I’ve rerun all the player cards with a 2015 projection, so you should be able to see indivduals up now.

Not that they won’t change between now and April, as I have any number of things to work through that are not included in this version. As a for instance, the default setting for league offense for 2015 is for the AL and NL to be the same as in 2014.

When I ran the cards for 2014, that default meant that I used the 2013 averages. That wasn’t so bad in the NL – league offense came in at 4.01 runs per 9 innings in 2014, compared to 4.04 in 2013 – but in the AL, offense had a far more substantial drop from 4.31 to 4.15. My forecasts for the majors as a whole was high by almost 500 runs, 2.4%; but about 350 of that came from the AL, against only 150 in the NL.

Stepping back for a historical perspective:



That’s runs per nine innings in the AL on a yearly basis (blue dashed lines) and as a 5-year moving average (solid red line). You’ll note that the 5-year average right now is on a solidly down and linear trend. It has fallen by 13, 9, 9, 9, and 6 points over the last five years. Should that trend continue, then next year’s 5-year average should fall another 9 points to 4.27 – which means that next year’s RPG would need to be about 4.01. The individual year trends also run to about 10 points per year, suggesting a 4.05. Absent some action by the league, it is hard to see the offense not dropping at least a little further next year. I’m thinking that something like 4.08 is a better forecast would be a better forecast than the 4.15 I would use by default.


Same deal in the NL:


Next year the last 4.40 RPG will scroll off the 5-year average, which is going to depress it even without further drops in the one-year average. Repeating last year’s 4.01 will cut the 5-yr  average by another 7 points, to 4.11. Continuing the 10-point per year trend line would mean a one-year forecast of 3.87. You’ll note that the NL has operated with an apparent floor of about 3.8 runs, that only the 1968 season has penetrated since the dead ball era, so we are approaching the offensive levels at which the league has historically stepped in to make changes. I’m not as certain that the NL will decline further (as compared to the AL), so I think I will just let last year’s average roll forward.


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