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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Dave Cameron: Rockies will win NL West

Not only have the Rockies survived despite tremendous struggles from key players, but they actually own baseball’s best record, having won 16 of their first 23 contests. In fact, their early season success has given them a 4½-game lead over both the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s not even May, but the National League West race is shaping up to be fairly boring.

It’s too early to say for certain that any team has a division title wrapped up. Troy Tulowitzki could break his leg tomorrow and the entire division could change in an instant, and that is just one possible option out of a myriad of other unpredictable events that could significantly alter the landscape. However, given the Rockies’ talent level and their newfound cushion, it might take an event of that magnitude to give the Giants a chance to defend their title.

Tripon Posted: May 01, 2011 at 01:14 AM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rockies

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   1. DanO Posted: May 01, 2011 at 03:57 AM (#3814367)
You'd think Cameron would have learned to stop making stupid predictions with misplaced certainty by now. Even with Sandoval hurt, there's no good reason to think this race will be boring this early in the season.
   2. puck Posted: May 01, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3814372)
It’s too early to say for certain that any team has a division title wrapped up.


Dang.
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 01, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#3814374)
Well, it is nice that the Rockies have been able to do this so far without much from Carlos Gonzalez or Ubaldo.... Wait, Dave Cameron said this? They're doomed.
   4. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: May 01, 2011 at 06:59 AM (#3814379)
Too bad they're not in the NL Central, then they could finish sixth.
   5. shoewizard Posted: May 01, 2011 at 09:53 AM (#3814386)
Funny, just yesterday I was looking at their BB-Ref page and noticed a team OPS+ of 81 and and a team ERA+ of 127, and thought how odd, considering Tulo's numbers on offense and Ubaldo's lack of contribution so far.

I was thinking they are very vulnerable. But less so now with the Sandoval injury, thats true.
   6. Flynn Posted: May 01, 2011 at 10:17 AM (#3814388)
I'm sorry, but it's a month into the season. Aubrey Huff is not going to put up a 53 OPS+. Brian Wilson will not finish the season with a 7.71 ERA. Madison Bumgarner will not have a 65 ERA+.

Cameron is such a self-important prig he has to inject his opinion where it doesn't belong in order to make himself feel relevant and this has as good a chance of blowing up in his face as #6org.
   7. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 01, 2011 at 11:22 AM (#3814392)
I'm sorry, but it's a month into the season. Aubrey Huff is not going to put up a 53 OPS+. Brian Wilson will not finish the season with a 7.71 ERA. Madison Bumgarner will not have a 65 ERA+.

And CarGo is not going to go through the season with a 43 OPS+, or Giambi with a 68. They Rockies aren't going to continue getting a sub zero OPS+ from third base. And Ubaldo Jiminez isn't going to wind up with a 6.75 ERA. Look, most people had the Rockies at or near the top of the NLW in their predictions. They now have a 4.5 game lead, and probably project as the best team in the division going forward. Of course that's no guarantee, but to deny that they are sitting pretty right now is simply wilful ignorance.

Cameron is such a self-important prig he has to inject his opinion where it doesn't belong in order to make himself feel relevant

Look I have no particular love for Dave Cameron, and have done my fair share of mocking him, but the guy is a baseball analyst. Saying he shouldn't be expressing opinions on baseball is beyond ridiculous. It's his friggin job. And petulant insults from a burnt fanboy are not becoming.
   8. Flynn Posted: May 01, 2011 at 11:59 AM (#3814393)
And CarGo is not going to go through the season with a 43 OPS+, or Giambi with a 68. They Rockies aren't going to continue getting a sub zero OPS+ from third base. And Ubaldo Jiminez isn't going to wind up with a 6.75 ERA. Look, most people had the Rockies at or near the top of the NLW in their predictions. They now have a 4.5 game lead, and probably project as the best team in the division going forward. Of course that's no guarantee, but to deny that they are sitting pretty right now is simply wilful ignorance.

Notice I did not claim anywhere that the Giants would win the division. A 4.5 game lead with 130+ games left to play is a nothing lead. It means nothing. There are so many games left in the season that nothing short of one team going 3-21 while the other goes 21-3 is remotely meaningful. To say they are sitting pretty implies they have any reason to sit pretty. We haven't even played a game of baseball in May yet.


Look I have no particular love for Dave Cameron, and have done my fair share of mocking him, but the guy is a baseball analyst. Saying he shouldn't be expressing opinions on baseball is beyond ridiculous. It's his friggin job. And petulant insults from a burnt fanboy are not becoming.


Notice I didn't say anywhere that he can't express an opinion, he just shouldn't express an opinion where it doesn't belong. Like predicting a division race as shaping up to be fairly boring and talking about how it will take, essentially, unexpected injuries for the Giants to win the division. That is idiotic, the kind of emotobabble that someone whose opinion I actually respect, like Keith Law, would roll their eyes at.

It's. A. Month. Into. The. Season. I can't emphasize that enough. Sorry if that makes me a burnt fanboy in your eyes.
   9. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: May 01, 2011 at 12:22 PM (#3814396)
Law's a weird counterexample. He seems to make his share of statements with absolute certainty about things that are not so clear cut.
   10. bookbook Posted: May 01, 2011 at 12:32 PM (#3814401)
This is a properly qualified statement IMHO. he says, it's too early to say. He says " might".

I like my analysts to say what seems to be shaping up to them. It's okay to be wrong sometimes, too.
   11. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 01, 2011 at 12:53 PM (#3814409)
Notice I did not claim anywhere that the Giants would win the division. A 4.5 game lead with 130+ games left to play is a nothing lead. It means nothing. There are so many games left in the season that nothing short of one team going 3-21 while the other goes 21-3 is remotely meaningful. To say they are sitting pretty implies they have any reason to sit pretty. We haven't even played a game of baseball in May yet.

If the Rockies continue at say a reasonable 88 win course for the rest of the season, then the Giants would have to put up a 94 win pace. Despite all your protestations, that difference is meaningful.

Notice I didn't say anywhere that he can't express an opinion, he just shouldn't express an opinion where it doesn't belong.

He is a BASEBALL ANALYST EXPRESSING A BASEBALL OPPINION. How the hell does that oppinion "not belong". The only reason you are getting all upset about it, is because you don't LIKE his oppinion. Or what bookbook said.

It's. A. Month. Into. The. Season. I can't emphasize that enough. Sorry if that makes me a burnt fanboy in your eyes.

No. You acting like a burnt fanboy, is what makes you a burnt fanboy to my eyes.
   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 01, 2011 at 01:42 PM (#3814424)
Cameron can be a jerk but I don't think this piece was particularly snide. Cameron has handicapped the NL West here, nothing more.
   13. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 01, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3814432)
Look I have no particular love for Dave Cameron, and have done my fair share of mocking him, but the guy is a baseball analyst. Saying he shouldn't be expressing opinions on baseball is beyond ridiculous. It's his friggin job. And petulant insults from a burnt fanboy are not becoming.


I'm of the school of thought that Jamesian analysis is a dish best served in the offseason. Surely, I am not alone.
   14. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 01, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3814433)
BTW, does ESPN ask these guys to write on a particular topic or do they have free reign to choose what they want to write about?
   15. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 01, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3814435)
If the former is the case, I can understand why Cameron wrote this. Maybe I should RTFA before commenting.
   16. Cowboy Popup Posted: May 01, 2011 at 02:19 PM (#3814439)
Law's a weird counterexample. He seems to make his share of statements with absolute certainty about things that are not so clear cut.

This is my new favorite Keith Law is certain about things that are not so clear cut comment. Good thing for the Jays, he doesn't work for them anymore.
   17. caprules Posted: May 01, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3814475)
The 2007 Brewers were 5 games up on May 2nd. Finished 2 games back
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 01, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#3814480)
Billy Beane should never have written that book. David Cameron should never have started submitting every one of his articles to BTF so people can make fun of them. STOP FORCING YOUR OPINIONS DOWN OUR THROAT, CAMERON!
   19. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 01, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3814488)
It would be an interesting exercise to handicap all of the division races through the end of April. I think the most fascinating one at this point is the AL Central. No one outside Cuyahoga County would've picked the Indians a month ago, but they're currently 9 games ahead of both the Twins and White Sox and 6.5 games up on the Tigers. If someone told you that this year the schedule is only 135 games long and the Twins and White Sox are spotting the Indians 9 games in the standings, in what order would you predict them to finish the year? Preseason projections had the Indians about 10 games behind each of the three co-favorites.
   20. puck Posted: May 01, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#3814495)
FWIW: BP playoff odds report. Giants with .565 expected win pct, Rockies .525. Even with the early lead, the Rockies division win pct is 31.8, the Giants 51.8%.

Perhaps the projections are way off and the first 25 games are a far better reflection of the strength of the teams. But to me, the playoff odds also reflect just how much of the season is left to play.

Also FWIW, which is probably not much: as a Rockies fan, I did not read Flynn's post as a "burnt fanboy."
   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:03 PM (#3814501)
BP playoff odds report. Giants with .565 expected win pct, Rockies .525. Even with the early lead, the Rockies division win pct is 31.8, the Giants 51.8%.


Why is that? The Rockies' have a sizable edge in run differential. They've had a more favorable schedule than the Giants so far, but I can't imagine it makes THAT much difference.

And as people have alluded to, the Rockies' offense has underperformed so far. As a team, they're hitting .221 with runners in scoring position, and just .236 overall. Those numbers have to improve, and at some point, you have to think that Jim Tracy will realize that Ian Stewart is easily the best third baseman on the team.
   22. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#3814505)
Cameron is such a self-important prig he has to inject his opinion where it doesn't belong in order to make himself feel relevant and this has as good a chance of blowing up in his face as #6org.

As with all things Cameron, I like knowing that if his Rockies prediction comes true, no one here will ever let him forget it.
   23. puck Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3814515)
Why is that? The Rockies' have a sizable edge in run differential. They've had a more favorable schedule than the Giants so far, but I can't imagine it makes THAT much difference.


I think they're just rolling in the games so far into whatever projection formula used to do the regular PECOTA projections. So 25 games doesn't change it much. I can't remember if other preseason projections had the Giants higher...I should go google for SG's articles.

and at some point, you have to think that Jim Tracy will realize that Ian Stewart is easily the best third baseman on the team.


Yes. I love that they called up Amezaga instead of Stewart.
   24. robinred Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#3814520)
I picked the Rockies to win the World Series last year, and remain high on them (I have PHI winning the NL pennant this year, though). I had Tulowitzki as NL MVP on our predictions thread.

Of course, the Cameron effect ends all those hopes.
   25. puck Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3814522)
SG's simulations:

NL aggregate version. Giants projected for 88 wins, Rockies 83.6.

Looks like only the sim w/the marcel projections had the teams close, with the Giants up 1.0 game. SG admittedly has to make educated guesses about playing time, and isn't trying to predict injuries, so yeah...ymmv.
   26. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#3814523)
petulant insults from a burnt fanboy are not becoming

I'm not sure we have much else to give...
   27. puck Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3814530)
Do attempts to change hitters' approaches ever work at the ML level? I'm talking things like cutting down K's, hitting to the opposite field (with the result of cutting down K's or raising BA's, etc.) Seems like hitters are what they are by the time they reach the majors.

Much was made of the Rockies replacing Baylor with Carney Lansford as the hitting coach. But Stewart is in the minors, the team's K% is actually a smidge higher, and the guys who are identified as the problem children in this regard (Stewart, Iannetta, Fowler) or should be if you're truly offended by high K rates (CarGo) are all striking out more often so far this season.
   28. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3814532)
Why is that? The Rockies' have a sizable edge in run differential. They've had a more favorable schedule than the Giants so far, but I can't imagine it makes THAT much difference.

I can only assume BP had the Giants as clear favourites going into the season. 1 months of performance should not change your oppinion going forward that much. If you thought the Giants ~9 game favourites going in, they should likely still be favourites.
For what little it's worth, I had the Rockies at 86 wins going into the season, and the Giants at 84. Perhaps that is somewhat clouding my judgement here. Still, I don't see how anybody could have the Giants favoured by that much.
   29. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 01, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3814553)
FWIW: BP playoff odds report. Giants with .565 expected win pct, Rockies .525. Even with the early lead, the Rockies division win pct is 31.8, the Giants 51.8%.


Does anyone know why they dropped the old version of the postseason odds report? I'm assuming it's gone because google can't find it, but I miss the old text-only version that allowed you to turn off the PECOTA adjustments and just sim the season based on current run scoring.
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 01, 2011 at 06:26 PM (#3814587)
Much was made of the Rockies replacing Baylor with Carney Lansford as the hitting coach.


Lansford, of course, was a high-average, low-walks hitter. The Rockies are hitting .236, but lead the league in walk rate.
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: May 01, 2011 at 06:38 PM (#3814603)
This early in the season, unless there is a blow out going on, it's tough to take the standings seriously. With the unbalanced schedule the teams are still in control of their own fate. There are too many games remaining between all the contenders to think that a division is going to be a cakewalk. The Cubs in the central are performing like crap and I still think they are legit contenders, the Red Sox have the third(?) worse record in the AL, and it would be ridiculous to count them out.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: May 01, 2011 at 07:37 PM (#3814665)
And CarGo is not going to go through the season with a 43 OPS+, or Giambi with a 68. They Rockies aren't going to continue getting a sub zero OPS+ from third base. And Ubaldo Jiminez isn't going to wind up with a 6.75 ERA.

I'll grant you CarGo but Giambi? He's 40 years old coming off a 91 OPS+ in 2009 and 98 in 2010. This is what the end of the road looks like (see Griffey Jr). Besides he's a bench player, it doesn't matter much one way or the other whether he hits better.

And, sure, they'll get an above-zero OPS+ from third base but this is a lousy collection of players and they've sent the best one down to AAA. Herrera hit only about 265 at AAA the last 2 years, he's not going to keep hitting and walking like this. Jose Lopez is a horrible hitter and Wigginton is a horrible fielder.

And Helton's unlikely to maintain his 214 ISO -- he hasn't had one like that since 2005.

Still, granted, the underachievers seem to outnumber the over-achievers so the Rox offense will probably improve overall, but it's hard to see it being a good offense. Not much to say about the pitchers really (some surprisingly good, some surprisingly bad but they're pitchers) but we can probably safely assume they won't carry a 129 ERA+ all year.

Meanwhile I said all late last year and the offseason this year that I didn't expect the Giants to repeat their magic. Sorry to see Belt off to such a tough start, glad to see DeRosa (and Rowand) off to good starts, not surprised to see Tejada stinking. Other than the three young guys (one hurt, one struggling mightily), this offense is just too old.

And I can't believe we didn't have an official Primer day of celebration for Ryan Vogelsong's first ML win since 2005.

In other vaguely Cameron-related news, Justin Smoak is trotting around a 165 OPS+ so far this year with a 243 ISO.

And, wow, the league-average line for OPS+ purposes for the Ms so far this year is 241/309/382 -- time for the AL to add a second DH!
   33. s.zielinski Posted: May 01, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#3814823)
It's not even May, but the National League West race is shaping up to be fairly boring.


I suppose the Rockies dropping two of three to the lowly Pirates this weekend might help to invigorate the NL West.
   34. stevegamer Posted: May 02, 2011 at 03:44 AM (#3815053)
Do attempts to change hitters' approaches ever work at the ML level?


They do, at least north of the border.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3815079)
Just wait til they deal Jose Lopez to the Chi Sox for John Danks!
   36. Steve Treder Posted: May 02, 2011 at 04:57 AM (#3815154)
Do attempts to change hitters' approaches ever work at the ML level? I'm talking things like cutting down K's, hitting to the opposite field (with the result of cutting down K's or raising BA's, etc.)

It happens once in a while. Curt Flood and Garry Maddox are two examples that come immediately to mind. There are others. But yes, it is very rare.
   37. JoeC Posted: May 02, 2011 at 05:25 AM (#3815165)
Does anyone know why they dropped the old version of the postseason odds report? I'm assuming it's gone because google can't find it, but I miss the old text-only version that allowed you to turn off the PECOTA adjustments and just sim the season based on current run scoring.


Just fallible human memory here, but I think they don't start running that report until enough of the season has been played that it's a lot more meaningful than it would be now.
   38. puck Posted: May 09, 2011 at 04:30 AM (#3821695)
The Rockies are now just a game up on the Giants. They're 1-6 in May.
   39. Flynn Posted: May 12, 2011 at 09:33 AM (#3825035)
No. You acting like a burnt fanboy, is what makes you a burnt fanboy to my eyes.


Dem apples, how do you like 'em? I, sir, may be a burnt fanboy, but I'm also a right burnt fanboy.
   40. Tripon Posted: May 27, 2011 at 05:17 AM (#3839044)
And the Rockies are 24-25 on May 26th, 2011. Dave Cameron sure knows how to pick them.
   41. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 05:35 AM (#3839049)
Dave Cameron made one hyperbolic prediction after another this April based on tiny samples. He really must need some sun. Come on out from mommy's basement big boy.
   42. puck Posted: May 27, 2011 at 06:50 AM (#3839062)
They're still ahead in the BPro adjusted standings! Woo hoo!

And the axe continues to fall. This time, Jose Lopez is being DFA'd. EY2 (Eric Young Jr) recalled.
   43. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 30, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3840928)
Rockies are now 8-19 since the day this was posted. Thanks a lot, Cameron.
   44. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 30, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3840930)
obligatory cano reference
   45. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 14, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#3852874)
Is this still true?
   46. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: July 16, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3878924)
lol.
   47. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 16, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3878937)
Bookmarked!
   48. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: August 18, 2011 at 12:49 PM (#3902924)
It ain't over 'til it's over.
   49. Tripon Posted: September 21, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#3932262)
And the Rockies are eliminated.

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