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Projecting the 2015 Pirates: Runs scored, runs allowed and projected wins calculators

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Below are three calculators that allow you to project runs scored, runs allowed and wins for the 2015 Pirates. Every cell can be edited so that you can simulate multiple scenarios. For example, if you wish to add a free agent to the pitching staff, all you have to do is add a projection of innings pitched and ERA for that player. The calculators include Steamer and ZiPS projections for players who are expected to receive significant playing time for the Pirates next season.

Offensive Projections: What are wOBA and wRC?

(Some of what follows is copied from a similar calculator I posted last year.)

The first column next to each player's name is plate appearances. I've entered plate appearances based on projections provided by Fangraphs and my own intuition. Remember, you can edit the plate appearances for each player to your liking. If you edit plate appearances, make sure the total plate appearances for the team is between 6000 and 6250.

The three columns next to plate appearances are the projected wOBA (weighted On Base Average) averages for each player. If you are unfamiliar with wOBA, you can think of it as OPS, but better. wOBA is scaled to OBP, so what looks like a good OBP is a good wOBA.

Here is Fangraphs' definition of wOBA: "It was created by Tom Tango (and notably used in The Book) to measure a hitter's overall offensive value, based on the relative values of each distinct offensive event... Weighted On-Base Average combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value."

The three columns to the right of wOBA are wRC (weighted Runs Created). wRC is based off of wOBA and is a measure of total runs created. As you change the plate appearances or wOBA for each player, you will change the number of runs he creates.

Total wRC is calculated at the bottom of the offensive table. It represents a projection of the total runs that the 2015 Pirates will score based on plate appearances and wOBA.

Offensive Benchmarks:

In 2014 the Pirates scored 682 runs.

The average number of runs scored by National League teams in 2014 was 640.

Pitching Projections:

Team runs allowed is calculated by baking in unearned runs at about a league average rate into the total.

Pitching Benchmarks:

In 2014 the Pirates allowed 631 runs.

The National League average number of runs allowed in 2014 was 647.

If you edit innings pitched, you should aim for between 1400 and 1500 total innings.

Pythagorean Record Calculator:

After you have calculated the runs scored/allowed, you can come up with a projection for total wins using the Pythagorean Record Calculator. Here is the an explanation of Pythagorean Win Percentage from Baseball Reference: "Pythagorean winning percentage is an estimate of a team's winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed. Developed by Bill James, it can tell you when teams were a bit lucky or unlucky. It is calculated by (RA^1.83)/(RA^1.83)+(RS^1.83). The traditional formula uses an exponent of two, but this has proven to be a little more accurate."

Projections:

Using my estimates of plate appearances and innings pitched, here are the projected number of runs scored, allowed and team wins:

Projection system Runs scored Runs allowed Wins
Steamer 671 647 84
ZiPS 665 632 83

The Calculators

Remember you can change the number of plate appearances and innings pitched. Also, in the "You" column you can input your own wOBA and ERA projections.

NOTE: Steamer does not have projections for some players.

Offense:

Pitching:

Expected Wins:

(Type in the runs scored and runs allowed from the above calculators.)

Many thanks to Steamer and ZiPS for making their projections publicly available. Also, thanks to the indispensable Fangraphs.com for publishing the projections and allowing the baseball research community to use them for free.