Another year, another All Star break. Today we’ll start another three part All Star Picks series like what was done last season pitting this data model against fan voting. Part 1 will cover the more offensive positions like corners; 1B and 3B, and the grab bag of outfielders. Part 2 will cover 2B, SS, and Catchers and Part 3 finishes with starting and relief pitching.
After a quick google search the top site for fan voting data is Sporting News which should be good enough. AL and NL are picked separately (obviously) yet this model ranks all players, all positions together so we’ll have to manually see who is AL and who is NL. Let’s get started with the top ten 1B according to this data model.
This model is based on offensive runs scored by hitters, defensive runs scored against by pitchers. These are actual runs that can be counted. Modeling player defense is outside the scope of this model as it involves imaginary runs; runs that should have scored but didn’t and runs that scored but shouldn’t have. This is a completely separate topic for another time. That said, it is appropriate to adjust the above player rankings somewhat based upon great or not so great fielding. Let’s get to it.
The above table had to be expanded two rows because the American League doesn’t have too many good first basemen this season. The model just spits out these numbers and they are what they are Spoiler Alert: AL makes up for this in OF below.
Our model has Aguiler #1 and Freeman #2 for NL 1B, Moreland #1 and Alonso #2 for AL 1B. Let’s see what the people have to say. Survey says!
1. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 2,199,904
2. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: 899,953
3. Brandon Belt, Giants: 571,177
4. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers: 472,164
5. Jose Martinez, Cardinals: 303,551
1. Jose Abreu, White Sox: 1,032,748
2. Yuli Gurriel, Astros: 714,361
3. Mitch Moreland, Red Sox: 644,728
4. Albert Pujols, Angels: 516,550
5. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 415,891
Looks like Aguilar didn’t make the cut for NL but Freeman did. Rizzo #2 which is surprising with his WAR=0.3. This model agrees however and has him #2 without Aguiler as well. Surprised Joey Votto isn’t in top 5 fan voting since his WAR=2.9 (rank #39) is so high. Either fan voters don’t follow WAR or Cincinnati doesn’t have enough fans to vote or both. Interesting however.
AL looks out of whack at 1B probably because it is so weak at that position this season. Albert Pujols? Miguel Cabrera? Jose Abreu???? At least Mitch Moreland is in the top 5 but probably won’t win balloting.
Looks like AL and NL are both well represented in the top ten 3B list. Arenado and Ramirez are the top picks but Suarez is so close it could go either way. Let’s see what the people think. Survey says!
1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies: 1,706,923
2. Kris Bryant, Cubs: 1,060,467
3. Johan Camargo, Braves: 642,241
4. Eugenio Suarez, Reds: 376,612
5. Justin Turner, Dodgers: 353,693
1. Jose Ramirez, Indians: 1,319,651
2. Miguel Andujar, Yankees: 764,032
3. Alex Bregman, Astros: 718,814
4. Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 422,263
5. Mike Moustakas, Royals: 342,607
Arenado takes top spot in NL voting. Cubs fans stuffing the ballot box for Kris Bryant. God Bless them. This is Chicago after all! Johan Camargo beats out Eugenio Suarez who suffers from playing in a small media market.
For AL it’s Ramirez which we agree and they have Bregman at #3 which we almost agree. Not sure Moustakas got in top 5 but KCA tends to also stuff ASG ballot boxes as we saw last season.
Outfield is a grab bag of 3 outfielders from either left, right, or center. Above shows the top three for NL (bold blue) and AL (bold red) with alternates in non bold colors. AL has the top 6 out of 7 top spots for this position. What say the people? Survey says!
1. Mookie Betts, Red Sox: 2,337,514
2. Mike Trout, Angels: 1,989,649
3. Aaron Judge, Yankees: 1,557,109
4. George Springer, Astros: 829,579
5. Michael Brantley, Indians: 794,074
6. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox: 784,969
7. Marwin Gonzalez, Astros: 531,538
8. Brett Gardner, Yankees: 501,175
1. Nick Markakis, Braves: 1,829,276
2. Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 1,498,827
3. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 1,403,335
4. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies: 983,660
5. Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves: 932,989
6. Ender Inciarte, Braves: 828,451
7. Jason Heyward, Cubs: 750,688
8. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: 706,374
This model pretty much agrees with fans for AL. Judge is so close to Benintendi that it could go either way. This model is also somewhat in agreement with NL. Rhys Hoskins is notably absent which can happen in fan voting. Schwarber and Heyward are having decent seasons as outlined here in Cubs Status.
That is all for 1B, 3B and OF. Part 2 will cover 2B, SS, and Catcher. Pitchers are not picked by fans so in Part 3 we won’t have any fan voting for comparison. ASG is on July 17 this year and all players get a vacation — except for those who have to play in this game. Personally, I never watch the All Star Game since it’s meaningless. Only interested in how this model stacks up to what the fans think and so far, except for AL 1B, it’s reasonably close. We’ll see how it stands up to fan voting in Part 2.
That is all for today. A minor league dump coming mid July because that data is so cumbersome to process. Until then ….