Somewhat educated guesses
We are only five days away from pitchers and catchers reporting, which means it’s time for projection season; a glorious time where everything is made up and being right doesn’t matter. But hey, it’s something to talk about I guess.
Bleacher Report kicked things off Monday with their projections, pegging the Cubs and Indians as their teams to beat (real original!). Beyond that, they labeled the AL Central as the weakest division in the league and projected the Tigers at 84 wins and two spots out of the Wild Card. I don’t have a ton of arguments with that.
USA Today’s projections looked about the same, with the Tigers doing slightly better at 85 wins but again behind the Indians and out of the playoff picture. Got them right where they want them.
Finally, Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA rankings were the most bearish on the Tigers. They have the team finishing 78-84, behind the Twins (!) and tied with the Angels(!!) for the 10th best record in the league.
Again, none of this matters. But what is interesting is just how many teams in the AL seem to be projecting right around the .500 mark. I doubt it will play out that way, but these early season predictions see a lot of parity.
The next wave of baseball ideas and how they are used
Analytics as a whole have fully permeated baseball. It’s no longer whether you have an research and development department but how you are using it. And in a free market where talent can go to the highest bidder, teams now are fighting to keep their secrets safe.
Because of that, the next market inefficiency isn’t the use of analytics or new ground breaking ideas. Instead it is the flow of communication that is paramount. Not just whether it moves between teams, but how these ideas move within an organization.
Cardinals steal something else
Yup, that’s a Cubs baseball. Seems the team with the “best fans in baseball” continue to be the worst thieves in baseball. Also, if you dislike the Cardinals, boy do I have the Twitter account for you.
Old friend alert
As requested (no one requested this,) here is the Ryan Raburn section of your links. Despite having another exceedingly mediocre year, he continued his reign as the most volatile hitter in the sport. Also, can you believe that he is 35! Seems like just yesterday he was a young 29 year old creating home runs for Tigers opponents.
You are welcome Babe Ruth
Fun fact, Babe Ruth hit 17 percent of his home runs against the Tigers, including 60 at Navin Field and milestones 200 and 700. Glad we could be of service to the great Bambino.
For your free time
Mark Teixeira will be joining ESPN next year. Because god knows we need more Yankees on TV. A’s will be naming the field at the Colesium “Ricky Henderson Field.” Nationals are discussing a trade for David Robertson. Which is good, because they have done less than the Tigers this off season.