

Huff: .815/.801/.821/.828/.818/.802

Gibbons: .800/.797/769/.779/.789/.809

Bako: .600/.637/.489/.591/---/---

Knott: .740/.769/.765/.719/---/---

Gomez: .690/.740/.684/.721/.695/---

Using a very simple system where the top 10 players are weighed equally and the last 3 each get a 1/3 share, the average OPS comes out to be .781, .787, .773, .778, and .780, respectively. (My own "official" team projection is .778 because it assumes a certain number of AB for each of these players and also 350 AB by "others.") All of these were in the same ballpark and would lead to the O's scoring way more than 754 runs (even if Knott is replaced by someone like Bynum). If someone who has access to PECOTA could tell me where it varies significantly from the above I would appreciate it.

P.S. - the thread where I did my "offical" best case/mid-case/worst case projections seems to have disappeared. I'm pretty sure I started that thread on Jan. 1. When I run a search for all my threads, there is a huge time gap of about 5 weeks in December/January. Can anyone on the OH staff can explain this to me?

If we can debate PECOTA for the O's, then you'd have to question it for all the teams in our division. So we'd need to see your type of evaluation on the starting 9 players for all the teams in our division to actually see what we think is more likely to happen.

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Millar: .780/.790/.775/.769/.811/.798

Roberts: .780/.802/.790/.766/.768/.791

Tejada: .850/.865/.868/.852/.856/.852

Mora: .750/.805/.794/.743/.784/.820

Hernandez: .800/.803/.801/.818/.782/.801

Markakis: .835/.815/.798/.816/.859/.796

Patterson: .755/.738/.708/.754/.733/.714

Payton: .745/.731/.735/.755/.737/.728

Huff: .815/.801/.821/.828/.818/.802

Gibbons: .800/.797/769/.779/.789/.809

Bako: .600/.637/.489/.591/---/---

Knott: .740/.769/.765/.719/---/---

Gomez: .690/.740/.684/.721/.695/---

A few players that PECOTA is kind of pessimistic on compared to the other systems:

Roberts: .729

Tejada: .843

Hernandez: .782

Markakis: .799

Patterson: .714

Payton .729

Huff: .786

Gibbons: .768

Bako: .533

Knott: not on team

Gomez: .701

Also:

Bynum, 108 at bats of a .659.

Fahey ,about 70 at bats of a .624

Stern, about 100 at bats of a .677

Tiffee, 37 at bats of a .587

That's an extra 300-ish at bats in the low-mid .600s.

The only things that stand out, to me, are Roberts and Markakis. Silver already used Markakis as his player most likely to outperform his projection, and the system really doesn't like second basemen who've been hurt and declined.

I don't quite understand the Roberts projection, though. His top comps are mid-career Ray Durham, Don Buford, Bill Doran, Bobby Avila, Chuck Knoblauch... I think a few of these guys had off years right after their Roberts comparison season but then bounced back. So maybe this is a fluky rating.

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Do they publish past years projections comparing them to actual results? I want a standard deviation before passing judgment on these metrics!

Yea, somewhere or another. I'd have to look. Basically, among the popular systems PECOTA is probably the best in projecting hitters, and one of the best with pitchers.

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A few players that PECOTA is kind of pessimistic on compared to the other systems:

Roberts: .729

Tejada: .843

Hernandez: .782

Markakis: .799

Patterson: .714

Payton .729

Huff: .786

Gibbons: .768

Bako: .533

Knott: not on team

Gomez: .701

Also:

Bynum, 108 at bats of a .659.

Fahey ,about 70 at bats of a .624

Stern, about 100 at bats of a .677

Tiffee, 37 at bats of a .587

That's an extra 300-ish at bats in the low-mid .600s.

The only things that stand out, to me, are Roberts and Markakis. Silver already used Markakis as his player most likely to outperform his projection, and the system really doesn't like second basemen who've been hurt and declined.

I don't quite understand the Roberts projection, though. His top comps are mid-career Ray Durham, Don Buford, Bill Doran, Bobby Avila, Chuck Knoblauch... I think a few of these guys had off years right after their Roberts comparison season but then bounced back. So maybe this is a fluky rating.

The Roberts projection is the only one that strikes me as outrageous. I think the others are lowish but no individual projection is outlandishly low. I also agree that there will be 300 AB for players like Bynum/Fahey/Stern/Tiffee. When I did my own projections I gave "other" 350 AB at either .650 or .700 OPS (I forget which and now my thread has disappeared.) That has the effect of lowering the team OPS by about .003.

I am sticking by my guns. I said this team would have an OPS of .778 plus or minus .012, and score 815 runs, plus or minus 25. That was assuming that Knott was on the team but I will stick by my projection anyway. Last year my projections were lower than PECOTA and I was a lot closer to reality than PECOTA was (I said .760 and PECOTA said .772; actual was .763). This year I say they are too low. I also think their runs allowed projection of 823 is likely to be 15-20 runs too high, but at least it's in the ballpark.

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I thought PECOTA pitching numbers were usually conservative? Is that incorrect?

If that's the case I find it interesting that they project us to give up less runs than the Blue Jays.

Yes, especially the weighted mean projections. That's largely because the lower-range projections for pitchers usually include fewer innings due to injury or ineffectiveness. The overall effect is very few pitchers projected to have huge seasons. This year only seven pitchers are projected to pitch 162+ innings with an ERA below 3.50, and five of them are in the NL.

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I am sticking by my guns. I said this team would have an OPS of .778 plus or minus .012, and score 815 runs, plus or minus 25. That was assuming that Knott was on the team but I will stick by my projection anyway. Last year my projections were lower than PECOTA and I was a lot closer to reality than PECOTA was (I said .760 and PECOTA said .772; actual was .763). This year I say they are too low. I also think their runs allowed projection of 823 is likely to be 15-20 runs too high, but at least it's in the ballpark.

So you're projecting something like 81-84 wins?

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I am sorry but this is bs to me.

With the upgrades we added, the amount of youth on the team that you figure gets better, the ability for bounce back years from some of our guys and the presence of Mazzone, i don't see how we are only 4 games better than last year.

I know 74 wins could happen, just as 90 wins could happen.

But, i am not sure how anyone, no matter how negative you are, can predict only 74 wins.

And I know PECOTA is strictly a numbers thing and doesn't take alot of what i said into account.

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I am sorry but this is bs to me.

With the upgrades we added, the amount of youth on the team that you figure gets better, the ability for bounce back years from some of our guys and the presence of Mazzone, i don't see how we are only 4 games better than last year.

I know 74 wins could happen, just as 90 wins could happen.

But, i am not sure how anyone, no matter how negative you are, can predict only 74 wins.

And I know PECOTA is strictly a numbers thing and doesn't take alot of what i said into account.

I tend to agree with this. Hopefully they projected the Tigers to only win 74 games last season.

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