In 2006 and 2007, we called this “The Mathematical Definition Of ‘No Chance In Hell.” Last year it was “The Mathematical Definition Of ‘The Rays Are Getting Warmer.”

In one of our favorite preseason posts, Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, have finally released “The 2009 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout.”

In the Projection Blowout, stats from six different projection systems are used to project the 2009 season. The projected stats used  include CHONE, Hardball Times, Marcel, PECOTA, ZiPS and CAIRO. Each of these projections is run through 1,000 seasons.

In the overall projections (6,000 seasons), the Rays on average, finish 3rd in the AL east with 90.1 wins. The Yankees are first with 95.9 wins and the Red Sox are are close behind at 94.3 wins. Below we have summed up the results from each of the projection systems for just the Rays.

[Ed. note: This does not include the C.H.A.L.K. projection system which predicts the Rays will win 113 games this season. Don’t laugh, that system projected the Rays to go to the World Series last season.]

A few notes on the projections can be found below the table…

Notes on the Diamond Mind Projections

  • For shites and giggles we put the numbers from 2007 up there because we love looking at exactly how much the pitching staff improved from 2007 to 2008. Even with the numbers staring you in the face it is still difficult to wrap your mind around them.
  • Last year the Diamond Mind Projection Blowout predicted 82.1 wins for the Rays with PECOTA and CHONE both projecting win totals in the upper 80’s.
  • All of the projection systems are predicting an improvement in the number of runs scored this season, with Marcel as the most bullish with 43 more in 2009.
  • Only PECOTA thinks the Rays can repeat their pitching numbers of a year ago, with most projecting a slight regression in runs allowed.
  • The average number of wins needed to be the AL Wild Card in the 6,000 combined projections was about 92. The Rays are just below this number, which is consistent with them making the playoffs in 41.8% of the projections.
  • The high and low values for the standard deviation values suggest that the Rays will most likely win between 84 and 96 games.

The 2009 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout – American League Edition [Replacement Level Yankees Weblog]
C.H.A.L.K. Projections: Devil Rays Win 113 In ‘09 [Bugs and Cranks]



  1. KyleS says:

    I'd be (very) surprised if we scored less than 800 runs this year. If BJ breaks out (again), and Crawford rebounds (looks good), plus the addition of Burrell's .850ish OPS out of the DH spot as opposed to last year's .751.....I think we're looking at a nice offensive year. I just hope the pitching remains relatively constant.

  2. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Mathmatical equation of "Rays are in for a dogfight" is this:

    9=8 * 2009 > 2008

  3. Don says:

    A fools folly is trying to reduce a "game" down to a number!
    ie: "48.1% of the projections" means nothing.....
    think about it!

    • Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

      what? actually, it means exactly what it says. The PROJECTIONS were run a bunch of times and 48.1% of the PROJECTIONS said the Rays will make the playoffs.

      I really dont think anybody thinks that 48.1% of the Rays are going to the playoffs. I would hate to see what .1% of Jason Bartlett looks like.

      • Don says:

        Ok...I have one for you... 50+% of the time "PROJECTIONS" are wrong!
        Which ones(of the 48.1%) do you subscribe to???
        Sorta of like 50% chance of rain! Get it!

        • It is not about right and wrong. It is about probabilities.

          If I say there is a 50% chance a coin flip will land Heads, that does not mean I was wrong if it lands tails.

          • Don says:

            Yes, but in the world of "PROJECTIONS" (predictions)
            50% or 48.1% chance says nothing!
            Just like your coin there is only two sides, that is a given!
            So what are you telling me!...nothing!

          • But in this case there are more than two options. Coin is heads or tails. Weather is rain or no rain. In baseball there are 30 teams and only 8 playoff spots.not every team can be 48% so it is saying something. If all teams were equal it would be about 25% chance to make playoffs. So at 48% in the toughest division baseball says a lot. And what it says is that the Rays had a better shot than most.

          • Brixology says:

            This is a good point, Prof. And this discussion prompts me to wonder which formula was the most accurate last year? At least as it pertained to the Rays. I feel like you posted on that, but I don't remember the answer.

          • Don says:

            I remember, it was like 90%+ against the Rays making the playoffs..and this was a real(meaninful) number for what actually happened!.....This year its 48.1%( not 48.2, 57.5 66.3
            90.0 so on, so on)
            Does that help you predict anything??


            CHONE cam the closest on wins, but it looks like PECOTA was actually a little closer on projecting runs scored and runs allowed. The Rays did play about 5-6 games above their run differential last year. Some people like to call that luck. I think a team with a very good bullpen will always play better than their run differential because they will win more close games than the average team.

  4. Don says:

    One more time...then one of us is going to have to change his name!
    The 25%+/- is a given(8 spots for 30 teams)
    The 48% is meaningless because it was reached by projections
    (opinions) from the "guessing" of certain individuals/groupes
    (who are wrong more than they are right)
    You are trying to reduce a game to a
    Your opinion is: "that they will make the playoffs"
    I hope your opinion is right, but it is not 48% right!
    Over and out!

    • those projections are not guesses. They are based on a mathematical look at a players career stars with things factored in like position, park, age and historical players with similar career paths.

      And you do realize that baseball is very much about numbers, don't you? If I tell you a guy has .400 career OBP are you going to tell me it means nothing? Or does it maybe mean that he has a 40% chance of getting on base?

      • Don says:

        Stay after school, I can't get thru to you on concrete numbers(ie: 400OBP) vs. "projections"(as a number).....
        but I tried!

        • Yes, the .400 is a concrete number but it can also be used to project how a player will perform in the future. When teams offer contracts to free agents is the amount offered based on what they think a player will do in the future? Isn't that a projection? What do you think the teams base those projections on? The concrete numbers. Same thing happens with these projections. Nobody is saying that is what will happen. But it does give a better sense of what might happen.

  5. Dirtbag Fan says:


    You really should try not to make a habit of being wrong.

    I'm not a huge stat-head either, but baseball projections have evolved to a point that is so specific that its scary. The amount of data that the programmers pour into the projection programs is mind-blowing. It takes every stat of every player for every team into consideration, so to argue against that by saying projections are guesses is just asinine and causes you to seem uninformed.

    Of course there will always be anomales, that's an exception to the rule (for the more simple-minded folk- hint-hint), but you simply can't ignore raw data. Period. Pointe finale!

  6. dude abides says:

    The thing to consider when looking at all these projections is what Warren Buffet said about statistics: "Beware of Geeks Bearing Formulas".

    Remember how the investment house tried to slice and dice away risk from mortgage back securities and how well that turned out?


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