The Brewers 2014 WAR Projection | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

Prediction: The Milwaukee Brewers will fall about 13 wins short of the division title in 2014. OK, it’s not really my prediction. This is based on the projected WAR total by fangraphs.com.

WAR vs. Actual Wins:

For those unfamiliar, WAR stands for “wins above replacement”. A replacement level team made up of minor league players is supposed to win 48 games in a season. Each player on an MLB team is worth a certain number of wins above replacement based on their performance. WAR is a relatively complex calculation (you can see the details of that in the fangraphs glossary) that combines various advanced statistics together.

So how good are the WAR totals compared to actual team wins? Pretty darn good. The graph below shows a 90% correlation between average team WAR and average team wins from 2008-2013 seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To project each teams 2014 win total, fangraphs first projects each player’s basic stats: batting average, innings pitched etc., combines them into WAR and adds them up for each position (including starting pitchers and bullpen). As of December 6th, this is what the NL Central looks like:

NL Central Projected 2014 WAR

Team Cardinals Pirates Reds Brewers Cubs

C

4.6

3.6

2.7

3.5

3.6

1B

3.3

1.8

5.1

0.2

3.7

2B

2.7

3.6

2.5

1.6

1.3

SS

3

2.5

1.9

2.7

2.8

3B

4

3.7

3

3

1.6

LF

4.2

3.2

0.6

4.2

1.1

CF

3.3

6.7

1.3

4.3

1.9

RF

2.9

1.7

3

0.6

1.2

DH

-0.5

-0.7

-1.4

-1.5

-1.2

SP

12.8

11

10.9

8.2

11

RP

1.2

1.8

2.1

0.7

0.9

Total Wins

90

87

80

76

76

 

I’ve highlighted some positions that need some elaboration:

1)      Right Field: Ryan Braun is expected to move to cover the spot previously occupied by Norichika Aoki. Khris Davis will take over in left field. This move will add about 0.5 Win compared to the current calculation.

2)      1st Base: If the Brewers sign Corey Hart would add another 1.4 WAR.

3)      Pitching: As seen in the table, the starting pitching and bullpen is the worst in the NL central. It’s possible that Johnny Hellwegg or Jimmy Nelson outperform their tepid projections but for now let’s go with the fangraphs projections.

Realistically, with Braun moving to right and the signing of Hart, the Brewers are projected to win 78 games: 13 games shy of winning the division.

Conclusion:

It is possible that the projections are wrong. If a large number of players perform at their peak level, one hopes they could make one of the two wildcard berths. But hope is not a strategy. Unless the Brewers add a ton of talent through trades and signings they will find themselves, once again, on the wrong end of .500.

Combined with the fact the Brewers farm system consistently rank in the bottom five, one might argue that it is time to rebuild.

References:

www.fangraphs.com

Share Our Posts

Share this post through social bookmarks.

  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Newsvine
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Comments

Tell us what do you think.

There are no comments on this entry.

Trackbacks

Websites mentioned my entry.

  1. Daybreak Doppler: Can The Badgers Go Unbeaten Into The Conference Schedule? | PocketDoppler.com

Add a Comment

Fill in the form and submit.