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PECOTA Likes the Phillies

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Baseball Prospectus just released their projected depth charts for the 2007 season, which predict performance and playing time for each position and determine the expected runs scored and allowed. Their playing time projections are understandably conservative, given the age and fragility of some of the Mets' primary contributors.

For instance, Jose Valentin is only expected to get 70% of the playing time, Carlos Delgado 75% and Moises Alou 60%. Their respective backups -- Anderson Hernandez (should probably be Damion Easley), Julio Franco and Ben Johnson -- should be considerably less productive.

This highlights one of the system's main flaws: the backup priority tree. If Valentin misses some amount of time due to injury or ineffectiveness, BP has Hernandez getting 20% of the playing time and Easley getting 10%. PECOTA projects a VORP of 1.0 for Hernandez and 2.1 for Easley, given those playing time estimates. Well, I would personally expect Easley to get most of that leftover playing time, not Ipor. As stated, Valentin's backups would accrue 3.1 VORP in his absense. Were their playing times swapped they would accrue 4.7 VORP, an improvement of 50%. Were Easley given all of the backup time he would have a projected VORP of 6.2, twice BP's estimate. All told, that would only be a difference of around one-third of a victory, but I think you know where I'm going with this.

Anyway, taken with the proverbial grain of NaCl, here are their projected NL East standings:

Phillies: 87-75
Mets: 85-77
Braves: 81-81
Marlins: 79-83
Nationals: 66-96