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How did Steamer and ZiPS do in 2014 for Indians pitchers?

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Did the LGT audience out-predict some of the leading projection systems?

Harry How/Getty Images

About a month ago we took a look at the LGT pre-season predictions and found some winners. You can review the results for pitchers here.

Some expressed interest in seeing how the LGT community fared against some projection systems. For this I was able to track down the pre-season projections for Steamer and ZiPS to compare against our predictions. I also had Oliver, but being based on 600 PAs it was rendered basically useless for us.

Scoring

If you can't remember how the scoring worked, please refer back to the old post.

Scoring stayed the same except that Steamer and ZiPS were added in and scored independently of each other, such that with the points system they could both earn the maximum since they were only competing against LGT and not each other. Also, points were tallied for how they fell inside our projection "system" (i.e., our actual predictions). This means that for comparison, no points were taken away from LGT predictors.

Leaderboard

Below is the leader board from LGT only predictions. The point figures for the projections were: Zips - 46.2* and Steamer - 35.14. Three members of the LGT community were able to outpace Steamer, but Zips could not be matched despite it actually working with a handicap, which I'll explain when we get to it.

2014Final_Pitchers

Player Breakdown

Justin Masterson

Both Steamer and ZiPS were not as high on Masterson going into the season as the LGT crowd was and they won big for it with 18 and 15 points respectively.

Danny Salazar

Steamer picked up some points but, on the whole, fell into lockstep with those of us here. ZiPS' guarded pessimism, though still a ways off the final line, furthered their lead.

Corey Kluber

ZiPS was closest to LGT in the numbers, which seemed optimistic at the time, but still wildly inaccurate. An ocean of words have been spilled over Kluber's season, but seeing what was expected before his historic season set sail really gives you even more appreciation for the performance and the desire to spill an ocean more.

Zach McAllister

ZiPS actually thought we'd see a better season from The Attach than LGT thought, but it still wasn't close enough. Each system picked up 6 points here and didn't move the needle much, but kept pace.

John Axford

*ZiPS projections do not include saves, so they were already behind the eight-ball on how many points they could acquire. Still, they walked away with 10 points from the Tribe's first closer in 2014. They saw a season in store for Axford a lot like he had - strikeouts and walks with a ballooning ERA. But even they couldn't have guessed how many walks Axford would actually allow. But their points in this category, among the top 4 versus the crowd, were enough to put them over the top.

Conclusions

As far as the Indians go, ZiPS did a much better job predicting the pitchers. The 2014 staff definitely went through its trials and the fact that these predictions don't include Bauer or Carrasco, both heavy contributors, means we're still not sure how they rated in projecting the staff as a whole, but they did a decent job on individual performances.

In general, it seems the fan-biased optimism gets in the way slightly for the LGT crowd, but there are still some accurate assumptions among the masses. Personally, I think this is an example for me to temper my individual expectations a bit better at the start of the season. Except for Klubot. All hail, Klubot.