PDA

View Full Version : BP PECOTA - Twins will win Central with 84 wins


Fenway
02-15-2011, 05:26 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12948

posted without comment

DirtySox
02-15-2011, 05:30 PM
I don't agree, but this is anything but surprising. Commence explosive hyperbole from the anti-numbers brigade.

salty99
02-15-2011, 05:33 PM
:darkclouds:

DirtySox
02-15-2011, 05:33 PM
PECOTA projects the Sox at 80 - 82 for anyone wondering. It also really likes Peavy/Danks/Floyd next year, but not Burls or EJ.

soltrain21
02-15-2011, 05:35 PM
Does each team get a "why they might or might not win" in their little write up?

DirtySox
02-15-2011, 05:37 PM
Does each team get a "why they might or might not win" in their little write up?

Yep. You can find the Sox portion on the interwebs for free with a little diligence.

DumpJerry
02-15-2011, 05:39 PM
There's a typo in their little write-up.

khan
02-15-2011, 05:44 PM
I don't agree, but this is anything but surprising. Commence explosive hyperbole from the anti-numbers brigade.

Ah tell yew wut. Dem numberz r stupud! Ah aint seen no numberz tell yew nuthin', evah!

DirtySox
02-15-2011, 05:50 PM
There's a typo in their little write-up.

The Buehrle ERA thing?

DumpJerry
02-15-2011, 05:54 PM
The Buehrle ERA thing?
I did not see the White Sox write up. They said "their" when the word should be "theirs" when talking about the Twins' rotation. But when you're all wrapped up in stats unable to see the trees from the forest, typos are hard to spot.

34 Inch Stick
02-15-2011, 05:55 PM
Ah tell yew wut. Dem numberz r stupud! Ah aint seen no numberz tell yew nuthin', evah!

Here's a number I'd like to know: the average deviation between PECOTA projections and actual Sox results during the KW era. I thought the PECOTA people themselves stated that the Sox are anomolous ever since he became the GM...but that doesn't stop the yearly uproar.

soltrain21
02-15-2011, 05:56 PM
I did not see the White Sox write up. They said "their" when the word should be "theirs" when talking about the Twins' rotation. But when you're all wrapped up in stats unable to see the trees from the forest, typos are hard to spot.

It's the first typo in the history of the world. Alert the authorities. I understand you don't like what they have to say, but come on.

DirtySox
02-15-2011, 06:00 PM
I thought the PECOTA people themselves stated that the Sox are anomolous ever since he became the GM...but that doesn't stop the yearly uproar.

Quite right.

DumpJerry
02-15-2011, 06:02 PM
It's the first typo in the history of the world. Alert the authorities. I understand you don't like what they have to say, but come on.
I'm sorry, I did not realize you wrote for BP. My apologies.

Nelfox02
02-15-2011, 06:04 PM
PECOTA projects the Sox at 80 - 82 for anyone wondering. It also really likes Peavy/Danks/Floyd next year, but not Burls or EJ.



wonder what the fall out from JR and Co. would be if this team with this payroll actually produced an 80-82 win season and lost the division

Praying we never find out.....

soltrain21
02-15-2011, 06:06 PM
I'm sorry, I did not realize you wrote for BP. My apologies.

I just think calling out them missing an S in a write up is about as anal as they get about numbers, which you hate.

kittle42
02-15-2011, 06:08 PM
That Bill Pecota and his crazy projections!

Daver
02-15-2011, 06:08 PM
Now this thread is closer to where it belongs.

DumpJerry
02-15-2011, 06:10 PM
I just think calling out them missing an S in a write up is about as anal as they get about numbers, which you hate.
Thank you for letting me know what my emotions are. I had no idea what that weird feeling was when I took all those statistics courses (three of them) in graduate school.

Where did I say I "hate" numbers? I just want to know so I can identify my emotional cues from now on.

Lip Man 1
02-15-2011, 06:12 PM
This from the "geniuses" who were off a ton on the Sox again last year.

Just wondering...how many seasons do these eggheads have to be wrong before fans stop getting worked up over them?

Oh by the way, look for Dave Van Dyke to have a story on this in the Tribune...he does it every year, yet strangely he never has a story at the end of the season when they wind up with egg on their faces.

:D:

Lip

DirtySox
02-15-2011, 06:18 PM
Just wondering...how many seasons do these eggheads have to be wrong before fans stop getting worked up over them?


Only a certain type of person gets worked up over this projection system.

soltrain21
02-15-2011, 06:22 PM
Thank you for letting me know what my emotions are. I had no idea what that weird feeling was when I took all those statistics courses (three of them) in graduate school.

Where did I say I "hate" numbers? I just want to know so I can identify my emotional cues from now on.

My apologies. I thought I remember reading how much you hated them at one point. If you didn't then I apologize.

It's sort of hard to keep track of all the things people hate around here. Especially when it comes to numbers.

khan
02-15-2011, 06:29 PM
My apologies. I thought I remember reading how much you hated them at one point. If you didn't then I apologize.

It's sort of hard to keep track of all the things people hate around here. Especially when it comes to numbers.
Yeah, ah hayte numberz, to.

Daver
02-15-2011, 06:48 PM
It's sort of hard to keep track of all the things people hate around here. Especially when it comes to numbers.

Hate is a very strong word, I don't hate anything, I also have no real interest in the mental masturbation that all statistical projections are, and I will never understand why anyone would consider them as informative in any way. Numbers can only tell what has been, not what will be, and numbers even lie doing that.

doublem23
02-15-2011, 06:53 PM
This from the "geniuses" who were off a ton on the Sox again last year.

Just wondering...how many seasons do these eggheads have to be wrong before fans stop getting worked up over them?

Oh by the way, look for Dave Van Dyke to have a story on this in the Tribune...he does it every year, yet strangely he never has a story at the end of the season when they wind up with egg on their faces.

:D:

Lip

Last year they projected the Sox for 80 wins. They won 88, and went 86-76 in Pythagorean W/L. That's really not that far off, don't make it sound like they called for the Sox to win 60 games last season or something.

asindc
02-15-2011, 07:27 PM
Last year they projected the Sox for 80 wins. They won 88, and went 86-76 in Pythagorean W/L. That's really not that far off, don't make it sound like they called for the Sox to win 60 games last season or something.

They are consistently off by 6-9 games with the Sox, though. It's as if the projections are based on different rosters than the ones actually comprised each year.

Lip Man 1
02-15-2011, 07:53 PM
Double:

Eight wins to me is being off by a good amount. Like Asin says they seem to be consistently off by a good number every season except for 2007.

And of course what they predicted for 2005, well...we all know about that! :D:

I think that a program that many claim to be so accurate (although in fairness I don't know if BP ever made that claim- it could just be their supporters) should be a lot closer than eight games off.

Lip

TommyJohn
02-15-2011, 09:05 PM
Ah tell yew wut. Dem numberz r stupud! Ah aint seen no numberz tell yew nuthin', evah!

I don't know. I don't care at all for any of that statistical mumbo-jumbo, and I fancy myself a pretty good speller. Not up there with Bill the Bard to be sure, but OK for a south sider.

On the other hand, I don't post frothing rants about Edwin Jackson or about how lousy the 88 win team was. Guess everybody has their quirks.

Lip Man 1
02-15-2011, 10:10 PM
Tommy:

Well played sir...VERY WELL PLAYED!

:D:

Lip

doublem23
02-15-2011, 10:15 PM
Double:

Eight wins to me is being off by a good amount. Like Asin says they seem to be consistently off by a good number every season except for 2007.

And of course what they predicted for 2005, well...we all know about that! :D:

I think that a program that many claim to be so accurate (although in fairness I don't know if BP ever made that claim- it could just be their supporters) should be a lot closer than eight games off.

Lip

Well first, if you're going to rag on PECOTA and BP you should know what it's measuring, PECOTA basically makes projections in Pythagorean W-L, it's not like they simulate every game, these are season-wide projections.

At any rate, as quick as you are to jump on BP for 2005, what about 2007, when BP pretty much nailed the Sox as a 70-win team? Don't like to mention the season that completely contradicts whatever silly axe to grind you have with the guys at BP too much, I see?

Daver
02-15-2011, 10:18 PM
Well first, if you're going to rag on PECOTA and BP you should know what it's measuring, PECOTA basically makes projections in Pythagorean W-L, it's not like they simulate every game, these are season-wide projections.

At any rate, as quick as you are to jump on BP for 2005, what about 2007, when BP pretty much nailed the Sox as a 70-win team? Don't like to mention the season that completely contradicts whatever silly axe to grind you have with the guys at BP too much, I see?

One right in how many tries?

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Oblong
02-15-2011, 10:18 PM
The important thing to remember is that this is a projection, not a prediction. They are different things. I don't find this stuff to be that useful anyway as we don't know who will get hurt, demoted, etc.

Here (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/336171-2010-pecota-projections-the-winners) were the 2010 PECOTA projections.

I'll summarize where they were on each team for you:

NL EAST. They were sort of right as they had both ATL and PHI winning 85 games so it was a toss up between the two. However they won 91 and 97 games. So I don't really count that as a success. Especially when you consider who else is in that division.

NL CENTRAL. They nailed the Cardinals winning 86 games, Congratulations there. However the Reds won 91. Don't know what they predicted for them since it wasn't on the link I'm looking at.

NL WEST . Dodgers 86 wins. They won only 80. Padres and Giants won more.

AL EAST. Red Sox and Yankees at 93 wins. Sawx finished with 89, Rays with 96 and Yanks 95.

AL CENTRAL. Twins with 83. They won 94.

AL WEST. A's 85. They won 81. Rangers won 90.

So again.... I really do not see the point of this exercise by them. Basing projections in January on something that's starting in April. Those are results I'd expect from a simulation.

doublem23
02-15-2011, 10:22 PM
One right in how many tries?

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

OK and as far as I know, they've only been horrifically wrong about the Sox once in that time span, too.

Whatever half-baked conspiracies anyone has about BP, these guys are pretty much regarded as knowledgeable, valuable minds within the baseball community. Even the Sox have an inhouse sabremetric guys.

sullythered
02-15-2011, 10:32 PM
I'm not against statistical analysis, but it seems awfully arbitrary and sort of silly to me to use any equation to prognosticate a certain number of wins for something as human influenced as a baseball season. If you take a step back, it's really pretty foolish to put a number on it.

doublem23
02-15-2011, 10:36 PM
I'm not against statistical analysis, but it seems awfully arbitrary and sort of silly to me to use any equation to prognosticate a certain number of wins for something as human influenced as a baseball season. If you take a step back, it's really pretty foolish to put a number on it.

Right, but that's also some of the fun of it. I don't think I've ever read the BP column that some of its detractors seem to have that explicitly states that they never think they're wrong and anyone who questions their methods is stupid, but it must exist.

Every year BP makes some changes to their formulas, especially those as complex as PECOTA. I mean, that's some of the fun of it. Just because something's hard doesn't inherently mean it's not worth doing.

sullythered
02-15-2011, 10:40 PM
Right, but that's also some of the fun of it. I don't think I've ever read the BP column that some of its detractors seem to have that explicitly states that they never think they're wrong and anyone who questions their methods is stupid, but it must exist.

Every year BP makes some changes to their formulas, especially those as complex as PECOTA. I mean, that's some of the fun of it. Just because something's hard doesn't inherently mean it's not worth doing.

I don't argue the fun in it. Hell, this is coming from a guy who constantly simulates full seasons of video game baseball because I enjoy the GM part of it way more. All I'm saying is that it's kinda silly, and shouldn't be taken seriously (in a positive or negative way). But I like silly stuff.:D:

Johnny Mostil
02-15-2011, 11:06 PM
The important thing to remember is that this is a projection, not a prediction. They are different things. I don't find this stuff to be that useful anyway as we don't know who will get hurt, demoted, etc.

Here (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/336171-2010-pecota-projections-the-winners) were the 2010 PECOTA projections.

I'll summarize where they were on each team for you:

NL EAST. They were sort of right as they had both ATL and PHI winning 85 games so it was a toss up between the two. However they won 91 and 97 games. So I don't really count that as a success. Especially when you consider who else is in that division.

NL CENTRAL. They nailed the Cardinals winning 86 games, Congratulations there. However the Reds won 91. Don't know what they predicted for them since it wasn't on the link I'm looking at.

NL WEST . Dodgers 86 wins. They won only 80. Padres and Giants won more.

AL EAST. Red Sox and Yankees at 93 wins. Sawx finished with 89, Rays with 96 and Yanks 95.

AL CENTRAL. Twins with 83. They won 94.

AL WEST. A's 85. They won 81. Rangers won 90.

So again.... I really do not see the point of this exercise by them. Basing projections in January on something that's starting in April. Those are results I'd expect from a simulation.

I don't follow these much, but I did see something interesting (at least to me) in the 2010 projections. They had only two teams, the Red Sox and the Yankees, with more than 90 wins (unless they were projecting the third-place ALE team with 90+ wins). All the other projected division winners were projected to have 86 or fewer wins. Of course, most division winners last year (and nine teams throughout MLB) had at least 90 wins, as most division winners do most years.

So here's my question: are these meant more to project order of finish or number of wins a team will have? Or are they really meant to do both? I'm not interested in the arguments on the merits of these projections; I'm just curious about their primary purpose.

Thanks!

Lip Man 1
02-15-2011, 11:27 PM
Ummm Double you did see this in my post correct?

"they seem to be consistently off by a good number every season except for 2007."

Also Double look back in the WSI threads... there was a specific thread if memory serves, on Joe Sheehan's "response" to White Sox fans who hammered him via e-mails right after 2005. He wrote a column about it on his web site again if memory serves and the link was posted in the WSI thread.

Again it's been five years or so, so I don't recall the specific wording but his direct implication was that Sox fans had no right to "question" BP or their methods. He came across as a sanctimonious ass.

Stats are a useful tool in baseball but some take it to the extreme and BP is certainly one of them...Daver has it pretty well pegged in my opinion.

We'll again have to disagree on this issue.

Lip

TDog
02-16-2011, 12:14 AM
Hate is a very strong word, I don't hate anything, I also have no real interest in the mental masturbation that all statistical projections are, and I will never understand why anyone would consider them as informative in any way. Numbers can only tell what has been, not what will be, and numbers even lie doing that.

Well put.

Not only are you talking about past numbers projecting future success or lack thereof, you are talking about analyzing what effect those past numbers will have on an adversarial team sport full of unpredictable variables. If you read what Baseball Prospectus said about the White Sox going into the 2007 season (I saw the 2007 BP book recently in a book store), you will see that why BP believed the White Sox would win just 70 games was completely wrong. In other words, the prediction was a lucky guess.

I agree with Lip in this thread and really don't understand why anyone cares what BP predictions.

Nellie_Fox
02-16-2011, 12:57 AM
...what about 2007, when BP pretty much nailed the Sox as a 70-win team? Don't like to mention the season that completely contradicts whatever silly axe to grind you have with the guys at BP too much, I see?

If you read what Baseball Prospectus said about the White Sox going into the 2007 season (I saw the 2007 BP book recently in a book store), you will see that why BP believed the White Sox would win just 70 games was completely wrong. In other words, the prediction was a lucky guess.That's the way I remember it too. Getting the numbers right when it's for all the wrong reasons is not impressive.

Chez
02-16-2011, 08:27 AM
Holy crap! Why do people get so worked up over predictions -- statistical or otherwise? It's a prediction, nothing more -- less reliable than a weather forecast. Fortunately the games still have to be played.

Bob Roarman
02-16-2011, 09:28 AM
I don't take everything Baseball Prospectus projects or predicts or calculates as gospel, and they admit as well that there are certain aspects that are work in progress (like defensive stats), but that doesn't mean that none of it is informative, that it's all pointless "mental masturbation". That's the other extreme, the opposite end of the spectrum, just as silly and wrong as believing everything BP says is 100% accurate. They have proven to be a useful tool because, like it or not, teams have incorporated their methods and stats into how they view players.

hawkjt
02-16-2011, 09:47 AM
They were off by 10% last year on the Sox. So,if they miss again by 10%, the Sox are at 88-90 wins. And the Twins could be off by 10% the other way,finishing with 76 wins....Sox take the Central,and BP is still consistently within their margin of error....cool:D:

SI1020
02-16-2011, 09:59 AM
Last year they projected the Sox for 80 wins. They won 88, and went 86-76 in Pythagorean W/L. That's really not that far off, don't make it sound like they called for the Sox to win 60 games last season or something. I'm sorry, but as for me that's not what I'd call accurate. It's not grossly off the mark, but it's still a miss. Now I don't know one way or the other, but I'd be interested in knowing their long term track record. As for the Pythagorean thing, it's got to be the most worthless stat out there. Cleveland Indians, 2005 AL Champs.

mantis1212
02-16-2011, 10:07 AM
So, in other words, they say the Sox will be 8 games better than in 2005. (I believe it was PECOTA who said 72 wins for the 2005 Sox).

So translating to real life numbers, we're looking at 106 wins- AWESOME!

Moses_Scurry
02-16-2011, 10:09 AM
I'm sorry, but as for me that's not what I'd call accurate. It's not grossly off the mark, but it's still a miss. Now I don't know one way or the other, but I'd be interested in knowing their long term track record. As for the Pythagorean thing, it's got to be the most worthless stat out there. Cleveland Indians, 2005 AL Champs.

Last year, I predicted 90 wins, and that was without any advanced statistical analysis. I basically figured they won 79 in 2009 but had Peavy and Rios for the entire season, a new, competent lead off hitter in Pierre, and another year of experience for Floyd and Danks.

As you can see, I was only off by two wins, compared to 8 wins for PECOTA. As with PECOTA's 2007 results, the reasons I was so close were not really the reasons I thought they would win 90 games.

I am only starting to warm up to the advanced statistics. I still look at average, HR, and RBI first for hitters and W-L, ERA, and strikeouts for pitchers (saves and/or ERA for relief pitchers). I am not a militant anti-Stats person like some. However, I think that the PECOTA projections are crap.

If they just made the projections and that was the end of it, nobody would care. But, the ONE time they were correct with the Sox win total in 2007 (for all the wrong reasons, mind you), they published a smug, condescending article about their greatness. That will rub most people the wrong way.

The point of this novel is that I could pull predictions out of my ass like I did last year and be within 8 wins in most cases.

russ99
02-16-2011, 10:09 AM
They were off by 10% last year on the Sox. So,if they miss again by 10%, the Sox are at 88-90 wins. And the Twins could be off by 10% the other way,finishing with 76 wins....Sox take the Central,and BP is still consistently within their margin of error....cool:D:

I can't remember BP/Pecota ever being right about the Sox.

IMO it's due to the Sox' focus on the big league team, and not the farm system, so there's a built-in bias against us due to BA being a prospect-driven publication.

doublem23
02-16-2011, 10:29 AM
I agree with Lip in this thread and really don't understand why anyone cares what BP predictions.

Because if you get past the whole "DURRRRRRRRRRR NUMBERS ARE STOOPID" mindset, you'd see that they're every bit as good and as flawed as your standard baseball journalist. Phil Rodgers gets a free pass as a "baseball expert" despite the fact his understanding of the game is roughly at a 5-year-old's level, but at least he doesn't do space-aged, mental masturbation math exercises like ADDITION and DIVISION. THAT'S FOR ****ING GEEKS, BRO.

BringHomeDaBacon
02-16-2011, 10:38 AM
The projections are always low because they factor in all possible outcomes which includes the possibility of injury. For example, there's a chance that any given team could lose 1/5, 2/5,3/5,4/5 or even it's entire starting rotation. Or maybe it's best player or two or three etc. When you factor in the percentage likelihood of these things happening, you end up with what seems like an excessively conservative projection.

Moses_Scurry
02-16-2011, 10:55 AM
Because if you get past the whole "DURRRRRRRRRRR NUMBERS ARE STOOPID" mindset, you'd see that they're every bit as good and as flawed as your standard baseball journalist. Phil Rodgers gets a free pass as a "baseball expert" despite the fact his understanding of the game is roughly at a 5-year-old's level, but at least he doesn't do space-aged, mental masturbation math exercises like ADDITION and DIVISION. THAT'S FOR ****ING GEEKS, BRO.

I'd say Phil Rodgers gets less of a pass (at least here) than any of the stat-head sites.

Corlose 15
02-16-2011, 11:13 AM
The projections are always low because they factor in all possible outcomes which includes the possibility of injury. For example, there's a chance that any given team could lose 1/5, 2/5,3/5,4/5 or even it's entire starting rotation. Or maybe it's best player or two or three etc. When you factor in the percentage likelihood of these things happening, you end up with what seems like an excessively conservative projection.

If the projections are always low then why do they bother to predict team's W/L record? If their records are off they're really doing nothing more than predicting order of finish, and ANYBODY can do that.

khan
02-16-2011, 11:24 AM
I don't know. I don't care at all for any of that statistical mumbo-jumbo, and I fancy myself a pretty good speller. Not up there with Bill the Bard to be sure, but OK for a south sider.

On the other hand, I don't post frothing rants about Edwin Jackson or about how lousy the 88 win team was. Guess everybody has their quirks.

This from the guy who predicted:

"I seriously think that with Ozzie Guillen helming the club and guiding Williams in the trade mart, the White Sox' all-time one season nadir of 56-106 is in sight."

This, before the 2005 season, right?



Hey, I'd love to be dead wrong about the team and about Jackson. But I was closer to being right about the faulted nature of the 2010 team than you were about the 2005 team. Yes, we all have our quirks, and mine are no better nor worse than numerophobia.



Anyway, resume normal service:

Dam numberz. Ah'd rathur have better stuf then numberz. Ah no yewd agree, to.

mantis1212
02-16-2011, 12:13 PM
Because if you get past the whole "DURRRRRRRRRRR NUMBERS ARE STOOPID" mindset, you'd see that they're every bit as good and as flawed as your standard baseball journalist. Phil Rodgers gets a free pass as a "baseball expert" despite the fact his understanding of the game is roughly at a 5-year-old's level, but at least he doesn't do space-aged, mental masturbation math exercises like ADDITION and DIVISION. THAT'S FOR ****ING GEEKS, BRO.

I agree they are as flawed as any baseball journalist, but the journalists don't lean on their predictions being "mathmatical", and therefore more legitimate somehow.

If you put numerous hours and pay mathmaticans to predict something that your everyday journalist can match in accuracy, there is no value in these predictions.

FielderJones
02-16-2011, 12:22 PM
At any rate, as quick as you are to jump on BP for 2005, what about 2007, when BP pretty much nailed the Sox as a 70-win team?

Blind squirrel, nut.

What are the 2000-2010 PECOTA vs actuals for the Sox?

kittle42
02-16-2011, 12:35 PM
Blah, blibbidy, blah, blah. If the PECOTA projections for the Sox were 95 wins every season, half the people in this thread wouldn't be complaining about them.

Gavin
02-16-2011, 12:49 PM
In truth, statistical mental masturbation really gets me going. Nice coin of phrase for it, Daver.

I think some people won't accept statistical predictions until they match reality and they match reality exactly.

Nellie_Fox
02-16-2011, 12:51 PM
Blah, blibbidy, blah, blah. If the PECOTA projections for the Sox were 95 wins every season, half the people in this thread wouldn't be complaining about them.
Sure they would. It would be like the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. People would be screaming for them to stop projecting 95 wins because it was jinxing the Sox.

I said this last time the PECOTA subject came up. I don't get why people even WANT to try to project the season. If they were right, then what would be the point in watching the games, and if they're wrong, what's the point all together? Just let the season unfold; sit back, relax, and strap it down!

doublem23
02-16-2011, 12:51 PM
I agree they are as flawed as any baseball journalist, but the journalists don't lean on their predictions being "mathmatical", and therefore more legitimate somehow.

If you put numerous hours and pay mathmaticans to predict something that your everyday journalist can match in accuracy, there is no value in these predictions.

Maybe this is just personal opinion (because I, you know, understand math), but I never get the feeling that the guys at BP think their **** don't stink any more than any other sports columnist out there. They simply take a radically different approach to understanding the game of baseball that simply doesn't mesh well with guys who are too set in their ways to rock the boat. BP routinely prints columns in which they talk about the tweaks and changes to their formulas. If that doesn't say, "We know we're not perfect but we try to be," then I don't know what does. Meanwhile, there are plenty of sportswriters out there who have embarrassed themselves this past decade with diatribes against blogs or ther internet, proudly proclaiming, MY OPINION IS MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE I HAVE A DEGREE... IN ENGLISH COMPOSITION... or something.

Gavin
02-16-2011, 12:52 PM
Sure they would. It would be like the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. People would be screaming for them to stop projecting 95 wins because it was jinxing the Sox.

I said this last time the PECOTA subject came up. I don't get why people even WANT to try to project the season. If they were right, then what would be the point in watching the games, and if they're wrong, what's the point all together? Just let the season unfold; sit back, relax, and strap it down!

Because it's February 16th, obvi

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 12:59 PM
Last year they projected the Sox for 80 wins. They won 88, and went 86-76 in Pythagorean W/L. That's really not that far off, don't make it sound like they called for the Sox to win 60 games last season or something.


Those numbers mean nothing without knowing the standard deviation. If it's 3 games or less they are well into "poor guess at best" area.

russ99
02-16-2011, 01:03 PM
Even Bill James says pitching is just too fluky to project with any accuracy.

So while PECOTA isn't a bad tool as a baseline of what to expect, they really shouldn't use it to project or predict standings.

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 01:06 PM
Well first, if you're going to rag on PECOTA and BP you should know what it's measuring, PECOTA basically makes projections in Pythagorean W-L, it's not like they simulate every game, these are season-wide projections.

At any rate, as quick as you are to jump on BP for 2005, what about 2007, when BP pretty much nailed the Sox as a 70-win team? Don't like to mention the season that completely contradicts whatever silly axe to grind you have with the guys at BP too much, I see?

I knew that someone would bring up the one year they nailed the Sox final record. What's the meta data of their projections? Has anyone done an actual analysis of their over all predictive record? I mean if you look at the last decade and they hit one perfect result and the others were all 3+ standard deviations wrong (I don't know that to be the case I'm merely using an example here) then the data is meaningless by definition.

Of course that's what you get when you try to predict outcomes based on best guess stats for the predicted players on each team's roster. First it ignores possible upgrades/losses to those rosters. Second it ignores the fact that even a bad statistical team can have good W-L outcomes if they win a lot of close games but have several bad blowouts through the year and finally it completely ignores that each and every given player's numbers can vary dramatically from their career averages in any given season (one example would be Dunn who is moving to a very hitter friendly park).

My issues aren't that I hate numbers/stats it's that I just don't think much of this particular methodology.

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 01:10 PM
Blah, blibbidy, blah, blah. If the PECOTA projections for the Sox were 95 wins every season, half the people in this thread wouldn't be complaining about them.

For people complaining about the non-stat crowd painting with a broad brush this seems like an exceedingly over-simplified statement.

Kind of like the folks who are arguing that the only reason people don't like the projections is because we are too stupid/stubborn to understand them.

Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper folks...

mantis1212
02-16-2011, 01:15 PM
Maybe this is just personal opinion (because I, you know, understand math), but I never get the feeling that the guys at BP think their **** don't stink any more than any other sports columnist out there. They simply take a radically different approach to understanding the game of baseball that simply doesn't mesh well with guys who are too set in their ways to rock the boat. BP routinely prints columns in which they talk about the tweaks and changes to their formulas. If that doesn't say, "We know we're not perfect but we try to be," then I don't know what does. Meanwhile, there are plenty of sportswriters out there who have embarrassed themselves this past decade with diatribes against blogs or ther internet, proudly proclaiming, MY OPINION IS MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE I HAVE A DEGREE... IN ENGLISH COMPOSITION... or something.

Maybe it not them then, but their believers that seem that the **** doesn't stink. Your comment about "understanding math" doesn't help that stereotype.

I, for example, do understand math and statistical concepts such as standard deviation, normal distribution, 1-3 sigma and such. But I all have to do is look at their results and know its just not working any better than a sports writer predicting the results. Maybe one day it will, but it isn't yet.

soltrain21
02-16-2011, 01:17 PM
Maybe this is just personal opinion (because I, you know, understand math), but I never get the feeling that the guys at BP think their **** don't stink any more than any other sports columnist out there. They simply take a radically different approach to understanding the game of baseball that simply doesn't mesh well with guys who are too set in their ways to rock the boat. BP routinely prints columns in which they talk about the tweaks and changes to their formulas. If that doesn't say, "We know we're not perfect but we try to be," then I don't know what does. Meanwhile, there are plenty of sportswriters out there who have embarrassed themselves this past decade with diatribes against blogs or ther internet, proudly proclaiming, MY OPINION IS MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE I HAVE A DEGREE... IN ENGLISH COMPOSITION... or something.

I'm with you. The dudes like math and they like baseball. Each year they work on formulas for predictions. It's not like they are hurting the game of baseball with them, or something.

Some people like to ride roller coasters. Others like building roller coasters. Whichever group they are in, they have fun doing it. To each their own.

doublem23
02-16-2011, 01:18 PM
Of course that's what you get when you try to predict outcomes based on best guess stats for the predicted players on each team's roster. First it ignores possible upgrades/losses to those rosters. Second it ignores the fact that even a bad statistical team can have good W-L outcomes if they win a lot of close games but have several bad blowouts through the year and finally it completely ignores that each and every given player's numbers can vary dramatically from their career averages in any given season (one example would be Dunn who is moving to a very hitter friendly park).

No ****ing ****.

First off, PECOTA does adjust for players moving to a new ballpark, so you can scratch that off your list of complaints. But otherwise, of course there's always going to be wild, unexpected seasons from players and teams. Hell, there's probably a scenario out there with the Royals winning the AL Central that's not terribly unrealistic, the question is just because it could happen once, doesn't mean that's automatically going to happen 9,999 other times. The object of PECOTA is to try and find the most likely scenarios, indicated that they make their projections in Pythagorean W-L, another stat I have no idea why so many people have such disdain for. IT'S JUST ****ING RUNS SCORED V. RUNS ALLOWED just repackaged in a way that is easy to read against standard W-L. It's the simplest, most basic stat in the world.

beasly213
02-16-2011, 01:23 PM
I'm not into all the numbers that these guys put out but I don't rag on them. They are taking data that as already happened, plugging it into a computer and coming up with projections based on those numbers. Of course they aren't always accurate because over the course of 162 games a lot of variables can happen that are impossible to predict..(injuries, random awesome years by players etc.) I don't know why people get all up in arms about this kind of stuff.

asindc
02-16-2011, 01:37 PM
Last year, I predicted 90 wins, and that was without any advanced statistical analysis. I basically figured they won 79 in 2009 but had Peavy and Rios for the entire season, a new, competent lead off hitter in Pierre, and another year of experience for Floyd and Danks.

As you can see, I was only off by two wins, compared to 8 wins for PECOTA. As with PECOTA's 2007 results, the reasons I was so close were not really the reasons I thought they would win 90 games.

I am only starting to warm up to the advanced statistics. I still look at average, HR, and RBI first for hitters and W-L, ERA, and strikeouts for pitchers (saves and/or ERA for relief pitchers). I am not a militant anti-Stats person like some. However, I think that the PECOTA projections are crap.

If they just made the projections and that was the end of it, nobody would care. But, the ONE time they were correct with the Sox win total in 2007 (for all the wrong reasons, mind you), they published a smug, condescending article about their greatness. That will rub most people the wrong way.

The point of this novel is that I could pull predictions out of my ass like I did last year and be within 8 wins in most cases.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is really the crux of the matter for why many of us have disdain for the PECOTA projections. I'm not talking about the idea of using statistical analysis to project outcomes of baseball games, I'm talking about the fact that the PECOTA projections are no better than any of us making projections without the use of a calculator. Even in the one season PECOTA correctly projected the Sox win total (2007), the reasoning turned out to be inaccurate. If the PECOTA projection system had been adjusted over time to project with more accuracy, then I would find it more valid. But despite their tweaking, the projections continue to be as inconsistent as ever.

TommyJohn
02-16-2011, 01:41 PM
. Even in the one season PECOTA correctly projected the Sox win total (2007), the reasoning turned out to be inaccurate. But that didn't stop them from being smug about it.

JB98
02-16-2011, 01:47 PM
I've always looked at these projections as something that creates discussion and debate on message boards such as this. Sometimes the projections are correct, sometimes they are horribly wrong.

One thing I know is true is that it will take more than 84 wins to take this division. Most of the time, the team that wins this division hits the 90-win mark.

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 01:50 PM
No ****ing ****.

First off, PECOTA does adjust for players moving to a new ballpark, so you can scratch that off your list of complaints. But otherwise, of course there's always going to be wild, unexpected seasons from players and teams. Hell, there's probably a scenario out there with the Royals winning the AL Central that's not terribly unrealistic, the question is just because it could happen once, doesn't mean that's automatically going to happen 9,999 other times. The object of PECOTA is to try and find the most likely scenarios, indicated that they make their projections in Pythagorean W-L, another stat I have no idea why so many people have such disdain for. IT'S JUST ****ING RUNS SCORED V. RUNS ALLOWED just repackaged in a way that is easy to read against standard W-L. It's the simplest, most basic stat in the world.

It's actually JUST ****ING PROJECTED RUNS SCORED V. PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED.

And since that's obviously as discussed subject to too many whims of the baseball gawds it all comes down guessing. They just have a fancy-dancy, superduper mini-computer doing their guessing (actually an average of 1000 or so guesses based on past performance). Thus people say, "wow a computer said it so it must be true," but... this isn't Jeopardy or chess or even climatology so in the end it comes down to how much stock you wanna put in these guesses.

However I do find it interesting that this now yearly topic always comes down to no whether or not people respect BP, their methodology or even care to pay attention to it and not about the projections themselves. Does that make BP the troll-stat site because no one is talking about their numbers but we are all staring squarely at them and talking about them and no press is bad press right?

oh sorry let me rephrase so you can pigeonhole me some more...

"DURRRRR... BP sucks..." :rolleyes:

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 01:51 PM
and that, ladies and gentleman, is really the crux of the matter for why many of us have disdain for the pecota projections. i'm not talking about the idea of using statistical analysis to project outcomes of baseball games, i'm talking about the fact that the pecota projections are no better than any of us making projections without the use of a calculator. even in the one season pecota correctly projected the sox win total (2007), the reasoning turned out to be inaccurate. If the pecota projection system had been adjusted over time to project with more accuracy, then i would find it more valid. But despite their tweaking, the projections continue to be as inconsistent as ever.

ty...

pearso66
02-16-2011, 01:52 PM
No ****ing ****.

First off, PECOTA does adjust for players moving to a new ballpark, so you can scratch that off your list of complaints. But otherwise, of course there's always going to be wild, unexpected seasons from players and teams. Hell, there's probably a scenario out there with the Royals winning the AL Central that's not terribly unrealistic, the question is just because it could happen once, doesn't mean that's automatically going to happen 9,999 other times. The object of PECOTA is to try and find the most likely scenarios, indicated that they make their projections in Pythagorean W-L, another stat I have no idea why so many people have such disdain for. IT'S JUST ****ING RUNS SCORED V. RUNS ALLOWED just repackaged in a way that is easy to read against standard W-L. It's the simplest, most basic stat in the world.


My biggest problem with using all these formulas is maybe not the guys who are doing the numbers, and maybe they are actual writers, but they use the numbers to spout out crap. I know 2005 is overused here, but I remember in 2005 people quoting Pythagorean W-L saying oh the Sox are a worse team than the Indians, they are just lucky. There were more examples but that sticks out in my mind. Also I do remember people saying when they were wrong in 05 they were smug in saying well it's only a prediction, but in 07 they were more so because they were right. Just so it doesn't get into "I understand math" I took plenty of math classes by getting an Engineering degree, so I do understand it.

Maybe PECOTA should come out in their articles stating "this is just a prediction, we know it will probably be wrong" maybe there wouldn't be so many haters. I don't know, I don't follow all those stats that closely, I prefer to watch the games and see what happens not say, man these guys are super lucky, they shouldn't have this many losses.

WhiteSox5187
02-16-2011, 02:17 PM
Well, the folks at BP PECOTA have a less than stellar track record when it comes to predicting how the Sox will do so like almost every prediction I take it with a grain of salt.

What bothers me so much about BP and other stat heads is the way they consider stats and what they write as gospel. All stats are are really just a way of better comprehending the game. I remember reading a Rob Neyer article where he was talking about Omar Visquel and pointed out his OPS+ which was bad and then called him the worst third baseman in the league. This baffled me because clearly Omar is not at third for his OPS+, there is a side to baseball that cannot be measured by stats and stat heads and the people from BP just so willingly dismiss it that is infuriating to me. Both sides are useful, stats can explain some interesting things and can help get a better understanding of the game, but they are not the end all be all.

Tragg
02-16-2011, 02:20 PM
Things like Pecota, and the worship thereof, are what gives statistical analysis a bad rap.

Moses_Scurry
02-16-2011, 02:22 PM
Things like Pecota, and the worship thereof, are what gives statistical analysis a bad rap.

Agreed. Stats don't suck. PECOTA sucks!

doublem23
02-16-2011, 02:30 PM
It's actually JUST ****ING PROJECTED RUNS SCORED V. PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED.



Pythagorean W-L is based on real, actual runs.

doublem23
02-16-2011, 02:34 PM
My biggest problem with using all these formulas is maybe not the guys who are doing the numbers, and maybe they are actual writers, but they use the numbers to spout out crap. I know 2005 is overused here, but I remember in 2005 people quoting Pythagorean W-L saying oh the Sox are a worse team than the Indians, they are just lucky.


Well since people are getting all pissy about things like standard deviation, look at how far off the statistical mean the Sox's bullpen ERA was in 2005, both compared to the rest of the league and the each pitcher's career. That, alone, should be measurement of how lucky the Sox were in 2005, not lucky in that bounces were always going there way or that umps were always giving us the benefit of the doubt, but lucky in that every player in the bullpen had a career year in 2005.

You saw how the Tribe played the last half of the 2005 season, there's almost no reason to believe they couldn't have won the World Series if they had won the division instead of us.

doublem23
02-16-2011, 02:42 PM
However I do find it interesting that this now yearly topic always comes down to no whether or not people respect BP, their methodology or even care to pay attention to it and not about the projections themselves. Does that make BP the troll-stat site because no one is talking about their numbers but we are all staring squarely at them and talking about them and no press is bad press right?

No it's because the idiots who don't bother understanding or trying to understand how they come up with these numbers just throw their arms in the air and act like Satan himself just landed in Times Square. OMG, they're playing baseball on spreadsheets! What a bunch of nerds!

This thread would probably be about 10 replies long if the people that just didn't like BP and their methods would just fight the urge to run their mouths. Kind of like how I never post in golf thread because I don't like golf and have nothing interesting to add to those threads.

kittle42
02-16-2011, 02:42 PM
Well since people are getting all pissy about things like standard deviation, look at how far off the statistical mean the Sox's bullpen ERA was in 2005, both compared to the rest of the league and the each pitcher's career. That, alone, should be measurement of how lucky the Sox were in 2005, not lucky in that bounces were always going there way or that umps were always giving us the benefit of the doubt, but lucky in that every player in the bullpen had a career year in 2005.

I like the way that Shandler deals with the "luck factor" in his individual player projections in Baseball Forecaster (a must have for all you fantasy geeks). Let's take a guy like Politte or Cotts in 2005. Shandler probably would have projected some regression to the mean in 2006, and then has a measure he calls Rand Var that goes from +5 to -5 to show what kind of impact random variance had on the player's numbers in 2005 to show the likelihood they could replicate their stats in 2006. My guess is both guys would have been -4 or -5, accurately, as it turns out.

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 03:42 PM
Pythagorean W-L is based on real, actual runs.

Right but the current projections are projected Pythagorean W-L records off of projected runs scored and allowed

mjmcend
02-16-2011, 03:43 PM
I can't remember BP/Pecota ever being right about the Sox.

IMO it's due to the Sox' focus on the big league team, and not the farm system, so there's a built-in bias against us due to BA being a prospect-driven publication.


Except BA (Baseball America, the prospect driven source) and BP (Baseball Prospectus, the stat one) are entirely different organizations.

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 03:45 PM
No it's because the idiots who don't bother understanding or trying to understand how they come up with these numbers just throw their arms in the air and act like Satan himself just landed in Times Square. OMG, they're playing baseball on spreadsheets! What a bunch of nerds!

This thread would probably be about 10 replies long if the people that just didn't like BP and their methods would just fight the urge to run their mouths. Kind of like how I never post in golf thread because I don't like golf and have nothing interesting to add to those threads.

Yes and 20 if you and the others would refrain from feeding said trolls.

Edit: But and in addition there is a valid line of discussion on whether BP's projections deserve to be taken seriously or not. Yes there are some who automatically dismiss stat based analysis but there are others (like me) who merely think this particular model needs a closer look. If indeed their projections on an overall basis since they've started publishing them are bad (several deviations from the norm) then continuing to discuss their yearly projections seems silly...

khan
02-16-2011, 03:56 PM
No it's because the idiots who don't bother understanding or trying to understand how they come up with these numbers just throw their arms in the air and act like Satan himself just landed in Times Square. OMG, they're playing baseball on spreadsheets! What a bunch of nerds!

This thread would probably be about 10 replies long if the people that just didn't like BP and their methods would just fight the urge to run their mouths. Kind of like how I never post in golf thread because I don't like golf and have nothing interesting to add to those threads.

No, yur rong! Dose propelur hedz an there numberz are stupud! Ah no baseball, dey dont, cuz their stupud!

spawn
02-16-2011, 04:03 PM
Ah tell yew wut. Dem numberz r stupud! Ah aint seen no numberz tell yew nuthin', evah!

Yeah, ah hayte numberz, to.

No, yur rong! Dose propelur hedz an there numberz are stupud! Ah no baseball, dey dont, cuz their stupud!

I hate to break it to you, but these posts don't get funnier. They were never funny to begin with. They're actually pretty stupid.

khan
02-16-2011, 04:11 PM
I hate to break it to you, but these posts don't get funnier. They were never funny to begin with. They're actually pretty stupid.

Thank you, that's exactly the point.


Carry on, then.

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 04:12 PM
I hate to break it to you, but these posts don't get funnier. They were never funny to begin with. They're actually pretty stupid.

It's much easier to attack the people saying these projections are worthless than to prove it's false.

spawn
02-16-2011, 04:13 PM
Thank you, that's exactly the point.


Carry on, then.

Umm...ok. I mean, no one here has posted like you did in this thread, but whatever. :scratch:

spawn
02-16-2011, 04:15 PM
It's much easier to attack the people saying these projections are worthless than to prove it's false.

Very true Voodoo. I mean, God forbid there are people here that would rather base their own projections on things other than stats.

khan
02-16-2011, 04:17 PM
It's much easier to attack the people saying these projections are worthless than to prove it's false.
See, those who hold a degree of numerophobia CAN'T have these things "proven" to be true or not.

Why?

Baseball is a game, by it's very nature that measures outcomes using numbers. [Wins, losses, runs, hits, walks, strikeouts, and yes, PECOTA are all expressed in terms of numbers.] If numerophobes don't like numbers, there simply is no way to "prove" anything.


In any case, projections can't be "proven" anyway. They are entirely theoretical in the first place. Moreover, I haven't stated my position on PECOTA. Rather, I'm merely parroting the insane fear of numbers that some here portray.

khan
02-16-2011, 04:20 PM
Very true Voodoo. I mean, God forbid there are people here that would rather base their own projections on things other than stats.

OK. Then let me ask you this:

How do you portray a player as being bad or good? Or a team? Or a division?

Like it or not, at SOME POINT, a stat is used to illustrate these concepts. We could debate whether or not the metric being employed is valid.

But, at the end of the game , one team has more numbers on their side of the scoreboard on the run column than the other. [Runs are stats, BTW.]

spawn
02-16-2011, 04:21 PM
In any case, projections can't be "proven" anyway. They are entirely theoretical in the first place. Moreover, I haven't stated my position on PECOTA. Rather, I'm merely parroting the insane fear of numbers that some here portray.
So instead of adding to the conversation by stating what your opinion is, it's easier for you to troll the thread and make fun of the people that don't want to use statistics for analysis. Feeling better about yourself are you?

spawn
02-16-2011, 04:22 PM
OK. Then let me ask you this:

How do you portray a player as being bad or good? Or a team? Or a division?

Like it or not, at SOME POINT, a stat is used to illustrate these concepts. We could debate whether or not the metric being employed is valid.

But, at the end of the day, one team has more numbers on their side of the scoreboard on the run column than the other. [Runs are stats, BTW.]

There's a reason I stayed away from posting in this thread, and that's because I don't really care. I like watching the game. I'll let others analyze it to death.

khan
02-16-2011, 04:23 PM
So instead of adding to the conversation by stating what your opinion is, it's easier for you to troll the thread and make fun of the people that don't want to use statistics for analysis. Feeling better about yourself are you?

OK. Exactly how do you do this? How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?

spawn
02-16-2011, 04:25 PM
OK. Exactly how do you do this? How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?

Why don't you ask them, instead of belittling them?

khan
02-16-2011, 04:31 PM
Why don't you ask them, instead of belittling them?

As you and I agreed, it was stupidity. At the same time, it was meant to lay bare the idea that all numbers and stats are, by their nature, evil.



But then, as you're a sharp guy, I'm asking you how one can tell if a player or team is good, WITHOUT the benefit of using stats/numbers.

Honestly, I think most of us who enjoy baseball aren't not smart enough to judge a player's or a team's results or outcomes without looking at some evidence in the form of numbers. So how do you do this, since you stated that you use something other than statistics to do so? [And I'm really not trying to be a jerk.]

I can't tell who won or lost a single game unless I see the amount of runs scored by each team.

spawn
02-16-2011, 04:34 PM
As you and I agreed, it was stupidity. At the same time, it was meant to lay bare the idea that all numbers and stats are, by their nature, evil.



But then, as you're a sharp guy, I'm asking you how one can tell if a player or team is good, WITHOUT the benefit of using stats/numbers.

Honestly, I think most of us who enjoy baseball aren't not smart enough to judge a player's or a team's results or outcomes without looking at some evidence in the form of numbers. So how do you do this, since you stated that you use something other than statistics to do so?
If I wanted to get caught up in this conversation, I would've posted earlier. All I will say is I understand how people can analyze the game without depending wholly on statistical analysis. And that's all I'm going to say.

doublem23
02-16-2011, 04:36 PM
Right but the current projections are projected Pythagorean W-L records off of projected runs scored and allowed

I know that, but the post you originally quoted was talking about regular old Pyth. W/L.

khan
02-16-2011, 04:38 PM
If I wanted to get caught up in this conversation, I would've posted earlier. All iwill say is I understand how people can analyze the game without depending wholly on statistical analysis. And that's all I'm going to say.

Earlier you posted:
Very true Voodoo. I mean, God forbid there are people here that would rather base their own projections on things other than stats.

The two bolded statements appear to be at odds with each other.


At the same time, I don't believe that anyone here looks ONLY at stats, nor is there anyone smart enough to judge a player entirely WITHOUT stats. Is that fair to state?

SI1020
02-16-2011, 04:40 PM
Rather, I'm merely parroting the insane fear of numbers that some here portray. What a confusing thread this has become. I don't take BP with a grain of salt because I'm afraid of numbers. I have examined the new stats thing from every angle I could think of, and taken from it what I find valuable or interesting, and rejected the rest. It's possible to refuse to bow at the altar of Bill James, BP, etc and not be a knuckle dragging troglodyte.

khan
02-16-2011, 04:44 PM
I don't take BP with a grain of salt because I'm afraid of numbers. I have examined the new stats thing from every angle I could think of, and taken from it what I find valuable or interesting, and rejected the rest. It's possible to refuse to bow at the altar of Bill James, BP, etc and not be a knuckle dragging troglodyte.
Agreed 100%.

But then I'm told that some fans have an ability to judge a player, a team, or try to foresage their outcomes [READ: stats] without looking at previous outcomes [READ: stats].

If someone can do this, I'd like to learn how. I like uncovering new things about a game I enjoy. [Which is why I politely asked.]

asindc
02-16-2011, 04:46 PM
OK. Exactly how do you do this? How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?

I know you asked Spawn this question, but I'll offer my answer: Watch the player play.

TDog
02-16-2011, 04:47 PM
Because if you get past the whole "DURRRRRRRRRRR NUMBERS ARE STOOPID" mindset, you'd see that they're every bit as good and as flawed as your standard baseball journalist. Phil Rodgers gets a free pass as a "baseball expert" despite the fact his understanding of the game is roughly at a 5-year-old's level, but at least he doesn't do space-aged, mental masturbation math exercises like ADDITION and DIVISION. THAT'S FOR ****ING GEEKS, BRO.

If your standard is your standard baseball journalist, you aren't setting the bar very high.

I don't believe numbers are stupid. What I believe was best summed up in Daver's second post on the second page of this thread.

The fact is, if BP somehow knew what numbers individual players will achieve this season and they plugged them into the formulas they use to determine standings (with the exception of pitching wins and losses, which actually would give it away), they wouldn't nail down the records. They would come up with what the records should be based on statistics. Oddly enough, over the course of a season, there are games that teams win after getting only one-third the baserunners of their opponent. If they are projecting records based on expected stats based on past experience, guessing on the effect future variables will have on a team's success, you are increasing your margin for error.

I have no idea how individual White Sox players will play this year. I don't expect Paul Konerko to put up the numbers he did last year because he had such a superior season. I expect Adam Dunn will have to adjust to the American League and fans will become frustrated with his high rate of strikeouts because they will look lot more important when they aren't just a number on paper. I hope both expectations go unfulfilled. I'm not making predictions.

I don't know how many games the White Sox or any team will win in 2011. I don't go to Street & Smith (if the publication is even still around) to get an idea, and I see no reason to go to BP. It isn't about geeks crunching numbers, although BP essentially is interpreting past numbers based on opinions of what those numbers mean and using them to project future events. Rather than believe numbers are stupid, I believe some numbers are more important than the numbers BP celebrates. I also believe some numbers are more important for some players than others. I don't believe in taking numbers out of context.

In the end, there isn't much difference between the predictions of BP and your average sports journalist. Your average sports journalist could come up with win-loss records within a standard margin for error. They can't dazzle you with numbers if asked to show your work, but going into the 2007 season, BP thought very highly of the White Sox bullpen.

khan
02-16-2011, 04:48 PM
I know you asked Spawn this question, but I'll offer my answer: Watch the player play.

OK. Thanks. I agree that this is a part of the picture. However, I'd posit that only watching a player can be deceptive. Only watching a player a handful of times can also be deceptive.

So how can you tell if the player did well over the course of a season? Some of us can't watch every play a player makes, nor every game a team plays.


Also, how do you tell which team won or lost, if you weren't present to see a particular game?

voodoochile
02-16-2011, 04:52 PM
OK. Then let me ask you this:

How do you portray a player as being bad or good? Or a team? Or a division?

Like it or not, at SOME POINT, a stat is used to illustrate these concepts. We could debate whether or not the metric being employed is valid.

But, at the end of the game , one team has more numbers on their side of the scoreboard on the run column than the other. [Runs are stats, BTW.]

Just because numbers can be used to prove some propositions does not mean all numbers are valid in statistical analysis.

Stop moving the goal posts. Stop changing the argument. Stop making false equivalencies.

Prove that the numbers BP puts out every year at this time mean something. Do a meta data analysis of their projections and prove they are good estimates on the whole. Not for one year or one team but for all teams since they started releasing them.

If that analysis actually proves that these numbers are better than the best guesses of reasonably well educated fans than you'll have something. Until then I'll continue to say that I don't think this particular model is worth much.

Let's stick to that single point and see if you can actually argue it...

khan
02-16-2011, 05:03 PM
Just because numbers can be used to prove some propositions does not mean all numbers are valid in statistical analysis.
This is absolutely a fair point to which I agree. I never have stated that all numbers are valid in statistical analysis. In fact, I've been mocked for using WHIP instead of trusty old WINS to judge SPs or ERA to judge RPs. Or OPS instead of batting average to judge a hitter.

Stop moving the goal posts. Stop changing the argument. Stop making false equivalencies.
Actually, Spawn stated that he could project a team or a player's season without stats, did he not?

I'm not moving anything, actually. I'm politely asking Spawn to share how he can do his projections without numbers.

Prove that the numbers BP puts out every year at this time mean something. Do a meta data analysis of their projections and prove they are good estimates on the whole. Not for one year or one team but for all teams since they started releasing them.
Why? I've never stated support, nor opposition to the things that BP does or doesn't do.

What I have stated is that numbers are a very necessary tool to judge a player, a team, to get a sense of what they might or might not do, and even to judge whether or not who won or lost.


If that analysis actually proves that these numbers are better than the best guesses of reasonably well educated fans than you'll have something. Until then I'll continue to say that I don't think this particular model is worth much.
Again, this is a fair statement.

Let's stick to that single point and see if you can actually argue it...
And let's also exclude those who have nothing to add other than to claim that numbers have no place in observing/understanding the game. Is this equally fair?

spawn
02-16-2011, 05:18 PM
Actually, Spawn stated that he could project a team or a player's season without stats, did he not?


Um...no, I never said that. Please show me where I did. As I said earlier, I've had my say. Sorry if that isn't good enough for you, but life is full of disappointment.

khan
02-16-2011, 05:22 PM
Um...no, I never said that. Please show me where I did.

Here you go:
Very true Voodoo. I mean, God forbid there are people here that would rather base their own projections on things other than stats.

And again, if I misunderstood this to mean that YOU could do project without stats vs. there are people who can project without stats, I apologize.

It sure seemed like you were stating that in any case, one could do so. And, I've been polite in asking you how this was possible.

spawn
02-16-2011, 05:27 PM
Here you go:

Nowhere in that post did I say what you accused me of saying. Nice work! :thumbsup:

khan
02-16-2011, 05:36 PM
Nowhere in that post did I say what you accused me of saying. Nice work! :thumbsup:

OK, so out of curiosity, what were you saying when you said that "there are people here who would rather base their own projections on things other than stats?"

As I read it, it sure sounds like you're suggesting that a non-numerical projection is possible.


In any case, thanks for this.

spawn
02-16-2011, 05:37 PM
OK, so out of curiosity, what were you saying when you said that "there are people here who would rather base their own projections on things other than stats?"

As I read it, it sure sounds like you're suggesting that a non-numerical projection is possible.


In any case, thanks for this.

Give it a rest.

DirtySox
02-16-2011, 05:46 PM
Kevin Goldstein will be on the Score tomorrow at 6:45 AM to talk Sox and PECOTA.

Daver
02-16-2011, 06:11 PM
OK. Exactly how do you do this? How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?


Watch him play?

What a novel concept.

ron_j_galt
02-16-2011, 09:50 PM
For people saying "watch the player play", one of the following must be true:

(a) you watch the Nationals
(b) you watch the Reds
(c) you watch the Cubs
(d) you were furious with the Adam Dunn signing given his .043 average and near-50% K rate against the Sox
(d) you don't really believe this

Watching is fine enough for one player (sort of) although one would probably lose track of the 25 hits that make the difference between .240 and .280.

For evaluating six regulars on thirty teams? In 2011 alone, that'd be about 90,000 plate appearances.

How about Jesse Crain? The "watch the player play" school loves this deal. 1.45 ERA against the Sox. Take it to the bank. The "watch the player play" Tigers fan (4.94 ERA) probably has a different take.

Daver
02-16-2011, 10:03 PM
For people saying "watch the player play", one of the following must be true:

(a) you watch the Nationals
(b) you watch the Reds
(c) you watch the Cubs
(d) you were furious with the Adam Dunn signing given his .043 average and near-50% K rate against the Sox
(d) you don't really believe this

Watching is fine enough for one player (sort of) although one would probably lose track of the 25 hits that make the difference between .240 and .280.

For evaluating six regulars on thirty teams? In 2011 alone, that'd be about 90,000 plate appearances.

How about Jesse Crain? The "watch the player play" school loves this deal. 1.45 ERA against the Sox. Take it to the bank. The "watch the player play" Tigers fan (4.94 ERA) probably has a different take.


There is this really cool new invention called video, which allows you to watch a specific player and even replay it so you watch it more than once.

I realize that this is novel concept, but I have confidence it could actually catch on.

asindc
02-16-2011, 10:10 PM
For people saying "watch the player play", one of the following must be true:

(a) you watch the Nationals
(b) you watch the Reds
(c) you watch the Cubs
(d) you were furious with the Adam Dunn signing given his .043 average and near-50% K rate against the Sox
(d) you don't really believe this

Watching is fine enough for one player (sort of) although one would probably lose track of the 25 hits that make the difference between .240 and .280.

For evaluating six regulars on thirty teams? In 2011 alone, that'd be about 90,000 plate appearances.

How about Jesse Crain? The "watch the player play" school loves this deal. 1.45 ERA against the Sox. Take it to the bank. The "watch the player play" Tigers fan (4.94 ERA) probably has a different take.

The question posed was not, "How do you evaluate six regulars on 30 teams?," it was "How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?"

I can tell that Jesse Crain is a good player by watching him in several games against many hitters on several different (not just two) teams over the course of several seasons. You are not seriously suggesting that reading statistics on a sheet of paper is a better method of determining how good a player is than actually watching him play are you?

WhiteSox5187
02-16-2011, 10:15 PM
There is this really cool new invention called video, which allows you to watch a specific player and even replay it so you watch it more than once.

I realize that this is novel concept, but I have confidence it could actually catch on.

Hey you know what? Not everyone has a lot of time on their hands so they can't watch extensive coverage of all 750 guys on a big league roster, so to be quick we'll just kind of glance at their stats and see what we can draw from that. It must be neat to have so much time on your hands that you can know every strength and weakness about EVERY player.

And thanks for the heads up about the video though, it sounds super!

asindc
02-16-2011, 10:18 PM
Hey you know what? Not everyone has a lot of time on their hands so they can't watch extensive coverage of all 750 guys on a big league roster, so to be quick we'll just kind of glance at their stats and see what we can draw from that. It must be neat to have so much time on your hands that you can know every strength and weakness about EVERY player.

And thanks for the heads up about the video though, it sounds super!

The question posed was not, "Who has time to watch extensive coverage of all 750 guys on a big league roster?," it was "How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?"

WhiteSox5187
02-16-2011, 10:25 PM
The question posed was not, "Who has time to watch extensive coverage of all 750 guys on a big league roster?," it was "How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?"

I know that, and ideally you would watch video, but MOST people can't do that, so stats give a good idea of background info on a player. If I hear the White Sox just acquired Craig Stammen from the Nationals, I'm not going to be able to fire up the video and see what he has, I'm going to have to look at his stats and see what, if anything, that can tell me and from looking at these stats I can conclude that he is not in fact very good. Will I know he has a mechanical flaw or good stuff? No, I'd need to watch him for that, but I can gleam enough from his numbers right now to know that this guy leaves a lot to be desired.

pmck003
02-16-2011, 10:29 PM
Curious how close are pecota projections to gambling lines? I know gambling lines are made to maximize profit for the casino vs. What the casino may actually think will happen, but youd think the pecota projections would usually be in line with the odds if they're any good.

asindc
02-16-2011, 10:30 PM
I know that, and ideally you would watch video, but MOST people can't do that, so stats give a good idea of background info on a player. If I hear the White Sox just acquired Craig Stammen from the Nationals, I'm not going to be able to fire up the video and see what he has, I'm going to have to look at his stats and see what, if anything, that can tell me and from looking at these stats I can conclude that he is not in fact very good. Will I know he has a mechanical flaw or good stuff? No, I'd need to watch him for that, but I can gleam enough from his numbers right now to know that this guy leaves a lot to be desired.

I'm just saying that both Daver and I are responding to the initial very general question, which was posed as a response to a comment that the PECOTA projection methodology is flawed. I was not responding from the standpoint of real-world practical use for a fan, just from a 'which is generally better' standpoint.

Daver
02-16-2011, 10:38 PM
Curious how close are pecota projections to gambling lines? I know gambling lines are made to maximize profit for the casino vs. What the casino may actually think will happen, but youd think the pecota projections would usually be in line with the odds if they're any good.

There are no odds on baseball, every game has a simple money line, which is why betting on baseball is dwarfed by betting on the NFL.

pmck003
02-16-2011, 11:04 PM
There are no odds on baseball, every game has a simple money line, which is why betting on baseball is dwarfed by betting on the NFL.

You can often bet the over/under on a teams win total before the season

Tragg
02-16-2011, 11:07 PM
There are no odds on baseball, every game has a simple money line, which is why betting on baseball is dwarfed by betting on the NFL.
There's a run line on every game. However, it also has odds attached to it (not the usual 1.1/1)

asindc
02-17-2011, 08:52 AM
Kevin Goldstein will be on the Score tomorrow at 6:45 AM to talk Sox and PECOTA.

I listened to part of the interview. Some things of particular note to me:

* Goldstein is the "scout guy" at BP.

* He said what Oakland did, as described in Moneyball, was "a failure," which is why they don't approach it that way anymore. He also said that some people are actually disappointed when he tells them that Oakland has scouts that focus solely on scouting.

* He said the Sox are projected at 82 wins because Konerko won't repeat his 2010 season ("he'll hit around .270 with about 30 HRs") and Konerko, Buehrle, AJ, and Pierre are all one year older. He does think Dunn will put up at least career-average numbers.

* He personally projects Beckham and Alexei to be better this year than what the BP numbers suggest.

* He said the most successful teams do not rely solely upon either scouting or sabermetrics, but blend the two approaches.

Take it for what you will.

kobo
02-17-2011, 10:19 AM
* He said the Sox are projected at 82 wins because Konerko won't repeat his 2010 season ("he'll hit around .270 with about 30 HRs") and Konerko, Buehrle, AJ, and Pierre are all one year older. He does think Dunn will put up at least career-average numbers.

I can understand the Konerko part, but I fail to understand why being one year older will contribute to 6 less wins in their projections. Are they saying that those 4 players aging one year is significant enough to translate to a loss of 6 games in the standings? How can they determine that? Is there enough statistical evidence to show that all 4 of those players are going to transgress from their statistical norms? It's not like these guys are in their 40's.

Moses_Scurry
02-17-2011, 10:33 AM
I've got to think that the increases from Adam Dunn over the DH carousel will out-weigh any decreases from Konerko (unless he completely falls off the cliff), even if Dunn does only have a "career average year".

I don't think people realize how bad the Sox DH was last year.

fox23
02-17-2011, 10:57 AM
I can understand the Konerko part, but I fail to understand why being one year older will contribute to 6 less wins in their projections. Are they saying that those 4 players aging one year is significant enough to translate to a loss of 6 games in the standings? How can they determine that? Is there enough statistical evidence to show that all 4 of those players are going to transgress from their statistical norms? It's not like these guys are in their 40's.

I don't think it is all that unreasonable of an assertion. Buehrle has been falling apart in the second half of each season and it is only a matter of time before that becomes an entire season, catchers seem to age exponentially and AJ isn't a spring chicken, and Paulie did play out of his mind last year. I could very easily see 1 or more of those guys fall below their career averages.

I don't really believe the Sox will win only 82, but it isn't that much of a stretch to think it is very possible.

asindc
02-17-2011, 11:02 AM
I don't think it is all that unreasonable of an assertion. Buehrle has been falling apart in the second half of each season and it is only a matter of time before that becomes an entire season, catchers seem to age exponentially and AJ isn't a spring chicken, and Paulie did play out of his mind last year. I could very easily see 1 or more of those guys fall below their career averages.

I don't really believe the Sox will win only 82, but it isn't that much of a stretch to think it is very possible.

I don't think anyone is disputing that any or all of the four potentially-declining players mentioned could have worse years, but it fails to account for the potentially huge upgrade at DH, and the potential improvement at 2B, SS, and with Danks. When you also consider that we started last year with Randy Williams and Scott Linebrink in our bullpen, I'm seeing any potential decline by certain players being offset by potential upgrades elsewhere on the team.

fox23
02-17-2011, 11:13 AM
I don't think anyone is disputing that any or all of the four potentially-declining players mentioned could have worse years, but it fails to account for the potentially huge upgrade at DH, and the potential improvement at 2B, SS, and with Danks. When you also consider that we started last year with Randy Williams and Scott Linebrink in our bullpen, I'm seeing any potential decline by certain players being offset by potential upgrades elsewhere on the team.

Yeah, I completely agree with that, which I why I think the 82 wins is low. I was commenting more on why it was reasonable that those 3 guys getting a year older would hurt the Sox which is what I thought the original poster was questioning.

kobo
02-17-2011, 11:17 AM
I don't think it is all that unreasonable of an assertion. Buehrle has been falling apart in the second half of each season and it is only a matter of time before that becomes an entire season, catchers seem to age exponentially and AJ isn't a spring chicken, and Paulie did play out of his mind last year. I could very easily see 1 or more of those guys fall below their career averages.

I don't really believe the Sox will win only 82, but it isn't that much of a stretch to think it is very possible.
So basically, there is no statistical evidence to suggest this, it's just a guess.

fox23
02-17-2011, 11:21 AM
So basically, there is no statistical evidence to suggest this, it's just a guess.

For my opinion, yeah. Mine is a complete guess. I suspect I could make a statistical case for Buehrle but that too is a guess since I'm not going to take the time to do that!

Harry Potter
02-17-2011, 11:30 AM
since I'm not going to take the time to do that!

Slacker

khan
02-17-2011, 11:36 AM
The question posed was not, "How do you evaluate six regulars on 30 teams?," it was "How can you tell if a player is good at baseball or not, without using stats or numbers?"


Actually, I also posed the same question for a TEAM as well. Let's not exclude the complete line of query from the discussion, OK?

We can say "watch the player play," but it is difficult for SCOUTS to get an opinion correct, much less the average fan. And an individual viewing or smaller sample size can be deceptive, as well.


Moreover, judging an entire team merely from the handful of viewings [that those of us who work for a living can do in a season] is incredibly difficult for a number of reasons.


I can tell that Jesse Crain is a good player by watching him in several games against many hitters on several different (not just two) teams over the course of several seasons. You are not seriously suggesting that reading statistics on a sheet of paper is a better method of determining how good a player is than actually watching him play are you?
Now who is moving the goalposts?

Spawn posted that one could base their projections on something other than statistics, which I find virtually impossible. However, I'd be open to seeing it his way, if he could illustrate how it was possible.

I posit that it is difficult to judge a player SOLELY on watching a player play. [Because of a number of factors.] I further posit that it is even MORE difficult to judge an entire team ONLY on "watching them play."

khan
02-17-2011, 11:42 AM
I'm just saying that both Daver and I are responding to the initial very general question, which was posed as a response to a comment that the PECOTA projection methodology is flawed. I was not responding from the standpoint of real-world practical use for a fan, just from a 'which is generally better' standpoint.

Incorrect.

I posed the queries to Spawn, because I wanted to see how one could come to an accurate view of a player or a team without the benefit of seeing their previous outcomes in the form of numbers/stats.

It really had less to do with PECOTA. It had more to do with me trying to get to an understanding of how the numerophobic-types can appreciate the game without the benefit of stats/numbers. Who knows, maybe I'd become numerophobic as well.

If their view was compelling enough, I'd like to think that I have enough of an open mind to see things their way. After all, when I CAN agree with another poster, I certainly so state it.

Nellie_Fox
02-17-2011, 12:09 PM
Incorrect.

I posed the queries to Spawn, because I wanted to see how one could come to an accurate view of a player or a team without the benefit of seeing their previous outcomes in the form of numbers/stats.

It really had less to do with PECOTA. It had more to do with me trying to get to an understanding of how the numerophobic-types can appreciate the game without the benefit of stats/numbers. Who knows, maybe I'd become numerophobic as well.

If their view was compelling enough, I'd like to think that I have enough of an open mind to see things their way. After all, when I CAN agree with another poster, I certainly so state it.
I'm sure I'll regret getting into this, because you are a master at twisting what other people say, making them defend things you imagine they said instead of what they said, and slightly changing the argument to fit your conclusions (and no, I'm not going to go find evidence of these things, so don't bother to issue a challenge.)

It's clear to me that what most of them are criticizing are these complex statistical formulae that purport to be able to predict the future. Everybody looks at the simple numbers (avg. RBI, OBP, etc.) to help come to a conclusion of a player's worth. These are two entirely different uses of numbers. One tells what happened. The other pretends to be able to tell you what's going to happen, and fails.

tstrike2000
02-17-2011, 12:18 PM
It'll be a moot point anyway when the Sox win the division.

kobo
02-17-2011, 12:19 PM
Incorrect.

I posed the queries to Spawn, because I wanted to see how one could come to an accurate view of a player or a team without the benefit of seeing their previous outcomes in the form of numbers/stats.

It really had less to do with PECOTA. It had more to do with me trying to get to an understanding of how the numerophobic-types can appreciate the game without the benefit of stats/numbers. Who knows, maybe I'd become numerophobic as well.

If their view was compelling enough, I'd like to think that I have enough of an open mind to see things their way. After all, when I CAN agree with another poster, I certainly so state it.
I don't need stats to enjoy watching a baseball game. Stats are helpful when discussing players or teams, but they are not needed to simply enjoy watching the game.

khan
02-17-2011, 12:26 PM
I'm sure I'll regret getting into this, because you are a master at twisting what other people say, making them defend things you imagine they said instead of what they said, and slightly changing the argument to fit your conclusions (and no, I'm not going to go find evidence of these things, so don't bother to issue a challenge.)
No, I think it is healthy to hold discussions, and to hold opinions, if one can support them. That said, what do you think the following sentence means?

"I mean, God forbid there are people here that would rather base their own projections on things other than stats."

As I read it, it sounds like there are people who have the ability to project teams' and players' seasons based on things other than stats. Am I incorrect?


It's clear to me that what most of them are criticizing are these complex statistical formulae that purport to be able to predict the future.
Two things:

1. Many of these same folks tend to resort to the "propeller head" types of posts that are "name-calling" in intent, but not explicitly in content. [i.e. The "insult" without it sounding like one.]

2. Pecota is a projection, not a prediction. These are two differing things.


Everybody looks at the simple numbers (avg. RBI, OBP, etc.) to help come to a conclusion of a player's worth.
Thank you for agreeing with me. EVERYBODY looks at numbers. And numbers, as applied to baseball, are stats, whether we admit it or not.


These are two entirely different uses of numbers. One tells what happened. The other pretends to be able to tell you what's going to happen, and fails.
Incorrect.

A projection suggests what MIGHT or might not happen in the future. Folks in many walks of life use projections in their everyday work, not just in baseball.

Predictions, on the other hand, are statements about what WILL happen in the future. Outside of fortune tellers, few people use these in their everyday life.


For my part, I don't much care for PECOTA, because there is much about it that requires refining. [Though I can understand why they came to their conclusions about our SOX.]

But my eyes are open enough to discern the difference between a projection and a prediction. Pecota is definitely the former of the two.

khan
02-17-2011, 12:27 PM
I don't need stats to enjoy watching a baseball game. Stats are helpful when discussing players or teams, but they are not needed to simply enjoy watching the game.

I agree. I don't need stats to enjoy the game.

But, I think they are somewhat important to have a greater understanding of the game.

kittle42
02-17-2011, 12:29 PM
I enjoy the backs of baseball cards.

guillensdisciple
02-17-2011, 12:42 PM
Pecota is stupid.

Moses_Scurry
02-17-2011, 12:43 PM
I enjoy the backs of baseball cards.

That's all I need.

I especially like when they bold and italicize in order to indicate league leader.

spawn
02-17-2011, 12:48 PM
I enjoy the backs of baseball cards.

I'm a big fan of baseball cards! :redneck

DirtySox
02-17-2011, 01:07 PM
* He said the most successful teams do not rely solely upon either scouting or sabermetrics, but blend the two approaches.

Blasphemy!

Seriously though, I hope most people have already come to the above conclusion a long time ago. Limiting yourself to a lone source of analysis when there are multiple tools available seems quite silly no?

DumpJerry
02-17-2011, 01:08 PM
I agree. I don't need stats to enjoy the game.

But, I think they are somewhat important to have a greater understanding of the game.
I was a kid watching baseball back in the day when room-sized computers had less computing power than my cell phone does today. Back then, we pretty much had only batting average, ERA and a pitcher's W-L record at our disposal. We understood the game just fine, thank you.

hawkjt
02-17-2011, 01:25 PM
I heard the interview,and I liked that he couched the projections of Gordo and Alexei by saying as a scout,he disagrees with the numerical projections. As he said, ''I am a human being''.

Mully said it for me when he noted that he dislikes it when fans dismiss his opinion on a player due to the sabremetrics...probably speaking about Bernstein,who loves to do that.

This guy kind of acknowledged that there is a decent sized margin of error...like at least 5-6 games either way. So in the end,just something to debate in the offseason.

DirtySox
02-17-2011, 01:30 PM
Some PECOTA adjustments were made, and it now projects the Sox as 82 - 80.

DumpJerry
02-17-2011, 01:30 PM
I heard the interview,and I liked that he couched the projections of Gordo and Alexei by saying as a scout,he disagrees with the numerical projections. As he said, ''I am a human being''.

Mully said it for me when he noted that he dislikes it when fans dismiss his opinion on a player due to the sabremetrics...probably speaking about Bernstein,who loves to do that.

This guy kind of acknowledged that there is a decent sized margin of error...like at least 5-6 games either way. So in the end,just something to debate in the offseason.
Well put. I heard the same message when I heard the interview.

My main problem with heavy reliance on stats before the season begins is that one or two injuries to a key player throws off the model completely (except when it comes to the Twins who seem to be able to replace someone on the DL with a better prospect from AAA).

DumpJerry
02-17-2011, 01:31 PM
Some PECOTA adjustments were made, and it now projects the Sox as 82 - 80.
What changed? Someone reported to camp "in the best shape of my career?"

DirtySox
02-17-2011, 01:33 PM
What changed? Someone reported to camp "in the best shape of my career?"

I'm not sure entirely as I don't subscribe, but second hand information mentioned some sort of overall changes in playing time estimates.

kittle42
02-17-2011, 01:34 PM
I was a kid watching baseball back in the day when room-sized computers had less computing power than my cell phone does today. Back then, we pretty much had only batting average, ERA and a pitcher's W-L record at our disposal. We understood the game just fine, thank you.

This is a really good point. But I do remember making my own strat-o-matic cards using a compass and protractor just so I could get the outcomes to be as close top real-player stats as possible.

SI1020
02-17-2011, 03:45 PM
I'm a big fan of baseball cards! :redneck I wish I still had all my baseball cards.

Nellie_Fox
02-17-2011, 04:27 PM
I wish I still had all my baseball cards.
Don't we all.

Jim Shorts
02-17-2011, 04:29 PM
The thing is, it's not just about the numbers with the guys from BP. I have heard Will Carroll publicly say on radio that he despises the White Sox and has a general disregard for KW and OG and disagrees with nearly everything that they do.

Even if they were .500 in their projections, I'd still pay no mind to that organization.


And frankly, IMO, the "eye test" is a long lost art in baseball, predictions, projections or evaluating talent.

HebrewHammer
02-18-2011, 11:04 AM
Blah, blibbidy, blah, blah. If the PECOTA projections for the Sox were 95 wins every season, half the people in this thread wouldn't be complaining about them.

What site have you been reading? Someone would say that the projection should have been for 96 wins.

voodoochile
02-18-2011, 12:48 PM
What site have you been reading? Someone would say that the projection should have been for 96 wins.

You know if their Standard deviation was only one I would put a lot more stock in their projections...

doublem23
02-18-2011, 01:15 PM
Full 2011 Projected Standings are up now

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/

Pretty conservative across the board, with the exception of the Orioles, who they tab at 81-81, which would be their 1st non-losing season since 1997.

doublem23
02-18-2011, 01:20 PM
You know if their Standard deviation was only one I would put a lot more stock in their projections...

Standard devation of what? How far off their projections were?

DirtySox
02-18-2011, 01:30 PM
Full 2011 Projected Standings are up now

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/

Pretty conservative across the board, with the exception of the Orioles, who they tab at 81-81, which would be their 1st non-losing season since 1997.

Maybe slightly OT, but when do the MLB prediction threads usually go up?

voodoochile
02-18-2011, 03:14 PM
Standard devation of what? How far off their projections were?

Yes to see what the actual range of possible outcomes (within 99% certainty are). In the past it's been as high as 3.5 (IIRC), so a prediction of 82 wins would actually represent a 99% interval of 92.5-71.5 which isn't really saying that much. It's the main issue I have with the methodology.

doublem23
02-18-2011, 03:37 PM
Yes to see what the actual range of possible outcomes (within 99% certainty are). In the past it's been as high as 3.5 (IIRC), so a prediction of 82 wins would actually represent a 99% interval of 92.5-71.5 which isn't really saying that much. It's the main issue I have with the methodology.

Are you looking at wins/losses or Pythagorean W/L

voodoochile
02-18-2011, 04:08 PM
Are you looking at wins/losses or Pythagorean W/L

I'm talking about these projections.

doublem23
02-18-2011, 04:11 PM
I'm talking about these projections.

I get that, but you have to remember PECOTA projects in Pythagorean W-L so when you're analyzing how accurate or inaccurate the projections are, are you comparing it to Pythagorean W or just regular W?

voodoochile
02-18-2011, 04:14 PM
I get that, but you have to remember PECOTA projects in Pythagorean W-L so when you're analyzing how accurate or inaccurate the projections are, are you comparing it to Pythagorean W or just regular W?
Actual, but if you prefer to compare it to Pythagorean go for it.

I don't read these as projections of Pythagorean W-L totals. That would make no sense as they could do the same thing by merely predicting RS and RA. Since this whole exercise is based on those two numbers it seems to be a projection of actual wins and losses since I assume they are projecting actual RS and RA.

Edit: Oh and the whole Pythagorean W-L thing doesn't do much for me. I'm sure it's a reasonable predictor of actual outcomes in hindsight, but that's all. It's not hard to say "The team that has the highest RS/RA ratio will have the best record" (you can see this in all sports), but to then take it to the extreme of trying to predict those numbers and thus predict outcomes is where it loses it's credibility.

doublem23
02-18-2011, 04:43 PM
Actual, but if you prefer to compare it to Pythagorean go for it.

I don't read these as projections of Pythagorean W-L totals. That would make no sense as they could do the same thing by merely predicting RS and RA. Since this whole exercise is based on those two numbers it seems to be a projection of actual wins and losses since I assume they are projecting actual RS and RA.

Edit: Oh and the whole Pythagorean W-L thing doesn't do much for me. I'm sure it's a reasonable predictor of actual outcomes in hindsight, but that's all. It's not hard to say "The team that has the highest RS/RA ratio will have the best record" (you can see this in all sports), but to then take it to the extreme of trying to predict those numbers and thus predict outcomes is where it loses it's credibility.

No, it's Pythagorean W/L, if you do the math real quick you'll notice that all the W-L records coincide with the Pythagorean W/L based on the projected RS/RA. That's what PECOTA projects, totals runs scored v. total runs allowed, it's not a simulation that say, plays the April 12th game between the Sox and Rays 10,000 and then tells you who will win. As it is, it's basically impossible to accurately predict the standings of a entire baseball season, but it's downright ludicrous to expect anything to be able to project every individual game of the season.

The aim of these PECOTA projections is to display BP's projections in a simple, easy to understand format. If they just published all their projected statistics, it would be very inaccessible because the average fan doesn't understand all the statistics they use or the methods used to find them. By presenting things initially in a way that is accessible for all fans, it allows for more dialogue and people who are interested in how this stuff works can delve deeper, while people do dismiss it as simple "nerd baseball," are free to go do whatever floats their boat.

voodoochile
02-18-2011, 10:12 PM
No, it's Pythagorean W/L, if you do the math real quick you'll notice that all the W-L records coincide with the Pythagorean W/L based on the projected RS/RA. That's what PECOTA projects, totals runs scored v. total runs allowed, it's not a simulation that say, plays the April 12th game between the Sox and Rays 10,000 and then tells you who will win. As it is, it's basically impossible to accurately predict the standings of a entire baseball season, but it's downright ludicrous to expect anything to be able to project every individual game of the season.

The aim of these PECOTA projections is to display BP's projections in a simple, easy to understand format. If they just published all their projected statistics, it would be very inaccessible because the average fan doesn't understand all the statistics they use or the methods used to find them. By presenting things initially in a way that is accessible for all fans, it allows for more dialogue and people who are interested in how this stuff works can delve deeper, while people do dismiss it as simple "nerd baseball," are free to go do whatever floats their boat.

That's an awfully fine nit to pick, IMO.

I know the methodology. They input percentages for outcomes for given players including injury possibilities then they project their outcomes 10K times or something and take the average. Then they add up all those averages and come up with runs scored and runs allowed and then project W/L record off of that. Still they are projecting actual runs scored and actual runs allowed then converting those numbers to W/L using their Pythagorean formula.

A projection of Pythagorean wins is completely worthless, IMO. It's just one step further into the rabbit hole. At some point in time you have to stop adding layers of assumptions. By adding the W/L record on top of the run projections they've just added more fallibility to the potential results.

Simpler is always better when it comes to making projections the less things you can screw up the more likely you are to be correct.

But in either case the question remains even if we've changed the discussion...

How accurate are they for Pythagorean win totals since they started doing this?

Are they actually within some kind of reasonable margin of error?

The single year they nailed a single team's win total accurately (the Sox in 2007) did they nail the Pythagorean W/L record or the actual one? It seems everyone in support of BP has been pointing out the actual win total. Was the Pythagorean win total the same? If not it raises even more questions doesn't it?

I got to be honest I feel a bit sandbagged. You are the first person to claim they are projecting Pythagorean win totals not actual. And if that's the case I'll laugh even harder at the complete meaninglessness that is BP's spring projections.