The Futility Infielder

A Baseball Journal by Jay Jaffe I'm a baseball fan living in New York City. In between long tirades about the New York Yankees and the national pastime in general, I'm a graphic designer.

Monday, April 03, 2006

 

Hit It!

It's Opening Day, and the Preseason Prospectus Hit List is up at BP. Due to some design and timing issues, some of the data used to determine the rankings wasn't listed, so I will run it here while explaining the rankings in a bit more detail. For team comments, please see the original article. Please note that I'm already aware that I botched the chronology of the hiring of Reds GM Wayne Krivsky and the trade of Sean Casey. Score that E-6. Sorry, Reds fans, that doesn't change my opinion that your team is totally screwed.

Anyway, as you may recall, the regular-season Hit List rankings are derived from Won-Loss records and several measurements pertaining to run differentials, both actual and adjusted, from the Baseball Prospectus Adjusted Standings through the close of play on every Sunday. The preseason rankings as shown in the article under discussion (and listed below), are a different beast. They're derived from the Playoff Odds Report, a million-run simulation which uses the PECOTA-driven projected winning percentages for each team as the team's third-order winning percentage.

The consequence of this is that a team like the Dodgers ranks higher than they would if I was just using projected winning percentage. The Dodgers only project to a .537 winning percentage (Pro W% in the chart below), which isn't so impressive, but they're the only team in the NL West even projected to break .500, greatly increasing their chances of reaching the postseason. There's no built-in bias in choosing to rank the teams this way, or in the fact that the A's wind up with the top spot; I'd decided the methodology before these percentages were finalized; earlier iterations had the Yankees on top and the Dodgers a bit lower down. If this gets your panties in a twist,well, you'll have to wait for the regular season for the team you're bitching about to rise or lower itself to a truer level of ability.

So, without further ado, here's the list:
Rk  Team       Pro W%  pW-pL   Div    WC   Total
1 Athletics .574 93-69 56.3 6.6 62.9
2 Yankees .580 94-68 43.3 15.7 59.0
3 Red Sox .574 93-69 39.8 16.2 56.0
4 Dodgers .537 87-75 40.5 6.0 46.4
5 Mets .543 88-74 34.9 9.4 44.3
6 Indians .543 88-74 35.2 8.8 44.0
7 Phillies .531 86-76 29.2 9.0 38.2
8 Cardinals .531 86-76 25.6 10.2 35.8
9 Braves .525 85-77 26.9 8.9 35.8
10 Twins .519 84-78 23.5 7.8 31.3
11 Cubs .525 85-77 20.9 9.3 30.2
12 Brewers .519 84-78 19.7 9.1 28.9
13 Tigers .512 83-79 21.1 7.3 28.4
14 White Sox .506 82-80 19.4 6.9 26.3
15 Giants .494 80-82 19.5 4.7 24.2
16 Angels .500 81-81 17.8 6.2 24.0
17 Astros .500 81-81 14.2 7.5 21.7
18 Rangers .494 80-82 14.9 5.4 20.3
19 Padres .481 78-84 15.8 4.1 19.9
20 D'backs .475 77-85 14.4 3.8 18.2
21 Pirates .488 79-83 10.4 6.0 16.4
22 Blue Jays .488 79-83 8.3 6.9 15.2
23 Mariners .475 77-85 11.0 4.2 15.2
24 Reds .481 78-84 9.2 5.3 14.5
25 Rockies .457 74-88 9.9 2.6 12.5
26 Orioles .475 77-85 6.6 5.7 12.4
27 Marlins .438 71-91 4.9 2.1 7.0
28 Nationals .432 70-92 4.2 1.9 6.1
29 Devil Rays .426 69-93 2.0 1.9 3.9
30 Royals .377 61-101 0.8 0.3 1.2
Other abbreviations: pW-pL is the team's projected Win-Loss record based on PECOTAs and playing time projections, Div their chances of winning the division according to the simulation, WC their chances of winning the Wild Card, and Total the sum of those two probabilities.

OK, enjoy the games today, and if you're watching tonight's A's-Yanks game (between the top two teams on the Hit List, what wonderful synergy), please drop by a special roundtable I'll be participating in along with other BP authors including (I think) Steve Goldman.

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