One of the joys of the offseason involves attempting to project player performances. As fans, we attempt to extrapolate Spring Training data and how a player has performed in their career to attempt to determine how they will play this season. Our motivations can range from fantasy baseball preparations to a desire to figure out how our favorite players will do to finding a way to pass the time during the winter months.
Las Vegas and gambling sites are no different. Like us, they project how players will perform, only they do so in an attempt to maximize their financial gains. However, even for those who are not interested in placing a wager, those projections can be interesting. One player that stood out was Mike Trout.
Trout is always someone that fans are interested in, especially since the 22 year old wunderkind has produced the types of numbers only seen by the greatest of the great during his first two full seasons. Based on the projections from Bovada, he is expected to continue along those lines. For the season, Trout is expected to put together a .320 batting average, with 29.5 home runs and 35.5 stolen bases, based on the over/under.
Based on the projections at Fangraphs.com, these projections may be a bit bullish on how Trout will perform. Taking the average of the four systems used, Trout is expected to put together a .310 batting average with 26.25 home runs, both a bit under those projections from Bovada. Both the Bovada projections and the four projections at FanGraphs are almost identical when it comes to stolen bases however, as the projections expect Trout to end up with 35.25 steals.
What do these numbers mean? Nothing really. Much like all projections, the numbers that gambling sites, ZIPS, Steamer and the others provide are based on their best approximation of what the player will be. For Mike Trout, even if he performs at the lowest end of those projections – a .300 batting average wit 25 home runs and 31 stolen bases – that would be a bit of a disappointment. Considering that those numbers would be great for virtually any other player just goes to show how much is expected from Trout.
Mike Trout is expected to have what should be another excellent season according to the projections. If anything, the gambling sites have higher expectations than anyone else. Yet, early on in his career, all that Trout has done is exceed expectations. Why should this year be any different?