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MLB Projected Standings, Week 4

One of these weeks I will write something besides a projected standings update.

This is not that week, ironically in part because I enjoyed the watching the Mariners be a first place team and destroy the Astros 11-1 on Tuesday night! Enjoying the game in person trumps writing every now and then.

You can read about the model here, or keep on reading for the updated standings (change in win total from last week in parentheses).

MLB Projected Standings, Week 4:

AL WestAL CentralAL East
Astros, 81-81 (-2), 0 GBIndians, 87-75 (-1), 0 GBRed Sox, 87-75 (+2), 0 GB
Mariners, 81-81 (+1), 0 GBWhite Sox, 86-76 (+2), 1 GB     Orioles, 83-79 (0), 4 GB
Angels, 80-82 (+2), 1 GBTigers, 82-80 (+2), 5 GBBlue Jays, 83-79 (0), 4 GB
Athletics, 77-85 (-2), 4 GBRoyals, 79-83 (-2), 8 GBYankees, 81-81 (-2), 6 GB
Rangers, 77-85 (+1), 4 GB     Twins, 74-88 (-2), 13 GBRays, 79-83 (0), 8 GB
.
NL WestNL CentralNL East
Dodgers, 95-67 (-3), 0 GBCubs, 102-60 (+2), 0 GBMets, 99-63 (+3), 0 GB
Giants, 89-73 (+3), 7 GBPirates, 90-72 (+2), 12 GBNationals, 95-67 (+1), 4 GB
Diamondbacks, 75-87 (0), 20 GB     Cardinals, 86-76 (+1), 16 GBMarlins, 79-83 (+2), 20 GB
Rockies, 73-89 (-1), 22 GB    Reds, 69-93 (-2), 33 GBPhillies, 69-93 (+1), 30 GB
Padres, 69-93 (-3), 26 GBBrewers, 68-94 (-2), 34 GBBraves, 58-104 (-3), 41 GB

Wild card play-in games: Orioles at White Sox, Pirates at Nationals
ALDS match-ups: play-in vs. Indians, Astros vs. Red Sox
NLDS match-ups: play-in vs. Cubs, Dodgers vs. Mets

Some musings:
  • The Giants are projected to miss the playoffs despite having a better record than every team in the American League.
  • Nobody is projected to lose 90 games in the American League.
  • The entire American League is spread apart by only 13 wins. 9 of the 15 NL teams are not within 13 wins of first place in their divisions.
  • It is really hard to tell how such radically different levels of parity will impact the trade deadline. In theory that should make the AL highly competitive and try to acquire lots of talent, but will some teams shy away given the likely gaudy records of several NL teams?
  • The Cubs are for real. They might be the most talented team in baseball the last several years, and with how young they are they have the look of a dynasty.

MLB Projected Standings, Week 3

This was a week of reckoning in the National League, where the contenders really pulled away from the pretenders. Meanwhile the American League remains about as muddled as the start of the season.

I should mention that I made an adjustment to the formula this week which likely is driving some of the significant changes. I was not accounting for different numbers of games played and there is a wide enough spread of games played so far this season for that to make a real difference. You can read about the model here, or keep on reading for the updated standings (change in win total from last week in parentheses).

MLB Projected Standings, Week 3:

AL WestAL CentralAL East
Astros, 83-79 (+1), 0 GBIndians, 88-74 (+3), 0 GBRed Sox, 85-77 (+2), 0 GB
Mariners, 80-82 (+1), 3 GBWhite Sox, 84-78 (0), 4 GB     Orioles, 83-79 (0), 2 GB
Athletics 79-83 (+1), 4 GBRoyals, 81-81 (-1), 7 GBYankees, 83-79 (0), 2 GB
Angels, 78-84 (-3), 5 GBTigers, 80-82 (-3), 8 GBBlue Jays, 83-79 (+1), 2 GB
Rangers, 76-86 (-2), 7 GB     Twins, 76-86 (+1), 12 GBRays, 79-83 (0), 6 GB
.
NL WestNL CentralNL East
Dodgers, 98-64 (+9), 0 GBCubs, 100-62 (+9), 0 GBMets, 96-66 (+9), 0 GB
Giants, 86-76 (+1), 12 GBPirates, 88-74 (+4), 12 GBNationals, 94-68 (+6), 2 GB
Diamondbacks, 75-87 (-1), 23 GB     Cardinals, 85-77 (+1), 15 GBMarlins, 77-85 (-3), 19 GB
Rockies, 74-88 (-4), 24 GB    Reds, 71-91 (-7), 29 GBPhillies, 68-95 (-7), 29 GB
Padres, 72-90 (-3), 26 GBBrewers, 70-92 (-5), 20 GBBraves, 61-101 (-8), 35 GB

Wild card play-in games: Orioles at White Sox, Giants at Nationals
ALDS match-ups: play-in vs. Indians, Astros vs. Red Sox
NLDS match-ups: play-in vs. Cubs, Mets vs. Dodgers

Some musings:
  • Turns out some of the highest WAR teams weren't among the teams that had played the most games. This explains some of the huge boosts in the NL. However, this could also be a "tipping point" week of sorts. The adjustment I made in the formula this week would have made no difference with the preseason projections. So, just three weeks in, the best in the NL have asserted themselves as even better, while the worse are worse.
  • Meanwhile, in the American League, the movement remains shockingly minimal. The drastic contrasts between the two leagues at the moment will be interesting to watch, particularly in a few months when the trade deadline looms. Will anybody in the American League be sellers?
  • The Cubs and Dodgers are a cut above everyone else in baseball at the moment. Don't sleep on some of the mediocre AL records though. There are good teams in the league. For instance, before adjusting for schedules, the Indians have an expected rest of season winning percentage of .542 and the Nationals come in at .545 - basically the same even though the Nationals project to win 6 more games. The difference is driven some by the Nats hot start, and also some by the lack of very bad teams in the AL when compared to the NL.
  • Six NL teams are projected to have worse records than the worst in the whole American League. I wonder if that fact will get enough attention as the season wears on and it becomes obvious that the NL will have playoff teams with better records than the AL until some AL team goes crazy at the trade deadline.

MLB Projected Standings, Week 2:

The season is still young, but a little less young. This season suggests that, at least in 2016, you cannot win a division in April but you can lose it. That's bad news for teams that couldn't figure out how to win at home this past week - yes, that's me staring my own team right in the face, those TRUE TO THE BLUE Mariners. Plenty of season remains though, and thankfully for them the rest of the AL West looks mediocre at best.

You can read about the model here, or keep on reading for the updated standings (change in win total from last week in parentheses).

MLB Projected Standings, Week 2:

AL WestAL CentralAL East
Astros, 82-80 (-2), 0 GBIndians, 85-77 (0), 0 GBRed Sox, 83-79 (-1), 0 GB
Angels, 81-81 (+1), 1 GBWhite Sox, 84-78 (+2), 1 GB     Yankees, 83-79 (0), 0 GB
Mariners, 79-83 (-2), 3 GBTigers, 83-79 (+2), 2 GBOrioles, 83-79 (+2), 0 GB
Rangers, 78-84 (+1), 4 GBRoyals, 82-80 (+3), 3 GBBlue Jays, 82-80 (0), 1 GB
Athletics, 78-84 (0), 4 GB     Twins, 75-87 (-3), 10 GBRays, 79-83 (-1), 4 GB
.
NL WestNL CentralNL East
Dodgers, 89-73 (-1), 0 GBCubs, 91-71 (+1), 0 GBNationals, 88-74 (+2), 0 GB
Giants, 85-77 (-1), 4 GBCardinals, 84-78 (+2) 7 GBMets, 87-75 (-2), 1 GB
Rockies, 78-84 (+1), 11 GB     Pirates, 84-78 (-1), 7 GBMarlins, 80-82 (0), 8 GB
Diamondbacks, 76-86 (-1), 13 GB     Reds, 78-84 (-1), 13 GBPhillies, 74-88 (+3), 14 GB
Padres, 75-87 (0), 14 GBBrewers, 75-87 (0), 16 GBBraves, 69-93 (-4), 19 GB

Wild card play-in games: Yankees at White Sox, Giants at Mets
ALDS match-ups: play-in vs. Indians, Astros vs. Red Sox
NLDS match-ups: play-in vs. Cubs, Nationals vs. Dodgers

Some musings:
  • The Braves and Twins are both winless and that seems to show rather loudly in the standings. The Braves in particular are on their way to a special kind of awful if they can "keep up" the losing. I wonder how extreme rises and drops can be with this model, and losing four games over the course of one week might prove shockingly large. Meanwhile, the Twins look like the first AL team to fall out of playoff contention, thanks in large part to their winless start.
  • The Orioles hot start has garnered buzz, but I had them projected as a slightly worse than .500 team. They are exceeding expectations in my system too, but color me a bit less surprised by their start.
  • Also, since I am on the topic of the Orioles, the projection method actually gives decimal victories and I round them to the nearest whole win. This is how I break ties, which is why the Yankees make the playoffs over the Orioles in this week's projections. The Yankees have 83.0 projected victories, the Orioles 82.9, and the Tigers 82.6.
  • I mused last week that the Cardinals took a critical blow last week when they got swept by the Pirates. The damaged lasted a whole week. I stand corrected.
  • The Cubs hot start has garnered more than its fair share of attention, but so far the hype is not out of proportion. They are the best team in baseball until further notice.
  • The Royals are beating my projection system so far, fueling my own speculation that WAR-based systems miss something that the Royals do exceedingly well. They continue to beat WAR projections of how good they should be by significant margins, and the sample size continues to grow.