February 2, 2006

100 Simulations of the 2006 Season

SG of the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog (an excellent blog, by the way) has run 100 simulations of the 2006 season, using Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projections.

All six divisions are here, but I'll post only the AL East (wins, losses, runs for and against, division titles won, wild cards won, and high and low win totals):
                                           High Low
W L RF RA DIV WC Made% Wins Wins

Boston 92 70 879 740 76 6 82% 105 77
New York 85 77 821 786 14 16 30% 99 70
Toronto 83 79 748 740 9 14 23% 99 65
Baltimore 73 89 733 809 1 1 2% 89 54
Tampa Bay 70 92 711 827 1 0 1% 85 59
Prior to the Crisp trade, the Yankees and Red Sox were pretty close to even. However, according to ZiPS now the Red Sox are clearly better. ... The bad news is that the Yankees are spending $190 million or so on a 30% chance of making the playoffs according to at least one system. With very little else in the way of roster moves likely at this point, the best hope is that players on hand exceed their projection. (my emphasis)
SG says he'll run a bigger set of sims in spring training when rosters are more set. Here are his sims from 2005 and 2004.


Andrew said...

I'll be absolutely stunned if more than one of those three clubs finishes with fewer than 92 wins, let alone 90.

Red-Sox-Rumors said...

You ruined the ending for us!
Great post - thanks, Tim - SoxSpot.com

grunherz said...

Looks like a one game playoff between the Angels and Yanks for the Wild Card.

That'd be fun to watch.

Sean O said...

If the ZiPS projections were even remotely accurate I'd feel better, but very few of them make any sense. Hansen will not have a 3.51 ERA, and 7 of our starting pitchers will not be below 4.0 ERA. This isn't me being pessimistic; I just don't remotely see many of these things happening. Obviously, one can hope.

I'm guessing Yankees (the deal with Satan is still intact, it's just weakened), White Sox, A's and Indians for the playoffs, with the Yankees and Red Sox fighting to the end. I think the AL Central gets the wildcard running away, though the Angels and A's will fight hard for the AL West. I don't see anyone else making an impact.

El Guapo's Ghost said...

Regardless of how the prospect projections were included in the simulation and Wells (in or out), which is highly questionable (and I am too lazy to read all of the comments on replacement Yank blog), does anyone feel comfortable pencilling the 39 Schilling in for 174 in with an era of 3.47? I sure don't. After glancing over Sox and MFY zips to PECOTA projections, Schilling is the X factor. PECOTA has him at 99.7 with an ERA of 4.2. Even Foulke didn't have as much of a variance.

grunherz said...

Just a general comment here.

Call me overly optimistic, but I really don't get why so many people take for granted that the Yankees are far-and-away the better team this year.

I know for mainstream folks it's like buying IBM --- you can't go wrong betting on big blue.

But really, the Yankees are all a year older (including JD). To confidently call them vastly better than the retooled Red Sox and Blue Jays is a hard thing to fathom.

I know ZiPS is severely imperfect, but if you have no trouble believing the Sox are a third place team, it should stand to reason that the Yanks are just a likely to finish third as well.

I guess I'm just happy to see one thing that corresponds to my gut feeling on the coming season.

Andrew said...

Grunherz - They're absolutely not far and away a better team, I just don't think they'll be 11 games worse than they were last year. I think if anything their pitching will even improve a little bit, and the addition of Damon will help offset the loss in production from age. I really still think this division will come down to which of the three teams stays healthiest.

Sean O said...

Interesting, because I would figure their pitching will be worse than last season. I mean, if it's not for Small and Chacon coming out of nowhere, the Yankees are 5-6 games out of the playoffs last season. RJ will improve a bit, assuming his knee doesn't shatter, but Mussina is gone, Chacon was a one-time wonder, Pavano and Wright aren't good pitchers, Farnsworth is a nut, and they're pretty empty in the pen until Dotel comes back.

Meanwhile, everyone forgets this team was barely .500 at the ASB, because their hitting didn't show up. They add a banjo-hitting center fielder and suddenly they're the '99 Indians? I don't think so.

I still assume they'll be in the playoffs because they are evil, but I don't see them winning over a half dozen other teams. Possibly the Red Sox included.

Jack Marshall said...

Why, in heavens name, would anyone assume a pitcher as old as Johnson will be BETTER? He's likley to be worse; Mussina has hit the wall, Small sold his soul for last year, Wright will end up on the disabled list. The Yankkes starting pitching will do them in even if the age of the line-up doesn't (but I think it will as well.)

Sean O said...

Because it's Randy Johnson, that's why. If it's someone like Moyer, I would assume they're toast, but with the post-ASB turnaround RJ had last year I think he could be pretty good this year. Obviously I hope he messes up and gets booed every time out, but I wouldn't bet on it.

RJ, Clemens, Schilling, these are rare talents who might not exactly follow what would make sense.

Travis said...

In 2005, Zips predicted:

...The Twins to win the AL Central by 10 games over Detroit, and 12 over the ChiSox and Tribe, who tied for 3rd place. The Twins finished 3rd, 16 games behind Chicago.

...the Angels to win 84 games and finish 3rd in the AL West. They actually won 95.

...the Mariners to win 85 games. They won 63.

...the Braves to finish at .500, last in the NL East. they won 90 games and the Division (again).

...the Astros to win only 76 games and finish 4th. They won 89 games, the Wild Card and the National League pennant.

...the Pirates to win 74 games. they went 67-95, the worst record in the NL.

...the DOdgers to win 92 games and the NL West. The lost 91 games and would have finished last if the Rockies hadn't fielded a AAA team for most of the season.

Overall, Zips was off by an average og 7.33 wins per team, using the same model as last year. Don't believe the hype. That's why they play the games.

Jack Marshall said...

That's fascinating, Travis. I'm pretty sure most of the people on this list could equal that average based on a gut analysis...even Sean O, who will pick the Sox to win 89 when they really win 96, and the Yankees to win 93 when they only can win 86 after the Unit's 43 year old back gives out on May 16...

Sean O said...

I'm not Anti-Sox, I'm just realistic. I'm glad we've gotten younger, but there are just way too many question marks for hte upcoming season. I hope Schilling and Foulke exceed expectations, but I worry.

ZiPS are insane, and with the PECOTA projections, I would be thrilled to win 90-92. All logic points to a horribly collapse for the Yankees this year, and I don't want to get too confident. I do think the Yankees could be a sub-.500 team this season.

Best case scenario, Schilling and Foulke dominate, and we hit 98 wins. Yankees are hovering 8 games behind the Sox, and trade Duncan and Hughes for Griffey. Yankees proceed to collapse after the trade deadline, Sox fans rejoice.

Jack Marshall said...

Sean...I do think a lot of signs point to a Yankee collapse. I'm shocked the team didn't do more, address the age problem and overhaul the pitching. They are like a gambler playing a lucky streak. Conditioning can only go so far. How long before Giambi, Sheffield, Matsui, or Posada break down? Do they really think Rivera will go on forever? The starting line-up had almost no injuries last season...is it really likely that can continue?

redsock said...

ZIPS doesn't factor in injuries, and assumes the regulars get all their PAs. (Right?) Then the real world scenarios could certainly skew the results.

What it is saying is that if the 2006 Red Sox, as constituted, stays healthy, this is what we could expect.

That will not happen, of course. Some players on the Sox and MFY will get hurt and miss time.

Who are those players? We don't know. But the team that the front office has put on the field for this season looks strong. Stronger than New York.

Mark said...

Oh man, it is getting so close to Spring Training. Baseball. Ah, okay, yes, I can feel the buzz. Sox in 2006? No, not the White Sox...the Red Sox.

Yup, I am ready for baseball. (And not this World Classic yada yada...)

With the Sox signing Crisp recently, I think the team is solidified to continue their streak of finishing second to the Yankees. And who really cares anyway. As long as second is good enough for the Wild Card and the Sox are playing great ball in October, I hope they finish second.

2006. Starting lineup

Crisp - cf
Nixon - rf
Ortiz - dh
Ramirez - lf
Lowell - 3b
Youkillis - 1b
Varitek - c
Gonzales/Loretta - ss
Graffanino/Cora - 2b

Pretty solid!

Pitching rotation

Wells - if not traded

Pretty solid!


Comeback player; Foulke --- he will rebound nicely from last year
Rookie; David Murphy --- at Baylor, he hit for an incredible average, it is no surprise he has moved up the ladder so quickly.
Best pitcher --- Schilling will get 20 wins again.


Schilling 20-6
Beckett 18-11
Wakefield 15-9
Arroyo - 16-10
Beckett - 14-10
Wells 16-11

Of course, one of these pitchers will be a scratch starter, so someone's numbers are going to suffer

Sox finish 2nd as usual, the 9th year in a row.

Will play the Seattle Mariners in the Wild Card round,
Win the series 3-1
Will play the White Sox in round 2, ALCS.
Win the series in the late innings of game 7, 4 games to 3.

MVP; Ramirez

On to the World Series,
Will play the San Diego Padres
Win the series, 4-2.

MVP; Schilling

Look out for a fun year! And if none of this comes true, oh well, I am still enjoying watching "Faith Rewarded" on DVD. I don't know about "Fever Pitch"...not enough game time footage.