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Starting Pitching Team Factors


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3 replies to this topic

#1 iAugust

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

Hey guys, this is something new I did this year and I figured I'd share it with you all. I play in an 18-team all-around points league where wins are valued heavily for pitchers. I often try to draft guys on teams with good offenses, but I got to thinking about it this year and there is so much more to just offense when it comes to trying to project pitcher wins. Bullpens, opposing offenses and park factors have a lot to do with it.

I decided to use Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projections, as well as last years FanGraphs Park Factors to determine a "Power Rankings" list of teams you want your pitchers throwing for.

Now, this is very done very crudely and is quite arbitrary, but it turned out to be pretty accurate IMO in the eye test.

I took the projected ZiPS wOBA of the 9 projected starting positions players on each team and averaged them to find team offensive projections (in the NL I gave the #9 spot a wOBA of .250. Certainly high for pitchers but when you account for pitch hitters I think it does a decent job. Probably a little high but again it evened out NL teams to the point that it passed the eye test for me so I rolled with it.

I then took the projected ZiPS WAR of the top 5 relief pitchers in each bullpen to determine bullpen power rankings.

I used the team wOBA's to determine which teams had the toughest division factors (de-valuing pitchers in the AL East and adding value to those in the NL West for example)

And finally I added park factors into the equation because you'd rather have a pitcher throwing his games in PETCO then you would Coors.

I ranked the 30 teams in each of these 4 categories and averaged them. Again, very crude and arbitrary but it passed the eye test for me and I'm pleased with the results. I wanted to add team defense to give extra value for teams with great defensive OFs like the Angels, Indians and Braves but I can't find anything in the way of defensive projections and wanted to keep this as numbers-based and non-subjective as possible.

Anyway I'll stop rambling and just give you guys the list. Without further adieu, the 2012 Starting Pitcher Team Factors Power Rankings:

# Team Offense, Bullpen, Park, Division = Total
  • ATL- 12, 1, 16, 1 = 30
  • LAA- 7, 16, 5, 4 = 32
  • WAS- 16, 4, 17, 2 = 39
  • OAK- 21, 6, 7, 14 = 48
  • ARI- 10, 5, 25, 9 = 49
  • LAD- 11, 17, 11, 11 = 50
  • STL- 14, 15, 8, 16 = 53
  • DET- 3, 23, 19, 10 = 55
  • TEX- 5, 19, 28, 3 = 55
  • CIN- 8, 10, 26, 12 = 56
  • COL- 6, 2, 30, 18 = 56
  • SF- 22, 14, 3, 18 = 57
  • BOS- 2, 7, 22, 27 = 58
  • TOR- 1, 12, 20, 26 = 59
  • PHI- 20, 18, 18, 5 = 61
  • KC- 19, 9, 14, 21 = 63
  • CHW- 13, 3, 29, 19 = 64
  • NYY- 4, 11, 23, 28 = 66 (This was done before Granderson and Teixeira injuries too FYI)
  • TB- 18, 13, 6, 30 = 67
  • CLE- 17, 21, 10, 20 = 68
  • MIL- 9, 24, 24, 13 = 70
  • NYM- 26, 29, 9, 6 = 70
  • MIA- 29, 25, 12, 7 = 73
  • SDP- 28, 22, 1, 23 = 74
  • PIT- 23, 26, 4, 22 = 75
  • SEA- 30, 27, 2, 17 = 76
  • BAL- 15, 8, 27, 29 = 79
  • HOU- 27, 30, 15, 15 = 87
  • CHC- 24, 20, 21, 24 = 89
  • MIN- 25, 28, 13, 25 = 91
If anyone wants to see the full numbers for any of the 4 categories I would be more than willing to share them. Also if anyone can find any info on projected team defense that would be fantastic as I would love to add it into the equation. Also that just goes to show that you definitely want your pitchers to be on ATL, WAS and LAA as they are already top 3 and one would assume those are 3 of the best defensive OFs in the MLB

Edited by iAugust, 09 March 2013 - 11:24 AM.


#2 yoda

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

It's not a bad idea to rank teams preseason. However, it is much more difficult to predict on a macro vs. micro (team vs. player). There are too many variables to account for: bullpen, defense, injuries, catastrophic failures, etc.

For instance, no one would have predicted the Phillies, D'Backs, Red Sox, etc. to be as bad as they were in 2012. If you bet on the top pitchers on those teams: Kennedy, Hudson, Lee, Hamels, Lester, Beckett, etc, you likely didn't profit very much.
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#3 Orion Braun

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:19 PM

I like the idea. Thanks for putting this together, August. I'll be incorporating this into my spreadsheet and I could easily see this determining a tiebreaker if I am stuck between pitchers during the draft (e.g. CJ Wilson and Garza, who are ranked next to each other in Yahoo)
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#4 Matthias

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

I like it. As you say, it's a bit crude but it does give results that make sense. I'll be taking a closer look at pitchers in the top third because of this.