On Paper How Bad are the 2012 Mets Really?

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:

 
Player ZiPS RotoChamp Steamer AVG.
Total 632 637 622 630.3
David Wright 76 86 77 79.7
Ike Davis 47 80 59 62
Jason Bay 58 61 64 61
Lucas Duda 57 74 69 66.7
Daniel Murphy 42 62 75 59.7
Scott Hairston 32 19 27 26
Andres Torres 60 66 77 67.7
Josh Thole 36 46 49 43.7
Justin Turner 59 47 40 48.7
Ruben Tejada 55 52 52 53
Ronny Cedeno 44 21 17 27.3
Mike Nickeas 15 9 (Fans) 14 12.7
Josh Satin/Mike Baxter/Satin 51 14 2 22.3

Runs Allowed:

 
Player ZiPS RotoChamp Steamer AVG.
Projected over 1,458 IP 632 637 686 652
Mike Pelfrey 88 100 99 96
Dillon Gee 83 77 82 81
R.A. Dickey 75 78 94 82
Jon Niese 73 72 82 76
Johan Santana 36 61 64 54
Pedro Beato 32 31 15 26
Bobby Parnell 30 24 24 26
Ramon Ramirez 25 19 24 23
Jon Rauch 24 26 26 25
Frank Francisco 17 20 19 19
Tim Byrdak 15 24 19 19
D.J. Carrasco 39 51 18 36
Total 537 583 566 563

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

Drum roll please…

 
System Runs Scored Runs Against Winning % Pythagorean Record
Average 652 687 .476 77-85
Projected Stats 634 652 .487 79-83
Pecota 714 741 .483 78-84
Marcel 630 680 .465 75-87
Davenport 649 689 .473 77-85
Cairo 669 717 .468 76-86
Bill James 617 643 .481 78-84

*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.