So, I have been playing around with a new baseball prediction system. I would like to tell you that it's complicated... and it is extremely complicated. But I don't want to confuse the word "complicated" with "stupid." I suspect my system is both.* It's versatile that way.
In my prediction system, I basically use a statistical and scouting bouillabaisse to rank the players on each team. And then I... well, look, I can't remember the whole thing right now. All I can tell you is that I rank players, add some stuff together, subtract some stuff, multiply by pi (or divide by pi)... and... voila... a baseball prediction system!
It's the perfect Hot Stove system... perfect, because it's pointless and ridiculously flawed and I'm fairly certain (and fairly hopeful) that people will have forgotten all about it long before the baseball season actually begins.
I should tell you that a big part of the system involves the ranking of players. I ranked each team's top three starters, closer and everyday players on a 20-80 scouting scale, with 80 being
80 -- Albert Pujols
75-79 -- The best of the best not named Pujols. Only a handful of players in baseball in this group.
70-74 -- Great players.
65-69 -- All-Star caliber players.
60-64 -- Very good players.
55-59 -- I'd say 55 is about an average every day player. I have Cleveland's
50-54 -- Now, we're getting into below average territory, but these guys can be very useful.
45-49 -- The worst every day players. For various reasons, I did not allow any everyday player to score lower than 45. So, yes,
I won't bore you with all the ratings, but I do list off the players who ranked highest at each position in each division*. I then used those ratings to calculate some predictions. Like I say, complicated and ridiculous. But it's February. And, really, something has to get us through the winter months.
So now that you are thoroughly confused... here we go.
Then again, I also think it's easy to underrate Johan Santana. Since 2003 he is 111-51 with a 153 ERA+ and 1,504 strikeouts against only 354 walks. He won the Cy Young in 2004 and 2006, and easily could have won it in 2005 and 2008. The thing is, he's still reasonably young -- he turns 31 in March, making him only about a year older than
Whenever you have such a wide gap between what you see and what the numbers record, there will be skirmishes, disagreements and complaints, and the Internet was littered with people who either mocked Ellsbury's grand defensive reputation or, much more likely, mocked the convoluted statistics that seemed to besmirch that reputation. Take your UZR and shove it!
And that's fine. Except for this: The Red Sox went out this offseason and signed 37-year-old
No. 1 starter: