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VIDEO: Opposing Pitchers Getting Wasted By The Bomba Squad

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Scott Boras Wants a 162 Game Season - Playoffs in December

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Twins Project for Big Things in 2020

Today we received the highly anticipated PECOTA projections from Baseball Prospectus. Put out around this time each year, they are the gold standard among projection systems when it comes to putting a number to teams' win totals. Often there’s an organization or two that feels scorned, but Minnesota is sitting pretty heading into 2020.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
It should be expected that the Twins would be seen as the odds-on favorite to repeat in the AL Central division. After winnings 101 games a year ago, they got better this offseason and widened the talent gap between themselves and the Cleveland Indians. Although the White Sox were the darlings of the winter, it is expected that they still have a ways to go.

Attached Image: Capture.PNG

PECOTA sees the AL Central winner crossing the finish line with 93 victories. That would give them a seven-game advantage over the Indians, which is just one game less than they won the division by a year ago. It’s the White Sox that understandably see the largest boost in winning, and while bad, both the Royals and Tigers cross the 60-win threshold.

With projection systems it’s important to understand that these values are derived using an algorithm and are produced utilizing multiple inputs. Specifically, for PECOTA, there are three elements to consider. From Baseball Prospectus, you have:

• Major-league equivalencies, to allow us to use minor-league stats to project how a player will perform in the majors.
• Baseline forecasts, which use weighted averages and regression to the mean to produce an estimate of a player's true talent level.
• A career-path adjustment, which incorporates information about how comparable players' stats changed over time.

In general, that means there’s an assumed amount of variability. The Twins winning the division with 93 wins would be the 50th percentile of their outcomes. As evidenced by the bell curves below, a 100th percentile would have them somewhere near a franchise record of 105 wins. We can also see that it’s both the Indians and White Sox that have the largest amount of volatility on the positive sides of their outcomes.

Attached Image: Curve.PNG

Relative to the American League as a whole, it’s clear Minnesota is viewed favorably. Trailing only the Yankees (99) and Astros (98), they are on the heels of the best teams in baseball. The National League is understandably looked down upon as a whole. Los Angeles checks in with 103 wins while no other division winner is seen capable of reaching 90. Considering the narrow range of expectations among clubs in both the NL East and Central, it’s fair to believe that no one may run away from the pack.

As far as getting to the postseason is concerned, the Twins are given 89.2% odds in that department. PECOTA projected the Twins for 81 wins going into 2019, and the 20 additional they produced on top of that would have advanced beyond their 100th percentile expectation. In short, they are certainly being viewed in a positive light earned through positive performance.

Again, these are just projections and using them as hard and fast outcomes doesn’t seem wise. However, if the Twins are to win the division (and they likely will), surpassing that 93-win threshold is a pretty decent bet. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have provided some great pieces for Rocco Baldelli and his staff. The team capitalized on their abilities last year and doing so again should bear more fruit.

*Concerning projections totaling 103 games, Baseball Prospectus noted a glitch and the results remaining incorrect due to a caching issue. The win totals are accurate. Full game totals are derived by taking 162 games and subtracting the win column to come up with record.

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13 Comments

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Aerodeliria
Feb 11 2020 09:43 PM

I guess last year they were the "tin" standard, but let's hope they have it right this year.

For your amusement on how well PERCOTA worked last year look at the projections andthe standings https://www.thescore...lb/news/1712625

 

    • woolywoolhouse, JoshDungan1, howieramone2 and 4 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Feb 12 2020 06:52 AM

I've not ever seen much on how these projection systems stack up against reality... I'd love to see that data.

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FritzDahmus
Feb 12 2020 07:33 AM

The only thing I can predict....is the Mets will be predicted to win the division AGAIN in 2021....and not do it....AGAIN.

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Doctor Gast
Feb 12 2020 08:22 AM

There`s a lot of variables but these projections give us a good estimation.

Is there a stat that shows a pitcher`s era w/ each time thru the batting order? 

or where can I find that?

 

For your amusement on how well PERCOTA worked last year look at the projections andthe standings https://www.thescore...lb/news/1712625

 

They didn't do very well last year, and they won't do very well this year either. I've studied predictions in economics for years and two things are very clear:

 

1. Predictions look more like the past than the future they are predicting.

 

2. Everyone's prediction looks pretty much alike, and they look much more like each other than they look like what they are predicting.

 

It seems like baseball predictions are pretty much the same. 

    • jimbo92107 and howieramone2 like this

 

For your amusement on how well PERCOTA worked last year look at the projections andthe standings https://www.thescore...lb/news/1712625

 

Simply tells me our managers, manager of the year trophy was earned ..

    • howieramone2 likes this
Ok so I'm a psychic, not, and predict the Twins win our division bigger than last year even, and somehow we end up playing the Yankees in Round 1 yet again. Guess the rest of the story?

Projection systems are always going to struggle with outliers and sudden leaps forwards or collapses. Even trying to adjust/predict for injury (with is really hard to do with any accuracy), they're going to "miss" a lot.

 

What they're best for is to look at a team's baseline. If you've got average luck, and no player who isn't seen as a huge injury risk gets hurt...here's where you're likely to be, factoring in regression from career years, marginal improvement from younger players, etc.

 

Then you can look at the team and ask yourself: what are the things we need to break well on to succeed? Where are the pitfalls we need to avoid? I find the projections useful to set a baseline, I don't expect them to be accurate in the aggregate.

What can really throw off projections is a pitcher having an outstanding season in regards to his win-loss record and/or the team's record when he starts.

In 2018 the Cards brought Miles Mikolas back from Japan who knew our pitching coach and didn't re-sign Lance Lynn. Miles that year went 18-4 and the Cardinals were 14 over .500 at 88-74 and 24-8 when he was on the mound, whereas if Lynn took the QO the Cards would have been around .500.

We had a middle reliever who came in mid-relief in tight games and was 11-1. His WAR was 0.5 or so. That could throw off PECOTA since it can't measure a maybe outlier.

I don't know why its calculated this far ahead of April 1.

One pitcher swapped out for another or coming out of nowhere or declining or soaring on his own can make a big difference.
    • mikelink45 likes this

Fun, but of course it is just fodder for all of us who are so anxious for a real baseball to appear again.

    • Rich likes this

 

Ok so I'm a psychic, not, and predict the Twins win our division bigger than last year even, and somehow we end up playing the Yankees in Round 1 yet again. Guess the rest of the story?

Why, that's easy! The Twins will be lacking at least one Cy Young starter, so they will lose quickly to any team that have at least one Cy Young starter. That will include the Yankees.

I enjoyed your article on the Twins 2020 PECOTA projections. I've been reading them for many years. It's good to see the Twins are projected to win the AL Central division. I also read the news stand magazine projections and ATHLON SPORTS also has the Twins in 1st place. The projections are an educated and calculated guess but fun to read. I also enjoy the player projections. 

 

The final analysis leads me to believe the Twins have good power and pitching depth and can win against Cleveland and Chicago. 


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