Tuesday, March 26, 2019

How Many Runs Will The Tigers Allow in 2019?

It was a lot more fun making projections for the Tigers staff when they had Justin Verlander (Photo credit:GiveMeSport)

Now that I have projected the Tigers runs scored total for 2019, the next step is to estimate how many runs they will give up.  Compared to run production, run prevention is more difficult to predict because pitcher's arms are so fragile and their performance so volatile.  I undershot the Tigers eventual run total in each of the last four seasons:

2014 65
2015 129
2016 30
2017 194
2018 6

After being off by 194 runs in 2017, I was about to give up on this process, but last year was a lot better.  Before the 2018 season got under way, I wrote that the Tigers would allow 790 runs.  They went on to surrender 796 runs.  So, I was off by six runs giving me hope that my formulas have some utility.  

General Manager Al Avila made a couple of moves during the off-season to add pitching depth.  Most notably, he added two starters - left hander Matt Moore and right hander Tyson Ross.  Neither is likely to be good or even average, but they will give the Tigers innings which will keep them from rushing young pitchers into major league action.  It was also hoped that righty  Michael Fulmer would come back healthy, but he will miss the season due to Tommy John surgery.  

Their rotation to start the season will consist of  Moore, Ross, Matt Boyd, Jordan Zimmermann and rookie Spencer Turnbull which sounds like a Randy Smith rotation from the mid 90s.  It is hard to even predict how long any of the starters will remain in the rotation.  If they fail, the first two replacements would likely be Daniel Norris and Blaine Hardy.    
  
For the projection, I first estimated innings pitched in 2019 for the seven starters listed above and key bullpen pieces at the beginning of the season (Table 1).  In order to forecast runs allowed, I used three-year averages on three measures from 2016-2018 all adjusted for projected innings this year:
  • Runs Allowed.
  • Base Runs - estimate of what runs allowed should have been based on base runners, total bases and home runs.
For example, Boyd allowed an average of 105 runs per 180 innings (his projected 2019 total) from 2016-2018.  He also allowed 105 Base Runs and 91 FIP Runs.  The average of the three numbers above (105, 105, 91) was 100.  That comes out to an Earned Run Average of about 4.66 which seems about right for him.  

I projected the rest of the pitchers moving them up or down from their three-year averages if I think they are going to get better or worse this year.  In particular, I'm guessing that reliever Joe Jimenez  will do better than his three-year average.  I made a big adjustment for Turnbull because it doesn't make much sense to base a projection on just 16 past innings.

Summing it all up, I am projecting 823 runs allowed which is worse than last year when they had Fulmer plus a surprisingly solid season from Mike Fiers.  That combined with 690 runs scored yields a differential of 133 runs or thirteen wins below .500.  Thus, my prediction for the season is a 68-94 record.  This would be better than their 98 losses in 2017 and 2018, but not because of their pitching.         

Table 1: Projected Runs Allowed By Tigers Pitchers in 2019
Pitcher
Proj IP
RA
BSR
FIP Runs
Comb*
Proj Runs
Proj ERA
Matt Boyd
180
105
105
91
100
100
4.66
Jordan Zimmermann
160
111
109
90
103
103
5.41
Matt Moore
150
92
87
78
86
86
4.80
Tyson Ross
150
94
79
80
84
84
4.72
Spencer Turnbull
140
96
59
44
66
80
4.78
Daniel Norris
100
57
61
47
55
55
4.59
Blaine Hardy
85
42
44
40
42
48
4.73
Joe Jimenez
65
50
35
26
37
30
3.86
Shane Greene
65
34
29
28
30
30
3.90
Other
345
.
.
.
207
207
5.02
Totals
1,440



811
823
4.78



















*Average adjusted for projected innings in 2019.
 Data Source: Baseball-Reference.com

2 comments:

  1. Berdj RassamMarch 29, 2019

    This is a fairly horrific estimate of the Tigers' ERAs for 2019. If this projection is even close to being reality, the Tigers will be among the worst teams in MLB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually underestimate how many runs they will allow, so maybe be prepared for even worse! Hopefully, this time is an overestimate. It's really hard to look at this staff and see good things though.

      Delete

Sabermetrics Book

Sabermetrics Book
One of Baseball America's top ten books of 2010

Blog Archive

Subscribe

501 Baseball Books

501 Baseball Books
Recommended by Tiger Tales

Stat Counter

Site Meter