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March 6, 2009
  
Crashburn Alley: How Do the Phillies and Mets Stack Up?
by: Alex Nelson on Mar 6, 2009 8:52 AM | Filed under: News

Over at Crashburn Alley, Bill Baer compares the Phillies and Mets using their projections for 2009. Here’s his conclusion:

Keep in mind that with the projections I’ve listed, defense and base running are not factored in, both of which are advantages for the Phillies.

Overall, it’s very close. A recap:

* Phillies’ Huge Advantages: First base, second base, left field, defense.
* Phillies’ Slight Advantages: Catcher, back of starting rotation, bench, base running.
* Pushes: Shortstop, right field, non-CL and non-SU relievers.
* Mets’ Slight Advantages: Ace starter, CL and SU relievers.
* Mets’ Huge Advantages: Third base, center field.

The Mets have 5 players that garner them an advantage; seven players are pushes; the Phillies have 13 players that garner them an advantage (as well as defense and base running).

I’d say overall, the Phillies are the slightly better team. What do you think?

I have some reservations about his decisions (taking the best projection for one, listing Raul Ibanez as a huge advantage over Daniel Murphy for another–and I’m not as high on Murphy as many), but what do you guys think? Somehow, I don’t think that final thought is going to be particularly popular in these parts.


19 Responses to “Crashburn Alley: How Do the Phillies and Mets Stack Up?”

  1. Comment posted by yosi on March 6, 2009 at 9:05 am (#935595)

    I’m not sure I totally agree with his assessments either. First of all, I don’t see how the Phillies defense is a “huge advantage” over the Mets. It might be better, and without looking at any statistics (blasphemy for this blog, I know) I would probably call it a wash. Also, all the slight advantages listed for the Phillies (except for bench) I would think are at least a wash, if not slight advantages for the Mets (back of the rotation, base running). I would also call Reyes a slight advantage over Rollins.

    I think the Mets and Phillies actually stack up very well against each other and its going to be an incredibly tough and hopefully exciting race.

  2. Comment posted by Kneel Before Zod! on March 6, 2009 at 9:12 am (#935596)

    the assessments of first base, back of the rotation, and set-up relievers are retarded

  3. Comment posted by stel og stem on March 6, 2009 at 9:29 am (#935603)

    I would get into which parts of this argument I think are wrong but I just think this kind of analysis is, and always has been, stupid. You can’t go through position by position adding points up for each team and expect to arrive at who is better.

    That being said, why exactly is the Phillies’ Moyer, Blanton, and 5th starter poo-poo platter better than Ollie, Maine and 5th starter poo-poo platter?

  4. Comment posted by Ed in Westchester, showed up to camp out of shape on March 6, 2009 at 9:37 am (#935606)

    Somehow, I don’t think that final thought is going to be particularly popular in these parts.

    you are a wise, wise man.

    Of course he’s going to come up with a slight advantage for the Phils, they are his team. I reckon that if a Mets fan did the same, he/she’d come up with a slight advantage to the Mets.

    His back-end of the rotation analysis is wrong.

    I think first base is even, assuming we get Carlos 2.0 and Howard stays on his decline.

    I can’t argue with his left field assessment. I’m concerned about Murphy too. Ibanez should hit well in the bandbox.

    I fail to see how their defense is superior. Left is at best a push. Beltran is a God. Right is a push. I’ll give them 2nd. Short is a slight advantage to Jose, and Wright gets the nod at third. First is a push.

  5. Comment posted by pserzan on March 6, 2009 at 10:01 am (#935634)

    I agree with stel og stem. It is not fair to compare teams position by position offensively. You need to compare position by position DEFENSIVELY. Then compare the lineups offensively.

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  7. Comment posted by Dep on March 6, 2009 at 11:08 am (#935736)

    Most projections have howard destroying delgado in 09

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  9. Comment posted by Lunkwill Fook on March 6, 2009 at 11:16 am (#935742)

    About to read the actual article but I’d like to state, off the top of my head, that the idea the Phillies have a slight advantage at catcher is mind boggling. Schneider is the definition of league average at catcher and Castro is above average as a backup (health, of course, being an issue). Ruiz is possible the worst hitting catcher in the majors.

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  11. Comment posted by Lunkwill Fook on March 6, 2009 at 11:21 am (#935750)

    Okay, having read the article now, the part I disagree most with is the starting pitching and bullpen. First of all, using ERA projection is kinda faulty but whatever. Second, cherry picking the “best projection” is really bunk. The best projection has Blanton over Maine, for instance, but Maine is better than Blanton in every projection except one.

  12. Comment posted by Anais on March 6, 2009 at 12:18 pm (#935820)

    It’s interesting to speculate, but i’s going to come down to luck and injuries. Talent-wise, the teams are obviously within the margin of error for any kind of projection system (and there’s quite a lot of error in this Philly blogger’s analysis.)

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  14. Comment posted by Alex Nelson on March 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm (#935951)

    Second, cherry picking the “best projection” is really bunk. The best projection has Blanton over Maine, for instance, but Maine is better than Blanton in every projection except one.

    This was my biggest pet peeve with it. Averaging them together makes sense. Taking the median makes sense. Taking the best projection makes as much sense as taking the worst, and if you take the worst you’d be surprised how many slots go the other way (for instance, the Mets wind up sweeping the starting rotation category). Taking the best just so happens to make the Phils look stronger.

    Which isn’t to say that the Phillies aren’t stronger. I haven’t taken a close enough look at things to make that decision yet; but this is not the way to go about it.

  15. Comment posted by yosi on March 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm (#935953)

    Lunkwill – nice catch on the cherry picking.

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  17. Comment posted by Peter H on March 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm (#936002)

    I fail to see how their defense is superior. Left is at best a push. Beltran is a God. Right is a push. I’ll give them 2nd. Short is a slight advantage to Jose, and Wright gets the nod at third. First is a push.

    To be fair, Baer’s comments about the Phillies’ advantage in defense is based on Hardball Times’ plus-minus system. Basically, the Phillies’ huge edge at middle infield and smaller edge at corner infield outweighs the Mets big edge in the outfield. That’s the argument, anyway.

    FWIW, these were the UZRs for the Mets & Phillies infielders in 2008:

    Delgado: -3.6
    Howard: 3.0
    Castillo: -5.2
    Utley: 19.2
    Reyes: -0.6
    Rollins: 13.5
    Feliz:: 7.8
    Wright: 3.4

  18. Comment posted by sheadenizen on March 7, 2009 at 10:41 am (#936068)

    Believe nothing. Just play the games.

  19. Comment posted by dogcatcher on March 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm (#936116)

    I think we can expect better D from second base…but I have to admit, im a bit stunned at Rollins’ advantage defensively over Reyes last year…is that true year to year or did reyes have a down year?

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  21. Comment posted by Alex Nelson on March 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm (#936187)

    @dogcatcher:

    Reyes had a down year, and plus/minus thought a tad higher than others of Rollins’ defense.

  22. Comment posted by billy251300 on March 8, 2009 at 2:46 am (#936205)

    Reyes vs Rollins, Wright vs Howard, Beltran vs Utley, Delgado vs Ibanez, Feliz vs Murphy, Victorino vs Castillo, Werth vs Church, Ruiz vs Schneider Offensively so where do they have an advantage? depth seems similar too

    Where on D do they have a better player? Rollins vs Reyes and Schneider Ruiz are toss ups but the rest I prefer out defense

    Bench Tatis vs Dobbs, Pagan vs Jenkins, Cora vs Brunlett, Castro vs Coste only real advantage we have with Pagan.

    Playoff Rotation
    Johan vs Hamels, Pelfrey vs Moyer, Maine vs Blanton, Perez vs Myers which Phillies player do you prefer? Myers who is as inconsitant as Perez, we have a better ace, Maine is a huge advantage, and Pelfrey vs Moyer is a battle of Progression vs regression.

    Pen ours has improved and they have the chance of Lidge melting again..Plus always the chance of an ace lefty Wagner in September/Playoffs.

    Depth guys Garcia, Redding, Livan, Niese, Figeroa seems deeper than what the phillies have, and the mets did sign a few 4th OF’s to play in AAA in cast of emergency (unlike last year where Cancel had to be called up since we had no depth) considering their 5th starter is Kendrick and all our guys could outdo him.

  23. Comment posted by yosi on March 8, 2009 at 9:25 am (#936211)

    Where on D do they have a better player? Rollins vs Reyes and Schneider Ruiz are toss ups but the rest I prefer out defense

    How about Left Field and definitely 2nd base.

  24. Comment posted by billy251300 on March 10, 2009 at 10:58 am (#936757)

    Utley is better than Castillo? last year Castillo had limited mobility due to his offseason surgery and this year Utley has a similar recovery issues. a couple of gold gloves for Castillo and him coming back lighter healthier.
    Left Field how is Ibanez a bad fielder better?

  25. Comment posted by JamesSC on March 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm (#937119)

    because we have Murphy and Tatis in left field which is worse than what Ibanez offers up. It is not that Murphy is pulling a Hundley on us or anything, but he is still a below average fielder. I would at least give the edge to Ibanez for experience at the position.

    Utley vs Castillo seems like Utley will play all year this year and was MUCH better last year than Castillo (who was god aweful). If Castillo rebounds AND Utley plays worse than they get within range of one another, but lets just say I would place my money on Utley right now and so would most other people.

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