April 04, 2006

Opening Day A's Disaster: Small Sample, Big Stats

The Oakland A's opening day game against the New York Yankees yesterday was an unmitigated car wreck - down 7-0 by the top of the second inning, the team collapsed to a 15-2 finish, starting out of the gate in the worst way. Given that posters on Athletics Nation and other places tend to over-react to one game's ebb and flow, I posted a diary called "Small Sample Size: Large Stats", which extrapolated how the season numbers would look if that game were to happen every day for a full 162-game season.

With one game on the books for all teams, it's time to revisit the stat-o-meter and use that sample size to suggest end of the year statistics (with a heavy focus on our Oakland A's - after all, this is an A's site).
The A's pitchers are on pace to:
• Give up 2,430 runs
• Give up 2,268 earned runs
• Issue 1,458 free passes
• Hit 486 opposing batsmen

The A's offense is on pace to:
• Score a measly 324 runs on the season
• Draw ZERO walks on the season
• Sport a .228 OBP as a team

The A's defense is on pace to:
• Make 162 errors
• Give up 162 unearned runs
• Throw out 100% of base runners! (Go Kendall!)

Some other notable stats:

• Johnny Damon is set for a monster year, as he's on pace to have a record-shattering 486 hits in an incredible 1,134 at bats, and will surpass Ted Williams with a .429 batting average, making him worth every penny the Yankees paid for him.
• However, Hideki Matsui will claim the batting title with a perfect 1.000 average, and will dominate the league with 162 home runs, 648 total hits and 1,134 total bases. There's your MVP, folks.
• Frank Thomas will also show the A's he's worth every penny paid in free agency and more, with his 162 home runs per year contribution, and a slugging percentage of 1.333 - not too shabby.
• Best of all, the A's will draw a sellout crowd for every ball game this season, with the team's 35,077 capacity showing up at all 81 games, delivering a full year attendance of 2,841,237 - well ahead of expectations. This will provide Wolff and Beane with the money needed to trade Zito for Hideki Matsui in mid-season.
• Speaking of Zito, he will reach 216 innings pitched this year, according to early projections, which is fine, but his 47.25 ERA will leave much to be desired, and will likely set the team to continue on a 162-game slide unseen in baseball history. On the positive side, at least the bullpen will get in a lot of work.

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