I'm stealing this idea behind this article from USSMariner.
The baseball season is almost two weeks old. The Marlins are 9-1 -- quite impressive -- but nobody's ready to hand them the NL East, as ten games isn't evidence of much at all. Injuries aside, we're not going to change our impression of the talent in Florida. We are, however, going to give the Marlins credit for those nine wins. After all, they're not coming off the board.
So if we aren't changing future expectations or changing the results recorded so far, what can we do? Well, we can combine those two pieces of knowledge into a revised win projection. For this exercise, I'm using the CHONE projected standings:
The Marlins have played ten games, meaning they have 152 remaining. CHONE projected them to be 75-87, good for a .463 winning percentage. Because we're not taking their record so far as evidence to change our opinion of how they'll perform the rest of the season, we can expect them to play .463 ball over the last 152 games, good for 70.4 more wins. In addition to the nine already in the bank, CHONE's current best guess is for 79.4 total wins on the season.
Let me hammer home a point here: I am not -- and you should not -- fall for the gambler's fallacy. If a team we expected to go 81-81 on the season starts 10-0, we should not expect them to play ten games under .500 the rest of the way just so they'll end up at 81-81. We should expect them to play .500 ball the rest of the way, going 76-76, because our best guess at their talent level is still that of a .500 team. Expecting a team to win fewer games the rest of the way because they've won more games than expected so far is just bad reasoning (strength of schedule issues aside).
I'm sure you don't only care about the Marlins, so here are my modified CHONE projected standings, with the assumption that every team is just as good right now as CHONE thought it would be before the season started. W and L are the original CHONE projections. cW and cW are each team's current wins and losses. nW and nL are the new projected wins and losses. And delta is the change in projected wins because of the games played so far:
Do It Yourself
What's that? You think the CHONE projections are lame? Well, I disagree, but if you'd like to input your own pre-season projections and see what the updated expected standings are, feel free to download the spreadsheet I used and modify the W and L columns. Everything else will automatically update.