Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 1, 2005
BASEBALL: NL EWSL Standings

As you can see below, I've finished my EWSL (Established Win Shares Levels) review of the National League. As I did with the AL (the reasoning is explained here), I'll now wrap the review by adjusting the team win totals upward to get enough wins (1296, for a 16-team league) to get to .500, i.e., 81 wins per team.

Specifically, EWSL produces enough Win Shares for 73.6 wins per NL team in 2005 before applying the age adjustment, and 71.2 wins (almost exactly the same as the AL) after. (Note also that I'm using the half-season-of-Bonds figures for the Giants). If we project those totals upwards proportionally across teams, what do the age-adjusted EWSL standings look like?

NL EastW-LGBNL CentralW-LGBNL WestW-LGB
Marlins95-67--Cardinals96-66--Padres88-74--
Phillies94-681Cubs89-737Giants87-751
Nationals84-7811Astros77-8519Dodgers80-828
Mets82-8013Reds73-8923Diamondbacks77-8511
Braves81-8114Pirates70-9226Rockies63-9925
Brewers60-10236

These, like the AL standings, mostly look right to me (other than the Braves), much as I'd like to be more optimistic about the Mets. Boy, these would be some pennant races, huh? Two divisions decided by one, and the Phillies beat the Cubs for the Wild Card. And with the adjustments we now see the strength of the NL East, with no losing teams in the division.

Let's also stack up how the age adjustments affect various teams. Here's a table showing the net age adjustment to each team's record, with 100 being a team with no adjustments, higher being a team that was adjusted updward, etc.; in short, the teams most likely to have young, improving talent are at the top, the teams that depend most on declining older players are at the bottom (although given the nature of the method, pure rookies aren't included):

TeamAdjustment
WAS104
FLA102
PIT101
ATL100
AZ100
CHC99
COL99
NYM98
CIN98
NL Avg97
LA97
MIL96
STL95
HOU93
SD92
PHI92
SF88

You'll see there's nobody in the NL who gains as much as the Twins, who were +11%, but only the Giants are anywhere near the age of the Red Sox and Yankees (they'd be slightly worse, at 87, if I rated Bonds on a full season, but still not as old as the top two AL teams). On average, NL teams lost less to the age adjustment (96.7) than AL teams (95.3). Lastly, the non-age-adjusted standings:

NL EastW-LGBNL CentralW-LGBNL WestW-LGB
Phillies99-63--Cardinals96-66--Giants96-66--
Marlins90-729Cubs87-757Padres93-693
Mets81-8118Astros80-8218Dodgers80-8216
Nationals79-8320Reds73-8925Diamondbacks75-8721
Braves78-8421Pirates67-9531Rockies61-10135
Brewers60-10238
Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:25 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)
Comments

I didn't check your archives, so bear with me, but did you compare this method to actual results for last year?

Posted by: Bill K at April 1, 2005 11:26 AM

I compared the aggregate results for individual players. If I get the time, I may compare the team results, but part of the point of introducing the age adjustments this time was to fix some of the problems that plagued last year's projections (i.e., the Mariners in first place).

Posted by: The Crank at April 1, 2005 12:16 PM

I don't know if it would make a huge difference, but are the records schedule-adjusted, to account for the number of games played within a division? In other words, wouldn't the NL East teams beat up on each other a little more? In any case, thanks for all the hard work.

Posted by: Devin McCullen at April 2, 2005 10:10 AM

I just saw Harold Reynolds and John "Chone Figgins was last year's MVP" Kruk pick my beloved Braves to win the division, again.

If so, Cox should repeat as manager of the year, with that personnel and one LH in the bullpen (one who doesn't look very good). Then again, Andruw Jones could pick this year to have the season that everyone thought he was capable of all along.

Posted by: RW at April 2, 2005 10:26 AM

Devin - No, I haven't. But there's a partial adjustment naturally built in because most of these guys were in the same divisions last year.

Ricky - I'm also very high on Andruw this year. He's had a big spring, for whatever that's worth. Cox has already cemented a place in Cooperstown.

Posted by: The Crank at April 2, 2005 3:38 PM

That's a good point, which I hadn't thought of (but since a lot of talent came into the NL East this year, they wouldn't all be affected by that). I did the math, and since the divisional games have to come out to .500, to match those records, they'd have to go 251-189 in all other games, which is a .570 winning percentage (a 92-win pace). That seems a bit high to me.

Posted by: Devin McCullen at April 3, 2005 1:19 PM

The NL records look pretty decent, although I think you are wrong on the brewers winning only 60 games. I don't think they've slipped at all, and playing against such weak division mates should get them closer to the high 70's.

Posted by: adwred at April 4, 2005 6:24 PM
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