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Monday, April 12, 2010

Out of the Park Baseball 11: Award Predictions

Based upon my 25-season simulations, heres how OOTP sees the major awards working out in 2010.


Joe Mauer (Twins) 28%
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) 28%
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 12%
Evan Longoria (Rays) 8%
Mark Teixeira (Yankees) 8%
Billy Butler (Royals) 4%
Nick Markakis (Orioles 4%
Kendry Morales (Angels) 4 %
Ben Zobrist (Rays) 4%

No big surprise that the reigning MVP, Joe Mauer, and three-time MVP, Alex Rodriguez, are strongly favored, with perennial candidates like Miggy Cabrera, Longoria, and Teixeira most likely to unseat them.  Of the outliers, I though Ben Zobrist was the most interesting.  The OOTP simulator clearly agrees that his '09 breakout campaign was no fluke.  In fact, it could be just the beginning.


Albert Pujols (Cardinals) 52%
Chase Utley (Phillies) 12%
Pablo  Sandoval (Giants) 8%
Lance Berkman (Astros) 4%
Ryan Braun (Brewers) 4%
Adam Dunn (Nationals) 4%
Prince Fielder (Brewers) 4 %
Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) 4%
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) 4%
Joey Votto (Reds) 4%

In the unlikely scenario that Prince Albert doesn't three-peat as MVP, OOTP sees the NL as a wide-open race, with only Utley and Kung Fu Panda registering more than one win.  I was pleased to see Carlos Gonzalez, one of my fantasy favorites, taking home the award on one occasion (and performing consistenly well, as you'll see in my next OOTP post).  Joey Votto had the distinction of being the only player in either league who won a triple crown.

AL Cy Young

Javier Vazquez (Yankees) 20%
Zack Greinke (Royals) 8%
Felix Hernandez (Mariners) 8%
C. C. Sabathia (Yankees) 8%
James Shields (Rays) 8%
Rafael Soriano (Rays) 8%
Joey Devine (Athletics) 4%
Matt Garza (Rays) 4%
Rich Harden (Rangers) 4%
Cliff Lee (Mariners) 4%
Jon Lester (Red Sox) 4%
Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox) 4%
Jake Peavy (White Sox) 4%
Mariano Rivera (Yankees) 4%
Joakim Soria (Royals) 4%
Jake Westbrook (Indians) 4%

Those skeptical Yankee fans should be encouraged by the fact that Javy Vazquez fared so well in OOTP simulations.  He was the only AL pitcher with more than two wins.  The AL Cy Young race provided more evidence for the dominance of AL East pitchers, as players from the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays won the award 60% of the time.  Oddly, the OOTP sees a high rate of success for AL relievers, as five different closers took home the award, including Rafael Soriano on two occasions, compared to only one such instance in the NL (Trevor Hoffman).  Joey Devine is probably the oddest outlier, but the OOTP sim consistently saw him perform tremendously well, particularly in seasons when Andrew Bailey spent extended time on the D.L.

NL Cy Young

Roy Halladay (Phillies) 24%
Adam Wainwright (Cardinals) 16%
Cole Hamels (Phllies) 8%
Tim Lincecum (Giants) 8%
Brad Penny (Cardinals) 8%
Bronson Arroyo (Reds) 4%
Chad Billingsley (Dodgers) 4%
Aaron Cook (Rockies) 4%
Dan Haren (D-Backs) 4%
Trevor Hoffman (Brewers) 4%
Tim Hudson (Braves) 4%
Josh Johnson (Marlins) 4%
Derek Lowe (Braves) 4%
Carlos Zambrano (Cubs) 4%

OOTP sees the NL Cy Young as Roy Halladay's to lose, which seem right.  He even won a pitching triple crown in one iteration.  Adam Wainwright is a major threat.  The biggest surprise here was consistently strong performances from Brad Penny.  Clearly there is a Dave Duncan algorithm built into the sim.

AL Rookie of the Year

Scott Sizemore (Tigers) 28%
Michael Brantley (Indians) 24%
Josh Kroeger (White Sox) 8%
Adam Moore (Mariners) 8%
Dustin Ackley (Mariners) 4%
Alex Avila (Tigers) 4%
Reid Brignac (Rays) 4%
Brian Matusz (Orioles) 4%
Dusty Ryan (Blue Jays) 4%
Carlos Santana (Indians) 4%
Michael Saunders (Mariners) 4%
Brett Wallace (Blue Jays) 4%

Clearly, playing time is a big consideration here.  Brantley and Sizemore have a clearly path than most, though it is interesting that Austin Jackson did not fair well (more on that in a later post).  Fantasy players should note that the OOTP sim sees Brantley as a consistent 40 SB threat.  It's interesting that Josh Kroeger, a journeyman minor-leaguer, played very well when given the opportunity.

NL Rookie of the Year

Jason Heyward (Braves) 52%
David Freese (Cardinals) 20%
Ian Desmond (Nationals) 8%
Mike Leake (Reds) 8%
Yonder Alonso (Reds) 4%
Aroldis Chapman (Reds) 4%
Gaby Sanchez (Marlins) 4%

Heyward lived up to the hype (at least somewhat) more than half the time, as David Freese was his only consistent threat.  Very interesting that Stephen Strasburg, who did consistently reach the bigs for more than half the season, was never able to capture the award (he did come close a couple times).

AL Batting Title

Joe Mauer (Twins) 36%
Robinson Cano (Yankees) 12%
Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians) 8%
Nick Markakis (Orioles) 8%
Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners) 8%
Jason Bartlett (Rays) 4%
Billy Butler (Royals) 4%
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 4%
Alberto Callaspo (Royals) 4%
Kendry Morales (Angels) 4%
Denard Span (Twins) 4%
Ben Zobrist (Rays) 4%

Mauer, having won three of the last four, is again the clear favorite, with Robinson Cano and Ichiro not surprising alternatives.  Asdrubal Cabrera appears to have a great chance up taking his game to next level, according to OOTP, but the biggest oddball sleeper he has to be Alberto Callaspo of the Royals, who has hit .302 in limited at-bats over the last two seasons.  The highest average achieved by an AL player was .379 (Mauer), while the lowest to win a title was .325 (Zobrist).  Mauer, Ichiro, and Miggy Cabrera were the only players to top .350.

NL Batting Title

Pablo Sandoval (Giants) 20%
James Loney (Dodgers) 16%
Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) 12%
Matt Kemp (Dodgers) 8%
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) 8%
Joey Votto (Reds) 8%
Ryan Braun (Brewers) 4%
Cristian Guzman (Nationals) 4%
Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) 4%
Albert Pujols (Cardinals) 4%
Jose Reyes (Mets) 4%
Chase Utley (Phillies) 4%

There's no run-away favorite in the NL, as half a dozen players captured the title multiple times, led by Kung Fu Panda.  Those that see Loney as a breakout candidate in 2010 should be very encouraged as well.  The top average in the NL was .365 (Sandoval), while the lowest league leader was Loney at .306.  Loney also topped .350 on one occasion, as did Sandoval and Tulowitzki.

AL HR Champ

Carlos Pena (Rays) 32%
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) 32%
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 12%
Mark Teixeira (Yankees) 12%
Evan Longoria (Rays) 8%
Nelson Cruz (Rangers) 4%
Travis Hafner (Indians) 4%
Jason Kubel (Twins) 4%
Alexei Ramirez (White Sox) 4%
Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox) 4%

Pena and A-Rod are the overwhelming favorites here, with Miggy, Teixeira, and Longoria logical second-fiddles.  My favorite of the outliers was clearly Alexei Ramirez, who did only hit 39 HR in was was clearly a down year for power in that iteration.  Nobody in the AL topped 50 bombs, though A-Rod got as high as 49 on two occasions.

NL HR Champ

Ryan Howard (Phillies) 48%
Albert Pujols (Cardinals) 24%
Prince Fielder (Brewers) 16%
Ryan Braun (Brewers) 8%
Adam Dunn (Nationals) 4%
Adrian Gonzalez (Padres) 4%
Joey Votto (Reds) 4%
Jayson Werth (Phillies) 4%

There were several shared titles in the NL, but Howard, Pujols, and Prince Fielder are the obvious favorites.  There was at least one 40 HR player in every season (four times the AL came short of that number).  There were six 50 HR seasons as well: four from Howard, one by Pujols, and one by Dunn.  Nobody hit more than 51.

AL Saves Leader

Rafeal Soriano (Rays) 28%
Mariano Rivera (Yankees) 24%
Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox) 20%
Frank Francisco (Rangers) 8%
Joakim Soria (Royals) 8%
Matt Thornton (White Sox) 8%
Joey Devine (Athletics) 4%

The OOTP sim loves Rafael Soriano, and also all the potential save chances coming out of the AL East. They also clearly believe, as Matthew Berry does, that Bobby Jenks is in trouble, as Matt Thornton often replaces him before the end of the season.  Papelbon registered the highest save total with 50.

NL Saves Leader

Brian Wilson (Giants) 24 %
Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers) 20%
Ryan Madson (Phillies) 16%
Heath Bell (Padres) 12%
Octavio Dotel (Pirates) 8%
Matt Lindstrom (Astros) 8%
Leo Nunez (Marlins) 8%
Chad Qualls (D-Backs) 8%
Brandon Lyon (Astros) 4%
Nick Masset (Reds) 4%

OOTP does not believe that Brad Lidge is going to make a comeback, which makes Ryan Madson a strong bet to pick up a ton of saves for the dominant Phillies.  Brian Wilson, presumably aided by a lot of close games, saved 53 one season.

AL Wins Leader

Javier Vazquez (Yankees) 20%
James Shields (Rays) 16%
Felix Hernandez (Mariners) 12%
John Lackey (Red Sox) 12%
C. C. Sabathia (Yankees) 12%
Josh Beckett (Red Sox) 8%
Zack Greinke (Royals) 8%
Jon Lester (Red Sox) 8%
Rich Harden (Rangers) 4%
Justin Masterson (Indians) 4%
Joel Pineiro (Angels) 4%
Jake Peavy (White Sox) 4%

68% of the time an AL East pitcher had at least a share of the wins lead.  Justin Masterson was probably the craziest outlier, winning 22 games in one iteration.  The top winner was Sabathia, who went 25-7 on one occasion.

NL Wins Leader

Adam Wainwright (Cardinals) 28%
Roy Halladay (Phillies) 24%
Tim Lincecum (Giants) 12%
Cole Hamels (Phillies) 8%
Dan Haren (D-Backs) 8%
Bronson Arroyo (Reds) 4%
Chad Billingsley (Dodgers) 4%
Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) 4%
Time Hudson (Braves) 4%
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies) 4%
Derek Lowe (Braves) 4%
Mike Pelfrey (Mets) 4%
Brad Penny (Cardinals) 4%
Carlos Zambrano (Cubs) 4%

Again, Halladay, Wainwright, and Lincecum dominate, sharing the lead a 21 wins apiece on one occasion.  The top winner was Dan Haren, who had 26 victories in one season.  Chad Billinsley led the league with as few as 17 on one occasion.

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