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2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions. - Page 2  

post #31 of 78800
smiley: pimp
post #32 of 78800
smiley: pimp
post #33 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

Quote:
Originally Posted by 651akathePaul

AL East:


2. Tampa Bay Rays

AL/NL Cy Young:

AL - David Price



you gotthat much faith in the Rays finishing 2nd?

they're staring  4th place in the face

  



Not really, but I don't like the Yankees this year and don't feel the Orioles are quite ready.
VIKINGS | TIMBERWOLVES | TWINS | MARINERS | HUSKIES | SHARKS
VIKINGS | TIMBERWOLVES | TWINS | MARINERS | HUSKIES | SHARKS
post #34 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

Quote:
Originally Posted by 651akathePaul

AL East:


2. Tampa Bay Rays

AL/NL Cy Young:

AL - David Price



you gotthat much faith in the Rays finishing 2nd?

they're staring  4th place in the face

  



Not really, but I don't like the Yankees this year and don't feel the Orioles are quite ready.
VIKINGS | TIMBERWOLVES | TWINS | MARINERS | HUSKIES | SHARKS
VIKINGS | TIMBERWOLVES | TWINS | MARINERS | HUSKIES | SHARKS
post #35 of 78800
Thread Starter 
I would put the Rays as a surprise 3rd place finishing team. Not bad considering how much they lost this offseason. They'll be contending again next year.
post #36 of 78800
Thread Starter 
I would put the Rays as a surprise 3rd place finishing team. Not bad considering how much they lost this offseason. They'll be contending again next year.
post #37 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

you gotthat much faith in the Rays finishing 2nd?

they're staring  4th place in the face

I don't dig them or the Yankees much at all right now...

The Wild Card may well come outta the Central.
post #38 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

you gotthat much faith in the Rays finishing 2nd?

they're staring  4th place in the face

I don't dig them or the Yankees much at all right now...

The Wild Card may well come outta the Central.
post #39 of 78800
i can already see it. the new look O's win 10 of their first 12 or 13 to start, get labeled as a contender, and then will fade away as awlays.

i still don't see how the yanks are supposed to fall off so much. it's still a loaded team. power offense in a hitters park. pen is fine. rotation isn't the best, but it's not a bunch of scrubs. they have the offense to carry them and a pen that can cover.

the rays meanwhile have lost a ton. garza, crawford, pena, wheeler, soriano...
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
post #40 of 78800
i can already see it. the new look O's win 10 of their first 12 or 13 to start, get labeled as a contender, and then will fade away as awlays.

i still don't see how the yanks are supposed to fall off so much. it's still a loaded team. power offense in a hitters park. pen is fine. rotation isn't the best, but it's not a bunch of scrubs. they have the offense to carry them and a pen that can cover.

the rays meanwhile have lost a ton. garza, crawford, pena, wheeler, soriano...
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
post #41 of 78800
The rotation is so damn sketchy... CC is a given. Hughes isn't great, but he's really solid.. After that? Yikes. Them dudes suck after those front 2. And I don't know if the bullpen is good enough to endure potentially three days where they'll need to go 3+ innings to close out a game. That pitching scares the hell outta me.

They'll inevitably make a move for an arm, but until then, I'm just not buying it...
post #42 of 78800
The rotation is so damn sketchy... CC is a given. Hughes isn't great, but he's really solid.. After that? Yikes. Them dudes suck after those front 2. And I don't know if the bullpen is good enough to endure potentially three days where they'll need to go 3+ innings to close out a game. That pitching scares the hell outta me.

They'll inevitably make a move for an arm, but until then, I'm just not buying it...
post #43 of 78800
Thread Starter 
I can see CC struggling with this weight loss.  Most pitchers who've lost like that lose a few MPH's on their FB.  That's his go to pitch to get outta jams.  I think their offense will be mcuh better than last year but I don't know if it'd be enough to carry em to the AL East crown or the WC.  But I don't think the WC comes out of the Central.  I think Chicago wins the Central with Minny close behind but only at about 86-88 wins TBH.  I think if any team snatches it from the AL East, it'll be Oakland or Texas whoever doesn't win the West.

Baseball Prospectus Predictions for the AL East and AL Central:

 

For the past three seasons, the ultra-competitive American League East has been contested among the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. That won't change in 2011, although the plucky, small-market Rays will have a harder task than ever before due to an offseason in which their roster suffered great losses to free agency. The Orioles will be less of a pushover than they have been in recent years and the Blue Jays will continue to be solid if unspectacular, but given the capabilities of the teams at the top of the standings, their progress will be difficult to see with the naked eye.

Baseball Prospectus' projection system, PECOTA, forecasts the performance of every player in baseball from the majors to the minors. These projections, combined with estimates of playing time, allow us to project the standings. This is how it sees baseball's toughest division shaking out in 2011.

Boston Red Sox: 92-70 (projected 2011 record)

Why they might win: A reloaded and presumably healthy offense invigorated by Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez will get all the attention, but PECOTA sees the real improvement as being due to a strong starting rotation aided by a rebound season from Josh Beckett and a deeper bullpen.

Why they might not win: PECOTA expects the Sox to allow 50 fewer runs than last year, a tall order if Beckett, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka don't deliver on past performances. "Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Everyday Catcher" seems a series unlikely to get a full order of episodes, and between he and reserve Jason Varitek, opponents may once again run wild.

Player who could surprise: He's already an All-Star, but Adrian Gonzalez could be due for a real breakout in Fenway Park. Petco Park limited his offensive output when he was with the Padres; he hit .307/.381/.579 in Padres road games versus just .267/.367/.442 at home. PECOTA foresees .281/.379/.502 rates and 31 home runs, but that projection might prove to be too conservative.

Player who could disappoint: Beckett. A return to his 2007 to 2009 form (3.71 ERA) would make good on PECOTA's overall pitching prediction, but back injuries tend to recur. If he and his projected 3.95 ERA are on the shelf for any period of time, the Sox will have to fall back on the aged Tim Wakefield or Alfredo Aceves, who has back problems of his own.

New York Yankees: 91-71

Why they might win: With the exceptions of Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, several Yankees disappointed at the plate last year and yet they still led the league in runs scored. They should be potent again this year, with PECOTA calling for them to lead the division in runs scored. The bullpen, with its Rafael Soriano-to-Mariano Rivera endgame, should be a standout.

Why they might not win: Because the richest team in baseball has Bartolo Colon, Sergio Mitre and Freddy Garcia competing for rotation spots after the Yankees learned that money can't buy you happiness -- or Cliff Lee.

Player who could surprise: Curtis Granderson. After a late-season tutoring session with hitting coach Kevin Long, Granderson started hitting left-handed pitchers (.286/.375/.500 in a small sample) for the first time in his career. PECOTA expects Granderson to hit .257/.333/.460, but it doesn't know about Long's lessons.

Player who could disappoint: Derek Jeter. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez still have room to rebound, but Jeter couldn't get the ball off the ground last year. (His ground ball rate of 65.7 percent was the highest in baseball.) PECOTA's .281/.350/.389 projection offers faint hope for the 37-year-old shortstop.

Tampa Bay Rays: 84-78

Why they might win: Rays starters had the third-best ERA in the league. Replacing Matt Garza, whose 15-10 record belied a mediocre season, with top prospect Jeremy Hellickson should further strengthen the unit. If James Shields can come back from the 6.09 ERA he put up from June on and Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis can recover from some late-season, post-injury doldrums, the Rays could again have a truly outstanding rotation.

Why they might not win: Almost the entirety of last season's bullpen is gone and the replacements have names like Farnsworth and Peralta. Joe Maddon is the game's most creative manager, but it would take an act of sorcery to create a bullpen as good as last year's best-in-AL unit. In addition, with Carl Crawford having decamped to Boston, Evan Longoria may feel lonely as the only top-flight hitter in the lineup. According to PECOTA, the Rays will drop nearly 60 runs of offense and allow more than 60 more.

Player who could surprise: Manny Ramirez looked so weak during his Chicago sojourn (one home run in 88 plate appearances) that it's easy to forget that he hit quite well when available to the Dodgers (.311/.405/.510) and was dealing with a calf injury and a hernia. A Manny resurgence will depend on if he's engaged, but if Maddon can get and hold his attention, the bat shouldn't be a problem. A conservative PECOTA calls for him to hit .269/.380/.462.

Player who could disappoint: Top outfield prospect Desmond Jennings. PECOTA expects him to hit just five home runs in 395 PAs, not surprising for a player with his leadoff hitter's skills. But with B.J. Upton hitting just 29 home runs over the past two seasons, Johnny Damon dropping from 24 to eight last season and Ben Zobrist, who lost 17 home runs between 2009 and 2010, expected to get a lot of swings as the right fielder, the outfield is going to lack pop.

Baltimore Orioles: 82-80

Why they might win: They'll win if they somehow get furloughed to one of the Central divisions, where the competition is less intense. Otherwise, they will have to settle for enjoying the fruits of a vastly improved offense due to the addition of four veterans to the lineup. Given 13 consecutive losing seasons, a .500 record would be an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Why they might not win: The vets were available to the O's for a reason: Vlad Guerrero and Derrek Lee are aging, J.J. Hardy is notoriously inconsistent and Mark Reynolds is a career .235/.323/.461 hitter outside of Phoenix who failed to hit .200 last year. PECOTA sees him roughly duplicating those rates with bad defense. Although the pitching should continue to improve, particularly if top prospect Zach Britton joins the staff at some point this season, there won't be enough offense to make a decisive difference.

Player who could surprise: Hardy. Although the 50 home runs he hit between 2007 and 2008 seem like a long time ago and his overall 2010 numbers were mediocre, once he got over an injured wrist, he hit .304/.363/.442 in the second half. He'll be a revelation after two years of Cesar Izturis and should exceed his PECOTA-projected .261/.319/.414 rates.

Player who could disappoint: Matt Wieters. While fandom still waits for the soon to be 25-year-old catcher to make good on his terrific minor league numbers, PECOTA has stopped looking for a breakout, calling for a .268/.341/.419 season. Names like Ryan Doumit and Ryan Garko are starting to show up among his comparables, two too many mediocre Ryans for a future star.

Toronto Blue Jays: 76-86

Why they might win: The young starting rotation and rebuilt bullpen could defy PECOTA's projection and refuse to add 50 runs to last season's total under new manager/former pitching coach John Farrell, while Adam Lind and Travis Snider finally click, allowing the offense to hold its ground.

Why they might not win: Ricky Romero regresses to the 4.75 ERA PECOTA calls for, Brett Cecil adds half a run to his ERA and Kyle Drabek (predicted 4.94 ERA in 85 2/3 innings) has a rough transition to the majors, making the absence of Shaun Marcum more keenly felt. In addition, Vernon Wells' contract might have been an albatross, but his bat (in even-numbered seasons) was not; it's a long fall from him to Rajai Davis and his projected .267/.313/.377 season.

Player who could surprise: Rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia. After a two-home run debut, the rookie didn't hit in his remaining 10 games, but his power production is for real and with only a slight improvement on his projection (.253/.290/.483, 26 home runs in 474 at-bats) he should approximate or surpass John Buck's production of last year.

Player who could disappoint: Jose Bautista could be the surprise (if he hits another 50 home runs) or disappointment (if he doesn't). Very few players have been consistent at the 50-home run level, and Bautista is more likely a new George Foster or Brady Anderson than a late-career Babe Ruth. PECOTA isn't aware of the adjusted swing that touched off his homer barrage, but even so, its prediction of 29 home runs seems entirely reasonable.


 

 

The American League Central has not produced a World Series champion since the White Sox in 2005 and is responsible for only two pennant winners in the 13 seasons since the last expansion. An AL Central team has not won a playoff series since the Indians took the Red Sox to the limit in 2007. The most postseason success the Central has witnessed lately is in divisional tiebreakers.

Using PECOTA -- Baseball Prospectus' proprietary projections system -- gives us a feel for how teams will perform after playing time expectations are added to the equation. Such information gives us projected records and standings. Although PECOTA sometimes disagrees with the conventional notion about a player's upcoming season, it seems to agree with the Central standings.


min.gif

Minnesota Twins: 84-78 (projected 2011 record)

Why they might win: Despite losing more big league players than they added this offseason, the Twins appear to be the most well-rounded club in the division with a solid rotation, good lineup and possibly reliable bullpen.

Why they might not win: All rotations are susceptible to injury, but the Twins might be in particular because theirs includes Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano, Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey, each of whom has been limited by injuries to varying degrees during the past several seasons.

Player who could surprise: Reliever Anthony Slama appeared in five games last season and did not see his minor league success carry over. PECOTA is not allowing the struggle in a small sample size dissuade it from placing Slama as the Twins' best reliever outside of Joe Nathan by expecting a 3.40 ERA and more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Given the exodus of Twins relievers this winter, Slama could be tested early and often in high-leverage situations.

Player who could disappoint: Former top prospect and No. 1 draft pick Delmon Young experienced his first 20-plus-homer season in 2010 while hitting .298/.333/.493 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage). Is he back on the road to superstardom? PECOTA says not so fast and expects a relapse into the world of ineffectiveness with a projected slash line of .283/.319/.420. Making matters worse for the Twins are the comparisons to Josh Barfield, Jorge Cantu and Jeff Francoeur -- a collection of formerly hyped prospects who have since fallen flat.


det.gif

Detroit Tigers: 82-80

Why they might win: When everyone's healthy, the lineup is high in name value, with Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez and Victor Martinez. The rotation features the best one-two punch in the division, and a hard-throwing bullpen could be stellar.

Why they might not win: A bullpen with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit and Joel Zumaya could boost the Tigers' chances in close games, but the latter two could miss significant time without anyone blinking. Despite the addition of Brad Penny, the back end of the rotation is also a question mark.

Player who could surprise: Disappointment and injury -- and occasionally both -- have plagued Penny in the past three seasons, leaving him with an ERA over 5.00 and an average annual workload under 110 innings. PECOTA foresees nearly 150 innings with a 4.44 ERA for the 33-year-old. Health is a skill, which means sometimes it is plagued with good or bad luck.

Player who could disappoint: Outfielder Brennan Boesch is a given; his rookie season included a half in which he looked like a future Hall of Famer (.342/.397/.593) followed by one in which he looked like a future minor leaguer (.163/.237/.222). Fans hoping for a bounce-back to the first half are out of luck, as Boesch is projected to hit .249/.297/.407.


chw.gif

Chicago White Sox: 80-82

Why they might win: Their lineup could be bonkers -- in a good way. The addition of Adam Dunn to go with Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin, Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios is something to look forward to, even if the resulting defensive hit is substantial. If things break right, the rotation could be the best in the division.

Why they might not win: Jake Peavy could miss the start of the season and seems like a lock for at least one trip to the DL during the season. The offense also has some question marks, with the catcher position looking weak and the youth of Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel coming into play.

Player who could surprise: Peavy pitched better last season than his 4.63 ERA gives him credit for. In his past 12 starts, he struck out 71 batters, walked 13 and had a 3.45 ERA before missing the rest of the season thanks to a shoulder injury. PECOTA is unaware of his health issues but suggests he could throw for a 3.24 ERA if his talent level remains unchanged. A Jason Schmidt comparison is both appropriate and downright terrifying.

Player who could disappoint: Although PECOTA likes Peavy, John Danks and Gavin Floyd, it dislikes the other vets in the rotation. Mark Buehrle has a projected ERA of 4.51 (a career worst), and PECOTA remains nonplussed by Edwin Jackson's rise to acceptability (4.63 ERA).


cle.gif

Cleveland Indians: 72-90

Why they might win: The Indians are built with a few stars surrounded by league-average players. If Grady Sizemore and Carlos Santana stay healthy, the team should break the 70-win barrier for the first time since 2008.

Why they might not win: The rotation is full of question marks. PECOTA expects Justin Masterson's ERA to resemble his stellar peripherals more this season (4.26) than last (4.70). The problem, though, is the rest of the rotation, with just two other starters (Fausto Carmona and Josh Tomlin) projected for ERAs under 4.50.

Player who could surprise: Michael Brantley came over in the CC Sabathia trade. An athletic center fielder, Brantley features the offensive profile of a leadoff hitter (a career minor league OBP of .388), and although PECOTA does not envision a breakout year (.266/.329/.346) from the soon-to-be 24-year-old, he should provide excitement in the field and on the basepaths.

Player who could disappoint: Another piece of the Sabathia return, Matt LaPorta, seems like a lock for this designation. Now 26, the former top prospect is closing in on 700 plate appearances with an OPS below .700. PECOTA provides the best- and worst-case scenarios by comparing him to Ryan Garko and Jeff Clement while projecting a line of .246/.331/.432 and 19 homers.


kan.gif

Kansas City Royals: 70-92

Why they might win: Taking liberties with the definition of win, the Royals should consider this season a success should their top prospects remain healthy and contribute.

Why they might not win: Billy Butler and Joakim Soria are good players, but any team is in trouble when those are its two best talents. The rotation is full of band-aids, and the outfield might start three former top prospects now considered busts. The infusion of talented youth throughout the summer and fall should help, but immediate success is not guaranteed.

Player who could surprise: Kila Ka'aihue will turn 27 at the end of March and has hit .224/.314/.398 in 230 big league plate appearances. Nevertheless, PECOTA loves Ka'aihue's minor league track record and pegs him for .262/.351/.528 and 25 home runs. His comparables include Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez, two of the best left-handed first basemen in the majors. The projection proving optimistic and Ka'aihue impressing are not mutually exclusive happenings.

Player who could disappoint: Wilson Betemit surprised everyone when he hit .297/.378/.511 in a little more than 300 plate appearances last season. Expecting a drop-off is no surprise, but forecasting a fall below his career line is, which is why PECOTA's projected line of .247/.317/.416 is worth watching.


post #44 of 78800
Thread Starter 
I can see CC struggling with this weight loss.  Most pitchers who've lost like that lose a few MPH's on their FB.  That's his go to pitch to get outta jams.  I think their offense will be mcuh better than last year but I don't know if it'd be enough to carry em to the AL East crown or the WC.  But I don't think the WC comes out of the Central.  I think Chicago wins the Central with Minny close behind but only at about 86-88 wins TBH.  I think if any team snatches it from the AL East, it'll be Oakland or Texas whoever doesn't win the West.

Baseball Prospectus Predictions for the AL East and AL Central:

 

For the past three seasons, the ultra-competitive American League East has been contested among the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. That won't change in 2011, although the plucky, small-market Rays will have a harder task than ever before due to an offseason in which their roster suffered great losses to free agency. The Orioles will be less of a pushover than they have been in recent years and the Blue Jays will continue to be solid if unspectacular, but given the capabilities of the teams at the top of the standings, their progress will be difficult to see with the naked eye.

Baseball Prospectus' projection system, PECOTA, forecasts the performance of every player in baseball from the majors to the minors. These projections, combined with estimates of playing time, allow us to project the standings. This is how it sees baseball's toughest division shaking out in 2011.

Boston Red Sox: 92-70 (projected 2011 record)

Why they might win: A reloaded and presumably healthy offense invigorated by Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez will get all the attention, but PECOTA sees the real improvement as being due to a strong starting rotation aided by a rebound season from Josh Beckett and a deeper bullpen.

Why they might not win: PECOTA expects the Sox to allow 50 fewer runs than last year, a tall order if Beckett, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka don't deliver on past performances. "Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Everyday Catcher" seems a series unlikely to get a full order of episodes, and between he and reserve Jason Varitek, opponents may once again run wild.

Player who could surprise: He's already an All-Star, but Adrian Gonzalez could be due for a real breakout in Fenway Park. Petco Park limited his offensive output when he was with the Padres; he hit .307/.381/.579 in Padres road games versus just .267/.367/.442 at home. PECOTA foresees .281/.379/.502 rates and 31 home runs, but that projection might prove to be too conservative.

Player who could disappoint: Beckett. A return to his 2007 to 2009 form (3.71 ERA) would make good on PECOTA's overall pitching prediction, but back injuries tend to recur. If he and his projected 3.95 ERA are on the shelf for any period of time, the Sox will have to fall back on the aged Tim Wakefield or Alfredo Aceves, who has back problems of his own.

New York Yankees: 91-71

Why they might win: With the exceptions of Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, several Yankees disappointed at the plate last year and yet they still led the league in runs scored. They should be potent again this year, with PECOTA calling for them to lead the division in runs scored. The bullpen, with its Rafael Soriano-to-Mariano Rivera endgame, should be a standout.

Why they might not win: Because the richest team in baseball has Bartolo Colon, Sergio Mitre and Freddy Garcia competing for rotation spots after the Yankees learned that money can't buy you happiness -- or Cliff Lee.

Player who could surprise: Curtis Granderson. After a late-season tutoring session with hitting coach Kevin Long, Granderson started hitting left-handed pitchers (.286/.375/.500 in a small sample) for the first time in his career. PECOTA expects Granderson to hit .257/.333/.460, but it doesn't know about Long's lessons.

Player who could disappoint: Derek Jeter. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez still have room to rebound, but Jeter couldn't get the ball off the ground last year. (His ground ball rate of 65.7 percent was the highest in baseball.) PECOTA's .281/.350/.389 projection offers faint hope for the 37-year-old shortstop.

Tampa Bay Rays: 84-78

Why they might win: Rays starters had the third-best ERA in the league. Replacing Matt Garza, whose 15-10 record belied a mediocre season, with top prospect Jeremy Hellickson should further strengthen the unit. If James Shields can come back from the 6.09 ERA he put up from June on and Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis can recover from some late-season, post-injury doldrums, the Rays could again have a truly outstanding rotation.

Why they might not win: Almost the entirety of last season's bullpen is gone and the replacements have names like Farnsworth and Peralta. Joe Maddon is the game's most creative manager, but it would take an act of sorcery to create a bullpen as good as last year's best-in-AL unit. In addition, with Carl Crawford having decamped to Boston, Evan Longoria may feel lonely as the only top-flight hitter in the lineup. According to PECOTA, the Rays will drop nearly 60 runs of offense and allow more than 60 more.

Player who could surprise: Manny Ramirez looked so weak during his Chicago sojourn (one home run in 88 plate appearances) that it's easy to forget that he hit quite well when available to the Dodgers (.311/.405/.510) and was dealing with a calf injury and a hernia. A Manny resurgence will depend on if he's engaged, but if Maddon can get and hold his attention, the bat shouldn't be a problem. A conservative PECOTA calls for him to hit .269/.380/.462.

Player who could disappoint: Top outfield prospect Desmond Jennings. PECOTA expects him to hit just five home runs in 395 PAs, not surprising for a player with his leadoff hitter's skills. But with B.J. Upton hitting just 29 home runs over the past two seasons, Johnny Damon dropping from 24 to eight last season and Ben Zobrist, who lost 17 home runs between 2009 and 2010, expected to get a lot of swings as the right fielder, the outfield is going to lack pop.

Baltimore Orioles: 82-80

Why they might win: They'll win if they somehow get furloughed to one of the Central divisions, where the competition is less intense. Otherwise, they will have to settle for enjoying the fruits of a vastly improved offense due to the addition of four veterans to the lineup. Given 13 consecutive losing seasons, a .500 record would be an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Why they might not win: The vets were available to the O's for a reason: Vlad Guerrero and Derrek Lee are aging, J.J. Hardy is notoriously inconsistent and Mark Reynolds is a career .235/.323/.461 hitter outside of Phoenix who failed to hit .200 last year. PECOTA sees him roughly duplicating those rates with bad defense. Although the pitching should continue to improve, particularly if top prospect Zach Britton joins the staff at some point this season, there won't be enough offense to make a decisive difference.

Player who could surprise: Hardy. Although the 50 home runs he hit between 2007 and 2008 seem like a long time ago and his overall 2010 numbers were mediocre, once he got over an injured wrist, he hit .304/.363/.442 in the second half. He'll be a revelation after two years of Cesar Izturis and should exceed his PECOTA-projected .261/.319/.414 rates.

Player who could disappoint: Matt Wieters. While fandom still waits for the soon to be 25-year-old catcher to make good on his terrific minor league numbers, PECOTA has stopped looking for a breakout, calling for a .268/.341/.419 season. Names like Ryan Doumit and Ryan Garko are starting to show up among his comparables, two too many mediocre Ryans for a future star.

Toronto Blue Jays: 76-86

Why they might win: The young starting rotation and rebuilt bullpen could defy PECOTA's projection and refuse to add 50 runs to last season's total under new manager/former pitching coach John Farrell, while Adam Lind and Travis Snider finally click, allowing the offense to hold its ground.

Why they might not win: Ricky Romero regresses to the 4.75 ERA PECOTA calls for, Brett Cecil adds half a run to his ERA and Kyle Drabek (predicted 4.94 ERA in 85 2/3 innings) has a rough transition to the majors, making the absence of Shaun Marcum more keenly felt. In addition, Vernon Wells' contract might have been an albatross, but his bat (in even-numbered seasons) was not; it's a long fall from him to Rajai Davis and his projected .267/.313/.377 season.

Player who could surprise: Rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia. After a two-home run debut, the rookie didn't hit in his remaining 10 games, but his power production is for real and with only a slight improvement on his projection (.253/.290/.483, 26 home runs in 474 at-bats) he should approximate or surpass John Buck's production of last year.

Player who could disappoint: Jose Bautista could be the surprise (if he hits another 50 home runs) or disappointment (if he doesn't). Very few players have been consistent at the 50-home run level, and Bautista is more likely a new George Foster or Brady Anderson than a late-career Babe Ruth. PECOTA isn't aware of the adjusted swing that touched off his homer barrage, but even so, its prediction of 29 home runs seems entirely reasonable.


 

 

The American League Central has not produced a World Series champion since the White Sox in 2005 and is responsible for only two pennant winners in the 13 seasons since the last expansion. An AL Central team has not won a playoff series since the Indians took the Red Sox to the limit in 2007. The most postseason success the Central has witnessed lately is in divisional tiebreakers.

Using PECOTA -- Baseball Prospectus' proprietary projections system -- gives us a feel for how teams will perform after playing time expectations are added to the equation. Such information gives us projected records and standings. Although PECOTA sometimes disagrees with the conventional notion about a player's upcoming season, it seems to agree with the Central standings.


min.gif

Minnesota Twins: 84-78 (projected 2011 record)

Why they might win: Despite losing more big league players than they added this offseason, the Twins appear to be the most well-rounded club in the division with a solid rotation, good lineup and possibly reliable bullpen.

Why they might not win: All rotations are susceptible to injury, but the Twins might be in particular because theirs includes Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano, Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey, each of whom has been limited by injuries to varying degrees during the past several seasons.

Player who could surprise: Reliever Anthony Slama appeared in five games last season and did not see his minor league success carry over. PECOTA is not allowing the struggle in a small sample size dissuade it from placing Slama as the Twins' best reliever outside of Joe Nathan by expecting a 3.40 ERA and more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Given the exodus of Twins relievers this winter, Slama could be tested early and often in high-leverage situations.

Player who could disappoint: Former top prospect and No. 1 draft pick Delmon Young experienced his first 20-plus-homer season in 2010 while hitting .298/.333/.493 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage). Is he back on the road to superstardom? PECOTA says not so fast and expects a relapse into the world of ineffectiveness with a projected slash line of .283/.319/.420. Making matters worse for the Twins are the comparisons to Josh Barfield, Jorge Cantu and Jeff Francoeur -- a collection of formerly hyped prospects who have since fallen flat.


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Detroit Tigers: 82-80

Why they might win: When everyone's healthy, the lineup is high in name value, with Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez and Victor Martinez. The rotation features the best one-two punch in the division, and a hard-throwing bullpen could be stellar.

Why they might not win: A bullpen with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit and Joel Zumaya could boost the Tigers' chances in close games, but the latter two could miss significant time without anyone blinking. Despite the addition of Brad Penny, the back end of the rotation is also a question mark.

Player who could surprise: Disappointment and injury -- and occasionally both -- have plagued Penny in the past three seasons, leaving him with an ERA over 5.00 and an average annual workload under 110 innings. PECOTA foresees nearly 150 innings with a 4.44 ERA for the 33-year-old. Health is a skill, which means sometimes it is plagued with good or bad luck.

Player who could disappoint: Outfielder Brennan Boesch is a given; his rookie season included a half in which he looked like a future Hall of Famer (.342/.397/.593) followed by one in which he looked like a future minor leaguer (.163/.237/.222). Fans hoping for a bounce-back to the first half are out of luck, as Boesch is projected to hit .249/.297/.407.


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Chicago White Sox: 80-82

Why they might win: Their lineup could be bonkers -- in a good way. The addition of Adam Dunn to go with Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin, Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios is something to look forward to, even if the resulting defensive hit is substantial. If things break right, the rotation could be the best in the division.

Why they might not win: Jake Peavy could miss the start of the season and seems like a lock for at least one trip to the DL during the season. The offense also has some question marks, with the catcher position looking weak and the youth of Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel coming into play.

Player who could surprise: Peavy pitched better last season than his 4.63 ERA gives him credit for. In his past 12 starts, he struck out 71 batters, walked 13 and had a 3.45 ERA before missing the rest of the season thanks to a shoulder injury. PECOTA is unaware of his health issues but suggests he could throw for a 3.24 ERA if his talent level remains unchanged. A Jason Schmidt comparison is both appropriate and downright terrifying.

Player who could disappoint: Although PECOTA likes Peavy, John Danks and Gavin Floyd, it dislikes the other vets in the rotation. Mark Buehrle has a projected ERA of 4.51 (a career worst), and PECOTA remains nonplussed by Edwin Jackson's rise to acceptability (4.63 ERA).


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Cleveland Indians: 72-90

Why they might win: The Indians are built with a few stars surrounded by league-average players. If Grady Sizemore and Carlos Santana stay healthy, the team should break the 70-win barrier for the first time since 2008.

Why they might not win: The rotation is full of question marks. PECOTA expects Justin Masterson's ERA to resemble his stellar peripherals more this season (4.26) than last (4.70). The problem, though, is the rest of the rotation, with just two other starters (Fausto Carmona and Josh Tomlin) projected for ERAs under 4.50.

Player who could surprise: Michael Brantley came over in the CC Sabathia trade. An athletic center fielder, Brantley features the offensive profile of a leadoff hitter (a career minor league OBP of .388), and although PECOTA does not envision a breakout year (.266/.329/.346) from the soon-to-be 24-year-old, he should provide excitement in the field and on the basepaths.

Player who could disappoint: Another piece of the Sabathia return, Matt LaPorta, seems like a lock for this designation. Now 26, the former top prospect is closing in on 700 plate appearances with an OPS below .700. PECOTA provides the best- and worst-case scenarios by comparing him to Ryan Garko and Jeff Clement while projecting a line of .246/.331/.432 and 19 homers.


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Kansas City Royals: 70-92

Why they might win: Taking liberties with the definition of win, the Royals should consider this season a success should their top prospects remain healthy and contribute.

Why they might not win: Billy Butler and Joakim Soria are good players, but any team is in trouble when those are its two best talents. The rotation is full of band-aids, and the outfield might start three former top prospects now considered busts. The infusion of talented youth throughout the summer and fall should help, but immediate success is not guaranteed.

Player who could surprise: Kila Ka'aihue will turn 27 at the end of March and has hit .224/.314/.398 in 230 big league plate appearances. Nevertheless, PECOTA loves Ka'aihue's minor league track record and pegs him for .262/.351/.528 and 25 home runs. His comparables include Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez, two of the best left-handed first basemen in the majors. The projection proving optimistic and Ka'aihue impressing are not mutually exclusive happenings.

Player who could disappoint: Wilson Betemit surprised everyone when he hit .297/.378/.511 in a little more than 300 plate appearances last season. Expecting a drop-off is no surprise, but forecasting a fall below his career line is, which is why PECOTA's projected line of .247/.317/.416 is worth watching.


post #45 of 78800
Is that up for the West, Pro?
post #46 of 78800
Is that up for the West, Pro?
post #47 of 78800
Thread Starter 
Tomorrow I think. Post it up when it is.
post #48 of 78800
Thread Starter 
Tomorrow I think. Post it up when it is.
post #49 of 78800
30t6p3b.gif putting these Rays season tickets on CraigList laugh.gif
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
post #50 of 78800
30t6p3b.gif putting these Rays season tickets on CraigList laugh.gif
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
post #51 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

30t6p3b.gif putting these Rays season tickets on CraigList laugh.gif



Good luck with that. smiley: laugh
post #52 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

30t6p3b.gif putting these Rays season tickets on CraigList laugh.gif



Good luck with that. smiley: laugh
post #53 of 78800
laugh.gif +%!%+ I cant give these mother #*#% ers away laugh.gif
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
post #54 of 78800
laugh.gif +%!%+ I cant give these mother #*#% ers away laugh.gif
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
WHIPPIN.WHITNEY
post #55 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

laugh.gif +%!%+ I cant give these mother #*#% ers away laugh.gif


didnt they have something like 10k at a game that was literally right before the playoffs while every other playoff team was sold out every night once they became in the "hunt"?

thats horrible lol.
post #56 of 78800
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUNNA GET IT

laugh.gif +%!%+ I cant give these mother #*#% ers away laugh.gif


didnt they have something like 10k at a game that was literally right before the playoffs while every other playoff team was sold out every night once they became in the "hunt"?

thats horrible lol.
post #57 of 78800
Their players were pissed about attendance last year and were vocal about it. They're gonna lose that team before long.
post #58 of 78800
Their players were pissed about attendance last year and were vocal about it. They're gonna lose that team before long.
post #59 of 78800
gunna how/why did you get rays season tickets? laugh.gif
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
post #60 of 78800
gunna how/why did you get rays season tickets? laugh.gif
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
When S&T has that moment of clarity: "...we're grasping at straws talking about Spygate, Deflategate, the system, French kissing relatives, UGGs, Trump, etc." - @trey ohh five
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NikeTalk › NikeTalk Forums › The Lounge › Sports & Training › 2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions.