We are approaching the time of year when we will see "experts" predict the Astros' record. The Las Vegas oddsmakers have weighed in with an over/under W/L record of 59.5 wins (102.5 losses). Baseball Prospectus released it's initial W/L projection: 68-94 for its playoff odds system and a less regressed version at 99 losses.

One of the reactions I have read from some Astros' fans is "how can they project that the Astros will have a better W/L record this season?" One of David's newspaper colleagues provides an example of this line of thinking ("Anybody who is headed for Vegas please call me. I need to get down on the under...") I can understand the reaction. The Astros have subtracted productive players from a team that racked up 107 losses last year, and are headed to the toughest division in the toughest league. This leads some pessimistic fans to believe that a 110 - 120 loss season is in the offing. A New York Post article suggested that the Astros' would make a run at the 1962 Mets' catastrophic record. While anything is possible, I don't think that kind of extreme outcome is likely. I'll get around to some data to support my view; but, first, we have talk about statistical concepts.