Friday, December 07, 2007

So put another record on...

A lot of people love the Tiger deal.

One Tiger fan ran the numbers using Cyril Morong et al's lineup analyzer, which is a fun (if tedious) toy. They got a "tasty" 5.831 runs per game number.

5.831 runs per game is good, almost 950 runs. It's wrong, of course, because of the unstated fallacy that Cabrera (or anyone's) National League numbers translate to the AL. Put in the NL-to-AL translations for Miguel Cabrera and Jacque Jones (per Nate Silver), and you get a sharp drop from 5.831 to a still-good 5.658:

I ran the same numbers using the same source projections (Bill James) for current White Sox hitters (Note: These load real slow!) and got 5.300 runs per game. (Brian Anderson gives about the same result.) I'd be thrilled with this at this point, that's about 850 runs. (It doesn't matter a lot who plays center field. So let's say you put in Fukudome at .375/.500. The mill grinds away and says 5.554 runs per game, an increase of about 40 runs a season. You put BA or RS in center and you get about the same as with Owens.)

The problem is the estimator is, of course, sensitive to your guesses for OBA and SLG. I tweak the numbers a little without making them seem at all "fake" and I get the offense up to 5.580 runs per game:

As for the Tigers, put in some accelerated age-related decline for their geezers and you can get to 5.528.

Yeah, that's right, I said geezers. Their average lineup age is going to be about 32 years old. Gary Sheffield is going to be 39. Granderson and Cabrera are their youth, at least until they make a trade.

So if I put my thumb on the scale ONLY SLIGHTLY I get comparable offenses. (The ballparks aren't really comparable, of course, but never mind that).

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