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Fantasy Baseball: Why Wins Are Impossible to Predict

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I wrote several articles a little while back trying to find a method of predicting wins, but after looking at the NL wins leaders for 2009, you will agree with me, wins are IMPOSSIBLE to predict.

Let's take a look:

Player INN GS QS CG W L S K BBI HA ERA WHIP
Wainwright, Adam SP STL 233 34 25 1 19 8 0 212 66 216 2.63 1.21
Carpenter, Chris SP STL 193 28 22 3 17 4 0 144 38 156 2.24 1.01
De La Rosa, Jorge SP COL 185 32 17 0 16 9 0 193 83 172 4.38 1.38
Lincecum, Tim SP SF 225 32 26 4 15 7 0 261 68 168 2.48 1.05
Vazquez, Javier SP ATL 219 32 22 3 15 10 0 238 44 181 2.87 1.03
Johnson, Josh SP FLA 209 33 23 2 15 5 0 191 58 184 3.23 1.16
Jimenez, Ubaldo SP COL 218 33 24 1 15 12 0 198 85 183 3.47 1.23
Pineiro, Joel SP STL 214 32 21 3 15 12 0 105 27 218 3.49 1.14
Arroyo, Bronson SP CIN 220 33 23 3 15 13 0 127 65 214 3.84 1.27
Marquis, Jason SP COL 216 33 21 2 15 13 0 115 80 218 4.04 1.38
Lowe, Derek SP ATL 195 34 21 0 15 10 0 111 63 232 4.67 1.52

Coming into the 2009 season, who would have predicted 15 or more wins from all of the pitchers listed above barring Tim Lincecum and maybe Javier Vazquez, or Adam Wainwright?

Wainwright had 11 wins in 2008 in 20 starts and 130+ innings pitched. Knowing that he pitched for a Dave Duncan coached staff, you could make a case for him to win 15 games in 2009.

Lincecum won 18 games in 2008, so it wasn't a stretch for him to win 15 games in 2009. Plus he is the most dominant pitcher in the NL.

Javier Vazquez moved from the AL to the NL, so one could surmise he would pitch better in the NL and he did.

But the rest of these guys were probably drafted very late in most drafts. Chris Carpenter and Josh Johnson were drafted in the 9th and 10th rounds in my NL only snake draft. Ubaldo Jimenez was drafted around the 12th round.

Bronson Arroyo won 15 games? Bronson Arroyo? Seriously? Yes. If there was a Cy Young award winner based on 2nd half performance, Arroyo would have won it in a landslide. In 15 second half starts, he won 6, with an ERA of 2.24 and a WHIP of 1.043. He did this by increasing his K/BB ratio from 1.44 in the first half to 2.83 in the second half.

The Cardinals 3rd 15 game winner was Joel Pineiro, who came out of nowhere in 2009 to post his best season ever. He accomplished this by increasing his K/BB ratio from 2.3 to 3.8 and his GB/FB ratio from 1.69 to 2.26, and lowering his HR/FB% from 8.6% to 4.3% and his BB% from 5.4% to 3.1% in 2009.