PDA

View Full Version : BP Numbers Are Out


Lip Man 1
03-08-2008, 06:32 PM
They say the Sox will win 77 games.

Naturally Dave van Dyck is making a big deal out of it.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-080308-white-sox-cubs-predictions,1,1909834.story

Here's an e-mail I sent to him:

Dave:

I must say though that before stating "Baseball Prospectus' predictions have been pretty precise," perhaps the stat geeks need to be asked "what happened in 2005?" or why didn't you "predict" ANY of the Twins three straight divisional crowns?

In fact BP came out with an article stating how it was "impossible" for the Twins to have won those given the statistical numbers didn't add up.

And finally least we forget BP, on their web site, continued to insist AFTER the Sox had already clinched the divisional crown in 2005 that they had "a 90% chance" to win it.

LOL

BP took advantage of the old saying "even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile..."

Baseball games are played by human beings... injuries, luck, weather, guts, heart, all come into play.

The stat-heads at BP can't account for those.

Lip

DoItForDanPasqua
03-08-2008, 06:45 PM
I can't believe the part where he says the Sox would win a few more games if they were in the NL Central. The five best teams in baseball are all in the American League and two of them are in the Sox division. The only good team in the National League is the Mets.

I think the Sox would win many more games if they played in the NL Central.

WhiteSox5187
03-08-2008, 06:45 PM
The guy they quoted as being a Sox fan said he figures it's more likely the Sox finish around .500, as much as I'd hate to say it, I think 77-83 wins is fairly realistic. I hope I'm wrong.

Frontman
03-08-2008, 06:49 PM
As the phrase goes,

"That's why you play the games."

On paper and "projected" stats mean precisely bub-kiss when that first pitch is thrown. Heck, it means nothing when Gene Honda tells us White Sox fans to get "on your feet."

I don't trust any of the so-called "experts" as it comes down to what happens on the field of play. BP gave the Sox lousy odds in 2005.

And if the Sox do better or worse than 77, BP will immediately say, "Well, things happened over the course of the season to change our prediction."

Well, DUH!

santo=dorf
03-08-2008, 06:53 PM
I can't believe the part where he says the Sox would win a few more games if they were in the NL Central. The five best teams in baseball are all in the American League and two of them are in the Sox division. The only good team in the National League is the Mets.

I think the Sox would win many more games if they played in the NL Central.
That obviously isn't based on the White Sox's worst IL record last year of 4-14.

Soxfest
03-08-2008, 07:05 PM
That is why we play the games! Cubs 91 wins is way high.

oeo
03-08-2008, 07:28 PM
That obviously isn't based on the White Sox's worst IL record last year of 4-14.

During the midst of probably the worst 2 months of bullpen pitching ever.

The Sox could have found ways to lose to an A team in that span.

rdivaldi
03-08-2008, 07:41 PM
And if the Sox do better or worse than 77, BP will immediately say, "Well, things happened over the course of the season to change our prediction."

No, they'll say it was "luck", which is code at BP for "we don't know what happened."

Lip Man 1
03-09-2008, 01:06 AM
What struck me as well was BP saying the Cubs would only win 91 games.

A team that has a payroll of 120 million, plays in the weakest division, in the weakest league can "only" win 91 games?

I guess 120 million doesn't go as far as it used to!

LOL

:D:

Lip

Tragg
03-09-2008, 09:50 AM
I think 77 wins is a floor; but a floor that could happen. If Richar, Fields and Quinten hit (for an "aging" team); Floyd, Contreras and Danks pitch, we'll contend.

BP is poor in factoring in defense (aren't the cubs and atrocious defensive team?) and only so-so on pitching. Pretty good with offense.

They also still pray to the altar of "pythagorean wins", which is margin of victory. I like reading their articles, but anyone who takes margin of victory seriously in baseball is way off kilter.

TommyJohn
03-09-2008, 11:16 AM
BP is a bunch of jerks. They predicted how many wins in 2005? I know it
wasn't 99, and they still wouldn't give it up after the Sox won the division
title. Come 2007, they guess 72 wins and the White Sox win 72. One of
the head nerds then gloats and "apologizes" to Ozzie Guillen for being
"right." Ozzie, meanwhile, is still waiting for those insufferable twerps to
apologize for 2005. When will that be forthcoming?

soxtalker
03-09-2008, 11:33 AM
I remember hearing the BP guy interviewed on WGN just before last season. He sounded like a good guy (from the perspective of a Sox fan). He didn't seem to like making the prediction on the Sox (which turned out to be right on target), but that was what his statistical model gave. I remember one other interesting comment regarding the Sox -- he figured that KW was so aggressive (more so than almost any other GM) that he could change things around with trades at any time. It didn't play out last year, but I wouldn't be surprised if he would make the same point this year.

SoxWillWin
03-09-2008, 12:39 PM
Well these stat people have to work somewhere...so can anyone tell me...as toilet paper does BP irritate? cause it sounds like that's all it's good for.

chisox77
03-09-2008, 12:46 PM
It's better to be understated and underrated. Remember, the ones who do the predicting and the analyzing merely observe baseball. They don't play baseball. The White Sox will surprise.


:cool:

Dan Mega
03-09-2008, 01:29 PM
BP took advantage of the old saying "even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile..."

And here we have the fallacy of their and all arguments by stat heads. If they're wrong, its because of dumb luck or coincidence. If they're right, its because their formulas are a good measure as to how something is or isn't in baseball.

I wouldn't mind stat heads if they would realize that their formulas are never the end-all to the final outcome of anything in baseball.

Lip Man 1
03-09-2008, 06:05 PM
Dan:

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Lip

santo=dorf
03-09-2008, 08:52 PM
What struck me as well was BP saying the Cubs would only win 91 games.

A team that has a payroll of 120 million, plays in the weakest division, in the weakest league can "only" win 91 games?

I guess 120 million doesn't go as far as it used to!

LOL

:D:

Lip
Lip,
I thought payroll didn't matter as long as you win the divison?

I know if the Cubs win the division this year you'll be the first to point out the Sox never going to the playoffs in back to back years and how they need to spend more on free agents (I'm guessing you'll mention the rotation and say something about Garland.)

Lip Man 1
03-09-2008, 10:39 PM
Dorf:

You'd be wrong in your assumption. (You know what happens when you assume things Karnac the Magnificent...) I wish they were able to reach agreement with Garland because frankly I think Floyd's going to have a bad year, but a pitcher of his caliber is going to hit the open market and the Sox wouldn't have met his terms. They had to get something for him before he walked out the door and I don't mean draft picks who probably won't turn out.

And yes how much money you spend increases your chances of making the post season, that's documented fact over the past decade or two decades. Look it up. As far as winning the World Series, well there's a reason the Yankees and Red Sox have dominated that category over the past fifteen years, with the size of their payrolls, the 24th, 25th man could start on the majority of the other clubs in MLB. The have the depth to survive injuries and slumps, most other teams don't and that includes the White Sox.

I'm just saying for that kind of money and in that lousy division the Cubs should be in the 95-99 win category, that the egg heads at BP don't think so, says something. Maybe they spent the money on the wrong guys.

Lip

IlliniSox4Life
03-10-2008, 04:36 AM
I would like to see BP actually do a statistical analysis on how accurate their predictions have been.

I wouldn't know how exactly you would do it, but maybe get a listing of like 25 of the better newspapers/analysists/writers around the country that did their own rankings over the last X years. Then find out how many games team each source was off. Do the same for BP. I imagine they aren't much better if any than these other people who don't have much of a system other than their knowledge.

santo=dorf
03-10-2008, 06:11 AM
Dorf:

You'd be wrong in your assumption. (You know what happens when you assume things Karnac the Magnificent...) I wish they were able to reach agreement with Garland because frankly I think Floyd's going to have a bad year, but a pitcher of his caliber is going to hit the open market and the Sox wouldn't have met his terms. They had to get something for him before he walked out the door and I don't mean draft picks who probably won't turn out.

And yes how much money you spend increases your chances of making the post season, that's documented fact over the past decade or two decades. Look it up. As far as winning the World Series, well there's a reason the Yankees and Red Sox have dominated that category over the past fifteen years, with the size of their payrolls, the 24th, 25th man could start on the majority of the other clubs in MLB. The have the depth to survive injuries and slumps, most other teams don't and that includes the White Sox.

I'm just saying for that kind of money and in that lousy division the Cubs should be in the 95-99 win category, that the egg heads at BP don't think so, says something. Maybe they spent the money on the wrong guys.

Lip

Lip,

Let's be honest, we don't really care what the Sox's regular season win total is as long as they win the division. I doubt anyone here would be calling the Sox phony if they pulled a "2006 Cardinals."

Would you have been satisfied if the 2007 White Sox ended up like the 2007 Cubs?

Jurr
03-10-2008, 12:49 PM
This prediction, if you looked at the Sox roster objectively, makes absolute sense. There is a LOT of uncertainty on this squad.

However, I feel that this team has a chance to be very good if things fall into place. There is enough talent on the roster to be dangerous.

God bless Opening Day. Everybody has a chance.

Lip Man 1
03-10-2008, 01:27 PM
Rick Morrissey weighs in:

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-080309-white-sox-rick-morrissey,1,417576.column

Lip

kittle42
03-10-2008, 02:09 PM
Rick Morrissey weighs in:

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-080309-white-sox-rick-morrissey,1,417576.column

Lip


Hey, great! Now all the people who rip Morrissey when he says anything bad about the Sox can say how right he is and love him until the next time he writes something negative when they'll return here and say what a hack Morrissey is!

ksimpson14
03-10-2008, 02:33 PM
I don't get why people take it so personally. They're basically looking at everything 'on paper', yeah it's probably a stupid view, but who cares. It's not a team bias. Make your own prediction instead of telling others how to do theirs.

And I don't see why anyone would owe anyone an apology either way :?:, how many people make predictions that end up being horrible?

Iwritecode
03-10-2008, 02:39 PM
I don't get why people take it so personally. They're basically looking at everything 'on paper', yeah it's probably a stupid view, but who cares. It's not a team bias. Make your own prediction instead of telling others how to do theirs.

And I don't see why anyone would owe anyone an apology either way :?:, how many people make predictions that end up being horrible?


Exactly. I don't take BP's predictions anymore seriously that I do from a sportswriter or a poster on WSI. When it comes right down to it they really aren't much more than "educated guesses" of what's going to happen.

I'm sure the number of predictions that end up being wrong far out-number the ones that are right.

spiffie
03-10-2008, 03:03 PM
Exactly. I don't take BP's predictions anymore seriously that I do from a sportswriter or a poster on WSI. When it comes right down to it they really aren't much more than "educated guesses" of what's going to happen.

I'm sure the number of predictions that end up being wrong far out-number the ones that are right.
Looking at last year's predictions, on average they tended to be off by an average of 5 wins. The only one they hit right on the nose was (sadly) the Sox and their 72-90 record.

kittle42
03-10-2008, 04:06 PM
Looking at last year's predictions, on average they tended to be off by an average of 5 wins. The only one they hit right on the nose was (sadly) the Sox and their 72-90 record.

Let's go find some threads where BP and its writers were bashed for being biased and totally off the mark with such a prediction, chock full of 2005 references!

StepsInSC
03-11-2008, 09:17 AM
I would like to see BP actually do a statistical analysis on how accurate their predictions have been.

I wouldn't know how exactly you would do it, but maybe get a listing of like 25 of the better newspapers/analysists/writers around the country that did their own rankings over the last X years. Then find out how many games team each source was off. Do the same for BP. I imagine they aren't much better if any than these other people who don't have much of a system other than their knowledge.

Nate Silver addressed Morrissey's column today. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=792

And he did a quick analysis of how accurate BP's projections have been.
Overall, though, the PECOTA (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA) projections have tended to get more and more accurate over time. The average error in our won-loss projections since 2003 has been as follows:
2003 5.91 wins
2004 7.71 wins
2005 5.14 wins
2006 4.94 wins
2007 4.31 wins



Some of you take it more seriously than they do. I've subscribed to BP over a year and I've never gotten the impression that they believe that they're predictions are infallible like Dan Mega stated earlier. I think people get ipso facto mad over the fact that they make predictions.

While I don't really put much into PECOTA's team based projections, I will say that PECOTA is routinely the best system for forecasting individual player performance (according to post-season analysis), routinely followed closely by ZIPS. As long as they both keep helping me win fantasy baseball leagues, they're fine by me.

spiffie
03-11-2008, 10:02 AM
Nate Silver addressed Morrissey's column today. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=792

And he did a quick analysis of how accurate BP's projections have been.

Some of you take it more seriously than they do. I've subscribed to BP over a year and I've never gotten the impression that they believe that they're predictions are infallible like Dan Mega stated earlier. I think people get ipso facto mad over the fact that they make predictions.

While I don't really put much into PECOTA's team based projections, I will say that PECOTA is routinely the best system for forecasting individual player performance (according to post-season analysis), routinely followed closely by ZIPS. As long as they both keep helping me win fantasy baseball leagues, they're fine by me.
The thing they don't mention is that PECOTA is not really any more accurate in terms of win loss guesses than the average informed predictor. http://vegaswatch.net/2007/09/evaluating-april-mlb-predictions.html did a look last year at preseason predictions. The numbers aren't exactly right since they were done with about 10 games left to go (used projected final records), but they're close enough to make the point. Out of 3 systems and 10 "expert" opinions PECOTA was the second most accurate. But the difference between the most accurate and the least accurate was less than an average of 2 games per prediction. I have no doubt that on the whole any informed fan who seriously sat down and tried to make an objective guess at the records of teams would come in that same span. PECOTA just uses a few more spreadsheets to get there.

StepsInSC
03-11-2008, 10:22 AM
The thing they don't mention is that PECOTA is not really any more accurate in terms of win loss guesses than the average informed predictor. http://vegaswatch.net/2007/09/evaluating-april-mlb-predictions.html did a look last year at preseason predictions. The numbers aren't exactly right since they were done with about 10 games left to go (used projected final records), but they're close enough to make the point. Out of 3 systems and 10 "expert" opinions PECOTA was the second most accurate. But the difference between the most accurate and the least accurate was less than an average of 2 games per prediction. I have no doubt that on the whole any informed fan who seriously sat down and tried to make an objective guess at the records of teams would come in that same span. PECOTA just uses a few more spreadsheets to get there.

That (the study you mentioned) wouldn't surprise me. There's a lot more variables that go into team performance than simply the past performances of each individual part. PECOTA can't account for that. I know this is precisely why people harp on BP, but after all it's a truism. So I don't have a problem with it not being restated by every BP article.

The Immigrant
03-11-2008, 10:33 AM
I think people get ipso facto mad over the fact that they make predictions.

The guys at BP are quick to gloat when their predictions happen to be right (see last year's letter to White Sox fans) while ignoring the countless times they've been wrong or simply crediting the results to luck (see 2005 season). That's probably why so many people dislike them. Everyone makes predictions these days, but BP claims to do so with near-scientific certainty based on a "proprietary system" that appears to be no more accurate than the random pickings of your average sportswriter.

It also doesn't help that they are smug little pricks, but that's just my view.

russ99
03-11-2008, 01:46 PM
The guys at BP are quick to gloat when their predictions happen to be right (see last year's letter to White Sox fans) while ignoring the countless times they've been wrong or simply crediting the results to luck (see 2005 season). That's probably why so many people dislike them. Everyone makes predictions these days, but BP claims to do so with near-scientific certainty based on a "proprietary system" that appears to be no more accurate than the random pickings of your average sportswriter.

It also doesn't help that they are smug little pricks, but that's just my view.

I'd like to see them explain the Indians of last year winning the division with only 3 really good hitters and 2 good starters, along with one of the worst closers in baseball. Statistically, their rise in the division last year doesn't add up. They're a perfect example that the games are played on the field and not in a computer.

Then, I'd also like to see them use the same explanation as to why they're picking essentially the same team over the much-improved Sox this year.

kittle42
03-11-2008, 02:29 PM
much-improved Sox.

I wouldn't go that far. "Much different" would actually be more accurate.

spiffie
03-11-2008, 03:01 PM
I'd like to see them explain the Indians of last year winning the division with only 3 really good hitters and 2 good starters, along with one of the worst closers in baseball. Statistically, their rise in the division last year doesn't add up. They're a perfect example that the games are played on the field and not in a computer.

Then, I'd also like to see them use the same explanation as to why they're picking essentially the same team over the much-improved Sox this year.
Simple explanation for why they won...they score 107 more runs than their opponent. You do that, you're going to win a lot of games.

More in-depth: They had a lot of good players. To use OPS+ just as a handy quick tool, most of their roster was above average. Their primary guys by position and OPS:
1B: Garko - 117
2B: Barfield - 54
SS: Peralta - 100
3B: Blake - 101
RF: Nixon - 78
CF: Sizemore - 122
LF: Michaels - 87
C: Martinez - 127
DH: Hafner - 118

To put it in perspective, the Sox last year had a primary lineup with OPS+ of: 116, 88, 74, 101, 73, 67, 105, 83, 150.

As for pitching, they did well because they had 4 solid starters. They were 3rd in the AL in ERA. Their top 4 starters averaged 200 innings with a 4.01 ERA. They also had a very solid bullpen. Yes Sweaty Joe Borowski was a tightwire act, but his ERA is inflated by a couple terrible outings. He had 3 outings where he gave up 14 earned runs in 1.2 innings. Take those three terrible games out of the equation and he has a 3.38 ERA, right in line with Bobby Jenks. Most of the time he got the job done. And his setup men were lights out. Betancourt with a 1.47 ERA, Perez with a 1.78, Lewis with a 2.15, and Fultz with a 2.92.

Really, its exactly what stat guys will say. You score a lot of runs, and stop the other team from scoring, you will win games. Don't take a lot of chances, and get on base a lot and hit with some power, and take some walks (12th in SB, 5th in OBP, 5th in SLG).

Whitesox029
03-11-2008, 04:56 PM
BP gave the Sox lousy odds in 2005.


That is a fairly large understatement. Their prediction for the '05 Sox, I specifically remember, was extremely similar to their prediction for the '07 Sox. about 72-90, and 4th place. What this tells me, essentially, is never to listen to these predictions. They're only published because they're fun to read and get worked up about. Beyond that, they really don't mean anything.

Craig Grebeck
03-11-2008, 05:57 PM
That is a fairly large understatement. Their prediction for the '05 Sox, I specifically remember, was extremely similar to their prediction for the '07 Sox. about 72-90, and 4th place. What this tells me, essentially, is never to listen to these predictions. They're only published because they're fun to read and get worked up about. Beyond that, they really don't mean anything.
You specifically remember wrong. It was 80-82 -- something that wasn't that unfair. Who could have foreseen ALL of the career years we had?

Lip Man 1
03-11-2008, 06:11 PM
Which doesn't alter the fact that BP was wrong by a large margin.

Lip

sullythered
03-11-2008, 06:13 PM
You specifically remember wrong. It was 80-82 -- something that wasn't that unfair. Who could have foreseen ALL of the career years we had?
You sure about that? I'm pretty sure they had us in the 70's. I say that only because I recall last season's prediction, and how everybody here compared the two.

And who are ALL the career years. I remember a few bullpen guys having their, by far, best years, but not many others.

Career Year in '05
Pollite, Cotts, Hermanson (to a lesser degree)- yes
Paulie- no
Dye- no
Crede- no
AJ- no
Pods- no
Rowand- no
Gooch- not really
Crazy Carl- no
Uribe- no
Buehrle- no
Garland- OK, but by an ERA standard only
Freddy- no
Contreras- 1/2
El Duque- no
Marte- no
Vizcaino- no

I'm so freaking tired of the same old tired "ton of guys with career years" garbage. Yeah, a few guys had big years. Just like on every other World Champ ever. It wasn't luck, or freaky good years by a bunch of OK players. It was a very well put together team that BP COMPLETELY missed.

StepsInSC
03-11-2008, 06:33 PM
You sure about that? I'm pretty sure they had us in the 70's. I say that only because I recall last season's prediction, and how everybody here compared the two.

And who are ALL the career years. I remember a few bullpen guys having their, by far, best years, but not many others.

Career Year in '05
Pollite, Cotts, Hermanson (to a lesser degree)- yes
Paulie- no
Dye- no
Crede- no
AJ- no
Pods- no
Rowand- no
Gooch- not really
Crazy Carl- no
Uribe- no
Buehrle- no
Garland- OK, but by an ERA standard only
Freddy- no
Contreras- 1/2
El Duque- no
Marte- no
Vizcaino- no

I'm so freaking tired of the same old tired "ton of guys with career years" garbage. Yeah, a few guys had big years. Just like on every other World Champ ever. It wasn't luck, or freaky good years by a bunch of OK players. It was a very well put together team that BP COMPLETELY missed.

Just looked it up and their projection was 80-82. BUT they did tear them apart in the AL Central projection synopsis:

W L PCT RS RA
Twins 86 76 .533 827 772
Indians 85 77 .525 832 791
White Sox 80 82 .497 821 826
Tigers 76 86 .467 788 843
Royals 69 93 .427 765 889


Perhaps Kenny Williams has some form of Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (http://sids-network.org/experts/msp.htm), and needs to ruin the team in order to save it? Perhaps it's something in the White Sox' ill-conceived lease with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=16343), which doesn't require the White Sox to pay rent until the 1.5 millionth customer has passed through the U.S. Cellular turnstiles? In any event, this was looking like the year in which the Sox might finally have done poorly enough to trigger some necessary, long-overdue front office changes, but the flurry of constructive late-winter signings ought to be just enough to pull them back into their self-built purgatory.

Feels good reading that. :D:

StepsInSC
03-11-2008, 06:39 PM
And at least one writer's response after the season: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4582

sullythered
03-11-2008, 06:39 PM
Just looked it up and their projection was 80-82. BUT they did tear them apart in the AL Central projection synopsis:

I wasn't sure about the prediction, I just remembered everybody screaming about it last year.

As much as I complain about BP, I like some of the stuff they do. On an individual player basis, they have some very interesting info/predictions. I just really don't think it translates to the ability to predict the fortunes of entire teams. The variables just overwhelmingly outweigh the measurable when it comes to a baseball season.

StepsInSC
03-11-2008, 06:43 PM
I wasn't sure about the prediction, I just remembered everybody screaming about it last year.

As much as I complain about BP, I like some of the stuff they do. On an individual player basis, they have some very interesting info/predictions. I just really don't think it translates to the ability to predict the fortunes of entire teams. The variables just overwhelmingly outweigh the measurable when it comes to a baseball season.

As I've said before I agree entirely, so much so I think it's a premise that you have to accept before reading their stuff. If you accept that premise, then you can just read it for what it is.

They also had an article doing a player by player comparison of 2005 PECOTA predictions versus 2005 actual stats. Man our pitching staff was lights out that year... http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4571

sullythered
03-11-2008, 06:50 PM
As I've said before I agree entirely, so much so I think it's a premise that you have to accept before reading their stuff. If you accept that premise, then you can just read it for what it is.

They also had an article doing a player by player comparison of 2005 PECOTA predictions versus 2005 actual stats: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4571

Wow, nice grab. That completely illustrates what I'm talking about. Aside from the starting rotation, their individual projections were pretty close.

My uncle got me a BP subscription for Christmas, and I have found it to be really fun to read. They just need to keep it to individual stats, and not get too preachy when making grander predictions.

santo=dorf
03-11-2008, 06:58 PM
You specifically remember wrong. It was 80-82 -- something that wasn't that unfair. Who could have foreseen ALL of the career years we had?
They also called Buehrle and Garcia #3 and #4 starters who were being paid like #1's. :rolleyes: