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4/3: Open Game Thread

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Your 2006 Seattle Mariners. Like I really need to say anything else.

First Pitch: 2:05pm PDT


Figgins 3B Ichiro RF Cabrera SS Lopez 2B Anderson LF Ibanez LF Guerrero RF Sexson 1B Rivera DH Beltre 3B Erstad CF Everett DH Kotchman 1B Johjima C The Bad Molina C Reed CF Kennedy 2B Betancourt SS ---------- ---------- Colon (0-0, -.--) Moyer (0-0, -.--)

Community Projections:

Ichiro: .329/.374/.447 +/- .019/.018/.020
Reed: .283/.356/.422 +/- .009/.014/.035
Ibanez: .280/.351/.440 +/- .010/.012/.020
Sexson: .266/.374/.540 +/- .007/.013/.017
Beltre: .280/.340/.494 +/- .015/.020/.045
Everett: .258/.315/.427 +/- .018/.018/.046
Johjima: .280/.343/.438 +/- .015/.015/.028
Lopez: .268/.307/.425 +/- .011/.016/.024
Betancourt: .267/.307/.392 +/- .010/.016/.028
Bloomquist: .256/.303/.353 +/- .010/.016/.032

Moyer: 4.6 FIP, 197.1 IP +/- 0.17, 10.1
Washburn: 4.48, 172.2 +/- 0.30, 47.1
Pineiro: 4.38, 186 +/- 0.16, 24.1
Meche: 4.89, 120 +/- 0.46, 25.2
God: 3.10, 185.2 +/- 0.28, 12

TEAM: 81 wins +/- 8

Brief commentary: Let's pretend, for the sake of simplicity, that it'll take 90 wins to win the Wild Card. In recent years that number has been higher, but as of right now I don't see many "great" teams in the AL, so let's run with it. A team whose "true ability" is 81 wins stands a 9.1% chance of winning 90+. For an 85-win team, that jumps up to 24.2%. The lower significance threshold (5% chance) is 79 wins - by which I mean that, if you think the Mariners, as currently constructed, are a 79+ win team, then they stand a statistically significant chance of winning 90 games and therefore at least getting close to the playoffs. That's cool, and there's no better time to be optimistic than Opening Day, so I'm going to go ahead and say that the 2006 Seattle Mariners are a legitimate playoff contender.

How do the community projections look? At least as far as the offense is concerned, the starting lineup is slated to post a .788 OPS (assuming equal at bats for all nine slots). If you take a few more liberties with bench projections and the like, you end up with a team that should score somewhere around 760-800 runs, which would place it firmly in the upper third of the league. Of course, this all goes to hell if someone gets hurt or traded, but those kinds of things are nearly impossible to forecast, so we'll ignore them for now. If you insist on taking those things into consideration, feel free to bring the projection down a little bit. Meanwhile, the starting rotation has a projected 4.25 FIP in a very disappointing 861.5 innings; clearly, the community thinks that we're going to need a rather significant contribution from a sixth starter, whoever that may be. Which makes a lot of sense, given that all five members of the rotation have their own red flags.

In the end, though, these projections don't really mean much of anything - they're going to be fun to follow, but with the season beginning in six hours, we finally get to stop thinking about our expectations and start thinking about what's actually happening. And as the White Sox showed us last summer, sometimes that can turn out to be a lot more rewarding than you thought.

It's nice to have baseball back.

Go Mariners.