OT: AL Central Predictions?

Submitted by StephenRKass on August 20th, 2009 at 3:13 PM

What are your predictions for the AL Central, as to the Tigers, Sox, and Twins?

I think it will end up
1) Sox
2) Twins
3) Tigers

This is based on the addition of Peavy to their pitching rotation, Rios to the outfield, and Quentin to full health. The Sox have the toughest remaining schedule, but based on their recent play against NY, Boston, the Angels, and Oakland, they are strong. I think the Tigers had the opportunity to put things away months ago, but that opportunity has passed. I don't think Minnesota has enough to get it done.



August 20th, 2009 at 3:47 PM ^

Unfortunately, I must agree with your prediction that the Tigers lose the division; I think the Tigers will get edged out by the Sox and end up in second by about 2 or 3 games.

But, I could be very wrong. I'm really not knowledgeable about baseball at all. I just feel that the Tigers can't generate enough offense to stay at the top.

I hope I'm wrong.


August 20th, 2009 at 3:46 PM ^

I think your smoking crack sayin the WhiteSox schedule the rest of the ways tougher is the huge understatement especially with a series w/ BoSox and Yanks coming up. They havent proven they can win consistanly especially againt good teams.

Yeah Peavy was a good addition, but its doesn't come close to the Tigers starting rotation, and I would take good pitching down the stretch any day.

Its going to stay the way it is...



August 20th, 2009 at 4:01 PM ^

They have only beaten good teams lately! They took 2 out of 3 from the Angels and 3 out of 4 from both the Rays and the Yankees, while dropping series to more mediocre teams like Cleveland, Minnesota, and Detroit (yes, Detroit has a worse record than all three of the others). They have shown they can beat high end teams, just not play with any degree of consistency or win on the road. And the White Sox and Tigers also have identical team ERAs because the White Sox have a way better bullpen. I think the Tigers will hold on, but your reasoning is not solid at all.


August 20th, 2009 at 3:28 PM ^

You have the twins going second? As in, before the Tigers? If the Twins were to rocket up that far, they would beat out the Sox with how hard the Sox's schedule is coming up. However, there's no way the Twinkies can catch the Tigers, they're too far behind and Tigers have too many games at home left.


August 20th, 2009 at 3:29 PM ^

Crazier things have happened, but the Twins are pretty far out, and their starting pitching is not great...

My prediction is:

I think Huff puts the Tigers over the top, and Peavy won't get healthy fast enough to help the Sox.


August 20th, 2009 at 3:36 PM ^

Being from Chicago, I'd like to see the Sox win it but I don't think they will. The Tigers have a few games in-hand, have more home games left and just seem to be able to keep a 2-3 game cushion. I guess we'll see.


August 20th, 2009 at 4:40 PM ^

Looking at the schedule, the last two weeks will be huge.

DET - 9 of last 12 games vs CWS and MIN (6 on the road)

CWS - 6 of last 9 vs DET and MIN

MIN - 9 of last 12 vs CWS and DET

I think the Tigers need to play better on the road if they want to take the division. I'm hoping they can do that, and I think they will, and the AL Central will finish how it stands.

Just listened to them win it in the bottom of the 9th. Go Tigers!

OMG Shirtless

August 20th, 2009 at 4:50 PM ^

They finish with a 4 game series at home against the Twins followed by a 3 gamer with the Sox at home


EDIT: Nevermind, we're both basically right, I misread what you wrote.

13 of the last 16 against Sox/Twins 6 of them on the road, 7 at home. And a series at Cleveland in the middle there. I like having the last 7 at home though. I fucking hate the Metrodome


August 20th, 2009 at 5:26 PM ^

You're right. I was checking on Tigers.com and didn't click over to October. Good call on the correction. Thanks.

The last 7 at home are nice, especially if they can get the rotation so that Verlander and Jackson each start 2 of those. Might be difficult to do, but you have to do what it takes to make the playoffs.


August 20th, 2009 at 5:01 PM ^

I guess I'll stick with the Tigers to win the division but I'm not very confident about it. I don't see Minnesota coming back, but Chicago has a good shot. I'm just hoping Inge and Granderson can get back to 100%, Polanco can keep up his recent hitting success, and Huff can provide some extra power. I'm not too worried about Cabrera or the pitching but who knows.

Va Azul

August 20th, 2009 at 9:04 PM ^

Pitchers on the Tigers current roster have a 3.64 ERA. (Ni, Lyon, Jackson, Verlander, Seay, Rodney, Perry, Porcello, Miner, Galarraga & Washburn) Dolsi has a 1.69 ERA, and he's the next call-up.

The Tigers have, at this point in the season, a pretty decent bullpen, especially when you consider that Miner is at 4.8 out of that group, and he's usually long relief. I don't have the numbers on what Galarraga's post April ERA, but its ugly (5.16 in total)

I think you see the Tigers win at least 55 percent of their games to finish out, and if that happens the White Sox would have to go at least 25-16 to finish out just to tie the Tigers.

Here's there Schedule
Baltimore (3 games) (2 wins)
@Boston (3 games)
@New York (4 games) (6 wins)
@Minnesota (3 games) (8 wins)
@Cubs (1 game)
Boston (4 games) (11 wins)
Oakland (2 games)
@LA (3 games) (14 wins)
@Seattle (3 games)
KC (3 games) (18 wins)
Minny (3 games)
Detroit (3 games) (22 wins)
@Cleveland (3 games)
@Detroit (3 games) (26 wins)

In order to get to 26 wins, you are basically winning or splitting every series against division leaders and rivals... I don't see the Sox having the starting pitching to do that or to pick up sweeps against the lesser teams in that list if they do drop a series here or there...


August 20th, 2009 at 9:52 PM ^

I'm not sure who said the Tigers have a better rotation but have you seen the Sox rotation? Peavy is coming back and he is their 1, (2) Buerle (Perfect Game?) Gavin Floyd (3) is a solid pitcher and John Danks (4) I think they all have over 9 wins except for Peavy. Plus I just think the Sox O is going to catch fire with Rios and Quentin back and healthy.

Detroit should have blown the central wide open and they have let the Sox hang around way to long it is going to hurt them.

Tshimanga Cowabunga

August 20th, 2009 at 10:34 PM ^

While a rotation of Peavy, Buehrle, Floyd, Danks and Contreras is solid, Peavy is not healthy and may or may not be in good form for September. The Tigers, on the other hand, have Verlander, Jackson, Washburn, Porcello and Galarraga. Comparing those side by side the only place the Sox have a distinct advantage, IMHO, is really Danks over Porcello. Contreras and Galarraga both are bad. Other then that, I would take the Tigers top 3 over the White Sox's any day.

That being said, the Tigers have to start hitting with runners in scoring position or else the pitching won't matter.

Yinka Double Dare

August 21st, 2009 at 10:22 AM ^

We'll use the stats that are thought to be primarily or entirely under the pitcher's control (HRs, unintentional walks, strikeouts) along with the context of games and innings, since those always have to be considered. This way we're ignoring defense and luck and focusing on the pitchers.

Pitcher A: 157 2/3 innings pitched in 24 starts. 19 HR allowed, with 49 walks and 123 Ks.

Pitcher B: 157 2/3 innings pitched in 24 starts. 14 HR allowed, with 50 walks and 134 Ks.

So, which pitcher would you rather have, or at least who has been better this year? It's close, but you'd probably take B, right? He's striking out a few more guys while walking about the same and giving up fewer HRs, and they've pitched the exact same amount of innings per start.

Pitcher A = Edwin Jackson
Pitcher B = Gavin Floyd

Va Azul

August 21st, 2009 at 6:32 PM ^

Isn't the argument really going to be which starting rotation is going to perform better? Isn't ERA a stronger correlation than DIPS in actual Win Shares?

I would love to have a conversation on DIPS though... Its a very interesting subject, but you can't really take it as canon based on the actual data...


August 21st, 2009 at 6:32 PM ^

an indicator of future success, however. ERA is an indication of current success, but it can be pretty random. For instance, a pitcher could pitch 7 innings, give up 10 hits but only 1 run. The ERA would be good, but the indication would still be likely that the ERA was "luck."

Va Azul

August 21st, 2009 at 11:53 PM ^

I really get what you're trying to say, but at the same time its kind of exasperating. The same studies that try to "prove" DIPS statistics discount the importance of BAPBIP (or IPAvg) arriving at the conclusion that any ball put in play is essentially random as to whether it becomes a hit.
So in your example the indication is of a statistical fluke, but that fluke could have been that: alot of balls were put in play; that so many of the batted balls landed safely; or that so few of the runners scored who reached safely by hit.

What one can gather from that is that the pitcher is not giving up home runs at a very high rate, at the very worst 1 per 10 hits in this sample...

I'll leave it to quote the hardball times for this

ERA predicts future ERA rather poorly, with a staggering RMSE of 2.32. In other words, a pitcher with an ERA of 4.00 in the even-numbered sample typically had an ERA ranging anywhere from 1.68 to 6.32. That tells us hardly anything at all. Our best estimator, xFIP, gives us a range of 2.22 to 5.78, much better but still not particularly helpful.

Basically, most predictors of future ERA are flawed, so while your statement has validity regarding ERA, it is misleading.
I will cede the point that ERA is certainly not the end-all-be-all of statistics for inference. I would certainly take CC Sabathia, Jon Lester or Jamie Shields over Washburn right now...