Over the course of the offseason we've published the various projections for players and have been calculating an average with them. One thing we like to talk about is whether or not a player is going to beat his projections, or underperform them. Over the course of the season we tend to say we thought whatever was happening at the time. If player A is performing above expectations we'll find reasons to think we believed it would happen. The truth is it's anybody's guess. The projections are merely a baseline. It essentially tells us that there's a 50% chance he'll be better and a 50% chance he'll be worse.
GW mentioned awhile back that we should have a contest where people choose over or under for the players. It's a great idea and today we're starting the contest. We wanted to stick with the primary players plus a couple others, but doing so could create a situation in which there were multiple winners. We think you're all winners, but for this contest we want only one winner. Because of that, there's an over/under choice for 3 categories. The 3 for position players is plate appearances, wOBA and WAR. For pitchers it's innings pitched, FIP and WAR. All playing time projections are the Obstructed View playing time projections.
The first two for each category is easy to get. We know exaclty how many times someone bats (or pitches) and thanks to Fangraphs we know what their wOBA or FIP is. WAR is the tricky part. There's fWAR and rWAR that are commonly used. Most of the time these two are similar enough, but some times there's a big enough difference that choosing one of them could cause issues. So what we're doing is taking an average of rWAR and fWAR. If someone finishes the season with 1 rWAR and 2 fWAR, we're using 1.5 WAR and we'll compare that to the projection. If there's a situation where we have a player with an fWAR of 1.7 and rWAR of 1.8, the average of that 1.75. We're rounding to the nearest tenth so for our purposes, that player will have produced 1.8 WAR. Also, this is for the entire season so even if a player is traded, we look at his total for all teams at the end of the season.
If someone was projected to bat 400 times and they batted exaclty that many times, for the purposes of this survey will consider that to be under the projection. The same is true for wOBA, FIP and WAR. To be right in predicting over the player has to be over his projection. Simple enough.
There's a tiebreaker at the end of the survey. Enter the number of runs you think the Cubs will score in 2012.
All the questions are mandatory, but it should not take much time to fill it out. We also need your username (or name if you aren't a member of Obstructed View) and your email.
The winner will get an Obstructed View t-shirt and a copy of the 2013 The Hardball Times Annual. Those are usually released sometime in November. If the winner would prefer the Bill James Handbook, that can be arranged too. The person who comes in 2nd place gets an autograph from Aisle 424 and Berselius. For an extra $10 you can also get autographs from And Counting and mb21. 3rd place winner gets a free subscription to Obstructed View.
There are two things of importance to note: the projection for Jeff Samardzija is the mean PECOTA projection scaled to 122 innings pitched. PECOTA projected him as a starter and instead of fudging the other numbers, which were mostly as a reliever, we went with PECOTA. Because of this, Samardzija's end of season WAR will be from Baseball Prospectus and not the average of fWAR and rWAR. Also, for pitchers over/under, if a pitcher is projected to have a 4.00 FIP, over means higher than 4 (not better than 4).
You have until Thursday, April 12th to fill it out. If injuries take place after others have voted, those are thrown out so there's no advantage to waiting on submitting your votes. I've embedded the survey below and if you'd prefer you can access it directly by clicking this link.