88 wins. Not shabby.
Here’s how I did it, but first I should explain. I love sabermetrics. The downside is I suck at math. Pretty ironic, eh? I look at various advanced stats and refer to them all the time, but I myself am not a great number cruncher. That’s why I gotta give a big shout out to Sky at Beyond the Boxscore for making this user friendly WAR spreadsheet. Why, it’s so easy, even a…nah. I’ll resist referring to car insurance website slogans. Let’s just say even I can do it.
For the offense and pitchers, I used Marcels mostly, which are available at Fangraphs. There was a little gut involved, mostly for plate appearances and innings pitched. As for baserunning, I didn’t delve in too deep. Baseball Prospectus has some numbers I referred to, but when I was in doubt, I went back to gut. For fielding I used Chone Smith’s defensive projections and again, more gut, but not too much.
A couple of quick thoughts before my head hits the pillow very early Thursday morn-
- Honestly I was thinking something more like 84-85 wins given that Ludwick, Glaus and Lohse were due to regress some, so this was a pleasant surprise. I’m being optimistic w/Wainwright’s IP, which gave things a boost.
- The youth movement bullpen will be better. Not that the bar was set real high from last season.
- One solid starter could equal a wild card. I haven’t ran the numbers on the Cubs yet, but I’m not expecting them to fall off. I’d like to also run the Phillies and Mets, because whoever places 2nd in the NL East will most likely be the top contender for the wild card.
- As is the case with most teams, a lot is riding on the starting rotation. If Carpenter can somehow magically throw 160 innings, then the NL Central could get very interesting. I don’t think Wellemeyer hits that rather optimistic projection, but I’ll let it lie for now.
- Mo and DeWitt right now are getting hammered by the loud, ignorant segment of Cardinal fans who think the answer lies in simply spending, but having some “dry powder” around for spring training or at the trade deadline could prove to work out just fine. If the right signing comes along between now and then, then obviously they should jump all over it, but I don’t have the trouble with the wait and see approach that some of the more impatient fans do.
As player and playing time expectations change, I’ll modify the sheet, but I’ll keep it at the same link so feel free to bookmark it. I’ll refer to it often here at the site throughout the season as things change. If a trade/signing/important injury happens, I’ll try and modify accordingly as quickly as possible and discuss the impact.
If you feel I goofed in any way, please tell me. It’s a work in progress.