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2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)

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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#21

Posted: February 11, 2020, 11:45 AM Post
Posts: 4983
With the perceived parity amongst the top 4 NL central clubs, there just won't be enough wins to go around between them to all wind up over 0.500. Particularly because I feel the combination of the Dodgers and a pretty strong NL east aren't going to provide easy wins outside the division to inflate the NL Central clubs in the standings.

Between the Brewers, Cards, Cubs, and Reds, the 2 healthiest clubs across the season probably wind up winning 86-94 games and the two unhealthiest clubs likely finish at or below 0.500. The Reds get the biggest bump in the standings due to their offseason and recent trades, however I feel like their record has the most uncertainty even without factoring injuries. Basically these projections reflect the fact that the perceived best rosters in the division (Cubs and Cards) have gone backwards this offseason, while the Reds have improved and the Brewers overall have treaded water to what their 2019 outlook resembled last February.

I'm going to be optimistic and say the Brewers stay healthy at key spots on their roster and finish as a 90 win ballclub, and they are one of the two NL Central clubs to outperform their early February wins projections, much like they've done over the past 3 seasons.

Brewers 90 wins Lots of moves that essentially reshuffle the deck and look to outproduce poor 2019 production from 3rd/1st. Full year of Hiura's bat paired with Yelich...very questionable rotation now anchored by Woodruff with intriguing bullpen depth. On paper, I think they're better than last season with less reliance on young starters at the MLB level who hadn't yet proved they belong.

Reds 87 wins All the moves look pretty good on paper, but their pen is still suspect and relying on Bauer to anchor a pitching staff is a gamble. Their defense could be keystone cops-esque at times.

Cards 80 wins I don't love their lineup, and at some point guys like Molina are falling off a cliff. Pitching is solid but thinner than usual if there are any injuries to the youngsters they leaned on heavily last year (Flaherty in particular)

Cubs 76 wins I'm guessing more moves are made by them before the season starts, potentially involving Bryant or Contreras. Still a talented roster, but really lacking quality depth and many of its most expensive players are on the wrong side of their primes. If they get off to a slow start I can see a firesale coming at this year's deadline

Pirates 64 wins really the only division team in full rebuild mode - they'll be interesting to track to see if players like Josh Bell become available via trade at the deadline.

It sure would be nice to have neither the Cubs or Cards be a postseason factor as the calendar rolls into September this year!


Last edited by Fear The Chorizo on February 11, 2020, 11:46 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#22

Posted: February 11, 2020, 11:46 AM Post
Posts: 325
Cubs 94
Reds 85
Brewers 80
Cardinals 78
Pirates 66

I think the top 4 teams can finish in any order and roughly that’s how the win totals get split between them. One hits 90+ two hit low-mid 80s and one sub 80 by a tick. I like the Cubs the most, they have the deepest and most talented offense, the top 4 SP are probably the most stable, we’ll see on the bullpen. I think the Cardinals significantly dropped off. The OF is bad, the rotation is older and questionable, the bullpen is also a question, the defense way outperformed last year. I think they fall hard. I really don’t know what to think of us other than we are a high variance team with significant downside. The Reds made solid moves but still don’t really have a star, lots of 1.5-3 win players on offense, if Suarez shoulder is messed up that’s a huge loss. Castellanos and Moustakas are both overrated, imo, to what they are thought of to where they end up WAR wise most years. Should be a fun year regardless.


Last edited by CrewFanBrewMan69 on February 22, 2020, 10:59 PM, edited 4 times in total.

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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#23

Posted: February 11, 2020, 11:49 AM Post
Posts: 47
Sorry but not feeling good about this at all. Too many questionable roster spots. Urias hurt.
STL 89
CHI 83
CIN 79
MKE 77
PIT 65


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#24

Posted: February 11, 2020, 11:52 AM Post
Posts: 12927
KeithStone53151 said:
The most hilarious thing about these "projections" is that Pecota came up with scenarios where the Pirates win what looks like 90 games. How much can I bet on the under for 90 wins?


It isn't hilarious if you understand anything about statistics.

That scenario involves every single player have the best possible year and being nearly 100% healthy. If you bet on under 90 wins your potential winnings would probably have to be paid out in half pennies.

The graph is cool and shows the perceived floor and ceiling. Also the likelihood off said ceiling. You can see the Cubs have much more scenarios that see them overperforming as their "ceiling tail" stays fatter a lot longer. I think those graphs are probably fairly accurate if you just ignore the numbers they represent. Kind of shows the volatility of each roster.


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Online  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#25

Posted: February 11, 2020, 12:10 PM Post
Posts: 4782
It's too early I think to predict the Brewers since Lindblom is being inserted in to the staff from overseas. so I won't go there until some Spring Training appearances. The Cubs may change with a Bryant trade, another team to sit on til ST.

Reds 89 wins- They've obviously added to the team. Pitching you have to assume will be consistently less inconsistent.
Cardinals 82 wins- A team filled with below 800OPS bats and that wasn't improved on. One bigger pitching injury and it will crumble them, probably below 500.

Pirates(easiest to project) 58 wins They're a bad team this season who will only try to sell off to get worse in 2020 but better in 2022 or later.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#26

Posted: February 11, 2020, 12:38 PM Post
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The Weatherman
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Posts: 6334
Essentially we're predicting the first half of the season, as well as any in-season moves based on that prediction, with some assumptions about how much spending money is available to make those moves. The statistical model is going to be better at predicting the first few months than the rest of the season because it doesn't know anything else.

With that in mind, the Reds are clearly all-in. The Cardinals and Cubs both appear to be conscious of their budget and haven't done much to warrant different projections from 2019. If you take the Brewers at face value they are a sub-.500 roster, but if you believe in their approach then there is a ton of upside. The Pirates are free wins for everyone else.

I think the Reds' approach is terrible in the long run but it's hard to deny that 2020 will probably be a good year for them. I am projecting them to make some mid-season moves to boost their win total into the 90s. I also buy the Brewers' upside and expect additional mid-season moves. I expect the Cubs to be sellers at the deadline.

CIN 94
MKE 88
STL 85
CHC 77
PIT 59


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#27

Posted: February 11, 2020, 1:00 PM Post
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Posts: 11190
Reds - 85
Brewers - 85
Cubs - 85
Cardinals - 85
Pirates - 61

Reds have done the most to improve but had the most need as well. Oddly enough I think the Brewers have had the 2nd best offseason of these teams though it was mostly just treading water. Cubs and Cardinals offseasons have just been losing some guys.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#28

Posted: February 11, 2020, 1:02 PM Post
Posts: 5528
Location: New Berlin, WI
MrTPlush said:
KeithStone53151 said:
The most hilarious thing about these "projections" is that Pecota came up with scenarios where the Pirates win what looks like 90 games. How much can I bet on the under for 90 wins?


It isn't hilarious if you understand anything about statistics.

That scenario involves every single player have the best possible year and being nearly 100% healthy. If you bet on under 90 wins your potential winnings would probably have to be paid out in half pennies.


Add to that scenario, the perfect combination of no less than 20 major injuries among the other NL central teams...and maybe then they have a chance.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#29

Posted: February 11, 2020, 1:05 PM Post
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Posts: 11190
In 2008 the Mariners went 61-101. In 2009 without really adding much to the team they went 85-77. From a very short sighted point of view management decided they were ready to compete and they signed a bunch of free agents going into 2010. The two following seasons they went 61-101 and 67-95.

You guys can laugh about projections including very rare high win totals for bad teams but it just happens sometimes. That 2009 Mariners team was just awful but everything just sort of went right for them and they pulled out 85 wins with a 61 win roster.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#30

Posted: February 11, 2020, 6:49 PM Post
Posts: 1208
If there ever was a year for a 4 team tie, this would be the best chance. That being said, barring something drastic I see the top 4 in the 80 to 88 range with Pitt around 70.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#31

Posted: February 11, 2020, 7:48 PM Post
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Posts: 5490
Why not play along?

Brewers 88
Reds 87
Cubs 85
Cardinals 78
Pirates 69

- - - - - - - - -
P.I.T.C.H. LEAGUE CHAMPION 1989, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2011 (finally won another one)


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#32

Posted: February 11, 2020, 9:22 PM Post
Posts: 38
Sorry gents but the Reds off season moves pay off in 2020.

The Reds allowed the 3rd fewest runs in the entire NL last year. Couple that with an even stronger rotation this year and some key offensive pickups (Moose/Castellanos) and this becomes a formidable ball club.

Not to put too much stock in run differential, but 13 runs separated the Brewers +3 (89 wins) from the Reds -10 (75 wins) in '19. The Brewers happened to be 9 games above .500 in the one run column (27-18) and the Reds were exactly 9 games below .500 (24-33).

Without the expanded rosters in September the Brewers are even further disadvantaged in 2020.

Reds: 91
Cards: 88
Cubs: 83
Brewers: 79
Pirates: 72


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#33

Posted: February 11, 2020, 10:32 PM Post
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vetter said:
Sorry gents but the Reds off season moves pay off in 2020.

The Reds allowed the 3rd fewest runs in the entire NL last year. Couple that with an even stronger rotation this year and some key offensive pickups (Moose/Castellanos) and this becomes a formidable ball club.

Not to put too much stock in run differential, but 13 runs separated the Brewers +3 (89 wins) from the Reds -10 (75 wins) in '19. The Brewers happened to be 9 games above .500 in the one run column (27-18) and the Reds were exactly 9 games below .500 (24-33).




These two statements are at odds with each other. The Reds rotation is seeing a heavy downgrade in defense at SS, 2B and LF this year. They way overperformed their FIPs in general last year and there is absolutely no depth past the front 5. I will easily take the under on the Reds matching last year for run prevention. Also the run differential stat is a really weak one, all it takes is removing Corbin Burnes from the mix last year and the run differential for the Brewers goes from mediocre to elite. It just isn't a very valid stat. To be fair though the 3rd order win percentage of the two teams was very close, that is a bit less error prone than run differential.

To each their own, but the Reds are likely being a bit overrated going into the season. That rotation has a lot of doubt in it but everyone seems to be sure it will be great. They are in the mix but they hardly ahead of the class.


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Online  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#34

Posted: February 12, 2020, 9:51 AM Post
Posts: 12292
Between Bauer (253), Gray (205) and Castillo (226), that's nearly 700 strikeouts. Toss in DeScalafini who had 167 K's in 167 innings, that's around 850 and four guys with more K's than anyone in the Brewer rotation. Defense has zero effect on strikeouts. The Reds rotation has a lot less doubt than the Brewers.

Their 6th starter is Tyler Mahle, who fanned a hitter and inning, and got very little run support in most of his starts. He got 2 or less runs scored for him in 10 of his 25 starts. I don't think that would happen with this season's lineup.

I think Reds win division going away with 92-94 wins. Brewers, Cubs and Cards will all win between 78-85. Pirates bring up the rear with 66-70 wins.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#35

Posted: February 12, 2020, 10:23 AM Post
Posts: 5088
Location: Madison, WI
If I had to I'd go below. Reds roughly 90 and the next 3 lumped between 78-86, really in any order but I'll say this way for now.

Reds
Cards
Brewers
Cubs
Pirates


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Online  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#36

Posted: February 12, 2020, 11:29 AM Post
Posts: 4782
JohnBriggs12 said:
Between Bauer (253), Gray (205) and Castillo (226), that's nearly 700 strikeouts. Toss in DeScalafini who had 167 K's in 167 innings, that's around 850 and four guys with more K's than anyone in the Brewer rotation. Defense has zero effect on strikeouts. The Reds rotation has a lot less doubt than the Brewers.

Their 6th starter is Tyler Mahle, who fanned a hitter and inning, and got very little run support in most of his starts. He got 2 or less runs scored for him in 10 of his 25 starts. I don't think that would happen with this season's lineup.

I think Reds win division going away with 92-94 wins. Brewers, Cubs and Cards will all win between 78-85. Pirates bring up the rear with 66-70 wins.


Just ignore Woodruff's 10.7k/9 of last season. I think math dictates that is more than Descalafini. I dont know where it compares with their best three starting have to look it up. But healthy Woodruff is eclipsing at last one of the 4. All posters arguing for the Reds rotation stay rosey on them while taking a crap on the Brewers rotation. Anderson wont make the full season. Lindblom wont matter. Lauer I dont even know what is bad on him? Then you have a group for #5s that imo will produce better than #5s typically do. But go on every thing that is bad about about them is only going to be wprse. Everything that has ever been positive for the Reds staff isnt anywhere near their ceiling. It's only better for the Reds. Staff will carry below a 2ERA. Brewers staff above 5ERA.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#37

Posted: February 12, 2020, 11:52 AM Post
Posts: 5528
Location: New Berlin, WI
brewcrewdue80 said:
Just ignore Woodruff's 10.7k/9 of last season. I think math dictates that is more than Descalafini. I dont know where it compares with their best three starting have to look it up. But healthy Woodruff is eclipsing at last one of the 4. All posters arguing for the Reds rotation stay rosey on them while taking a crap on the Brewers rotation. Anderson wont make the full season. Lindblom wont matter. Lauer I dont even know what is bad on him? Then you have a group for #5s that imo will produce better than #5s typically do. But go on every thing that is bad about about them is only going to be wprse. Everything that has ever been positive for the Reds staff isnt anywhere near their ceiling. It's only better for the Reds. Staff will carry below a 2ERA. Brewers staff above 5ERA.


The biggest folly I've seen thusfar is how much people are minimizing potential contributions from Burnes/Peralta. Most people see them as upside depth, whereas I expect at least one to force his way into the opening day rotation. Those guys both ranked ahead of Woodruff heading into 2019, primarily for stuff reasons. For whatever reason, Burnes was way too hittable. Peralta was bad in the rotation and much better in relief, likely due to his 1.5-2 pitch arsenal. I can't really explain Burnes, but I would be shocked if the Brewers and him didn't heavily invest in figuring out the problem and identifying a solution heading into 2020. Maybe he added or adjusted a pitch, maybe he was simply tipping pitches...whatever it is, I would find it weird if he was bad again. The stuff is just too good. Peralta went from his 1.5-2 pitch arsenal and from what I read...was throwing 4 distinct pitches in winter league(I'm sure everyone saw the results). Imagine if even one of them is as good or better than 2019 Woodruff. And then imagine we have 2 guys like that the whole season.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#38

Posted: February 12, 2020, 12:08 PM Post
Posts: 1151
Location: Washburn, WI
KeithStone53151 said:
brewcrewdue80 said:
Just ignore Woodruff's 10.7k/9 of last season. I think math dictates that is more than Descalafini. I dont know where it compares with their best three starting have to look it up. But healthy Woodruff is eclipsing at last one of the 4. All posters arguing for the Reds rotation stay rosey on them while taking a crap on the Brewers rotation. Anderson wont make the full season. Lindblom wont matter. Lauer I dont even know what is bad on him? Then you have a group for #5s that imo will produce better than #5s typically do. But go on every thing that is bad about about them is only going to be wprse. Everything that has ever been positive for the Reds staff isnt anywhere near their ceiling. It's only better for the Reds. Staff will carry below a 2ERA. Brewers staff above 5ERA.


The biggest folly I've seen thusfar is how much people are minimizing potential contributions from Burnes/Peralta. Most people see them as upside depth, whereas I expect at least one to force his way into the opening day rotation. Those guys both ranked ahead of Woodruff heading into 2019, primarily for stuff reasons. For whatever reason, Burnes was way too hittable. Peralta was bad in the rotation and much better in relief, likely due to his 1.5-2 pitch arsenal. I can't really explain Burnes, but I would be shocked if the Brewers and him didn't heavily invest in figuring out the problem and identifying a solution heading into 2020. Maybe he added or adjusted a pitch, maybe he was simply tipping pitches...whatever it is, I would find it weird if he was bad again. The stuff is just too good. Peralta went from his 1.5-2 pitch arsenal and from what I read...was throwing 4 distinct pitches in winter league(I'm sure everyone saw the results). Imagine if even one of them is as good or better than 2019 Woodruff. And then imagine we have 2 guys like that the whole season.


And then pair those 2 with Lauer and never let him see the mound in Colorado again. Lauer is a good number 2 pitcher if you remove his handful of truly awful starts pitching in Colorado. It wouldn’t shock me if Lauer takes a step forward and gets his K/9 above 9 and drops his ERA to the 3.6 range or so.


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#39

Posted: February 12, 2020, 1:52 PM Post
Posts: 28
Still think the Cubs are the most talented team in the division...

Cubs 88
Brewers 85
Cardinals 84
Reds 81
Pirates 66


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Offline  Re: 2020 NL Central Standings Projections (Predictions Welcome)
#40

Posted: February 12, 2020, 2:21 PM Post
Posts: 38
Ennder said:
vetter said:
Sorry gents but the Reds off season moves pay off in 2020.

The Reds allowed the 3rd fewest runs in the entire NL last year. Couple that with an even stronger rotation this year and some key offensive pickups (Moose/Castellanos) and this becomes a formidable ball club.

Not to put too much stock in run differential, but 13 runs separated the Brewers +3 (89 wins) from the Reds -10 (75 wins) in '19. The Brewers happened to be 9 games above .500 in the one run column (27-18) and the Reds were exactly 9 games below .500 (24-33).




These two statements are at odds with each other. The Reds rotation is seeing a heavy downgrade in defense at SS, 2B and LF this year. They way overperformed their FIPs in general last year and there is absolutely no depth past the front 5. I will easily take the under on the Reds matching last year for run prevention. Also the run differential stat is a really weak one, all it takes is removing Corbin Burnes from the mix last year and the run differential for the Brewers goes from mediocre to elite. It just isn't a very valid stat. To be fair though the 3rd order win percentage of the two teams was very close, that is a bit less error prone than run differential.

To each their own, but the Reds are likely being a bit overrated going into the season. That rotation has a lot of doubt in it but everyone seems to be sure it will be great. They are in the mix but they hardly ahead of the class.


It's incredibly inaccurate to say the Brewers would have had an elite run differential if not for Corbin Burnes. In 2019 he pitched a grand total of 49 innings and gave up 48 earned runs. While that's a horrible stat, the run differential in his four starts is only -5 (24-29). Now let's be extremely generous and say the Brewers gave up zero earned runs in the remaining 31 innings he pitched, in which he gave up 27 earned runs. Subtract his 27 runs from the RA column and the Brewers differential would be +30 instead of +3. For comparison, the Cubs won 84 games and their differential was +97. The Cards won just two more games than the Brewers and their RD was +102. No way the Brewers RD would be elite if Burnes hadn't pitched.

As I said in my original post, and I'll say again: I don't put too much stock in the run differential either. However, the facts are that every winning team in the MLB last year had positive run differential and every losing team had negative RD.

The reason this is relevant is I believe it shows that the the Reds were particularly unlucky in 2019 with just a -10 RD and only 75 wins. Likewise, with only a +3 RD, the Brewers were very fortunate to have 89 wins. I'm not attributing everything to luck, because good strategy can be extremely effective in winning one run games. However, I believe the Reds should have actually been more of an 81-83 win team last year. That's why I feel, unfortunately, that the changes the Reds have made so far could easily take them into 90+ wins in 2020.


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