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Monday, April 06, 2009

Why I don't care about PECOTA

PECOTA is a tool used to predict individual player stats. They then take those stats, put them together to try and predict a teams wins. This is where PECOTA becomes worthless. Last year PECOTA predicted half of the eventual division winners. They got the Angels, Cubs, and Dodgers correctly but the Angels and Cubs were pretty easy picks and the Dodgers only got there because of the mid-season pickup of Manny. Look at PECOTA projections of the AL central last year:

Tigers Projected wins=91 Actual wins=74
White Sox Projected wins=77 Actual wins=89
Twins Projected wins=71 Actual wins=88
Indians Projected wins=93 Actual wins=81

It wasn't even close, except for the Royals, which they did a good job of predicting them to finish last. Again, it nailed the obvious. Did PECOTA predict the Devil Rays to win the East? Nope, they thought the playoffless Yankees would win it along with 97 games.

PECOTA is great at predicting individual stats and is probably the best tool around for fantasy baseball, but it is just as bad as anyone at predicting wins.

I'd like the record to show the Royals did not finish in last place. They finished fourth, one game ahead of the Tigers.

I want to make sure everyone is aware of this fact so that no one incorrectly says they went from worst to first this season.

They'll go from fourth to first. Totally different.
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