Opening Day is still more than a week off, but the prognostication season is well under way. Sports Illustrated’s annual preview was mentioned here yesterday, but The Hardball Times
and Baseball Prospectus
are also out with their player-by-player predictions, as is Baseball Think Factory
’s Dan Szymborski, father of the ZIPS Projections.
THT, BP (with their PECOTA Projections) and Szymborski each employs a unique methodology, which I won’t even try to summarize or explain. Regardless, I thought it would be worthwhile to stack all three sets of Cub player predictions side by side, focusing on the eight likely starting position players plus Cliff Floyd, the five starting pitchers including Wade Miller, and the closer, Ryan Dempster.
The THT numbers come from their most excellent season preview book
featuring the work of one Rob G.; the Baseball Prospectus numbers come from BP 2007
; and I pulled the ZIPS Projections
from the Baseball Think Factory site. (Thanks again, Dan, for your permission to use them here.)
Also, to round out the field, I consulted my old friend, Phil, a very smart, very dedicated Cub fan who can calculate slugging percentages in his head and who, coincidentally, turned me on to The Cub Reporter what seems like a very long time ago. Phil employed no simulation models or complicated algorithms in coming up with his picks, but rather, a time-honored technique called educated guesswork that took about 15 minutes.