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Cleveland Indians & MLB

Are the Indians for real 2

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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby danwismar » Wed May 04, 2011 1:00 pm

It has become a tradition and something of a superstition for me that whenever someone I know is going to Vegas, I ask them to stop by a sports book and get me ten bucks on the Indians to win the AL pennant (I'm not greedy). This year, my son-in-law has me covered...he placed the bet in March...and for the first time in ages, I'm optimistic. I think he got 50-1...which reminds me...he's still holding my damn ticket.

(Yes, I realize I could place the same bet myself anytime from the comfort of my computer chair, but I like to pretend I can't gamble from home.)
"I believe it is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting." H.L. Mencken

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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed May 04, 2011 2:10 pm

Back to the main point. Here's something that helps convince me that they're real:

The Tribe lost each of the first 2 games by 5 runs (and of course those games really weren't as close as the scores would suggest).

Since those first two games, the Indians have lost exactly two games by more than one run. And one of those two games was a two-run loss. They have been competitive in almost every single game this season.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby jb » Wed May 04, 2011 4:42 pm

peeker643 wrote:Clearly- Looking at Justin Masterson's stats last July was a clear indication he was figuring it all out.

This argument is tired and boring. Why bother watching games at all when you can look at GameCast and read boxscores?

Carlos Santana is hitting under what Andy Marte typically did. Use your stats to tell me the difference in their swings and why Santana will likely catch up to and surpass Marte as a Major League hitter.

If stats are a better guide to "guessing the future" let me know how tonight's game will go and save me a few hours of sleep from doing something completely stupid like using my eyes to watch it.




Writes a guy who works in the insurance industy.


: : { { rolling eye emoticon thingie ::
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed May 04, 2011 6:32 pm

peeker643 wrote: I'm perfectly okay with you and Jumbo and Rebel, etc utilizing stats as you see fit. You're not idiots.



::doh:: Christ. How long have I been hanging around here now? It's like you don't know me at all.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed May 04, 2011 7:05 pm

jb wrote:
peeker643 wrote:Clearly- Looking at Justin Masterson's stats last July was a clear indication he was figuring it all out.

This argument is tired and boring. Why bother watching games at all when you can look at GameCast and read boxscores?

Carlos Santana is hitting under what Andy Marte typically did. Use your stats to tell me the difference in their swings and why Santana will likely catch up to and surpass Marte as a Major League hitter.

If stats are a better guide to "guessing the future" let me know how tonight's game will go and save me a few hours of sleep from doing something completely stupid like using my eyes to watch it.



Writes a guy who works in the insurance industy.


: : { { rolling eye emoticon thingie ::


Not an actuary.

But you'll live to 78.3 so go get that 8-ball and try and take Dead Man's Curve at 80mph. Numbers say you'll be fine. ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed May 04, 2011 8:49 pm

I listened to a little bit of ESPN's baseball today podcast with Eric Karabell and Keith Law. They basically continued to dismissed the Indians hot start, largely on the basis of regression and strength of schedule. It sounded like Karabell thought they might still go .500, and Law thinks they're still more likely to hit 90 losses.

I usually like both Karabell and Law, but this is friggin insane.

Let's leave regression aside. It's been talked about enough already.

Strength of schedule? WTF? :gah:

So, we should discount the Indians hot start because they've beaten a lot of bad teams? Doesn't that mean that they...um...are better than the teams that actually suck? The fact that the lineups of the Mariners, Twins, A's are terrible means, that, comparatively...the Indians aren't! This isn't rocket science!

Of course, after spending a few minutes agreeing with each other that the Indians Won't Win the Division...they hit upon the obvious problem that, well, if the Indians don't win the division, that means somebody else has to. Well, the same regression problem that affects the Indians also affects the Royals, so they're out, and the rest of the division all has its own problems. They ultimately decided that well, maybe, the Indians could go 80-82 and win the division. Damning with faint praise.

I'm not sold on the usefulness of strength of schedule numbers - I think that the multi-game series warps them a bit, not to mention that it's early - but FWIW BB-Ref has the Indians SoS as below average, but still stronger than Yankees, Rays, and tied with Oakland in the AL. ESPN has the Tribe with the eighth-strongest schedule in MLB.

(The difference is that BB-Ref bases SoS on run differential, ESPN on record.)
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Wed May 04, 2011 11:57 pm

I usually like both Karabell and Law, but this is friggin insane.


I usually like and respect KLaw's opinion but he's been awful in this regard. The Indians will finish above .500 solely for the fact that they're in a terrible division. I agree with him that the starters are due to come back to Earth but the lineup is for real and the bullpen and defense are greatly improved, which most detractors neglect to mention. I believe, baring injuries, that the defense will be consistent and the bullpen consistent enough for the rest of the year to carry the Indians to the division title over weak competition.
Fuck the Browns...
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby jb » Thu May 05, 2011 10:28 am

peeker643 wrote:But you'll live to 78.3 so go get that 8-ball and try and take Dead Man's Curve at 80mph. Numbers say you'll be fine. ;-) ;) :wink:



i could totally do it even in a 1980 chevette
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Thu May 05, 2011 10:38 am

Tomlin pitched extraordinarily well again and each start of his gives me more and more confidence that his pitching IQ (pinpoint location, changing speeds, even varying the time he's on the mound so as to not give the hitters any type of rhythm against him while in the batter's box) can outweigh his fringy stuff to be a legitimate rotation stalwart.

Just go out today and get the job done and try and work toward that 3-3 or hopefully 4-2 road trip.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu May 05, 2011 11:30 am

Keith Law's also a condescending prick towards everyone and everything.

And the hell with this weak schedule shit. Cousineau covered it already. The Yankees have played 5 of the same teams we have and nobody's talking about how their good start is a byproduct of a lame schedule.

You have to play who you're scheduled and you have to beat the teams you should. We've done that.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu May 05, 2011 12:38 pm

skatingtripods wrote:Keith Law's also a condescending prick towards everyone and everything.



That's part of why I get a kick out of him. Don't be mad at Keith. He's not stupid he'll come around eventually. He's just stubborn.

Unless, of course, he's right. :hide:
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Prosecutor » Thu May 05, 2011 4:07 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:I meant that you're just blindly rejecting stats with what seems like faulty logic. "I know what I see and that's that." Sorry to say but you're acting a little like Prosecutor here.


This is confusing. It sounds like you're criticizing Peeker's thought process, then you pay him the ultimate compliment. I'm not quite following you, Reb. ;-) ;) :wink:

As for the FanGraphs article, of course the Tribe is going to regress. They're on pace to win 111 games. Anybody want to get on that train?

The article says the offense is "above average at least" and they don't expect much of a regression. I expect some regression because they're hitting .315 with RISP and I can't see them maintaining that number over an entire season. And Hannahan won't keep hitting like he has and O. Cab isn't going to drive in 105 runs. But the offense should easily finish in the top half in runs scored if Grady and Pronk stay healthy, like the article says. Especially since they don't have many games against Oakland and Anaheim.

The pitching is where FanGraphs expects the major regression. They start with a conclusion - "This isn't a great pitching staff" and then look at the evidence (ERA, BABIP, HR/FB%). If the evidence doesn't fit the pre-determined conclusion they assume the evidence is wrong. Wow - they're just like some of the posters on this board!

For example, they point out that the Tribe's HR/FB rate is the second lowest in the A.L. and conclude that is not realistic (since we know this isn't a great staff), therefore it has to go up. They reject the idea that maybe the Tribe has better pitchers than most teams and so they give up fewer HRs on balls hit in the air. If the data doesn't fit the pre-determined conclusion then the data must be wrong and it will change over time, according to FG.

I think the HR/FB ratio will go up, but mainly due to the weather. The Tribe has played most of their games in cold temperatures in which fly balls don't carry as far. They have not been to Arlington or Tampa or any warm weather cities except for a 3-game series in Anaheim when it wasn't that warm IIRC. However, the rest of the cold weather teams will experience the same thing, so I think the Tribe's staff should remain near the top in HR/FB percentage.

The Tribe ranks 4th lowest in BABIP, which the authors say is also unrealistic. I disagree. Have they considered that the Tribe's infield defense has been one of the best in the league, and that the Brantley/Sizemore/Choo outfield probably has better combined range than any outfield in the AL, or at least close to it? With a sure-handed infield and speed everywhere in the outfield their BABIP SHOULD be above average.

I do agree that these ERA's will not be maintained over an entire season:

R. Perez 0.00
Pestano 0.82
Talbot 1.46 (2 starts)
Smith 1.59
Sipp 2.03
Masterson 2.25
Tomlin 2.43

However, Carmona (4.43), Carrasco (4.97) and Gomez (6.23) should improve. Overall, the team ERA is 3.35 and I expect that to drop off, although not dramatically. Warmer weather will be a factor.

At some point Durbin will be moved and that will help.

There's no way the Tribe will win 111 games, hit .315 with RISP, or finish with a team ERA of 3.35. But I disagree that they are basically a .500 team that just got hot and/or lucky the first month of the season. If the offense is "above average at least", the defense remains solid, and the pitching is just reasonably close to what it has been so far, this is a better-than-.500 team the rest of the way.

They also have a greater ability than most teams to sustain injuries given that their AAA team is 21-5. They're already shown this with Alex White coming up to fill in with a quality start that resulted in a win. Travis Buck is available if there is an injury in the outfield. Same with Cord Phelps or Chisenhall in the infield, and there is tons of pitching. FanGraphs didn't consider this aspect.

The Tribe has no superstars whose loss would severely impact the team, unlike Minnesota (Mauer) or Detroit (Cabrera). They're deep, balanced, and have reinforcements at Columbus in the event of injuries. This team won't win 111 games, but they should be in contention in September.
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