After a Spring Training that never seemed to end it is finally time to kick the season off.
The A’s start their campaign to defend the A.L. West crown tonight against the Seattle Mariners. The A’s get the pleasure of opening the season at home. The expectations are high and after watching the A’s take two out of three from the Giants in their final tuneup, I’d say everyone is ready for games that count.
In case you forgot or haven’t seen the explanation, here is a quick description of how the model works:
- I start by estimating the runs scored and allowed for each team given the starting pitcher, bullpen, defense and each team’s offense.
- The data used in the projection model is based on the current season’s statistics to date and ZiPS projections, with the weighting shifting more toward the actual stats as the season progresses. To start the season it is based entirely on ZiPS projections put into the lineup analysis tool from Baseball Musings.
- The estimated run differential is then converted into a projected winning percentage using the pythagorean expectation.
- Then, it’s converted into an odds of winning the game using the log5 method developed by Bill James
Probables (via MLB.com):
Monday, April 1, 7:05 PM: Brett Anderson vs. Felix Hernandez
Tuesday, April 2, 7:05 PM: Jarrod Parker vs. Hisashi Iwakuma
Wednesday, April 3, 7:05 PM: Tommy Milone vs. Joe Saunders
Thursday, April 4, 12:35 PM: A.J. Griffin vs. Brandon Maurer
|3 of 4||36.0%||13.9%|
|1 of 4||13.9%||36.0%|
|0 of 4||2.1%||14.3%|
With the A’s starting off the season against the Mariners and the Astros there is a very good chance to get off to a good start in what should be a very tough A.L. West this season.
According to the model the A’s are the favorites in all four of the games to start off the season. The closest matchup is tonight’s opener, where the presence of Felix Hernandez is enough to cancel out the Mariners’ offensive ineptitude. In games three and four the A’s have a decisive edge with second-year pitchers Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone.
If the projection is right, the A’s have a very good chance of getting the pole position to start what should be a very interesting A.L. West race.