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10 Games In and Mariners Have Narrowed Gap

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Dave beat me to a point I was going to make so instead I will do what I do best, add more numbers!

Projection systems were pretty even in their voices on the AL West coming into Opening Day. CHONE, Pecota (now that they seemed to have patched defense) and ZiPS are three systems I feel worthy of paying attention to. Here was how they pegged each team's win total in that order.

Anaheim: 85, 82, 85 (avg: 84)
Oakland: 81, 84, 81 (avg: 82)
SeattleM: 78, 77, 79 (avg: 78)
Rangers: 72, 70, 69 (avg: 70)

It is still too early in the season to suggest that we should be altering any of these true talent predictions*. At best, you might bump a couple more innings to Bedard since he looks healthy. That's not going to change much. Assuming those predicted winnings percentags hold for the remaining games, here are the revised standings with the first nine (ten for Seattle) games taken into account**

ANA: 83-79
OAK: 81-81
SEA: 80-82
TEX: 70-92

We've gone from six games back to three. It would have been all the way down to one if they had won yesterday, but c'est la vie.

* I know it's tempting to think the fast start has shown something, but I am skeptical. Coming into the year, we had concerns over the lineup showing patience or power at the plate. We thought the defense would be good, possibly great. We thought the rotation would be average to slightly above with upside depending on Bedard's health. We thought the bullpen would be below average, especially with control, though not a disaster.

We quantified all of those and came up with a runs scored and allowed projection that fit in quite nicely with those of the listed systems. Has anything in the first ten games proved to you that any of those were off base?


The past is over and done with and since we are assuming that our sample is too small to affect our overall prediction of team strength, we treat the past results as independent of the future results. That is, it's just like coin flips. Predict how many times a fair coin will land on heads out of 162 flips. That prediction should be 81 times. Now imagine that the coin has been flipped ten times and landed heads seven times so far. The correct prediction is still that the coin will land heads 50% of the flips going forward, which would yield an additional 76 heads ((162-10) * 50%). Those 76 heads plus the seven heads from before equal a revised predicted for the 162 flips of 83 heads.