One of my favorite things to look at before each baseball season is the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds report. It must be my lucky day, as the initial report came out this morning.
Baseball Prospectus uses their PECOTA projections for each team plus the initial depth charts for each team, and then does a Monte Carlo simulation of the season. As the season goes along the odds will change as the depth charts change and the teams either bank wins or losses.
As Colin Wyers says in the explanation, “It is a prediction, not destiny,” but it is still fun nonetheless to see what the computer thinks the true talent level is for each team. For me, looking at this sure beats trying to read the tea leaves of the pitchers’ first bullpen sessions to predict the what will happen this season.
The team that is projected to have the best record is the Tigers, coming in at 89.9 wins. That makes sense, they have a talented team plus a weak division with no other team projected to have a winning record.
Another team that must be noted is the Dodgers. According to Baseball Prospectus they are expected to have the second highest projected win total at 89.4 wins. There is no doubt they have a lot of talent on the team, so it will be interesting how they perform this season.
Switching gears to the local teams, the Giants are projected with more wins and higher playoff odds than the A’s but overall the teams are pretty close according to PECOTA.
The Giants are projected at 83.4 wins for the 2013 season. Baseball Prospectus gives San Francisco a 18.4% chance of winning the division and 24.9% chance of getting one of the two wild cards, for a total of a 43.3% chance of making the playoffs. Overall the Giants are projected to be the 10th best team by projected record in baseball which I think might be a little low with the Giants tendency to play above their heads, but not too bad.
The NL West overall looks to be pretty strong this year, with the 3rd highest average winning percentage by division. PECOTA has the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks all among the top 14 teams, which could make for a very tight pennant race this year.
The A’s are projected at 82.5 wins for the 2013 season. Baseball Prospectus gives Oakland a 15.3% chance of winning the division and 17.5% chance of getting one of the two wild cards, which equals to a 32.7% chance of making the playoffs. The A’s are projected to be the 13th best team by projected record in baseball, which considering the division they play in probably is about right.
The AL West is projected to be very competitive. PECOTA has the Angels, Rangers and A’s all among the top 13 teams in baseball. The team that brings things down is the Astros, who very well might lose 100 games for the third straight year, giving the other AL West teams a chance to boost their win totals against them.
After looking at the odds report, I am getting excited for the season. Both the A’s and the Giants should have solid chances to make the playoffs this year, which should give the Bay Area lots of meaningful baseball games to watch all season.