Perfectly timed, completely useful projections

Thearon W. Henderson

The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! In some of the simulations!

The early projections are here! The early projections are here! Set them down by the phone books. We'll get to all of this in a …

Aw, heck, I can't ignore early projections. They're so fun, so wrong, yet so right. And over at Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, they do them every year, acknowledging that it's way, way too early to do them. At least, that's the feeling that I get when they call them their "Still Too Early and Mostly Useless 2013 Projected MLB Standings," but maybe I'm just reading between the lines.

To the part that you care about, which is the NL West:

TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Giants 89 73 668 602 30.3% 9.6% 8.5% 48.4%
Dodgers 88 74 681 611 29.0% 9.1% 8.7% 46.8%
Diamondbacks 85 77 702 663 21.8% 8.0% 8.3% 38.1%
Padres 80 82 661 662 13.9% 6.4% 7.0% 27.3%
Rockies 72 90 767 871 5.1% 2.7% 3.7% 11.5%

Seems about right. The top three are bunched pretty close together, the Padres are better than a lot of people give them credit for, and the Rockies offer several different food items at various concession stands around their park.

The short of it: The Giants have about a 50-percent shot at the playoffs in some capacity, according to the Still Too Early and Mostly Useless Projections, which come at exactly the right time and are completely useful. And the Giants project to finish 10th in the NL in runs scored, but second in runs allowed. Factor in Mays Field, and you have a team that's well-rounded, but not dominant in any particular area.

How did the Giants do in the same projections last year? Let's take a look.

The Giants are probably going to win the World Series, but only if Ryan Theriot can pick up some at-bats as the DH in the World Series, and only if they keep Tim Lincecum away from a starting spot in the playoffs. Gotta get Zito in there.

Man. Those guys are good. Also, I just made that quote up. But they did pick the Giants to tie for first. With the Rockies.

...

Maybe these are too early. And mostly useless. But still fascinating! I love these early projections, and I thank the good folks at RLYW for providing the public service. To nick another line from Mitch Hedberg, the Giants should be great, unless they're awful. Unless they're OK.

(The Nationals, though. Dang. I wanted to tinkle on their optimism parade when I set out to write this, but I just couldn't. They good.)

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