MLB 2009 Preview … Preview!

So, to give you a taste for my 2009 MLB Preview, here are some results of what team might benefit the most from signing Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn.

I ran 50 simulations of 2009 using Baseball Mogul 2009 as a baseline, then 5 simulations for each scenario.


Manny Ramirez (wins listed with/without Manny)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (87.4/88.4) – Manny means 1 extra win for the Dodgers, which might be big in a tight (but mediocre) division
  • New York Mets (91.0/96.2) – Guess which team got the biggest boost from Manny? Yup, the Mets. +5 wins puts them over the Phillies. Where are the Wilpons and their checkbook when you need ’em?
  • New York Yankees (98.0/92.2) – Thats right, Manny means -5.8 for the Yankees, which translates to the fact that Manny really doesn’t add much to the overly stacked lineup anyway.
  • San Francisco Giants (82.3/82.8 ) – A half game gain is really in the noise of the simulations, but might be the edge the Giants need to be competitive
  • Los Angeles Angels (81.2/81.0) – Really, no difference whatsoever, which surprised me. I guess the Angels are all about their pitching strength.
  • Kansas City Royals (76.9/76.6) – Just for kicks, and yeah, the Royals are going to suck.

Adam Dunn (Wins listed with/without Dunn)

  • San Francisco Giants (82.3/79.6) – I took the liberty of having Dunn play 1B, and really, he doesn’t help the Giants that much. They get dragged down by a lot of the flotsam that occupies the rest of the lineup.
  • Atlanta Braves (85.7/86.8 ) – Dunn (playing LF) gives the Braves a modest 1 game bump upwards.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (87.4/92.6) – Maybe all this dancing with Manny is the wrong direction of the Dodgers. Just go out and sign Dunn for probably half the cost and walk away with the NL West.
  • Washington Nationals (65.7/70.0) – Dunn adds almost 5 wins … to get the Nats to 70 for the season. OK, well, he’s no cure-all I suppose.

The enigma of the San Francisco Giants

Jonathan Sanchez

Normally, I wouldn’t think of posting about the Giants after they broke my heart by pulling Zito from the rotation, thus derailing his chances to lose 20 this year (by the way, he currently sits at 4-12 with a 5.73 ERA, all of which technically projects him to finish at 7-22 for the season, so maybe he can still pull it off).

No, what really caught my eye about the Giants is their home/road splits. The Giants are currently 39-50 (.438), a mere 5 games out of the NL West top (sad, eh?) However, here in the “Season of the Home Team”, they have pulled off a home record of 17-28 (.378!) to go with a 22-22 road record. Yes, the Giants are, in fact, 11 games under .500 at home and an even .500 on the road. If the Giants were able to just break even at home this season, they would be 0.5 games up on everyone in the division! Looking closer, at home the Giants are hitting .256/.320/.388 (a.k.a, not too great) but on the road, they are .265/.328/.395, not really a significant difference there. Pitching-wise, they are 4.42/1.44 at home and 4.05/1.40 on the road, so they pitch almost a half a run better on the road than at home (and isn’t AT&T Park supposedly to be a pitchers park?) So, you got me. Maybe their pitching just isn’t a good match for the park. Maybe they just get bummed when they play at home. Or maybe it is just the sort of random stuff that happens in baseball that is so great. 

And just to make things fun, the Giants are now my pick to win the NL West!