by Myron Logan
Here they are. Also, everything on that page is free, so we can mess around with it a little without worrying about pissing anyone off. Anyway, let’s park adjust some runs scored, runs allowed numbers. In the table below, you’ve got for the NL West, predicted runs scored/allowed, and park adjusted predicted RS/RA:
Average runs scored/allowed in the NL is 785. So, how about that? Once again, the Padres offense is its strong point, nearly league average, when park adjusted, and right with the top dogs in the division. The pitching, on the other hand, is projected to be much worse, 52 runs below average, and near the bottom of the league with the Pirates, Astros, Marlins, and Rockies.
In terms of the division, the Dbacks are pretty clear favorites, by PECOTA. They are led by a rotation that is anchored by two of the best starters in the league, Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. PECOTA also projects a 3.77 ERA (unadjusted) and 155 innings out of Max Scherzer, the Dbacks young right hander.
The Dodgers could really use Manny, as PECOTA/Clay Davenport project major playing time out of Juan Pierre in left field. While Pierre’s fielding and base running certainly cuts the gap between his and Manny’s value, it’d still be a big improvement to add Manny’s bat. Further, Pierre could be better utilized as a pinch hitter, pinch base runner, and replacement fielder.
As bad as things seems for the Pads, well, they really aren’t *that* bad. The offense is pretty decent, and with a couple of holes plugged up, could really be excellent. The pitching, outside of a few guys, obviously needs to be rebuilt. A bullpen, I think, can be fixed on the fly, in one offseason. The rotation, though, will be tougher. The Pads need, at least, two or three guys who are legitimate starters, depending on whether or not Peavy stays with the club or not. Whether those guys emerge from the organization is still an unanswered question, but I have a feeling there will need to be some shopping in free agency or the trade market, at some point (most likely, next offseason).
With quite a few interesting story lines, like the ownership transition, the high draft pick, and – oh, yeah – the games, this season should be a fun one to follow. And who knows, if some things break right, it’s not out of the question that this ‘09 team makes things interesting.