Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
Chipper's forecasting namesake meets its maker, and it doesn't like his chances.
The Team Injury Projections are here, driven by our brand new injury forecasting system, the Comprehensive Health Index [of] Pitchers [and] Players [with] Evaluative Results—or, more succinctly, CHIPPER. Thanks to work by Colin Wyers and Dan Turkenkopf and a database loaded with injuries dating back to the 2002 season—that's nearly 4,600 players and well over 400,000 days lost to injury—we now have a system that produces injury-risk assessments to three different degrees. CHIPPER projects ratings for players based on their injury history—these ratings measure the probability of a player missing one or more games, 15 or more games, or 30 or more games. CHIPPER will have additional features added to it throughout the spring and early season that will enhance the accuracy of our injury coverage.
These ratings are also available in the Player Forecast Manager (pfm.baseballprospectus.com), where they'll be sortable by league or position—you won’t have to wait for us to finish writing this series in order to see the health ratings for all of the players.
PECOTA predicts how today today's post-season affairs will turn out.
By now, it should be fairly evident what we’re trying to do with these PECOTA post-season updates. While the projections are in no way infallible, especially given the multitude of factors that can cause a team to win or lose a single game, using the methodology of such a system provides a much more accurate baseline of expected performance from an individual than regular season numbers. Someone like Omar Infante may continue to hit like an All-Star infielder, but the most probable outcome is that his overall numbers regress. This can be a hard concept to reconcile, as it isn’t as if regression starts and stops with the flick of a switch, but are you really comfortable assuming that Infante, or even Josh Hamilton for that matter, will just pick up where they left off? Then again, in a short series, there is such a small sample of plate appearances to analyze that anyone can mask their true talent level.
Honing his slider has helped make the Braves' right-hander one of the top young pitchers in baseball.
When Tommy Hanson faces the Giants tonight in Game One of the NLDS, one of the Braves' right-hander's biggest weapons will be the slider. According to PITCHf/x, Hanson threw his slider 27.8 percent of the time this season, up from 18.7 last year, and one of the highest percentages in the National League. Just how that impacted his performance is a story for another day; the focus here will be the development of his slider, which was reintroduced to his repertoire just two years ago.
Breaking down the starters in Friday's post-season action.
Phillies vs. Reds Roy Oswalt: 2.76 ERA, 3.33 SIERA Oswalt joined the Phillies in late July and posted a 1.74 ERA in 12 starts and an inning of relief. The Phillies won 10 of his 12 starts, but his SIERA of 3.33 was a dead ringer for his 3.31 SIERA in his 20 starts with the Astros. Oswalt’s .227 BABIP with the Phillies was due to very few ground balls finding holes and outfield flies staying catchable more often than can be expected in the future. However, both his 2010 SIERA in Philadelphia and in Houston were far better than his recent years’ SIERAs of 3.89, 3.63, and 3.86 from 2007-09. The reason is that Oswalt struck out more hitters than he had since his 2001 rookie year, raising his strikeout rate from 18.2 percent in 2009 to 23.1 percent in 2010. Oswalt began using his changeup more in 2010 with the Astros early on, and began using it even more after working with Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee. Thus, Oswalt has the sixth-best SIERA among all starters in the playoffs and 13th overall, after finishing only 33rd in the majors in 2009.
Was Bobby Cox's decision to not line up his rotation for a key series against the Phillies suicidal to the Braves' playoff hopes?
One of the best parts of September is that a group of teams will inevitably play the most important games of their seasons in that month. Seldom is there a season in which the four playoff spots in each league are locked up before the final weeks, and this season has been no different. To start this week, the Phillies were set to battle the Braves in the most important series of both of the National League East rivals' years to date, while the Yankees and Rays fought for American League East supremacy in arguably their biggest series of the season. However, unlike the latter match-up in which both teams are definitely going to the playoffs, the former had more serious playoff implications at stake.
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting. Picking favorites for the Wild Card for the respective leagues initially might have seemed easy, since the selections universally favored the second-place team in the AL East, while all but two voters picked their second-place teams in the NL East to earn the non-division champ playoff team, but a tie in the rankings had to be broken in favor of the team named the Wild Card winner on the most individual ballots, which is sure to upset some people.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that's been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
The Braves' director of baseball administration talks about his team and its hopes for the upcoming season.
While he might not be the best-known name, John Coppolella has slowly established himself as one of the brighter young front office stars in the game. After seven years with the Yankees in both scouting and baseball operations, he joined the Braves in October, 2006 as the director of baseball administration, where along with assistant GM Bruce Manno, he is a trusted assistant to general manager Frank Wren. I spent time this week talking with John, talking about the upcoming season at both the major- and minor-league level, the differences between working for the Yankees and Braves, as well as some lessons learned from the Mark Teixeira trade. Here is Part One of that interview
This year's top vote-getters in the senior circuit include three repeat winners, but an exceptionally race for rookie honors.
For full results to this year's IBA voting, look here.
It's that time of year when we announce the winners of the 18th annual Internet Baseball Awards. More than 1,200 baseball fans from cyberspace participated in this effort to honor those players and managers whose performances in 2009 were most deserving. Today we'll announce the winners of the National League voting, which featured both the closest IBA race ever and the most dominant Player of the Year voting performance ever.