A Look Ahead….Predicting the Pitching Staff for 2008

A couple of weeks back the CCO took a look at the Cubs’ offense for the upcoming season. Today the second of the CCO’s 3-part preseason predictions will focus on Lou Piniella’s pitching staff.

Lou Piniella still has a few decisions to make…. Which two pitchers will fill out the rotation? Who will end up closing for the Cubs? Bobby Howry? Carlos Marmol? Or will Kerry Wood stay healthy enough to pitch in the 9th inning? Will Scott Eyre be the only lefty?

Baseball Prospectus is one of the most respected baseball sites on the Internet. For those of you that do not subscribe, consider yourself a stathead and have the means….the CCO highly recommends this site as a part of your daily baseball reading. PECOTA is an acronym for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm. Nate Silver invented this sabermetric system for predicting player performance.

The Bill James Handbook is described as “the best and most complete annual baseball reference guide available today.” Bill James termed the study of statistical data as sabermetrics.

Here is a brief look at how those two publications predict the Cubs pitching staff will perform in the upcoming season.

BJH – Win-Loss record/ERA – games pitched – games started/innings pitched/saves/hits allowed/HR’s allowed/walks/strikeouts

BP – Win-Loss record/ERA/WHIP – games started/innings pitched/saves/hits allowed/HR’s allowed/walk/strikeouts

Pitchers

Jose Ascanio

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – 3-3/4.68/1.50 – 48 games – 2/53/3/56/7/24/37

Neal Cotts

  • BJH – 2-2/4.20 – 30 games – 0/30/0/27/4/16/27
  • BP – 2-2/4.31/1.47 – 1/41/3/39/5/22/35

Ryan Dempster

  • BJH – Ryan Dempster’s projections from the Bill James Handbook is based on Dempster being the Cubs closer
  • BP – 6-7/4.89/1.54 – 10/60/2/113/11/47/78

Scott Eyre

  • BJH – 3-3/4.09 – 61 games – 0/55/0/52/5/28/50
  • BP – 2-1/4.11/1.50 – 0/45/1/41/4/26/42

Sean Gallagher

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – 4-5/4.98/1.56 – 10/55/0/89/11/43/62

Kevin Hart

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – 3-3/5.87/1.63 – 0/60/0/70/9/28/40

Rich Hill

  • BJH - 14-9/3.50 – 33 games – 33/206/0/173/28/69/223
  • BP – 12-8/4.06/1.26 – 29/185/0/171/25/61/169

Bobby Howry

  • BJH – 6-3/3.28 – 80 games – 0/85/7/76/8/24/69
  • BP – 4-4/3.57/1.21 – 0/70/16/65/8/19/57

Jon Lieber

  • BJH – 10-8/4.04 – 27 games – 27/167/0/185/22/29/107
  • BP – 4-4/4.71/1.39 – 13/75/0/87/16/16/43

Ted Lilly

  • BJH – 12-11/3.98 – 34 games – 34/208/0/196/31/77/174
  • BP – 11-8/4.29/1.32 – 27/180/0/178/27/60/148

Carlos Marmol

  • BJH – 5-4/4.00 – 66 games – 0/81/2/68/9/44/85
  • BP – 4-3/3.84/1.39 – 0/65/14/54/7/36/72

Jason Marquis

  • BJH – 9-12/4.66 – 34 games – 32/191/0/198/27/74/109
  • BP – 5-5/5.14/1.50 – 17/100/0/112/14/37/57

Sean Marshall

  • BJH – 6-6/4.15 – 23 games – 19/102/0/100/13/41/68
  • BP – 5-5/4.78/1.46 – 18/100/0/106/12/39/64

Carmen Pignatiello

  • BJH – n/a
  • BP – 2-1/3.75/1.36 – 0/40/0/38/3/16/31

Kerry Wood

  • BJH – 4-3/3.75 – 50 games – 0/60/0/48/7/29/65
  • BP – 2-2/4.20/1.39 – 0/45/9/40/5/22/44

Michael Wuertz

  • BJH – 5-3/3.50 – 69 games – 0/72/0/59/7/32/83
  • BP – 3-2/3.53/1.33 – 0/60/3/52/5/27/60

Carlos Zambrano

  • BJH – 14-10/3.52 – 32 games – 32/215/0/177/19/99/189
  • BP – 13-8/3.88/1.34 – 31/205/0/186/20/88/181

So what are your thoughts? Who is right, Baseball Prospectus or the Bill James Handbook? Or are both wrong?

CCO Projections Contest

This is the second contest of the spring with the winner decided upon percentage of players correctly predicted. You do not have to make a prediction on all of the players above, but must pick at least five….same as before.

  • Starting Pitchers – Win-Loss Record, ERA, WHIP
  • Relief Pitchers – Win-Loss Record, ERA, WHIP, Saves

Your prediction must meet the following criteria:

Within (plus/minus) .10 on ERA and WHIP but the win-loss record must correctly be predicted.

In order to participate, leave a comment with your predictions….but please only one prediction per reader. If you have not already given your predictions on the offensive numbers, here is the link:

A Look Ahead….Predicting the Offense for 2008

Winners will be announced at the end of the regular season and there will be prizes awarded, probably some CCO swag or something else we deem cool that comes our way during the year.

Note – The CCO will accept predictions made up until the first pitch of Opening Day on March 31st.

As before….remember to have fun. There are no right or wrong answers to these predictions.

Coming Next Week - A Look Ahead….The Final Standings

Quote of the Day

"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

Share on Fancred