Thursday, April 24, 2014

Out of the Park Baseball 15 and the Orioles' New Big Three

As long-time readers may remember, last year, I got a chance to review Out of the Park Baseball 14. And once again, for Out of the Park 15, the company once again reached out to the Baseball Bloggers Alliance to test the game. OotP has long been my favorite simulator, not only for upcoming seasons, but also for simulating past hypotheticals. And as it just so happened, I had the perfect situation to test out.

Back during Hall of Fame season, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine being up for election at the same time got me thinking about the Braves’ Big Three. And somehow, I got to wondering: could another team have won more (games or World Series) with a similar Big Three in their rotation?

And it wasn’t difficult to pick a team to test this out with. I already had a Big Three in mind: I wanted Hall-level pitchers from the 1990s to run concurrent with the Braves. Specifically, I wanted Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, and Kevin Brown. All three have been overlooked for Cooperstown, and yet, cumulatively, they are only 13.4 Wins Above Replacement (Baseball-Reference) behind the Braves’ trio. That comes out to a difference of 4.5 WAR per player per career, all of which were close to 20 seasons. That’s not a big difference at all.

As for what team to use, I picked the one franchise that all three played on: the Orioles. I started in 1991, the year Mussina was called up and the first season following the trade that sent Schilling (still a young reliever just getting started) to Houston. Kevin Brown is the only one with experience from this batch so far, and he’s not scheduled to come to Baltimore for a few more seasons.

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Predictions: NL West

Links to the other divisions: AL East, AL Central, AL West, NL East, NL Central

NL West

2014 Predictions: NL Central

Links to the other divisions: AL East, AL Central, AL West, NL East

NL Central

2014 Predictions: NL East

I’ve fallen a little behind for this to be a true “prediction” I guess, but I want to finish this, so I’ll try and keep what’s occurred this year so far out of it. Also, to save time, I’ll try and cover all the NL together. As a reminder, I look at the team’s records and Pythagorean Won-Loss records (based on runs scored and allowed, a better predictor of future success than actual won-loss records) from last year, then what should be different this year. So, onward: (Previous predictions: AL East, AL Central, AL West)

NL East
Braves-96 wins/98 Pythagorean wins

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 Predictions: AL West

I’m a little behind with the start of the season, but I want to finish this. Let’s get this ball rolling and dive right in. Just a quick refresher, though: I’m looking at what happened last year both in Wins and Pythagorean Wins (which is the estimated wins total based on runs scored and allowed, which is often a better predictor of future wins than actual wins) and then looking at what’s different from last year.

AL West
A’s-96 Wins/96 Pythagorean Wins