Friday, February 18, 2011

2011 Baltimore Oriole Projections - My Take (Kind Of)

Now that spring training has started and the roster is a bit more projectable, I figured it was time to formulate a win projection for the 2011 version of the team. Well, I kind of formulated it. I'm using the WAR spreadsheet from Beyond the Boxscore.

Here's the work but before you look, the ground rules and caveats:

* I used Marcel Projections and I grabbed those from FanGraphs. I stuck to those pretty tightly.

* Playing time was adjusted a bit from Marcel, usually granting a bit more than less to fill in the gaps.

* I gave Felix Pie, Cesar Izturis, JJ Hardy and Matt Wieters some above average defensive value scores and a slight bump to Derrek Lee. Jake Fox, Brian Roberts and Josh Bell got defensive demerits. All others were neutral.

* Only Roberts got an adjustment for baserunning.

* I assigned all batters their exact Marcel projections with three exceptions. I selected Adam Jones as my breakthrough player for 2011. I bumped him up from a .333 to a .345 wOBA (bascially a .762 OPS to a .803 OPS). It a nice jump but not a crazy one. I bumped Nick Markakis from a .353 to a .356 wOBA (an .807 OPS to roughly an .820 OPS) and I knocked Brandon Snyder's .330 wOBA down the .300.

* I used FIP for the ERA projections.

* Since I used FIP, I adjusted Jeremy Guthrie's ERA projection down by a quarter run. All other pitchers kept their Marcel projections. Except...

* I put Jake Arrieta's name on Chris Tillman's projection and vice versa. Arrieta's projection was better but I still think Tillman can miss more bats than he showed last season. So I gave Tillman the better stats even though the combined projection remains the same.

All that gives us a Win Talent of 79.8 wins which we can round up to 80.

I don't think any of these numbers I plugged in are either crazy or overly optimistic. One thing I will say is that this team is pretty thin. Any significant injury to, say, Guthrie or Matusz on the pitching side or Markakis or Scott on the hitting side throws all of this out of whack and spiraling out of control.

But with a little luck and a couple of young guys taking steps forward (even if Jones doesn't), this team could (can't believe I'm going to say it) actually win this year. I am not alone. PECOTA has the Orioles winning 82 games in 2011.

And if the young guys keep getting their starts and at bats in the process, all the better.

No comments: