On Paper How Bad are the 2012 Mets Really?

An article by posted on March 3, 2012

Earlier in the off-season Ted Berg did the work to show the Mets are capable of winning 94 games if everything possible broke right. However, that never happens.

I decided I wanted to take a more realistic approach to the statistics and look at what level of performance we can expect from the Mets in 2012 based on Pythagorean record.

I decided to use six different projection systems to come up with this total. The Pecota, Marcel, Davenport, and Cairo projected standings are all easily accessible on the internet, but the Bill James and “Projected Stats” took a bit of calculating.

The “Projected Stats” system is a combination of ZiPS, RotoChamp, and Steamer. This puts a bit more weight on the other five projections, but based off pedigree I felt it made the most sense.

In order to calculate the Mets 2012 Pythagorean record I needed to first figure out the projected runs scored and runs allowed by  the team according to those three statistical projection systems. The calculations for how I got these numbers can be seen in the two tables below.

Runs Scored:

 
PlayerZiPSRotoChampSteamerAVG.
Total632637622630.3
David Wright76867779.7
Ike Davis47805962
Jason Bay58616461
Lucas Duda57746966.7
Daniel Murphy42627559.7
Scott Hairston32192726
Andres Torres60667767.7
Josh Thole36464943.7
Justin Turner59474048.7
Ruben Tejada55525253
Ronny Cedeno44211727.3
Mike Nickeas159 (Fans)1412.7
Josh Satin/Mike Baxter/Satin5114222.3

Runs Allowed:

 
PlayerZiPSRotoChampSteamerAVG.
Projected over 1,458 IP632637686652
Mike Pelfrey881009996
Dillon Gee83778281
R.A. Dickey75789482
Jon Niese73728276
Johan Santana36616454
Pedro Beato32311526
Bobby Parnell30242426
Ramon Ramirez25192423
Jon Rauch24262625
Frank Francisco17201919
Tim Byrdak15241919
D.J. Carrasco39511836
Total537583566563

Now that I had all the numbers I needed I could calculate all of the winning percentages and projected records.

Drum roll please…

 
SystemRuns ScoredRuns AgainstWinning %Pythagorean Record
Average652687.47677-85
Projected Stats634652.48779-83
Pecota714741.48378-84
Marcel630680.46575-87
Davenport649689.47377-85
Cairo669717.46876-86
Bill James617643.48178-84

*Note* I added in 14 runs scored to the “Projected Stats” and Bill James totals since the average number of runs scored by Mets’ pitchers over the last five years is 13.6, which was not in their calculations. Bill James also had no projections for Mike Nickeas or Josh Satin/Mike Baxter so I used the average “Projected Stats” for their numbers.

There you have it a 77-85 team. Ironically that is the same record the Mets finished with last year. Well, those are not the projections I was hoping for, but all the systems are pretty consistent with their projected records.

In the “Projected Stats” group ZiPS and RotoChamp had the Mets going 81-81, which is the most optimistic of all the projections and Steamer had the Mets going 74-88, the most pessimistic of all the projections.

I felt the projections were a little harsh on Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and R.A. Dickey but all together even if I swapped in my own projections for those three players we are still talking about a team just on the cusp of .500 ball.

Compared to the vibe from the fans and the media, however, a .500 team actually sounds like a welcome outcome right about now. It would be an improvement from last year, but that really isn’t saying much.

These numbers are what they are and I don’t think anyone is really shocked to see the Mets are a below .500 on paper, but if the team can adopt Terry Collin’s fiery personality the way the New York Rangers have adopted John Tortorealla’s personality (sorry had to mention my Rangers in there somewhere) it isn’t a crazy thought to see a young team with something to prove play a little over their head. I am not suggesting a league leading record like the Rangers, but a 83-79 record isn’t completely out of reach based off these projections.

The fact that I would be happy with that 83-79 record might speak more words than anything.

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