Over the weekend we examined how the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, and first-place New York Yankees were stacking up against their preseason CHONE projections. In Tampa Bay, we saw that Evan Longoria was already outpacing his fairly aggressive (for CHONE, anyway) projection of .283/.361/.514 with 26 HR and 88 RBI, while Carlos Pena was having a difficult time walking as much as he had in the past and was registering a lower line-drive percentage. In Boston, we begrudgingly noted that the Adrian Beltre experiment was working out perfectly for the Red Sox and the Scott Boras Corporation, but also got to take some time to laugh at John Lackey and his antebellum understanding of statistics, in particular the strikeout. Finally, we gloried in the greatness of the AL MVP-hopeful Robinson Cano yesterday, while noting some reasons for optimism and pessimism for underperformers Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. It is interesting to re-read this in light of Tex’s grand slam yesterday afternoon:
Now, Teixeira has been in a league of his own ineptitude this season. That’s not news to Yankees fans, and I’m not going to detail his failures. I will simply note, by way of reference, the following reasons to expect improvement from Teixiera going forward: 1. Career low BABIP. 2. LD% largely in line with career norms. 3. Career low HR/FB ratio. I know that many authors have noted his troubles with offspeed pitches, and I’m certain that his problem is multifaceted. But it is also good to keep in mind that he appears to be having a lousy time with things entirely out of his control.
Emphasis added. After yesterday’s performance, Teixeira is now hitting .226/.344/.410 with a .238 BABIP (.304 career average, or C.A.), a 13.4% BB rate (2% higher than C.A.), 19.5% K rate (1% lower than C.A.), and a HR/FB ratio that is creeping back up towards normal (12.8% v. 18.5% C.A.).
That aside, I wanted to look at what CHONE projected for the entire league before the year started, and how the standings were matching up against what CHONE saw back in February. Baseball Projection has CHONE’s 2010 preseason projected standings, and they can be found here (starting lineup version) and here (depth chart version). For our convenience, I’ve also created a screenshot using the depth chart version:
Here are the American Legaue Standings as of this morning, June 21, courtesy of ESPN:
In the AL East, we see that CHONE probably underestimated the Rays and the Blue Jays, and overestimated the Orioles. However, it’s difficult to imagine a projection system ever pegging a team, especially a team with as much talent as the Orioles, to go 19-50 in their first 70 games. In the Central, CHONE’s projection for Cleveland looks just as confusing now as it was in February, as does their projection for Detroit. It does seem to have pegged the White Sox, the Royals and the Twins, however. In the AL West, CHONE’s projections match up perfectly with the standings: Texas, Angels, Oakland and Seattle. The Angels are outpacing their projection slightly (as usual), and Oakland is underperforming slightly, but CHONE has the AL West nailed thus far.
To the National League, here are the standings as of today:
In the NL East, we see that CHONE has the standings projected almost perfectly, except for the Mets and the Phillies. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see those two teams switch spots soon, though. In the NL Central we see everything largely matching up, except for the Brewers underplaying their projection and the Reds slightly overperforming theirs. The Reds were my preseason sleeper team, and they had a rough weekend. There’s plenty of time for them to turn it around, but they can’t give the Cardinals too much room in that division. The National League West is where things get the most screwy, with the teams projected to do the worst (Padres, Giants) occupying the top two slots and the Dodgers and the Rockies trailing behind. The division is close though, so there’s plenty of time for things to continue to fluctuate. There does not appear to be any hope, however, for our current opponent, the Diamondbacks. May we add to their misery.
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