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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The Oddsinator aka the Doubly Stochastic Matrix of Doom
No, I haven’t come up with an actual name yet, but I wanted to say a few words on the new formatting for my individual player projections in order to stem off any confusion that might result from my general assumption that everybody knows exactly what I’m talking about without me having to explain. And no, there are no Markov chains involved, I just like the sound of it.
Why did I change it? I don’t feel that optimistic and pessimistic lines were communicating as much information about a player’s projection as they could - they were simply saying that players have really good seasons sometimes and really bad ones sometimes, which you don’t need a line to figure out. I feel this way conveys probabilities of players accomplishing certain things without having to print a 5 page series of lines.
First, let’s look at the pitchers, using Damaso Marte as an example (I just changed the formatting slightly from what was posted due to some confusion).
This compares Marte to the usual population of pitchers with 30 or more innings pitched (for starters, I use 100 as the cutoff). When I do hitters, I look at comparing players to starters at positions, but the start/bench relationship isn’t the same for pitchers. So, when looking at relievers used in the majors with any regularity, I expect Marte to finish in the top third 64% of the time, the middle third 28% of the time, and the bottom third 8% of the time.
I think that this is pretty self-explanatory. I don’t do wins and saves (and probably should not have done W-L in my 85th and 15th projections) because not only do you have to take into consideration the errors of the individual part of the projection, you have more noise-causing factors like team offense and team scoring distribution.
Let’s go on to Josh Phelps.
“Star” simply means the average level of the top 20% of starters. This projects that Josh Phelps has a 1-in-6 chance of being in the top 20% of 1B offensively, not that he has a 1-in-6 chance of being an MVP candidate (which he doesn’t). Average means his odds at being average or better offensively among starters at his position and replacement level, his chances of being better than replacement level. I use a similar level to Tango and Smith.
I use 600 PA as a base for counting stat projections. This does not mean that I expect the player to get 600 PA (and Phelps won’t), but just to see what he would do over the course of a season. I might change this to use the predicted PA total instead, I haven’t decided what’s better. ZiPS doesn’t really make any projection about playing time and simply assuming that everyone’s a full-time player for this purpose might be more useful than looking at playing time component that isn’t really real. We don’t really know how many at-bats Phelps will get in 2009, but we do know about how many full-time players get.
Just here for fun.
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