I've made some changes to the WAR spreadsheet in the hopes of making it more accurate and easier to use.
Changes since the beta:
The option of using OBP and SLG instead of wOBA. Make sure they are park-adjusted, though. To use OBP/SLG instead, change the TRUE underneath "wOBA?" to FALSE to force the Hit calculation to use (1.75*OBP + SLG) / 3 to compute wOBA instead of using whatever's in the wOBA column. (The wOBA column will remain blank, though, except for the team totals row.)
New baselines for replacement-level team wins. I started with 48 wins per team (a .300 team), added two wins for NL teams (because they are worse, but compete against each other), subtracted two wins for AL teams (similar reason), subtracted 1 win from AL teams as an estimate of added production from DHs, and subtracted 1.5 wins from all teams as a rough estimate of the average number of wins created by leveraging relievers in a bullpen. The result is a 48.5 win baseline for NL teams and a 43.5 win baseline for AL teams.
- A chart showing the probability of winning at least X number of games, given the overall talent estimate of the team, where X goes from 61 to 101 in intervals of 5 games. The first line should be read "The probability of winning at least 61 games is Y%."
- New PA estimates for a complete offense. The average PAs per position/lineup spot should be about 695, but that can range from, say, 620 to 760 depending on lineup position (18 fewer PAs for each spot lower in the order). NL teams should get another 350 PAs from pinch hitters. Do not include pitcher batting. And the higher the team's OBP (or wOBA, as a proxy for OBP), the more PAs they'll have. A rough estimate is 8 more PAs per lineup spot for each .010 points of team OBP (wOBA).
After the jump you'll find some user instructions. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.
- Change the information in the green cells, but don't touch the rest.
- Everything is measured in wins. If you prefer to do your scratch work in runs, just divide by ten when entering the info in the spreadsheet.
- If you're not up with using wOBA, you can enter park-adjusted OBP and SLG instead. You only need to enter wOBA OR OBP/SLG, not all of it.
- BR is baserunning, which probably will include both SB/CS info and non-SB/CS info, unless you're looking at Fangraphs for wOBA (which already includes SB and CS in wOBA). I'd suggest assigning most players 0 for non-SB/CS baserunning, with some at +/- .25 wins and the rare player at +/- .5 wins. Baseball Prospectus has some solid baserunning numbers, just make sure to ignore the EQSBR piece if appropriate. As an estimate, one CS cancels out two SBs and six net SBs create .1 wins.
- Fld is fielding relative to position. You could even add in OF throwing arms from THT, although 2008 data isn't available yet. The CHONEs have good fielding projections.
- ERA for pitchers is a projection of their ERA, park- and defense-adjusted. Do NOT use past seasons' ERAs as an estimate. Instead, use FIP, xFIP, tERA, or something like that. ERA is a blah stat. Projecting pitching talent on the ERA scale is safe to do, however.
- Once you have IP set for the relievers, change their leverages so that the team averages out to 1.0. Closers should stay at about 1.8 with one setup guy at 1.3 and a bunch of guys below 1.0 to average it out.
- Please, please, please don't just look at 2008 data. This is a projection. All past performance matters to varying degrees, not just last year. Even better, use projections done by people smarter than both you and me (CHONE and PECOTA are my favorites). Or get community input and take a wisdom-of-the-crowds approach. Or see how much over their heads the players on your favorite team have to perform in order to reach 90 wins.
- Be conservative. Players get injured. They don't live up to expectations. Pick rate stats and playing time estimates that account for the pessimistic possibilities, not just the optimistic possibilities. Pretend the 2009 season will be played 10 times. If a pitcher throws 200 IP 8 of those seasons, 100 IP once, and zero once, that's an expected total of 170 IP. Being conservative on the full time players also lets you give small, but significant playing time to a lot of backups and potential callups.
- WAR stands for wins above replacement. An average player over a full season is worth about 2.25 WAR. All-Stars tend to be 4+ WAR. MVPs are often at least 7 WAR. Barry Bonds' best seasons were 12+ WAR.
- FA$ is the value of each player's projected production priced at $4.5MM per win above replacement (the going rate of the free agent market), plus the $400K league minimum.
- If you don't have Excel, check out OpenOffice (a downloadable, free, Excel-like application for all operating systems) and EditGrid (an online tool that simulates Excel and is way better than GoogleDocs).