Trying to predict the AL EastBy
Over at Baseball Crank, they’re busy previewing each division using Established Win Share Levels. You can click on that last link to get an explanation as to how this is all formulated. As Mike might say, this is some voodoo at work here. But rest assured, it’s all just for fun. I don’t think anyone seriously believes that they can fully predict how a baseball season will unfold.
About the Yankees, he says:
The Hated Yankees have run off the road in October seven years running now, but the regular season juggernaut shows no sign of stopping. A lineup with four 34-year-olds, a 36-year-old and a 37-year-old could change that in a hurry – consider even how much the Yankees lose if A-Rod drops back to .290 and 40 HR – but there’s a lot of quality bats here and the Yanks’ bench, while not great, is not quite as bare as it was for much of the late Torre years. 2008 is an exciting year for purist Yankee fans who have waited a long, long time to see the team break in a significant amount of young talent (Melky getting an everyday job, two rookie starters and maybe three if Joba slots in for Mussina), but it’s also a year of risk.
Not bad, but not a shining review. Funny, then, how the EWSL system puts the Yanks at 101-61, atop the AL East. About the Red Sox, whom the system has checking in at 88-74, he says:
I can’t quite put my finger on one single reason why the defending champs are not rated higher by EWSL, other than the loss of Curt Schilling. The rest is little things – the mid-30s wearing-down of Manny, Lowell and Varitek, the uncertainty of two rookies in the rotation, the relative lack of solid relievers after Papelbon and Okajima, the difficulty of projecting health and productivity from the erratic backgrounds of Beckett and Drew, even the decision to carry a backup catcher with a remarkable facility for accruing service time without accumulating even a single Win Share (Cash has notched zero Win Shares in four of his five big-league seasons).
There’s nothing I’d love more than to see the Sox finish with under 90 wins. No, wait, yes there is. They could always implode and finish with 70 wins. Yeah, that’d be sweet (cue dream sequence).
So let’s stack these predictions up against PECOTA:
So it seems the biggest discrepancy the system has is with the Jays and the Rays. I think it’s quite crazy to go predicting that the Rays will win 88 games this season. But if that’s what the computer says, that’s what the computer says. Me? I’m glad that the people play the game.
What we’ll probably see is a mid-ground here, with both the Jays and the Rays finishing near the .500 mark. And by “near the .500 mark” I mean I’d figure the Rays to nab between 74 and 81 games, with the Jays more in the 79 to 86 category. Still, there’s plenty that will go wrong between now and then. For the record, I’m fairly confident that the Yanks won’t win 100 games, just like I’m confident that the Red Sox will win more than 90. Should be another interesting September, especially as we close out the season at Fenway.