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The fourth and final division series will come to a close tonight when the Rays host the Rangers and try to come all the way back from a 2-0 deficit to win the best-of-five series and advance to the American League Championship Series to face the Yankees. The Giants took care of the Braves last night with a 3-2 win in their National League Division Series, ending the managerial career of Bobby Cox. The game provided a touching moment, in which the Giants halted their celebration on the field to deliver a round of applause to the curtain-calling Cox. The legendary manager went out in style, guiding his team to the postseason and getting ejected early in Game Two, both key characteristics of his career.

In the first LDS Game Five since 2005, the Rangers will send ace Cliff Lee to the hill against the lead singer of the Rays Quintet in David Price. Both ace left-handers faced each other in the first game of the series, wherein Lee looked virtually untouchable while Price struggled. In what will be our last taste of action until the weekend—seriously, what are we supposed to do between tonight and Friday?—let’s go back to the well and see what PECOTA thinks of this game.

 

Rangers (Cliff Lee) at Rays (David Price)

Projected Runs Scored: Rangers 3.73, Rays 3.17

Projected Odds of Winning: Rangers 57.04 percent, Rays 42.93 percent

 

Rays vs. Cliff Lee

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

B.J. Upton

.254

.305

.405

Jason Bartlett

.286

.318

.423

Carl Crawford

.294

.323

.459

Evan Longoria

.266

.311

.451

Ben Zobrist

.257

.304

.417

Willy Aybar

.267

.311

.420

Kelly Shoppach

.231

.276

.385

Desmond Jennings

.243

.288

.385

Sean Rodriguez

.240

.276

.387

  

Rangers vs. David Price

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

Elvis Andrus

.238

.306

.359

Michael Young

.263

.318

.412

Josh Hamilton

.257

.317

.438

Vladimir Guerrero

.271

.315

.444

Nelson Cruz

.232

.296

.405

Ian Kinsler

.253

.325

.420

Jeff Francoeur

.238

.280

.379

Jorge Cantu

.235

.290

.379

Bengie Molina

.255

.285

.402

 

PECOTA expects the Rangers to cease the Rays comeback behind the special left arm of Lee. We made some lineup changes per expectations, so things of course could change, though it is hard to fathom a set of configurations for both teams that would result in a flip-flop of results. The big boppers of both clubs are expected to resemble sort of an off-year Raul Ibanez, which goes to show how much the system thinks of these two pitchers. Aside from the lineup changes, there were various minutia corrected within this specific process that made this article possible, as otherwise it would have been no different from the Game One preview—it isn’t like our playoff projections included any type of ELO consideration to give added benefit to the “hot” team.

Lastly, as this projections series will not return until Friday with a preview of Game 1 of the ALCS, what did or didn’t work for you? This was our first time producing such a series and it is important to provide the most sought after information. Is there anything else you would like me to focus on as we get into the LCS and World Series?

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rawagman
10/12
Eric - you might wish to take some of the time between tonight's game and the LCS' and see why a good number of the PECOTA odds were wrong. A process review, if you will. What factors could the PECOTA's not account for, etc? Also - do you really think that Maddon will sit Carlos Pena? He had a crummy year, to be sure, but he seems pretty awake now, right?
Zebs335
10/12
In Game One the Rays were favored 54/46. This time the Rangers are favored 57/43. Could you let us know what caused this big swing?
EJSeidman
10/12
Both good ideas. Zebs, one reason is we made some slight corrections along the way in terms of our treatment of platoons and HFA, so between that and lineup changes the results moved. As far as why the projections were "off" I don't know that they were wrong, in the clinical sense. A projection system provides a basis of what should happen if everything goes according to plan, so to speak. Why did the results differ? Likely has much less to do with the projections and more to do with players over- or underperforming. For instance, no sane system would peg Derek Lowe as capable of pitching the way he did... but he did it.
rawagman
10/13
Bethca PECOTA didn't peg Bengie Molina to steal a base tonight?
BrewersTT
10/12
Many of the projections were pretty close to 50/50. I'm not sure that the difference between what was projected and what happened was enough to be statistically signficant.
Zaxell
10/12
Projected Odds of Winning: Rangers 57.04 percent, Rays 42.93 percent. PECOTA projects Bud Selig will declare the game a tie 0.03 percent of the time.
bflaff1
10/12
Cliff Lee + playoffs = walk in the park Will it continue to hold?
Yatchisin
10/13
Sorry, but it's illegal to have "Cliff Lee" and "walk" in the same sentence. (Shoot, now I did it too.)
quietgoesthedon
10/12
I wish Washington had brought Lee back for game four.
brianjamesoak
10/13
I think home field advantage is something like 55/45. So the neutral odds might be 62/38. Really?
drawbb
10/13
Was the combined output of Tampa Bay's 3 home games the most impotent offensive performance of all time for a home team in a postseason series? Just dreadful.