Justifying why your predictions were off about the Marlins seems to be all the rage today and everyone is using strength of schedule.
Not surprisingly the Philadelphia Daily News is doing their best to explain away the Marlins start to the season. And I would expect nothing less .
Consider: Only three of the Marlins' 23 wins have come against teams that entered yesterday with a winning record. (The Phillies, Mets and Braves all have eight wins against winning teams.) Furthermore, they are 8-1 against the Nationals, meaning more than a quarter of their wins have come against a team that is tied for the second-worst record in the National League. Heading into yesterday, the Marlins had won seven straight, but those seven have come against three teams with a combined record of 47-66.
Let's see, you take the three teams the Marlins won seven straight against and factor out the Marlins, how are they doing against the rest of the league.
The three teams are the Nationals, Brewers and Padres. If you take away the Marlins wins and losses, their records are as follows:
One team is playing at .500 against the league, another has a winning record, and the Padres...just suck. But in the Marlins defense, the Fish faced Peavy and Maddux in that series.
Our good friend at The South Florida Fan blog breaks down all of the teams that the Marlins have played this season . Last night's games are not included.
But like I said, I completely expect a Phillie's hometown paper to skew the data anyway possible to make the Phillies look good. I would be extremely disappointed if they didn't.
But the biggest justifiers of their preseason predictions is Baseball Prospectus. If you didn't see their predictions for the Marlins, ask GameFish, I'm sure she will be happy to lend you her copy of Baseball Prospectus 2008.
Anyway, here is what they, or to be more exact, Joe Sheehan has to say now:
The article is in the premium material part of the site, so if you don't subscribe to Baseball Prospectus, which I happily do, you can't see it.
Basically it says that the Marlins will regress to the mean, the pitchers don't strikeout enough hitters and all of the good stuff is happening because the Marlins are playing a soft schedule and they will soon be beaten up by the big boys, as predicted.
It wouldn't be very hard to beat the article up, but I have a good relationship with BP, or at least I did before I wrote this.
There is little doubt that the Marlins will regress to the mean, but that doesn't necessarily imply what BP calculated as the mean in the preseason, is the actual mean.