Saturday, February 16, 2008

Baseball Prospectus Projects 3rd Place Finish for Phillies

Baseball Prospectus is one of the best sources of information and analysis out there. Every year, I look forward to buying their book and scouring through all of the player projections and commentary. It's a source I go back to again and again. Once you understand all of the acronyms like VORP and MLV, there is a wealth of data that can help you understand more about baseball and all of its nuances.

Baseball Prospectus (BP) released it's predictions for the 2008 season, and they are not encouraging for Phillies fans. BP projects the Phillies to finish with a record of 84-78, and in third place behind the Mets and Braves. That would obviously mean no Wild Card berth. Now, I expected many publications to have the Mets as the favorites in the NL East, but the Braves ahead of the Phils? And the Phils will finish with 5 fewer wins than last year? I will have to wait until I get their book, which will come out next week, to figure out why BP projects the Phillies to fall back so far. With the solid acquisitions they made since last year, and the loss of only one regular player, the Phillies should finish with at least as many wins as last year, maybe up to 5 more. Johan Santana will not make that big of an impact that he will knock the Phils back that far.

Luckily, looking at the rest of the BP projected standings, there are a few other places they look to be way off. They have the Yankees ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East, which is ridiculous. I expect the Sox to run away with the division this year, as the Yanks did nothing to improve themselves this off-season. In the AL West, the Oakland A's, who traded away nearly every serviceable major leaguer, are still projected to finish in second place. Not gonna happen. Finally, while the Rockies might be a one year wonder, there is no way they fall all the way back into fourth place in the NL West.

*Ryan Howard Update I am sure many of you have read all of the latest on Howard's contract situation, and heard his interview on the subject. The thing that I am most impressed by is how Howard showed up early, in good shape, and is already working on one of his biggest weaknesses, his defense. He is showing how dedicated he is to becoming a better ballplayer. He is proving to me, and hopefully to the Phillies, that he deserves that long term deal he is seeking. I am hoping that the Phillies want to see one more year of good production from Howard, and then give him his big contract. If he doesn't get paid by next year, he may not be showing up to spring training at all.

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