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Lance Lynn: 2015 VEB Community projections vs. ZiPS, PECOTA, Steamer, & Oliver

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Every year, MLB projections are released. They are based on regression formulas with various inputs. At VEB, we've decided to add a human element to the MLB forecasts. We collect stat predictions for various Cardinals players from the VEB Community at large, average them together, and then compare them to the math-based projection systems.

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

After unveiling the 2015 VEB Community projections for two position players (the Matts Holliday and Carpenter) yesterday, we start things off today with a pitcher. That pitcher is burly righty Lance Lynn, who is coming off a career year.

As a reminder, we're looking at the following projections:

  • VEB (an average of the VEB Community projection submissions)
  • PECOTA (Baseball Prospectus, using their weighted means spreadsheet)
  • ZiPS (by Dan Szymborski and available for free at Fangraphs and a downloadable spreadsheet)
  • Steamer (freely viewable on Fangraphs)
  • Oliver (by Bill Cartwright and freely downloadable)
In Lynn's first season as a full-time starter, he posted a 9.20 K/9, 3.27 BB/9, 3.78 ERA, and 3.49 FIP. In 2013, Lynn put up an 8.84 K/9, 3.39 BB/9, 3.97 ERA, and 3.28 FIP. Naturally, last year, when Lynn posted his lowest K/9 (8.00) as a full-time starter, he posted his lowest ERA (2.74). In doing so, he flipped the script on his ERA-FIP gap. Whereas Lynn pitched better than his ERA indicated in 2012 and 2013, he didn't pitch as well as his ERA suggested last year. His FIP gap went from 0.69 to -0.61. That's an astounding swing.

ZiPS foresees Lynn continuing to over-perform his FIP in terms of run suppression in 2015. So does Steamer (but just barely). PECOTA and Oliver on the other hand project Lynn to go back to his bad FIP defying days, posting an ERA comfortably higher than his projected peripherals suggest he should post.

The spreadsheet projection systems don't see Lynn maintaining his low ERA from a season ago. Neither does VEB. No forecast has Lynn posting a sub-3.00 ERA. VEB's 3.19 ERA is the lowest.

VEBers also don't see Lynn rebounding to show the strikeout form he did in 2012 and 2013 compared to ZiPS, Oliver, and PECOTA. The VEB collective also forecasts Lynn to continue reducing his walk rate.

From those VEB Community members who put their username to their predictions, here are the highest and lowest five submissions for the various statistical categories:

Highest 5 IP:

  1. smilingbob14, 235
  2. Chessed, 220
  3. dr. howl, 218
  4. apostle87, 217
  5. Cardsfan7575, 215
  6. aswb83, 215
  7. RDChris85, 215

Lowest 5 IP:

  1. vances law, 175
  2. guayzimi, 178
  3. Robth, 180
  4. lightbulb, 181
  5. flood, 181

Highest 5 K/9:

  1. Bherman, 9.1
  2. wmb1, 9.0
  3. apostle87, 8.9
  4. Glong22, 8.83
  5. TheRealAaron, 8.8

Lowest 5 K/9:

  1. sammystl5, 5.0
  2. RDChris85, 6.7
  3. Cardsfan7575, 7.0
  4. mattr262, 7.5
  5. jlh56ks, 7.5

Highest 5 BB/9:

  1. RDChris85, 4.3
  2. blakeford77, 3.8
  3. Smokin Turkeys, 3.5
  4. BaseballFriend317, 3.5
  5. wmb1, 3.5

Lowest 5 BB/9:

  1. TheRealAaron, 1.2
  2. dr. howl, 1.9
  3. sammystl5, 2.0
  4. Glong22, 2.04
  5. Cardsfan7575, 2.1
  6. ArkansasTravs, 2.1
  7. 84CardsFan, 2.1

Highest 5 ERA:

  1. RDChris85, 4.23
  2. lightbulb, 3.70
  3. Craig Edwards, 3.67
  4. The Continental, 3.50
  5. hangingfromatree, 3.48
  6. blakeford77, 3.48

Lowest 5 ERA:

  1. BaseballFriend317, 2.55
  2. smilingbob14, 2.65
  3. StanTheManFan, 2.78
  4. TheBaseballMan, 2.83
  5. sammystl5, 2.89
  6. Cardsfan7575, 2.89
  7. mattr262, 2.89
  8. jdog55, 2.89

Highest 5 FIP:

  1. RDChris85, 4.65
  2. ISawGodInGibby'sRightArm, 3.84
  3. ldr, 3.70
  4. lightbulb, 3.70
  5. indakind, 3.68

Lowest 5 FIP:

  1. TheRealAaron, 2.95
  2. sammystl5, 3.00
  3. ShannonIsn'tSober, 3.05
  4. Cardsfan7575, 3.09
  5. wyocardsfan, 3.10
  6. DisplacedCardsFan, 3.10

Highest 5 Pitching "Wins":

  1. Bherman, 21
  2. apostle87, 20
  3. dr. howl, 20
  4. Hornsby74, 19
  5. Cardsfan7575, 18
  6. Milt Thompson, 18
  7. Joe Schwarz, 18
  8. nomar34, 18
  9. Chessed, 18
  10. ArkansasTravs, 18
  11. ldr, 18

Lowest 5 Pitching "Wins":

  1. lightbulb, 11
  2. guayzimi, 12
  3. zoomzoomj88, 13
  4. ISawGodInGibby'sRightArm, 13
  5. RDChris85, 13

Highest 5 Pitching "Losses":

  1. zoomzoomj88, 12
  2. Chessed, 12
  3. ISawGodInGibby'sRightArm, 11
  4. Smokin Turkeys, 11
  5. hangingfromatree, 11
  6. Free Mark Whiten, 11