February 9, 2010 09:18:49
Posted By Sean S
Could projected standings be better if I only focus on starting lineups instead of taking time to do depth charts? I think they might, especially if the person doing them is not confident in his ability to construct depth charts for 30 teams that are fair to all - I know a lot more about some teams than others.
So this new set of projections looks only at the starting lineup of every team, the top 5 pitchers (rated on runs above average in a neutral environment for 200 innings each), and the top 2 relievers (70 innings each).
The biggest differences:
1. More wins for the Angels. I'm not unbiased here, not at all. Angels rule and that is the number one thing I believe in. I like these better, though still a game behind a very solid Ranger team. Angels have been beating my projections anyway for about 6 years now, so if forced to choose I'd rather go with the one that rates them higher. This is not a case of heads coming up 6 times in a row where you'd still bet 50/50 on the next flip. I believe that my stats are not capturing everything the Angels do well (neither are most other people's stats), and maybe one day with more research we'll figure out what Scioscia and his boys did so well.
2. Royals lower. 76 wins didn't feel right. Any team that starts Yuniesky Betencourt and Jason Kendall on purpose can't be expected to win too many.
3. Reds lower. Not sure about this, I like the Reds' young talent but in any case they are probably not contenders. I left their top pitcher, Edinson Volquez, out of the starting lineup projections, since he had Tommy John surgery and will not pitch until August, if at all in 2010.
4. Blue Jays a bit higher, Marlins a bit higher
5. Eric Bedard is not with the Mariner's top 5. He has been a great pitcher when healthy the last 4 years, but it is uncertain when he'll return this year. Maybe at the end of May, maybe not till August. One thing is for certain, he won't pitch 200 innings or anything close to it. Even when he comes back, the track record of labrum tears is not very promising. Even if he pitches half a season, don't expect him to strike out a batter per inning with decent control. Pitchers with shoulder issues usually have drastic decreases in performance. Unlike elbow injuries, where a Ben Sheets will probably be his usual self in the time he's able to pitch.
6. Jordan Zimmerman also had TJS and won't pitch much or at all in 2010. I left him in anyway, because he's the best projected pitcher on the Nationals, and they happen to have a guy with no projection (sorry, I don't do college stats) ready to fill that ace role.
I have included a spreadsheet that takes team records, plays everyone head to head, and spits out normalized standings. You can make the bad teams .600 and the good ones .750, or the good ones .500 and bad ones .350, and you'd get the same results. This is the corrector for the fact that projecting only starting lineups gives you across the board optimistic projections. The key to remember is that everything is relative.
Download it, change the defense from TZ to UZR, add Johnny Damon to your outfield, use CAIRO or ZIPS projected runs instead of CHONE, pretend Bedard starts game 3 and 31 starts after that, whatever. Have fun with it. Don't complain to me like a whiny little beeatch if you don't like my standings. Create your own. Anybody who wants to use this tool to create projected custom standings and put them on the internet is free to do so.