2018 All Star Picks Part 1

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.

First Base

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+013+ 4.07 Jesus_Aguilar_MIL 1B
+040+ 2.69 Freddie_Freeman_ATL 1B
+051+ 2.39 Mitch_Moreland_BOS 1B
+061+ 2.18 Matt_Adams_WAS 1B-LF
+064+ 2.06 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+069+ 2.02 Ian_Desmond_COL 1B-LF
+072+ 1.97 Paul_Goldschmidt_ARI 1B
+081+ 1.85 Max_Muncy_LAN 1B-3B
+099+ 1.70 Carlos_Santana_PHI 1B
+103+ 1.68 Cody_Bellinger_LAN 1B-CF
+132+ 1.47 Jose_Martinez_SLN 1B
+139+ 1.41 Yonder_Alonso_CLE 1B

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!

National League

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

American League

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.

Third Base

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+015+ 3.78 Nolan_Arenado_COL 3B
+016+ 3.74 Eugenio_Suarez_CIN 3B
+029+ 2.92 Jose_Ramirez_CLE 3B
+048+ 2.42 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B
+084+ 1.83 Travis_Shaw_MIL 3B
+111+ 1.62 Daniel_Descalso_ARI 3B-2B
+158+ 1.28 Christian_Villanueva_SDN 3B
+169+ 1.20 Johan_Camargo_ATL 3B-SS
+181+ 1.13 Kyle_Seager_SEA 3B
+184+ 1.13 Miguel_Andujar_NYA 3B

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!

National League

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

American League

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

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+007+ 4.37 Mookie_Betts_BOS RF
+020+ 3.53 Mike_Trout_ANA CF-DH
+022+ 3.32 Andrew_Benintendi_BOS LF-CF
+024+ 3.07 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF
+026+ 2.96 Eddie_Rosario_MIN LF
+041+ 2.69 Rhys_Hoskins_PHI LF
+044+ 2.58 Mitch_Haniger_SEA RF
+045+ 2.58 Nomar_Mazara_TEX RF-DH
+056+ 2.29 George_Springer_HOU RF-CF
+059+ 2.23 Matt_Kemp_LAN LF-RF
+067+ 2.02 Nick_Markakis_ATL RF
+075+ 1.95 A.J._Pollock_ARI CF
+077+ 1.91 Christian_Yelich_MIL LF-RF-CF
+082+ 1.83 Charlie_Blackmon_COL CF
+086+ 1.83 Denard_Span_TOT LF
+094+ 1.74 Joc_Pederson_LAN LF-CF
+096+ 1.72 Michael_Brantley_CLE LF
+098+ 1.70 Bryce_Harper_WAS RF
+103+ 1.68 Cody_Bellinger_LAN 1B-CF
+086+ 1.66 Denard_Span_TBA LF

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!

American League

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

National League

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 ….