Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 27, 2004
BASEBALL: Another Take on the AL by Win Shares
Andrew Koch runs his own Win Shares-driven AL standings analysis, although he departs from my Established Win Shares Levels analysis (see here, here and here) in two ways, only one of which is an improvement:
1. He uses only 2003 WS, rather than a 2- or 3-year Established Performance Level. I prefer my approach, since a longer sample gives you a better look at a player's abilities. Randy Johnson's 2001 and 2002 are highly relevant to projecting him in 2004, for example, notwithstanding the injuries that wrecked his 2003. This also creates a second problem associated with the other adjustment.
2. He adjusts for the fact that a team's players will wind up with a fixed number of plate appearances and innings pitched, and thus projects various players' time upwards or downwards and adjusts them. In some ways this is an improvement, since my EWSL system doesn't adjust down when a team picks up everyday players to ride the bench or, like the Indians, gives everyday jobs to a bunch of guys who didn't play full seasons last year. In others, it's not so good, because he has to make rough estimates about players who were hurt last season.
It's a useful and interesting exercise, anyway, and I found it an interesting contrast, although his projected standings came out pretty close to mine anyway - both of us project the Yanks, Royals and Mariners to take the divisions, with the Red Sox winning the wild card as with 100+ wins but not finishing a particularly close second to the Yankees and with the AL Central as a whole having a lousy year.
Neither of us really has a formal adjustment for player age, of course (which is why I think the Angels should be favored above the Mariners and why I'm somewhat optimistic about the Twins), although Koch is certainly cognizant of the issue. Go check it out.