Monday, March 24, 2008
Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition
Preseason Projection RoundupVia BTF, once more comes the the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog projection system roundup (here's the second part), using a number of different underlying player projection systems. The Angels win the AL West with anywhere from 87 wins (CAIRO, Diamond Mind) to 92 wins (CHONE); only in one scenario did the Angels place second, and that was in the ZIPS projection, which had them coming in second place to an 89-win A's squad with 85 wins.
Update: I'd forgotten to check back at the Baseball Crank's EWSL projections, which I belatedly include in the AL West list; he hasn't gotten around to the NL West yet.
It's significant in my mind that the Angels' near competition continues to project very badly. One underappreciated fact about the 2002 squad was that they emerged into the postseason after a bruising regular season in which three of the four western division teams won 90+ games. The AL West is hardly what it used to be, though, and that doesn't bode well for the Angels' postseason hopes this year. Most of these systems are projecting a fairly close finish for the division, except for CHONE, which sees the Angels easily clearing the West by 9.5 games.System W-L In 2nd (W-L) ========================================= CHONE 92-70 SEA (82-79) Diamond Mind 87-75 OAK (84-78) Hardball Times 84-78 OAK (79-83) PECOTA 89-73 OAK (78-84) ZIPS 84-78 behind OAK (89-73) CAIRO 86-76 SEA (80-82) EWSL 89-73 SEA (81-81)
As to the Dodgers, none of these projection systems are very sanguine about the Blue, though they're not depressive; most of them peg Los Angeles of Los Angeles as a second-place team back of the Diamondbacks or, surprisingly, Padres, with only one projector, Diamond Mind, picking Colorado to take the division.
*2nd place finish, tied with ArizonaSystem W-L Behind (W-L) =================================== CHONE 85-77 ARI (87-75) Diamond Mind 85-77 COL (90-72) Hardball Times 84-78 SDP (89-73) PECOTA 89-73 - ZIPS 84-78 SDP (87-75)* CAIRO 86-76 ARI (86-76)**
**86.1 wins vs. Arizona's 86.7 — pretty close to a statistical dead heat.
As I said above, it's something of a shock to see the Padres slip in ahead of the other teams in this division in two of the scenarios. I really don't like their team that much this year; they've got no hitting, and while their pitching is mostly sound, it seems to me to be one or two injuries away from exposing their significant lack of depth.
- Scot Shields won't be ready for opening day and may start the season on the DL. Darren O'Day, get your hat and glove ready.
- Joe Saunders has a blister on his foot but not his hand.
- Chris Bootcheck is expected to throw from a mound today.
- Gary Matthews, Jr. left today's game with a leg injury.
- Hong-Chih Kuo and Delwyn Young will both likely make the team according to Joe Torre; part of the motivation there is that both players are out of options.
- Jeff Kent and Yhency Brazoban have been left behind at Phoenix and Florida respectively, the former to recover from a strained hamstring, the latter to lose weight and gain arm strength.
- Former Dodger Willy Aybar will likely be Ray's starting third baseman as ex-Dirtbag (and all-around better player) Evan Longoria starts the season in triple-A.
OT: Congratulations, JonOn the news of the birth of your third child. All the best from 6-4-2 World Headquarters.