Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spoilt Melk Lifts Dodgers' Chances

So Melky Cabrera up and gets suspended right in the final six weeks of a tight pennant race. And what might this mean for the Dodgers' chances of winning the NL West? Dan Szymborski of ESPN says, Monte Carlo scenarios say that the Dodgers are now in the driver's seat (link insider only):

The 2012 edition of Cabrera is a much different player than the one who signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Kansas City Royals before the 2011 season. This Melky hit .305/.339/.470 for the Royals in 2011 and, after being swapped for Jonathan Sanchez this past winter, was hitting .346/.390/.516 for the Giants through Tuesday night's game.

As unpleasant as this news may be for Cabrera, it comes off as downright nauseating for the Giants, who are 64-53 and tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead.

So, where does that leave the Giants, without their .906 OPS left fielder? With Nate Schierholtz gone in the Hunter Pence trade, Gregor Blanco becomes the obvious starting left fielder in Cabrera's absence, with Brett Pill likely to be the beneficiary of Blanco's reserve time in left and right. Using the ZiPS projection system, the Giants project to lose just under one win for the rest of the season, at 0.7 wins the rest of the way, thanks to the loss of Cabrera.

That may not sound like a lot at first, but in a tight race, with only 45 games to play, a single game can be the difference between winning the division and winning a much less valuable wild-card spot. Even worse, it could be the difference between winning the division and watching the playoffs from a couch.

To gauge the effect on the divisional race, I used a Monte Carlo simulation, along with ZiPS, to simulate the remaining games in baseball, both with the Giants having Cabrera and with the Giants losing him.

Before the news of Cabrera's suspension broke, the Giants -- a team with a bit more than the Dodgers -- projected to have a 52.6 percent chance at winning the division, followed by the Dodgers at 37.3 percent, the Diamondbacks at 10.1 percent, and the Rockies and Padres both having less than 1-in-2,000 chance.

Without Cabrera, San Francisco's odds of winning the division drop to 43.8 percent. The Dodgers, the team in the best position to take advantage of the Giants' loss, have their odds increase to 44.1 percent. That's right, Cabrera's absence for the rest of the season swings the division in the Dodgers' favor.

The new odds are great, but still not a slam dunk. Let's not let leave this to chance, Dodgers.


Jason said...

Jayson "I Can't Spell My Name Properly" Stark is reporting that today is the day that the PTBN in the Blanton trade will be announced.

Please be Uribe! Please be Uribe! Please be Uribe!

Fred's Brim said...

If Blanton sucks today, can they just send him back?

Dusty Baker said...

Let's give Urine a bitchin' Camaro to rive out of town.

spank said...

*eats paisley*

Jason said...

Huh, Ryan O'Sullivan it is. I guess that will help with the Quakes whiskey budget.

There are not enough MLB players with stereotypical Irish names.

MR.F said...

Has there not been a post in 25 hours?

Hideo Nomo said...

The game thread's a-comin', but we've all been in the Angry Dome since yesterday's game.