BP Picks…A’s to Win AL West
Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA-generated season predictions are up.
AL playoff teams: Boston, Cleveland, Oakland(!!!), WC Yankees
NL playoff teams: Mets, Cubs, Arizona, WC Atlanta
I will add that PECOTA was far more optimistic about the Rays than anyone else last year and pegged the White Sox for exactly 72 wins in 2007, when the mainstream media still loved ’em.
That’d be pretty wild, if the A’s successfully spotted the weakness in their division, went out and acquired Holliday and Giambi while people scratched their heads, then swiped the division out from under the Angels’ thrifty noses.
UPDATE: The thirfty-nosed Angels just signed Bobby Abreu. Terms not disclosed yet, but judging by the prevailing MLB landscape, I doubt they’re oppressive. Hugely needed move by the Angels, who badly needed a capable LH bat. The AL West should be a sneaky-interesting race in ’09.
UPDATE 2: Updating earlier commentary, the CHONE projection system was in fact also very optimistic about the Rays before the 2008 season, pegging them for 89 wins.
UPDATE 3: Jon Heyman confirms that Abreu and the Angels have agreed to terms: 1 year, $5 million, plus incentives. Yet another data point showing not only how the economy and the glut of corner OFs have affected the market, but also how teams are valuing defense in a whole new, far more efficient way.