American League Final Standings, a sneak preview
March 27, 2007 15 Comments
This is my second year of making predictions on the web. Last year I correctly called all 6 Division winners (No, I didn’t pick the Tigers for wild card), and also predicted the St. Louis Cardinals to be the best team in baseball. If I had added “in the postseason” instead of “regular season”, I would have nailed it. My predictions for last season can be found here.
The predictions are based on two things, projected hitting, pitching, and defensive stats from the CHONE system (posted on my blog 1-6-07), and my totally subjective decision of who is going to be allowed to play and in what role. I try and determine who the team’s management will give playing time to, so Minnesota has Ramon Ortiz and Sidney Ponson, the gopher brothers, in the rotation instead of a good crew of younger and better pitchers.
This same approach was also done recently on the Hardball Times by John Beamer, using the THT projected stats. My results are pretty similar, but there are a few things the two systems see differently. Baseball Prospectus has similar predictions for their PECOTA system, and if you are a subscriber I recommend checking that out as well.
Yankees 95-67, Red Sox 93-69, Blue Jays 80-82, Orioles 75-87, Devil Rays 73-89
Indians 90-72, Twins 89-73, White Sox 83-79, Tigers 82-80, Royals 66-96
Angels 88-74, A’s 84-78, Mariners 79-83, Rangers 74-88
The Yankees and Red Sox are favorites for another division and wild card finish, just like pretty much every year except last. I thought the Blue Jays would have a better chance, but after Halladay and Burnett the pitching just is not there.
The Indians have a powerful and young offense, they should top 200 homers, their starting pitching is good enough to keep them in games, and it seems every other year they have an OK bullpen. The Indians outscored the opposition by almost 80 runs last year. Its hard to do that and have a losing record, and I’m betting they don’t do it again. The Twins are a talented team, how quickly they pull together and give the Indians a challenge depends on how quickly they decide to put their best rotation out there.
I’m glad to see the Angels return to their rightful place. They have done everything in their power to keep the West close, like not getting a big bat in the offseason, multiple starting players breaking bones or needing surgery (Rivera, Figgins, McPherson), and starting pitchers not quite being ready for the start of the season (hope Weaver and Colon get healthy and stay that way). The Angels are still the favorites because they have tremendous depth and a farm system that is on the verge of producing some real major league position players, not just gather awards from Baseball America. I am in no way objective when it comes to the Angels, that’s my team and I want to see them run away from this division, but when the numbers say they don’t have it, I report that too. Last year’s prediction had the A’s winning the west, which they did, but this year the when the numbers talk, I like what they are saying.