Tuesday, February 10, 2009

PECOTA frowns upon Tigers

The PECOTAs are up at Baseball Prospectus and there is not much positive to report about the Tigers forecasts. They are projected to go 78-84 as a team. The good news is that no AL Central team is expected to win much. Here are the projected final standings:

Cleveland 84-78
Minnesota 79-83
Detroit 78-84
Kansas City 75-87
Chicago 74-88

According to this, the division seems to be up for grabs. Cleveland has the edge but it wouldn't take a lot for for other teams to beat them.

Last year, PECOTA was right on target for most of the Tigers batters. While others were talking about the possibility of 1,000 run season for the Tigers, PECOTA was rather pessimistic and it was right on the money for most players. On the other hand, PECOTA overestimated the Tigers pitching staff last year. While PECOTA is a very strong system for projecting offense, it is less powerful at forecasting pitchers. There is no system that is really reliable for pitchers and nobody can predict injuries with any certainty.

The player projections are premium content so I can not provide specifics. However, I will say that Inge is projected to do better this season. The rest of the team doesn't look substantially different from 2008, although some minor regression is expected for a few players. On the pitching side, Justin Verlander and Nate Robertson are projected to do better but the projections for Edwin Jackson and Armando Galarraga are very pessimistic.

One thing that I think fans can do better than any projection system is to guess playing time. I think some of the pitchers will pitch more innings than suggested by PECOTA. I also think with improved defense, a new pitching coach and with better health, the staff will be more effective. Thus, I'm projecting an 84 win season at this time.

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