The 2018 KC Royals and PECOTA
By Dylan Miles
It’s no secret that the Royals have seemingly fooled the Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, or PECOTA, badly in the past. PECOTA is a sabermetric comparison tool used for forecasting player and team performance. In layman’s terms, it uses advanced past statistics and trends to analyze and predict how teams and players will do in the upcoming season. Although the system works for many teams, it hasn’t been very accurate for the Royals in years past.
To preface this, PECOTA predicted the Royals to win 72 games and finish dead-last in the AL Central in 2015, a season in which they won 95 games and were crowned World Champions. The same happened the two previous years, when the young core group of Royals was just budding into their truest forms, they continued to defy PECOTA year-after-year. Last season, the Royals were projected to win 71 games, a season in which they put 80 in the W column. While the projections seem to be getting more accurate as the seasons go on and the Royals come out of their window of opportunity.
Here are some notable 2018 Royals PECOTA projections:
Team BA: .248
Jorge Soler HR: 24.5
Whit Merrifield HR: 10.5
Alex Gordon HR: 15.5
Salvador Perez Games Played: 151.5
Salvador Perez Hit Into Double Plays: 28.5
Cam Gallagher RBI (500 PA): 51.5
Danny Duffy Innings Pitched: 137
Danny Duffy Quality Starts: 11.5
Danny Duffy Wins: 7.5
Danny Duffy ERA: 4.40
Kelvin Herrera Saves: 25.5
Kelvin Herrera Blown Saves: 4.5
Kyle Zimmer Wins: 1.5
Ian Kennedy HR Allowed: 36.5
There are just a few of the many projections for the 2018 Royals. If I were a betting man, I’d take the over on the Merrifield HR and the under on Soler HR. While the 66.5 win projection seems low, it makes sense given the fact that the Royals have likely lost their core group of guys (assuming Hosmer and Moose do not re-sign). However, is with the exception of Alcides Escobar, who will likely not bring much to the table offensively. An interesting note to make is the Cam Gallagher RBI over/under, assuming 500 PA. Although the season could be rough, Gallagher could be a bright spot that makes his way into the KC lineup this season.
Among the PECOTA come the projected division winners: NYY, CLE, HOU, WSH, CHC, LAD.
Despite the 2018 projections not being positive, this club has a reputation for defying PECOTA. Because of that, can they do it again this year? Will the past correlate with the present this time around? Let us know what you have to say!