Alcohol hits BP hard

Baseball Prospectus – Prospectus Today: NL Preview

1. If the Braves finish behind the Expos, I’ll eat my hat.

2. Why in the world the Cardinals — four good but fragile players, a two-man pitching staff, and the worst supporting cast this side of your average NBC sitcom — are predicted (not just here, but in their silly computer system) to win the 92+ games needed for the wildcard is totally beyond me.

The pick against the Braves seems to be based wholly upon the idea that nothing is going to go right and several things are going to go wrong, that nobody on the team except maybe John Thomson is going to be better than he was last year, that several players will be worse, and that the Braves will give 300 ABs to Adam LaRoche even though they think he’s going to stink. (I find that particularly difficult to believe.) Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins is suddenly going to turn into a star, Pat Burrell is going to rebound even though nothing has changed for him, and Larry Bowa isn’t going to destroy anyone’s will to live.

10 thoughts on “Alcohol hits BP hard”

  1. It’s not too bad this is a premium article I cannot read, I guess. I don’t see the Braves finishing behind the Expos either (in fact, I see the Expos finishing last in the NL East), but one good point has apparently been made: A lot MIGHT go wrong for the Braves and a lot HAS to go right for them in order to re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-pead.

  2. Mac, you’re at it again!

    Seriously, where’s all this love for the Expos suddenly coming from? You see it everywhere right now, even from smart people like Neyer and the BP guys. Personally, I think the Expos will have a tough time holding off the Mets for 4th place.

    As for the Cardinals, it’s not just BP. Diamond Mind’s projection system also has them winning 92 games and emerge as division champs!Given that they only won 85 games last season, I don’t see where those 7 extra wins are supposed to come from.

  3. Seriously, where’s all this love for the Expos suddenly coming from? You see it everywhere right now, even from smart people like Neyer and the BP guys. Personally, I think the Expos will have a tough time holding off the Mets for 4th place.

    I would think it has something to do with the acquisition of Sabermetric King Nick Johnson. The analysis that the Expos are going to be good misses a few minor points:

    1. Johnson is already hurt, and will be playing on turf with a bad back.
    2. Vidro could go down at any time.
    3. They have nothing for centerfield, and Batista is going to suck at thirdbase.
    4. Their starting pitching is suspect to begin with and very thin.
    5. Their bullpen at this point is an abstraction.
    6. They have no budget to address any of their shortcomings or fix anything that goes wrong during the season.

    Other than that though, I agree that they will be world beaters.

  4. Given that they only won 85 games last season, I don’t see where those 7 extra wins are supposed to come from.

    I have no idea, like I said. No bullpen to speak of, they’ve replaced Drew with Reggie Sanders — all the fragility and 80 percent of the ability! — and moved Pujols to first to make room, it seems, for Ray Lankford. Mike Matheny is best described as Eddie Perez with even more luck, and let’s not even talk about second base. Their #2 starter is Woody Williams, whom I believe is 87 years old, or at least his arm is. Their #3 starter is Chris Carpenter, who missed all of last season, and their #4 is Jeff Suppan, who probably should have missed the last two months. (At least if you ask the Red Sox fans he should have.) And their #5 is Jason Marquis, whom the Braves were offering for spare uniforms last season. And the Braves’ pitching is suspect?

    And apparently the Expos, as Robert indicates, are supposed to have the most miraculous run of luck since the 1993 Phillies, health-wise. Puhleeze. Do they even have a team doctor, or do they just stand in line at the local clinic whenever they get home to Montreal? I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick Johnson needs something amputated by August.

  5. The funny thing is, there are a lot more things that could go wrong for the Expos than for the Braves, yet it appears that the article only highlights the Braves’ question marks (I do not subscribe to BP, so I gotta go with what Mac said). But unless both Everett and Johnson give them 130+ games of good production, their offense is going to be among the worst in the league. And of course, their starting pitching is average at best unless Hernandez pulls another 233 innings of 155 ERA+ pitching out of his hat (not likely) and Armas somehow finds a way to become an above-average pitcher. I don’t see how you can predict anything better than a .500 finish for a team like that.

  6. Heck, even their ace is an injury risk (speaking of the Cardinals). And teams whose biggest offseason acquisitions are the likes of Jason Marquis, Jeff Suppan and Tony Womack (ok, so they also got Sanders) generally don’t improve by 7 games.

  7. Chavez
    Johnson
    Vidro
    Everett
    Cabrera
    Bautista
    Rivera
    whoever catches

    Armas
    Day
    Hernandez
    Ohka

    Best case scenario, this team could win 85-90 games. Realistically? 75.

  8. So Marquis is starting tonight for St. Louis. I knew he was gonna be in the rotation, but No. 2? Very interesting..

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