Proof Our Vegas Bet on the Pirates Was NOT Foolish


A few weeks ago we went to Vegas and put a wager on the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the pennant.  We told you what we were doing.  You thought we were crazy. 

We aren’t hackers. We had no inside knowledge (actually we claim no knowledge.)  But check this out…Matt Meyers at ESPN The Magazine explains how the computer shows the details in how the Pirates win the division, the first step in collecting my cash. 

For the ESPN The Magazine baseball preview, we used Baseball Think Factory’s ZiPS projections to simulate the season 100 times using Diamond Mind Baseball.

I wrote a piece a couple of months ago in which I explained why the Pirates have one of the best organizational plans in baseball. Seriously. Obviously, I was pleased to see the Pirates finish in first in three of our simulations (and tie for first in another). Even the most optimistic observer wouldn’t expect Pittsburgh to make the post-season so quickly. Therefore, I had to check out how it all came together. Let’s examine the Pirates 87-win season, which was their high-water mark in all of our sims.

Not surprisingly, Andrew McCutchen picked up right where he left off last year, and hit .302/.361/.437 with 11 homers and 23 steals in that “season”. The real key, however, is Garrett Jones, who proved he’s no fluke by slugging 33 homers while posting a .910 OPS. Of course the Bucs got some pitching help as well, most notably from Charlie Morton, who posted a 3.21 ERA in 188 innings while inducing 21 double plays. There’s also Ross Ohlendorf, who proved the doubters wrong by posting a 3.84 ERA in 182 innings.

Bobby Crosby hit .278/.339/.400 with nine homers. (Bucco SS had .300 OBP with nine homers in 2009.)

Ryan Doumit had an .801 OPS with 16 homers in a bounceback season.

In this sim, Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter made just 18 starts. 

Adam Wainwright pitched 135 innings and had a 4.35 ERA.

The Pirates won 87 games and eeked out the Cards by one game for the division title. 

It’s a great article, go check it out at ESPN Insider

Tags: Adam Wainwright Bobby Crosby Chris Carpenter ESPN The Magazine Ryan Doumit