March 28, 2013
These Questions Three: The Maybe-Next-Years
In the week leading up to Opening Day, we're asking and answering three questions about each team in a five-part series ordered by descending Playoff Pct from the Playoff Odds Report. Today, we continue with a look at the group of six teams with the second-worst odds of winning at least a Wild Card. As a reminder, you can find links to our preview podcasts for each team here.
Playoff Pct: 20.1 %
PECOTA Team Projections
Team WARP: 31.0
Team TAv: .258
Runs Scored: 703
Runs Allowed: 716
Team FRAA: 1.3
1. Is Andrew McCutchen an MVP candidate?
Harry Pavlidis: He’s one of the most exciting players in baseball, and one of the best. But voters may disregard the value of playing center field, and the team won’t win enough games. Hank Aaron Award, perhaps?
Bradford Doolittle: Yeah, unfortunately I think there is still very much an element of team success in the voting, as Mike Trout found out in 2012. McCutchen’s .375 BABIP last year screams for regression, and I wonder how much more upside there is to his game at the dish. He’s clearly getting stronger with age. It would help if the Pirates could surround McCutchen with enough weapons to keep pitchers from working around him.
HP: I don’t worry too much about lineup protection, although the Marlins and Placido Polanco are testing my resolve. I would just bat McCutchen leadoff and try and get him as many at-bats as possible. In related news, I am not a manager.
2. Is there a 1995-ish organizational ignorance of the value of OBP?