Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 Astros - Projected

The last time I tried this was before the 2012 season, and that didn't go so well. That year, I said the Astros would finish 74-88. Hahahahahahaha. So, before I put these together I went back to see what had gone so wrong, according to my projections.

Now, anytime you put together projections the goal isn't necessarily to be perfect. You're looking for a likely outcome for each player, yes, but my goal isn't so much each player but the team as a whole. Some guys are going to have unexpected breakouts and some are going to deposit feces on their mattress, but the idea is that you can project a reasonable baseline of expectations for the team as a whole. What I found from my last crack at this is that I did a pretty good job with the pitchers. I said they would allow 770 runs and they gave up 794. I'll take that.

The offense, however, missed horribly. I had projected 706 runs scored. They only scored 583. That's a big miss. So what caused such a big difference? Well, first I hadn't factored in that pitchers would hit. I guess I was still consumed with the impending move to the AL. But I had missed by 17% and pitchers didn't have 17% of the teams plate appearances. What happened was we had significantly poor seasons from six players who had a decent amount of playing time. JD Martinez, Jordan Schafer, Chris Snyder, Brian Bogusevic, Marwin Gonzalez, and Matt Downs, I'm looking at you. They had all seen various levels of success in the past, but colluded to make me look bad. It's the only explanation. Altuve and Castro tried to pick up the slack that year, but it's hard to counteract almost 2000 REALLY bad plate appearances.

Thankfully, I don't have to worry about pitchers hitting anymore, but with a young club there's still a good chance of significant variability in their performance versus projection. Basically, I'm saying if I'm right I'm a genius, but if I'm wrong it's not my fault.

Ok, enough words, here are the numbers for 2014. I debated redacting Cosart's name for fear of being called an idiotic, mentally disabled bundle of sticks who sub-blogs players, but decided to live dangerously.

Like I did in 2012, I used the projected run totals to come up with the clubs pythagorean win rate. If these projections are accurate in total, the Astros will go 72-90 this season, good for a 21 win improvement over last season.


Terence said...

90 innings for Harrell and 0 for Appel ? Dear God, please no....

CLOrnelas said...

34% K rate for Springer.... eeeeek
Also, I agree that Appel and Wojo will get significant innings this year.
The win increase would be nice, but the individual results don't bode well for future improvement to a competitive win total. In the grand scale of things, I'd file this under the realist/slightly pessimistic category, with little in the way of bold predictions.

Anonymous said...

I can see Harrell w/ 90 and Appel with 0 because I don't think Mark will pitch in Houston this year. Why start his clock w/ all the arms we have and 2015 being the breakout year for prospects.
What I fail to see is the extra 21 wins w/ the projected stats you have provided. The era and BA and whips don't seem to provide enough except for your huge increase in win % by the staff. 1oldpro

Floating Change Up said...

I think Hoes has a breakout year. I also think you have Castro getting too many plate attempts -- he'll be traded in July.

Stassi will become an everyday catcher.

The Batguy said...

There will be a number of players not included here who will receive playing time in 2014, either as injury replacements or call-ups. It's unlikely that those unknown players receive enough playing time to really swing the needle, though.

I think that a handful of these players have the potential to do much better than the numbers I have here, but then some of them will likely do worse, as well. That's why I like to aggregate them to get a team total. My goal is to be realistic, Aaron provided the rosier picture a few days ago.

Keep in mind the team underperformed their pythag W/L expectation last year by 6 wins. I think this corrects for some of that on the way to the 21 win improvement.

To 1oldpro's comment, last year's pitchers totaled a 4.79 ERA. Another area to look at is HR allowed. All of the offseason's additions to the pitching staff are groundball pitchers, which are proven to allow fewer HR and induce more double plays. There's not a significant reduction in WHIP from last year, but those two areas can prevent baserunners from scoring.

For the hitters, an increase in the number of walks from guys like Fowler, Guzman, and Springer as well as more playing time for Grossman leads to an increase in OBP beyond the slight increase in batting average from last season. More baserunners, more runs. This offense would have been roughly league average last year, which is a dramatic improvement from dead last.

Last season Seattle, with 80 fewer runs scored and 40 fewer runs allowed than what I'm projecting, finished 71-91. Toronto, with nearly identical offense and 40 fewer runs allowed compared to these projections, finished 74-88.

Anonymous said...

seriously depressing.....

Can we go out and buy a better team?

Wait... I'm on board with the rebuild....

Does this mean tickets are half price after the 2nd inning?

Anonymous said...

I think that Castro, Altuve, and somebody else will be a bit better than what's said. I think the pitching will be a little better too.

I think we flip Guzman and pitchers if we have good prospect return.

We need players who strike out less!!!

Anonymous said...

1B, SS, LF ouch. Also lacking any semblance of a ToR pitcher.

I can't argue with your projections and I think the win range is 65 to 75.

chris said...

My projected record isn't much worse, but 72 wins would be surprising. I have them winning 66 and getting a top 5 pick in next year's draft.

Anonymous said...

OK I just looked at the projected stats and wow, those look worse than last year, especially on the offensive side of the ball. If the team produces that way I see a struggle to get to 60 wins.

Sorry Batguy, but I think the team is going to embarrass your prediction again this season.

Anonymous said...

Springer is underrated. Book it.

Lyle said...

Astros have another long season ahead of them. They're a better team on paper than they were last year, but they're in a tough division and tough American League, and they'll be in contention for having another 1st round pick again.

Hopefully, things go better than expected and some nice surprises happen, but this team still has a lot of growing to do.