February 12, 2013
PECOTA's Projected Bests and Worsts
If your holiday was anything like most of mine, you’ll want a couple of Tylenol and some Gatorade this morning because you’re feeling the effects of PECOTA Day. Now that we’ve slept it off, it’s time to take a look at some of the highlights of the data as they project the 2013 season.
Team win totals can be found here if you want to use the projection system to forecast the playoff races eight months before the Division Series. But individual performances are easier to assess because they’re not compounding (or more accurately, just adding together) error with the projections.
The most important thing to remember is that PECOTA is forecasting a measure of central tendency with error on both sides. Error sounds terrible both in life—the theory was wrong—and in baseball—the theory ended up sailing over the bag and hitting a fan in the first row. In reality, it’s just the natural randomness of the game. (You still can’t predict baseball, Suzyn.)
It’s why one fully expects the home run leader in the American League to finish with more than 36 even though nobody was projected for more. And somebody’s going to win more than 18 games even though nobody in all of baseball was projected to do so. And more than three players are going to hit over .300, and so on. Somebody’s error is going to be in that direction, you just can’t predict whose.
So keep that in mind as you peruse PECOTA’s picks for the best of each league and who’s due for a rebound in 2013.
AL MVP: Albert Pujols