Sunday, March 31, 2013

Baseball Predictions, Part 3: ESPN's Szymborski

Dan Szymborski does his zippy little ZIPS projections (million simulations, Monte Carlo method (because the Venetian and Bellagio methods are too expensive), and he's got the Dodgers winning the NL West with 90 wins, three ahead of the Giants (link insider only):

The projections do reflect the hit the Los Angeles Dodgers take from losing Hanley Ramirez and a grumpier innings estimate for Zack Greinke in light of his recent arm soreness, so no need to mentally chop off a couple wins. The Dodgers won't win any awards for thrift (that would be an odd award), but they've put together a solid, if overly expensive, team for 2013. They are slight favorites, but there's plenty of room for an unhappy end to the season.

The San Francisco Giants remain in the thick of it, about the quality of last year's team. Last year's team won the World Series, so that's not necessarily a bad thing, but the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are likely to be better than they were last year. Warning: ZiPS is assuming that Brandon Belt won't continue to be benched for weeks every time he goes 0-for-4.

Szymborski gives the Dodgers a 41.5% chance to win the division (Giants are at 29.7%). The Dodgers are a 60.9% chance to make the playoffs and a 6.4% chance to win the World Series (the Nationals lead the NL with 7.8% and the Reds are at 6.8%; Atlanta is also at 6.4%).