Photo: Flickr/Keith Allison
Today is opening day in Major League Baseball and many of the talking heads have weighed in with their opinions on who will win the 2011 World Series.But if you want a more accurate look at which teams have the best talent heading into the season, then look no further than the Diamond Mind Projection Blowout.
There are several different systems that project how individual players will perform during the season (for example, the Bill James projections can be seen at Fangraphs.com). The website Replacement Level Yankees Weblog then takes these projections and simulates the 2011 season “hundreds of thousands of times.”
The results give us an average number of wins for each team as well as the frequency that each team makes the playoffs during the simulations. We can look at the latter number as a playoff probability for each team. Ultimately, it is an unbiased look at which teams have the best rosters heading into the season and the best chance at playing in the postseason.
Based on the Diamond Mind projection system, the Red Sox are the best team in baseball. Boston won an average of 94.4 games in the simulations with a 59.8 per cent chance of making the playoffs. The Yankees are next with 92.4 wins and a playoff probability of 51.0%. The Phillies, a team that some consider the World Series favourites, are projected to win 90.6 games and made the playoffs in 50.7 per cent of the simulations.
At the other end, the Astros might be the worst team in baseball, winning an average of 65.9 games in the simulations and making the playoffs just 3.1 per cent of the time. They are just ahead (or is it behind?) the Royals (68.4 wins, 4.9% playoffs).
Where this really gets fun is to compare the Diamond Mind projections to the Vegas win total over/unders (via Bodog.com).
The Diamond Mind projections and Vegas Win totals actually agree quite well with each other. Of the 30 teams, 17 have a Diamond Mind projection win total within two of their Vegas over/under. 20-four of the teams are within three wins.
On the other hand, only three teams differ from their Vegas number by more than five. So if you are looking for some numbers where Vegas might be wrong, you might want to check out the Phillies, Angels, and Astros. All three of those teams are projected to be at least five games worse than their Vegas over/under.
A lot can happen between now and October. But right now, the Red Sox, Yankees, and Phillies are the best in baseball. But at the same time, the numbers say the Phillies and their collection of aces are not quite as good as many people believe.
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