2016 AL/NL Eastern Division Rankings – PLA Consensus Model Projections

By: Joe Botana

Proverbs 11:14  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

14 Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is [
a]victory.

Proverbs 15:22  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they [
a]succeed.

Last week, we introduced a new statistical model, based on consensus ratings from four popular existing models. Inspired by the Biblical wisdom quoted above, as well as by “poll of polls” and “analyst consensus” estimates used in political science and finance, our “PLA Consensus Model” seeks to predict the outcome of the upcoming baseball season based on the collective wisdom of other. Yesterday, we used the output of that model to project the final results of the two Western Divisions of MLB.

In today’s installment, we’ll stay in the geographic periphery of MLB, specifically on the “right coast”, and predict the outcome of the AL and NL Eastern Divisions. Tomorrow, we’ll move to the center of the map and of my personal baseball affinities, to predict the outcome of the AL and NL Central Divisions. Finally, on Sunday we will look at the playoff picture six months before it begins, based on the model’s projections.

AL Eastern Divison

Consensus Rankings

Team             League-Div          W          L       DivRank  StDvRk StDvWins

Boston             ALED                 86.8      75.3     2.25          0.96          1.26

Toronto           ALED                 86.8      75.3     2.50          1.29           4.57

NY Yankees    ALED                 85.8       76.3    2.75           1.50           2.63

Tampa Bay     ALED                84.3        77.8    2.50           1.29           3.50

Baltimore       ALED                75.8        86.3    5.00           0.00           1.50

The model predicts with a high degree of uncertainty that (1) the Boston Red Sox will be resurgent in 2016 and go on to win the AL East, or (2) that the Toronto Blue Jays will repeat their 2015 triumph. It forecasts that both will finish with a total of 86.8 wins.  For the Sox, there is a fairly tight spread. The range of expected wins is significantly wider for Toronto. In fact, if both over perform at the high end of their respective expected ranges, the Jays will leapfrog the Sox and win the division.

It forecasts the rest of the finishing order with a significant amount of uncertainty. For example, based on consensus wins the NY Yankees finish third, with a score of 2.75th place. Based on consensus finishing position, both the Jays and the Rays finish ahead of them, tied with a position of 2.5th place.

Based on the model’s “noisy” projections, it would not be surprising to see any of the four top teams swap positions and finish in an alternate 1 – 4 order. The only team whose destiny is clear is the Baltimore Orioles, unanimously picked to finish last and win only 75.8 games

For the official projection of the model, we’ll go with the Boston Red Sox, but recognize that this is one where we may be wrong. This will doubtless be a very tight divisional race.

The AL East ranks as the strongest in terms of Division Strength (51.8% index).It is second highest in uncertainty as to team final position (5.0 vs. 3.9 average) but the lowest uncertainty in division wins (13.5 vs. 19.6 average) index values.

NL Eastern Division

Consensus Rankings

Team                League-Div          W          L      DivRank  StDvRank   StDvWins

NY Mets              NLED             90.0       72.0       1.25           0.50         2.16

Washington        NLED             87.0       75.0       1.75            0.50        1.63

Miami                  NLED             76.8        85.3      3.25            0.50        3.50

Philadelphia       NLED            67.3         94.8      4.25            0.96        5.38

Atlanta                 NLED            66.5         95.5      4.50            0.58        1.91

The model’s consensus prediction for this division is clear –with a consensus of 90 wins and a 1.25th place consensus divisional position finish, the New York Mets will repeat as NL East Champions. The Washington Nationals are projected to finish second, with 87 wins and a 1.75th place position rank index.

There is also very little uncertainty that the middle tier of this division is firmly the dominion of the Miami Marlins, who are projected to win 76.8 games and finish third with a consensus 3.25th place position rank index.

Bringing up the rear of the division, with the two worst projected records in MLB, are the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves. These two will be fighting it out for fourth vs. fifth place, but with no realistic likelihood to capture even the third place spot.

The NL East ranks as the lowest in terms of Division Strength (47.8% index) which is clearly the result of including the two weakest teams in MLB. It has the second lowest uncertainty as to team final position (3.0 vs. 3.9 average) and second lowest uncertainty in division wins (14.6 vs. 19.6 average) index values.

Tomorrow we will reveal the model’s predictions for the two central divisions.

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