2013 Projections for the Baltimore Orioles

With opening day of the 2013 regular season just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to look at a couple of projections for the AL East and some Orioles players to see how fancy schmancy computer programs thought this year would turn out.  And if you’re a fan of the Orioles, you probably won’t like what you see.

Zips Projection System

First up is the Zips projection system, which was created by Dan Szymborski (used at Fangraphs).  On Tuesday, Szymborski posted an article on ESPN projecting the standings for each division (Insider subscription required).  How does Zips work?  According to Szymborski:

“Seasons are simulated a million times using a Monte Carlo method, the percentile performance of player projections and estimates of roster construction.”

The Fangraphs Library also has a definition if that wasn’t enough.  In addition to projected wins and losses, the table includes (in order) the percentage each team has to win the division, finish in last place, earn a wildcard, make the playoffs, and win the world series.

Team

W

L

GB

PCT

DIV%

LAST%

WC%

PLAYOFF%

WS WIN%

Toronto

94

68

0.580

42.90%

5.80%

25.20%

68.10%

6.90%

Tampa Bay

88

74

6

0.543

23.10%

13.40%

25.80%

48.90%

4.50%

Boston

84

78

10

0.519

13.20%

23.30%

20.90%

34.10%

3.00%

New York

83

79

11

0.512

11.30%

26.70%

18.40%

29.70%

2.60%

Baltimore

82

80

12

0.506

9.50%

30.70%

16.70%

26.20%

2.20%

If you’re wondering how the projected lineup and starting rotation are expected to perform, you’re in luck…

 

Projected Opening Day Lineup

Name

POS

AVG

OBP

SLG

WAR

Brian Roberts

2B

0.244

0.309

0.363

0.2

Nick Markakis

RF

0.281

0.350

0.428

2.0

Adam Jones

CF

0.277

0.326

0.474

3.6

Matt Wieters

C

0.256

0.330

0.433

4.5

Chris Davis

1B

0.252

0.308

0.450

0.9

J.J. Hardy

SS

0.258

0.304

0.424

3.5

Nate McLouth

LF

0.231

0.318

0.379

1.2

Nolan Reimold

DH

0.246

0.322

0.420

1.0

Manny Machado

3B

0.252

0.311

0.418

2.7

 

Projected Starting Rotation

Name

W

L

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

FIP

WAR

Jason Hammel

9

6

3.72

1.27

7.98

2.98

3.59

2.5

Wei-Yin Chen

10

8

4.10

1.23

4.86

1.85

4.44

1.3

Miguel Gonzalez

6

7

4.57

1.43

6.60

3.61

4.59

0.3

Chris Tillman

14

12

4.29

1.31

6.90

3.04

4.44

1.3

Jake Arrieta

8

11

5.16

1.51

7.09

4.23

4.81

0.5

 

PECOTA

If you didn’t find the projection provided by the Zips system to your liking, you should probably stop reading, because the PECOTA projection system developed by Nate Silver and Baseball Prospectus looks worse.  To make its projections, PECOTA relies heavily on statistics in a player’s previous seasons and statistics of historically similar players.

Team

W

L

GB

PCT

DIV%

WC%

PLAYOFF%

WS WIN%

New York

88

74

0.541

45.8%

21.2%

67.0%

9.0%

Tampa Bay

85

77

2

0.525

25.4%

23.5%

48.9%

4.7%

Boston

83

79

5

0.511

15.0%

19.0%

34.1%

2.6%

Toronto

82

80

6

0.506

12.0%

16.2%

28.2%

2.0%

Baltimore

75

87

13

0.462

1.7%

3.4%

5.0%

0.2%

As you can imagine, the individual player projections in PECOTA aren’t as high on the Orioles players as Zips, and I don’t want to add to the negativity of this column, so we’ll leave those out.

So what is the take away of this?  Well there’s good news and bad news.  The bad news is the projections don’t think the Orioles have much of a chance to return to the playoffs.  The good news is that last year, the Orioles made the playoffs when the projection systems didn’t give them much of a chance.  There is a reason why the games are actually played, and it’s because no matter how sophisticated a computer model you have, it can’t predict the future, and it sure can’t predict baseball.

On that note, happy Opening Night and enjoy the season!

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