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Rangers Division Favorites In 2012 Projection Blowout

I spent last week highlighting several popular forecast systems, and what they said about the Texas Rangers.

Each year, however, Replacement Level Yankees Weblog does me one better, by combining several systems (three we looked at, and pay wall-protected PECOTA and Oliver) in to one massive, overall look in their Projection Blowout. I wish they'd use Steamer, considering how competitive it is with the others, and how available it is, but I'm not the man doing the hard work.

In any case, the blowout is not quite as optimistic about the Rangers as their own CAIRO system, but it's close. Compiling the four systems gives the Rangers a 91 win season, behind only the New York Yankees (94) in baseball, winning the division by one game. That should come as little surprise, given the general theme in forecasts this year has been 1) Texas is very good, probably behind only New York, 2) the Angels are almost, but not quite, as good.

In their trials, Texas wins the division just over 52% of the time, and makes the playoffs a robust 75% of the time; the latter number by far the most comfortable of any Major League team after the Yanks.

All that said, the 91 wins they give the Rangers might be the highest average of any team in the AL West, but at the same time they also don't see it as enough to win the division. The combined prognostication of the systems sees the West taking around 95 wins to win, and typically being won by eight games. The wild card spots come out at 92 and 89 wins to seal.

In one last feature, through the blowout post, you can see the individual results for each system used. Always-conservative Marcel is the most pessimistic on the Rangers' win total, at only 87. Three-out-of-five -- Marcel, along with Oliver and ZiPS -- actually have the Angels winning the division, but PECOTA skews things mightily. The Baseball Prospectus system which was once the best in the business -- and can certainly argue that claim again -- is extremely high on Texas, giving them a stunning 98 wins, the best in baseball (the real thing isn't quite that optimistic).

So, there you go. A lot of this will be wrong, because baseball, but it is a whole lot better than just guessing. With that in mind, it's great to see the Rangers looking good.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.