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Monday, March 24, 2008

Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition

Preseason Projection Roundup

Via 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.

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)
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.

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.

System           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)**
*2nd place finish, tied with Arizona
**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.

Roster Notes

OT: Congratulations, Jon

On the news of the birth of your third child. All the best from 6-4-2 World Headquarters.

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