Monday, February 7, 2011

Rox Talk - 2011 Projections

2011 Season Projections
With Spring Training around the corner, most of the projections have been released. Using projections from James, RotoBall, Marcel, USA Today Fantasy Magazine, and ZiPS I came up with an average runs scored and then standard deviation for these five sources. I also have compared this with the fans projections from FanGraphs (which has most of these projections, unfortunately PECOTA is tucked behind a pay site which is too bad!). First off let's look at the pitchers.
Probably the harder to project because of injury and inconsistency from year in and year out. In the graph below the blue is last year, the red is the fans guess, and yellow is the average of the projections with standard deviation bar. I have included Daley although it would seem that Morales has the inside the track, assuming he has regained his ability to pitch! Looks like Hammel and Cook both should bounce back years. Chacin looks to be comparable although as hitters start to see him more often some adjustments will have to made. De la Rosa can remain healthy and consistent I will be happy. He simply needs to keep the team in games and throw some innings. U-Ball is the wild card to me. He his coming off a high pitch season. He is young and while pitchers aren't being coddled like they used to be I am keeping my fingers crossed that he doesn't get hurt. It would be devastating for the team to lose their number one. Any of the other four I think we could patch things together with Paulino and Rogers but there is no replacing the Chief.
Taking the estimates from the five projections and normalizing them to a season (from 2002 - 2010, the rox have averaged 1438 innings pitched) we have a range of runs allowed between 540 and 711. The last two years Rox have allowed 715 and 717 runs to score. I can live with 711.

Now what about the offense. Experts would seem to agree that this is Fowler's and Stewart's year. Which I think is vital if the Rox expect to contend. Fans seem to think a lot about the Rox offense. Key I think is finding a productive number 2 and 5 hitters. I think the two spot might be a great spot for Helton (perhaps even Herrera). He takes a lot pitches, he can wear pitchers down, and he generally has had a decent OBP. With Fowler and Helton on the basepaths we can then let CarGo and Tulo bring them home. Ultimately we will need someone behind Tulo, so Tulo gets something hit and that is why Stewart having a break out year is key (this could also be Lopez's role if he can find his stroke from 2009). Ultimately Tracy has a lot in the dug out and I think it will be challenging to find a lineup that is consistent and works.
As with the pitchers the range of best case to worst case is 881 to 613. During the World Series run the Rox had scored 860 during the regular season. If things click I think the 800s are logical.

So in the end if the Rox can score 800 and only give up 711 then we are looking at a 90 win season. For most of the year last year they were on pace for 88 wins and would have gotten there had they not tanked in the last 15 games. Now of course some other experts would have us believe the Rox are on pace to win anothe 83-84 games and scoring only 758 runs, about 12 runs less than last year. Being an optimist and assuming break out years from Fowler, Stewart, and a basic no thrills season from Iannetta, I think the Rox are better than that. Data is below.

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