Late last week we reported that Baseball Prospectus's projection system, PECOTA, forecasted a winning season for the Nationals in 2010. For some reason, however, there were glitches in the system that led to a whole butt-load of problems. After the dust settled and the kinks were fixed, the Nationals were no longer an above .500 team in their projections.
These were their previous NL East projected standings:
Here are their updated NL East projected standings:
Disappointing, huh? But much more based in reality. As we pointed out in our original post it seemed odd that the Nationals would be able to so dramatically jump into the upper-echelon of defense in the NL. The old projections had the Nationals allowing the fifth fewest runs in the Nationals League, a far cry from their 2009 campaign where they allowed 875 runs. The new projections do however predict that the Nationals will still improve in the RA catagory, as they are projected to only allow 737 runs. Technically this is less runs than BP had originally projected, but everyone else in the league was projected to allow fewer runs than at first as well.
At 76-86, 2010 would still be a massive improvement from 2009 where the club finished 59-103. Once again we should point out though, that BP predicted the Nationals to go 75-87 last season.
The major changes in the individual projections came with the pitchers. Here is what we wrote for the last projections:
John Lannan is by far projected to be more valuable than Jason Marquis with a VORP of 35.9 compared to Marquis' 18.6. Both are predicted to have an ERA below four and to strike out between 85-90 batters.
-PECOTA seems to love J.D. Martin. They project him to pitch the third most innings on the staff, post a 4.03 ERA and have a VORP of 17.7, making him the third best full-time starter on the Nationals.
-STEPHEN STRASBURG is projected to start 15 games this season in washington, posting a 4.07 ERA with 110 strikeouts in only 97 innings. They project his VORP to be 31.2. Although it should be noted that many are questioning that number.
What remains here is that PECOTA still loves J.D. Martin, they project him to post a 4.14 ERA and a 17.9 VORP.
The main changes come from Lannan and Marquis. Lannan was projected to have a sub four ERA and a VORP of 35.9, but now has a projected 4.33 ERA and a VORP of 23.6. Marquis who had a projected VORP of only 18.6, now has a projected VORP of 23.0. PECOTA projects the two to be remarkably similar pitchers in 2010.
Stephen Strasburgs projections were tweaked slightly as well. PECOTA now projects the top prospect to have an ERA of 3.74 but only a VORP of 19.4 in 15 games started.