Diamond Mind 2005 Predicted Standings Out

DMZ · March 31, 2005 at 5:11 am · Filed Under General baseball 

Every year, Diamond Mind (makers of Diamond Mind Baseball 9, the finest baseball simulation game available) runs a ton of seasons based on projected performances and publishes their results. Historically, they’ve been far more accurate than the picking-names-from-hats or picking-teams-by-experts methods. Check out methodology, etc, at the Diamond Mind article.

The good news: Mariners came out with an average record of 83-79, which is only a hair better than we’ve been kicking around here. They won the division 25% of the time, and the wild card 2%. That’s a lot better than I’d guess.

The bad news: Oakland’s at 85 wins, Angels at 84. Texas returned to the cellar with 80, and 80’s still a strong finish in this division.

Other interesting points: Cleveland, who I’ve been touting as a breakout candidate, is at 79. AL East is neck-and-neck.

The results should be taken only as what they are — seasons based on simulated games generated from projected statistics. Still, one of the problems with pre-season predictions generally is that everyone has to fight the natural inclination to hand out more wins than are available, and running actual simulated seasons like this makes that impossible.

83 wins, though — I’d be happy with that.


23 Responses to “Diamond Mind 2005 Predicted Standings Out”

  1. Jeff on March 31st, 2005 7:34 am

    The entire AL West is predicted to finish within 5 games of each other. Boston/NY in the east and the Twins are all predicted to win their divisions by 10 or more games. Wow. That’s a close division.

  2. Phil on March 31st, 2005 7:42 am

    What’s exciting is not the M’s record (for me) but the closeness to the other teams in the division. Meaning, if a couple guys get hot, a couple breaks fall the right way in the rotation, the other teams in the division don’t get these breaks, we’re in the hunt.

  3. Russ on March 31st, 2005 7:50 am

    Interesting concept, my work blocks the link as a “game” site but I’d be curious to understand the methodology.

    What that does tell me though is that some of the optiimists here could be vindicated and some of the pessimists could be right as rain. In other words, we still have to play the games to figure it out.

    I guess in terms of breaks going one way or another, considering the luck of ’04, we should be due a few breaks here and there.

    Off to get tickets for opening day.

  4. Evan on March 31st, 2005 8:08 am

    I think they’re underrating Oakland’s pitching and overrating New York’s pitching, but overall I like these standings.

    I’m surprised to see the Cardinals run away with their division, though. Wow.

  5. Rusty on March 31st, 2005 8:20 am

    A’s 85, Angels 84, M’s 83 and Texas 80… with that tight of range this merely confirms to me that at this point it’s anybody’s division to win or finish last.

    Finishing 1st 25% of the time? Sounds good to me. Let’s play the games!

  6. ajp on March 31st, 2005 8:49 am

    I don’t like the, “When a star right fielder goes down for 8-10 weeks with an injury…” comment, though. Just how accurate are these simulations?

  7. Mark on March 31st, 2005 8:53 am

    83 wins would be a great year for this club, especially if they get there with an offense projected to be barely more potent than the fearsome KC Royals.

    The offensive/defensive projections accompanying the win/loss projections are real interesting. M’s & Angels pitching (runs allowed) in the upper third of the AL? M’s & Angels offense (runs scored)in the bottom third of the AL? The A’s winning the division with offense, outscoring even the Rangers by 21 runs?

    Do the more statistically inclined among the readership believe a sound case can be made for the mighty A’s bludgeoning the rest of the division into submission?

  8. eponymous coward on March 31st, 2005 8:57 am

    Here’s the thing with projections- Diamond Mind is supposedly one of the best at it. Yet they totally whiffed on the M’s winning 116 and the D’Backs being the World Champions in 2001, the Angels being World Champions in 2002, the Marlins being champions in 2003, and the M’s collapsing in 2004.

    I’m not saying this exactly to ding THEIR projection system- it’s more of a point that there’s loads of things that will never show up in a sabremetric model, even one informed by conventional wisdom.

  9. J.R. on March 31st, 2005 9:12 am

    Thanks for that reminder EC, its important to remeber, NOBODY projected the M’s 2001 season or the 2004 season. We have all these sources projecting records and finishing orders yet with baseball, you really never know until the games are played.

    Still interesting to see what people think of the team and it gives us all something to read until Sunday.

  10. Jeff in Fremont on March 31st, 2005 9:49 am

    Halos 91-71
    A’s 87-75
    M’s 85-77
    Rangers 81-81

    Yes, it will be an extremely tight race.

  11. jeff angus on March 31st, 2005 9:54 am

    One thing I would like to have seen Tippett run in his standings table is the standard deviation for wins/seasonal run.

    I know when I’ve simulated a lot of runs for a league, there are strongly divergent SDs for certain teams and a reasonable amount of consistency for others. And I think, to some degree, real life teams’ potential matches that (though perhaps not the sims’ assignment of that by team).

    I think teams with a lot of question marks lined up like the Ms (starting ro, total right-handed hitting imbalance, defense that looks great but hasn’t played together much) could rise like a souffle or fail to come together entirely, to a greater degree of uncertainty than, say, the Tigers or the Yankees.

  12. Ralph Malph on March 31st, 2005 10:16 am

    Jeff in Fremont:

    Do you really think the West will be 40 games over 500 against the other two divisions? That seems unlikely to me. Yes the Central is weak but the East is pretty tough — even Toronto and Baltimore won’t be bad.

  13. eponymous coward on March 31st, 2005 11:18 am


    2001 AL West: 62 games above .500 collectively
    2002 AL West: 63 games above .500 (note that the division was BETTER as a whole than in 2001 with Seattle falling off by 23 wins)
    2003 AL West: 33 games above .500
    2004 AL West: 31 games above .500 (with Seattle being craptastic)

    +40 doesn’t seem totally outrageous under those circumstances.

  14. Ralph Malph on March 31st, 2005 11:57 am

    Fair enough. Guess I should have checked those numbers.

  15. Tim O on March 31st, 2005 12:21 pm

    On the whole, I think that both the East and Central have made more strides than the West over the off season. So I agree that the West is a crapshoot, with the Angels and A’s very marginally favored over the Mariners, but I seriously doubt all teams finish .500 or better. I would see AL West at app. 25 games above .500.

  16. Brian Rust on March 31st, 2005 1:08 pm

    If DMB projects us close, great!! The M’s definitely have more upside than our division rivals. Oakland could be there at the end, but they’re counting mighty heavily on some pretty young arms. The Angels have the pitching, sure, but I just can’t believe a 40-year-old center fielder will somehow be a savior. As for Texas, Rogers or Moyer might be a toss-up as opening day starters, but at least the M’s go up from there.

    Play ball!!!! (with balls and bats, not 1’s and 0’s, I might add)

  17. Tangotiger on March 31st, 2005 2:05 pm

    “The entire AL West is predicted to finish within 5 games of each other”

    That’s not true. If they played 16200 games, the entire AL West is predicted to be within .030 wins per game of each other.

    But, for any single 162 game season, it’s probably that the average range will be 15 or 20 games.


    Jeff, I’d be shocked if the SD on a team-by-team basis has anything close to the variations you are implying. My guess is that 1 SD = 5 to 8 for every single team, after 100 runs. And if Tippett were to run 10,000 seasons, I’d guess they’d all be pretty much around 6.3.

  18. NBarnes on March 31st, 2005 2:55 pm

    Since I’m a dual-class Boston/Seattle fan…

    Is there anyway to find out how DMB is projecting a particular player (without tossing money at the software 😉 )? I want to know how much they think the Yankees will be getting out of Pavano and Wright.

  19. Chris Caldwell on March 31st, 2005 3:30 pm

    At first, I thought 83 wins seemed a bit high. But then I remembered that the M’s “projected” record based on runs was 69 wins last year, and their replacing The Defining Replacement Level Player, Justin Leone (and some guy from the Angels that I refuse to acknowledge) with Beltre, who conservatively should be seven wins above replacement by himself. Throw in Sexson, Reed for a full season, and (please, deity of reader’s choice) a Bret Boone rebound year, and 83 seems about right.

  20. John Hawkins on March 31st, 2005 5:01 pm

    Chris reminds us of a good point. Last year the M’s were crappy and unlucky, so they really do have a shot a a significant jump in the standings.

    A 25% chance to win a four-team division? During a rebuilding year? Good enough for me. Play Ball.

  21. Bela Txadux on March 31st, 2005 7:44 pm

    I’m not surprised Diamond Mind projects 83, though interested to see an actual sim figure, not a guesstimate. My own guesstimate has been just about at that number: over .500 by a couple, but it’ll be really tough for the ’05 Ms to get north of 85 wins without an additional quality starter and another +.800 OPS offensive player. The sim projection suggests that the Ms will have some very interesting decisions at the All Star Break—but wait, Big Bucky and Felix El Gato are just a phonecall away. Those two could in fact be the ‘missing pieces’ by June or July.

    . . . Of course injuries are what will likely sink this team, and send that 83 win figure full fathom five by September. Injuries (or just as important the lack thereof), and abrupt performance declines are just inherently hard to simulate, and I suspect these factors for the Bermuda Triangle within which most simulations diverge from the actuals. Four of the Ms starting pitchers and their closer _and_ their set up man (Nelson) have had major arm injuries, two of them last year, and the fifth starter is Jamie Moyer of the 82 mph fastball. Their long relief is old and has major effectiveness deficits. I just can’t project that Pokey Reese, Sexson, Boone, and Ibanez are all going to get over 120 games; it’s entirely possible that _none_ of them plays that many games. The fact that Diamond Mind projects Ichiro as the one to go down just makes me tremble all the more. To me, this is the incipient story of the ’05 Ms: the Crumblin’ Chums. The organization does have Lopez, Jacobsen, Choo, Hernandez on tap as replacements for the expected casualties, and there may be at least one other useful .500 record arm among the likes of Reichart, Campillo, et. al., but that crew is not going to push that 83 win projection—they’ll have significant trouble just reaching it. I really don’t expect the Ms FO to _trade_ for a significant piece if the season starts going south under injuries, but to me that’s the hidden variable. When, not if, when some of these guys start breaking down and the team founders, will the FO bring in a shoring timber or just run family-friendly broadcast advertisements while rattling their cup at the populace??

    I like the team reasonably well, and would like to see them stay on the field and play together; I just don’t expect this to be possible. 83-85 wins is entirely reasonable, to me, if they can stay healthy though.

  22. James on March 31st, 2005 10:23 pm

    I’m hoping somebody smarter than me will answer this… but does the Cubs projection of winning the wildcard 18% of the time mean they’re the favorites to make the playoffs over the Braves according to Diamond Mine? I’m confused by this because even though my Cubbies have the highest percentage, Diamond Mine still projected the Braves with a better record. Is this just an example of the kind of parity found in the National League this year where there are at least half the teams have viable playoff shots?

  23. tangotiger on April 1st, 2005 5:22 am

    No, the Braves have a 25% chance of winning the division, plus another 10% chance at the wild card, giving them a 35% chance of getting into the playoffs.

    The NL East will get the wild card 44% of the time, Central is 21% and 35% for the West.

    If you look at Florida and the Mets, both at 82 wins in the same division, their chances at the playoffs is 22% and 16%. I doubt 100 sims is enough. Cubs, at 83 wins, have a 19% chance at the playoffs.