# Using Sabermetrics to Predict Team Wins: Team vs. Team Props

SBR Staff

Saturday, April 4, 2015 7:20 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 4, 2015 7:20 PM UTC

We turn to sabermetrics to help us project the Season Win Totals for some teams for our Team vs. Team props.

In this series of articles we are using one of the most common metrics discussed in sabermetrics, WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. This metric takes into account many separate statistics and combines them into a single value indicating how much more valuable, or not, a player is compared to a replacement value player. These individual projections can be combined to create a WAR value for an entire MLB roster, which can then be used to infer a win-loss record for the upcoming MLB season. As a comparative statistic, we can also use it to compare the talent levels between two specific teams. Currently, Bovada is listing two team vs. team prop bets for 2015 wins that we should analyze using these sabermetric projections. They both include cross-town interleague rivals; and both sets of analyses uncover some serious value.

Who will have more wins in the 2015 Regular Season?
Chicago Cubs (-130)
Chicago White Sox (Even)

Pretty straightforward. Let’s take a look at how the WAR projection systems assess these respective rosters.

Steamer WAR Projections

 TEAM OFFENSE WAR PITCHING WAR TOTAL Projected Wins CHC 19.6 14 33.6 84.59 CWS 16 13.7 29.7 80.81

Fangraphs WAR Projections

 Team Wins fWAR CHC 84 34.1 CWS 77 31.5

MLB Pick: While I passed on the O/U MLB odds of 82.5 with the Cubs citing their weak bullpen, you have to like their chances head-to-head against the White Sox here. I believe the White Sox are a top value to come in under their O/U total of 81.5 games in what should be a two horse race between Cleveland and Detroit in the AL Central. When you compare the talent level of their roster against the Cubs, the choice is clear who should win more games in 2015.The addition of new Cubs manager, Joe Madden, seals the deal for me.

Who will have more wins in the 2015 Regular Season?
New York Yankees (-130)
New York Mets (Even)

Let’s take a look at how the WAR projection systems assess the teams from the Big Apple.

Steamer WAR Projections

 TEAM OFFENSE WAR PITCHING WAR TOTAL Projected Wins NYY 19.4 14.6 34 84.98 NYM 15.5 9.5 25 76.25

Fangraphs WAR Projections

 Team Wins fWAR NYY 82 38.4 NYM 81 29.8

MLB Pick: My concern with the Mets is that they are projected to have one of the bottom 5 pitching staffs in all of baseball. Matt Harvey is electric, but he only plays every fifth game. I am puzzled as to why Fangraphs has them projected to win 81 games, but it is possibly because of the weakness of the NL East (see: Philadelphia). The Yankees aren’t lighting the world on fire either, but their rotation is much deeper. With a consensus roster WAR differential of around 9 wins in both projection systems, there appears to be some serious value in taking the Yankees with my MLB Picks here to win more games than the Mets in 2015.

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