Baseball Musings have created a fascinating new tool (well, new to me, anyway). You input a team’s lineup (with OBA and SLG) and it projects how many runs that team will score over the course of a season.
OK, so I was skeptical. I chose a Jays lineup from July (Escobar, Thames, Bautista, Lind, Hill, Encarnacion, Snider, JP, Davis) and input their data. The tool predicted that the Jays, using that lineup, would get 739 runs in 2011. Actual Jays runs scored in were 743. Not bad! I understand that a similar analysis was done for Boston, and it was also very close.
So let’s say that the tool is reasonably accurate. And let’s start the game of “what if” <grin>
I chose a Jays lineup that is (?) pretty close to what we would expect in 2012. Escobar, Thames, Bautista, Lind, Encarnacion, Rasmus, Lawrie, Johnson, JP. I used actual 2011 stats – probably too generous for Lawrie over a full season, and hopefully (!) too pessimistic for Rasmus, Edwin and Johnson. Projected runs for this lineup? 826.
Starting from that 826 run lineup … substitute David Ortiz for Lind? 882 runs. Substitute Fielder instead? 889.
…substitute Lind 2009 for Lind 2011? 876 runs (+50 runs)
…substitute Johnson 2010 for Johnson 2011? 838 runs (+12)
… substitute Rasmus 2010 for Rasmus 2011? 897 runs (+71)
… substitute Encarnacion post-all-star 2011 for Encarnacion 2011? 853 runs (+27)
… downgrade Lawrie from his amazing 2011 .373/.580 to, say, .325/.480? 795 runs (-31)
And one last “what if” – assume one-half of the upside from Lind, Johnson and Rasmus (i.e. 25 runs from Lind, 6 from Johnson and 35 from Rasmus) and all of the downside from Lawrie (-31 runs). Assume no free agents other than resigning Johnson (i.e. no Ortiz, no Fielder). Projected Jays runs in 2012?
861 runs. Six runs less than the Yanks in 2011, and higher than any team earned in 2010.