The Dodgers. The Giants.Posted: August 21, 2012
In the western-most division of the National league, two teams are fighting it out for the postseason. Those teams, which I alluded to in the title, are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. According to Baseball Prospectus, as of today, the Dodgers have a 33.5% chance of winning the division, while the Giants have a 55.8% chance, despite the Giants having only a half-game lead as I write this. Both teams have had struggles. The Giants just lost noted-internet-savvy-calcium-connoisseur Melky Cabrera for the rest of the regular season, resulting in the less-good Gregor Blanco taking his place. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are still playing James Loney at first base. In what follows, I will very unscientifically attempt to predict what will occur for the rest of the season using fWAR. Don’t try to follow along closely, as you will not be able to.
Here is what I have done. I have predicted who will receive the PAs and innings for each team for the rest of the season. Then, based on fWAR/PA (or fWAR/IP)to date, I have projected each team’s record at the end of the season. Again, this is isn’t scientific. It is a fun exercise. Well, it was kind of fun. If your definition is loose.
R-PA is the number of plate appearances I project each player to get for the rest of the season. R-IP is projected innings for the rest of the season. R-fWAR is the projected fWAR for the rest of the season, based on fWAR to date. Math.
Here is the Los Angeles Dodgers:
Add up the fWAR, and you get 13 additional wins. I added this to the 12 wins that a replacement team would get over the last 39 games, (50/162*39) so the Dodgers will win 25 more games this season according to my method. Their current record is 67-56, so that would leave them at 92-70. The Dodgers lineup is actually fairly solid now, minus the aforementioned Loney, resulting in a predicted 7.6 fWAR to the end of the season. The pitching staff is forecasted for 5.6 fWAR.
Now the Giants.
Using the same method, the Giants are projected for 10.7 wins, plus the 12.3 that a replacement level team would get (The Giants have 40 games remaining, compared to 39 for the Dodgers) resulting in 23 more wins. The Giants are currently 67-55, so they would end up with a 90-72 record – 2 games back of the Dodgers. The loss of Melky hurts, as he would project for 1.5 wins over the remainder of the season compared to the 0.4 that I have projected for Blanco and Christian – a drop of 1 win. The Giants actually fall short in both projected WAR from the lineup and pitching staff of the Dodgers, at 6.2 and 4.6 respectively.
There you have it, undeniable proof that the Dodgers will win the NL West by 2 games over the Giants. Science has spoken.