Monday, April 06, 2009

Baseball Prospectus Also Has The Dodgers Winning the NL West

...and with 92 wins (insider only), too:

National League West projected standings

Dodgers 92-70 819 714 .272 .342 .415
D'backs 88-74 815 741 .262 .335 .343
Giants 76-86 683 717 .263 .319 .397
Padres 72-90 679 753 .252 .323 .394
Rockies 71-91 842 951 .269 .345 .439

The Los Angeles Dodgers took home last year's Mild Mild West flag with a paltry 84 wins, but their current forecast calls for a robust 92 victories thanks to the maturation of their homegrown talent. Led by young studs Chad Billingsley (3.51 ERA), Clayton Kershaw (3.98), and Jonathan Broxton (2.78), their staff projects to be the league's best run-prevention unit. On the flip side, their offense projects to finish fifth in scoring, thanks largely to a .342 OBP, second in the league. Perhaps most interesting about their two-team race with the Arizona Diamondbacks is that it has changed dramatically since pitchers and catchers reported, with late-spring free-agent additions Manny Ramirez and Orlando Hudson spearheading a 12-game flip-flop relative to our initial projections.

As for the Diamondbacks, their 88-win forecast makes them the favorite for the wild card. Despite a winter which saw them shed several key free agents (Hudson, Randy Johnson, Adam Dunn, Juan Cruz) and skimp on their replacements due to economic concerns, they forecast to be solid in both scoring (sixth) and pitching (fifth), thanks to an enviable young nucleus of their own in Chris B. Young, Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson, and Justin Upton, not to mention Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, who forecast to be two of the game's four most valuable pitchers.