Friday, July 20, 2012

Projecting the Series: Giants vs. Phillies

The Phillies have been an under performing team this season but by no means does it feel like this should be an easy series. For one going into Philadelphia is never easy, the crowd I am sure still has no love for the Giants and will want to let it be known, the weather is going to be pretty gross with warm nights (at least not hot) and thunderstorms, oh yeah and their is a still pretty good baseball team that plays there.

In case you forgot or haven’t seen the explanation, here is a quick description of how the model works:
  • I start by estimating the runs scored and allowed for each team given the starting pitcher, bullpen, defense and each team’s offense.
  • The data used in the projection model is based on the current season’s statistics to date and ZiPS projections, with the weighting shifting more toward the actual stats as the season progresses.
  • The estimated run differential is then converted into a projected winning percentage using the pythagorean expectation.
  • Then, it’s converted into an odds of winning the game using the log5 method developed by Bill James

Probables (via

  • Friday, July 20, 4:05 PM: Tim Lincecum vs. Vance Worley
  • Saturday, July 21, 1:05 PM: Matt Cain vs. Cole Hamels
  • Sunday, July 22, 10:35 AM: Barry Zito vs. Joe Blanton


Game 1
Game 2
Game 3
2 out 3
1 out 3
0 out 3
Win Series
Lose Series

The projection model has not given up on Tim Lincecum and it is reflected in the games one odds where it says that the Giants are favored. I am a bit skeptical, and I will continue to be until Lincecum puts together a decent string of starts that suggest that it is more than a one game thing.

The Game two match-up is an exciting one with two of the best starters in the National League squaring off. The model suggests a tight low scoring game is in order and I sure hope that is the case.

Game three isn't as exciting as the first two with the Phillies having a pretty big edge. Barry Zito has done some pretty crazy things in this up and down year so I guess it is possible that he could bring the same stuff that shutout the Braves for seven innings with him to Philadelphia. I am not counting on it but it could happen.

I am going to go against my nature and say that I expect a series victory in this one, I hope Lincecum shows that his last start wasn't a fluke and builds on it on his way to a resurgent second half. I hope that Cain out duels Hamels. I hope that Zito gives the Giants a chance to win and doesn't kill the bullpen. So here's hoping to at least two out of three of those things happen.

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