Baseball Prospectus has shown a new way to look at players and teams and a new way to predict their performance for the upcoming season. For the Chicago White Sox it’s 82 wins and third place in the AL Central.
That might come as a surprise to many White Sox fans who saw an aggressive offseason fill the holes on the roster. But the PECOTA projections are an objective look at statistics, and bases a players’ anticipated stats on what he’s done in the past and the historical trends of players the same age.
“One of the big factors [in the projection] is if you think Paul Konerko is going to do what he did in 2010, this year, then you have to go to the optometrist and get some of the rose tint taken off those glasses,” Kevin Goldstein, of Baseball Prospectus, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “Because that’s not going to happen…He’s still going to be good, but we think he’s going to be realistically hitting .270 and hit 30 home runs. That’s a pretty big drop from a MVP level season.
LISTEN: Kevin Goldstein On The Mully And Hanley Show
“We think Adam Dunn is going to be Adam Dunn. The system, obviously, sees Juan Pierre as one year older. It sees [Alex] Rios as one year older. It sees A.J. Pierzynski as one year older in a really bad way. Mark Buehrle is one year older. There’s a lot of veterans who have done a lot of great things on the South Side who are in that period of their career that starts to go south.”
But not everything in a baseball season can be predicted by numbers. The game, after all, is played by humans so there’s a human element that can’t be accounted for in the PECOTA projections.
“I think Gordon Beckham is going to be way better than what PECOTA says Gordon Beckham is going to be,” Goldstein said. “That makes the White Sox, obviously, a couple of wins better…Just because we say they’re going to win 82 [games], there’s a perfectly good shot of them winning 88 [games] and a pretty good shot of them winning 77 [games] off of that.”
Just as a comparison, Baseball Prospectus’ projections see the Chicago Cubs winning 80 games and finishing in fourth place in the National League Central division.