Author Topic: Americal League Previews  (Read 743 times)

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Americal League Previews
« on: 6 Apr 2018 7:22:24 AM »
AL West 2018 Preview

My goal is to take a fair but critical look at these five teams. No criticism of trades will be found here; at least not related to the current owners. Harsh critiques of previous owners is possible. However, this will not be 100% sweet and rosy. Some thoughts could question current roster setup. It is designed to be taken as suggestions, not criticism. The writer assumes the current placement of players on the 25 man roster and the Reserve Roster will not change all that much between now and the start of the season.

In 2017 the LA Angels won 88 games. That was good enough to capture the AL West crown by eight games over the second place A’s. Houston was 3rd with 71 wins, Texas was 4th with 70 and the Mariners were the tail-enders with a record of 56-106. Overall the division was 80 games under .500. When AL West teams played outside their division in ‘17 their group winning percentage was .406. Over 162 games that equates to a 66-96 season. Needless to say it was not a strong division.

Predicted order of finish in 2018
LA Angels – Angels are clear favorites to repeat
Oakland A’s – In limbo. Better than Seattle & Houston, but not in Angels class.
Seattle Mariners – will battle Astros for 3rd
Houston Astros – Neck & neck with Seattle
Texas Rangers – Texas in full blown rebuild mode

Texas Rangers – Mitchell King enters his 2nd year at the helm of the Texas Rangers. Rather than trying to improve upon a 70 win season, Mitchell chose to go in the other direction - and with a vengeance.  First significant off-season move was sending Mashiro Tanaka to the Yankees along with a suitcase filled with $67million dollars in exchange for Jeimer Candelario, Teoscar Hernandez and Grant Holmes. The very next day (Christmas Day) Mitchell fully pulled the plug on his 2018 season with a 16 player trade with Baltimore. Leaving Texas were, Zach Britton, Raisel Iglesias, Carson Kelly, DJ LeMahieu, Tommy Pham, Carols Rondon and Justin Smoak. Landing in Arlington were nine players with very little major league experience. Texas also received Baltimore’s #1pick in 2019; which figures to be a pick in the lower third of the round. Later on Texas parted with Brandon Maurer, Todd Frazier, and Neil Walker. The blow-up was now complete.

The additions with major league service time are Adrian Gonzalez, David Freese,  Devin Mesoraco and Franklin Barreto. This might be a re-build of epic proportions.

What remains in Texas? A team that might be good in 2022 or 2023. But for 2018, it’s gonna be rough, very, very rough.

Based upon the current 25 man roster the starting rotation could look like this:
Brent Suter 4.41ERA; with ERA+ 98
Adalberto Mejia 4.48ERA; ERA+ 93
Jordan Zimmerman  4.60ERA; ERA+ 91
Jake Junis 4.48ERA; ERA+ 87
Ariel Miranda 5.02ERA; ERA+ 82

On the reserve roster we find Mike Clevinger (ERA+ 95) and Vince Velasquez (ERA+ 98). This pair would be an improvement over Junis and Miranda. Considering the ages of Clevinger (27) and Velasquez (26) they do not fit the mold of up & coming prospects. This duo might be as good as they are ever going to be right now in 2018. Using Clevinger & Velasquez in the ‘18 rotation would figure to add a few wins compared to Junis & Miranda.

The best part of the Texas roster is the bullpen. Overall the pen could be average to slightly above average.
Jake Diekman ERA+ 121
Jim Johnson 110
Pedro Baez 106
Robbie Ross Jr 108
The pen will walk too many batters, but this quartet will be passable.

The Hitters
The offense is going to struggle. The player with the best OPS+ (Jesse Winker 102) is not on the active roster. The presumed starters with OPS+ value are:
C – Devin Mesoraco 95
1B - Adrian Gonzalez 99
2B – Carlos Asuaje 84
3B – Jeimer Candelario 98
SS – Jorge Polanco 95
LF – Jarrett Parker 91
CF – Travis Jankowski 69
RF - Teoscar Hernandez 89
DH - David Freese 89

Defensively, the Rangers should be ok. Jankowski and Teoscar are above average as is reserve outfielder Ryan Cordell. The only below average defender is th#1 catcher Mesoraco.

The decision to blow up the roster is history, it can’t be undone. This very well could be the DMBO roster with the least major league talent of all 30 clubs. In a league where the failure rate for minor league players is roughly 60%, a roster chock full of youngsters is not guaranteed to become very successful in the short term or even long term. While there is potential and hope, those two do not necessarily add up to success. The three to four year future cannot be determined now.

What can be claimed now is the best 25 players are not on the active roster as of this writing. Are the Rangers trying to maximize their wins to increase their 2019 revenue or are they trying to gain the #1 pick in the 2019 summer draft? The roster-building debate is which is the most efficient route to success? Compiling draft picks then play the wait & hope game? Or increase the salary cap to be able to purchase free agents and be able to take on contracts of major league talent via trade?

The Over/Under on the Texas win total is 63.5.

Houston Astros - Ryan Hicks is the newcomer to the AL West. He inherits a team that finished 3rd but was 20 games under .500. This year’s squad figures to be better in the W/L department; but the Astros will be challenged to improve on the 3rd place finish.

The players signed this offseason are: Danny Valencia, Charlie Culberson, Bartolo Colon & John Axford; nothing to get the fans too exciting within that group; but they all fill a need.

The Starting Rotation could look like this:
Julio Teheran 4.53; ERA+ 96
Sean Newcomb 4.22: 99
Mike Leake 3.92; 95
Ian Kennedy 4.95; 88
Bartolo Colon 4.79; 84
Needless to say, the rotation does not figure to be the strongest part of the team.

Now the bullpen
Mike Montgomery 4.43; 106
Nick Goody 3.87; 110
Oliver Perez 3.76; 109
Tyler Clippard 4.02; 102
Drew Storen 4.55, 98

Similar to the Rangers, the bullpen has better numbers than the starters.

The hitters who figure to get most of the at-bats with OPS+ value
C - Jason Castro 85 & Cameron Rupp 86; this could be a platoon
1B - Danny Valencia 93
2B - Logan Forsythe 104
3B - Eugenio Suarez 112
SS - Ivan DeJesus 70
LF - Willie Calhoun 116
CF - Marcel Ozuna 119
RF - Nick Markakis 92
DH - Hyun Soo Kim 105

Jacoby Ellsbury & Ramiel Tapia are the 4th & 5th outfielders. Charlie Culberson fills the utility role. The above is not the best defensive outfield alignment. If Ryan is interested in the best outfield defense that looks like this:

LF - Ozuna 119
CF - Ellsbury 93
RF - Markakis 92
That pushes Calhoun to the bench or to DH then Kim goes to the bench.

The glaring weakness is SS. Not only does DeJesus have a 70 OPS+, his SS defense is Fr/155 and his zWAR is -0.1. A better SS option is on the reserve roster; Dawel Lugo. Lugo’s OPS+ is 91 and his zWAR is 1.5.

The offense will be representative. The question is can the bats score enough runs to compensate for the shortcoming of the Starting Rotation.

The Over/Under on the Astros win total is 74.5.

Seattle Mariners - This will be Bill Weismandel’s 3rd DMBO season; but 2018 is the first season he is aggressively trying to compete for wins. Seattle made the biggest news of the off-season with the 10 year $443 mil contract for Shohei Ohtani. Shohei will be Seattle’s best SP (ERA+ 118) and he might be their best hitter. But as a corner OFer/DH, Ohtani’s OPS+ of 106 is nice, but not outstanding.

The Starting Rotation with ERA & ERA+

Shohei Ohtani 3.55; 118
Julio Urias 4.03; 104
Tim Dillard 4.04; 101
Shelby Miller 4.36; 99
Yadier Alvarez 4.50; 94

Trevor Cahill & Kyle Zimmer are also available to start.

The bullpen could be exceptional:
Archie Bradley 3.12; 134
Scott Alexander 3.50; 118
James Pazos 3.57; 115
Ryan Tepera 3.85; 115
Scott Oberg 3.92; 115
Buddy Boshers 4.12; 96

The starting nine with OPS+ could be:
C - Francisco Mejia 84
1B - Byung Ho Park 96
2B - Pat Valaika 72
3B - Drew Ward 70
SS - Elvis Andrus 97
LF - Hunter Renfroe 101
CF - Bradley Zimmer 86
RF - Shohei Ohtani 106
DH - Mac Williamson 85

There might be an issue with the offense at 2B & 3B. The reserve roster is nicely stocked with Anthony Alford, Victor Robles & Brendan Rodgers. Putting Rodgers (OPS+ 92) at 2B would improve the run production. The team is loaded with plus defensive outfielders. The best of the bunch is Victor Robles who is currently not on the active roster.
Seattle are the mirror image of the Astros. With Houston we assume they will score enough runs to be competitive, but will the pitchers be able to limit the damage when the other guys get to hit. With the Mariners, pitching figures to be the strong suite. The question is can they pitch well enough to win a boatload of low scoring contests.

Over/Under for Seattle is 75.5 wins.

Oakland Athletics
- A’s owner Alex Tays begins his 7th DMBO season as CEO of the Athletics.Oakland is coming off a 2nd place finish in 2017, albeit with only 80 wins. This off-season Alex made two big splashes signing 33-year old Justin Turner for $22.5mil per and 34-year old Jon Lester for $35.8mil AAV; both were signed to four year contracts.Clearly the A’s plan on pushing the envelope this year and probably again in 2019.

The Starting Five (ERA; ERA+) could look like this:
Jon Lester 3.69; 123
Lance McCullers 3.29; 119
Eduardo Rodriguez 3.94; 108
Erasmo Ramirez 4.20; 99
AJ Cole 5.03; 85

The Top 4 are excellent. When the #4 guy has an ERA+ of 99; that’s very nice. Other options besides Cole for the #5 spot are Chris Bassett & Juan NIcasio. Both Bassett & Nicasio would be useful bullpen arms.

Roberto Osuna 2.72; 159
David Hernandez 3.27; 120
Derek Law 3.31; 109
Edubray Ramos 3.32; 117
Juan Nicasio 3.64; 101

Nothing wrong with those bullpen arms.

The primary bats include:
C - Tim Fedorwicz 84
1B - Ian Desmond 89
2B - Tony Kemp 93
3B - Justin Turner 130
SS - Javier Baez 94
LF - Ian Happ 114
CF - Aaron Hicks 103
RF- Albert Almora 89
DH - Ryan McMahon 100

The A’s could challenge for the division title. More likely they are a strong contender for an appearance in the AL Wild Card game.

Over/Under for Oakland is 88.5 wins.

Los Angeles Angels - Patrick Haight is the veteran of the AL West. Patrick begins his 13th season in DMBO. His Angels have averaged 88 wins since 2014 and are two-time defending division champions. In 2018 they are the top dog in the division and possibly in the entire AL.

It was a busy winter in Anaheim. Players brought onboard since the close of the 2017 campaign include Freddy Freeman, Nick Williams, Ryan Zimmerman, Francisco Cervelli, Brad Peacock, Chris Iannetta, Melky Cabrera, Boone Logan and Tony Watson.

The starting rotation with ERA & ERA+
Danny Salazar 3.48, 117
Luis Castillo 3.87, 112
Dinelson Lamet 3.78, 100
Jacob Faria 4.08, 105
Brad Peacock 4.01, 101

When/if a 6th SP is needed, Bryan Mitchell (3.55, 105). Unlike their division opponents, none of the Angels’ SP have an ERA+ under 100.

Then there is the bullpen. If you're looking for a team weakness it isn’t here.
James Hoyt 2.93, 131
Shane Greene 3.69, 121
Tony Watson 3.85, 115
AJ Ramos 3.61, 114
Fernando Rodney 4.04, 105

Again, no ERA+ under 100.

Then there are the bats - and plenty of them. The Angels are loaded with hitters whose primary position is 1B, but due to guys being eligible at other slots and the DH they all can play regularly

In the entire AL West, there are five hitters with an OPS+ above 120. The Angels have four of them.
C - Franciso Cervelli 88, Chris Iannetta 93
1B - Paul Goldschmidt 140
2B - Brian Dozier 121
3B - Ryan Zimmerman 106
SS - Freddy Galvis 90
LF - Marwin Gonzalez 110
CF - Jake Marisnick 89
RF- Eric Thames 125
DH - Freddy Freeman 151

What about injuries . Who will fill holes created by injuries? Here is the bench:
Wilmer Flores 108
Brad Miller 108
Matt Kemp 107
Nick Williams 99
Melky Cabrera 98

Most of these guys would be starting for another AL West club. The Angels are not perfect, they do have one weakness. Their defensive ratings are subpar. The only plus defenders are Goldschmidt and Marisnick. And even those two are not Gold Glove caliber, they just look good compared to their teammates. Is defense their achilles heel? Probably not. That’s because their pitchers are projected to average more than 9K per game. Seven pitchers on the staff have a K/g rate > 9.7. Heck, they have three pitchers whose K rate is above 11 strikeouts per game. When the ball isn’t being put in play very often, it doesn’t matter all that much what your defense can’t do.

Angels win the division with room to spare.

Over/Under on Angels wins is 96.5. Yes they are that good.

« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2018 2:31:08 PM by Pirates LW »
Larry Waters
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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #1 on: 6 Apr 2018 9:27:29 AM »
Great stuff here!  Well done!

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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #2 on: 8 Apr 2018 7:33:02 AM »
Great read!  Thanks
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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #3 on: 9 Apr 2018 10:30:40 AM »
Really great stuff here, Larry.  Bravo!
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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #4 on: 9 Apr 2018 11:21:37 AM »
Thanks Guys. After I opened my mouth that I would do this, I quickly realized had no idea how to approach it. The method was to use the ZIPS projections; and assumed 90% of the players on the active roster will get the most playing time; even if there are guys on the reserve roster with better projections.

I heavily relied upon OPS+ and ERA+ ratings because (in theory) they are park neutral values. I also used FIP rather than ERA because it strips out the influence of the the pitcher's actual ML team.

From there I used some basic Sabremetric formulas to estimate projected runs scored and runs allowed. Those numbers got dropped into the Pythag formula to estimate projected Win totals. That's where the Over/Under values came from. We'll see how close those values come to what happens this season.
« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2018 4:38:17 PM by Pirates LW »
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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #5 on: 11 Apr 2018 11:18:07 AM »
I heavily relied upon OPS+ and ERA+ ratings because (in theory) they are park neutral values. I also used FIP rather than ERA because it strips out the influence of the the pitcher's actual ML team.

From there I used some basic Sabremetric formulas to estimate projected runs scored and runs allowed. Those numbers got dropped into the Pythag formula to estimate projected Win totals. That's where the Over/Under values came from. We'll see how close those values come to what happens this season.

I think you're going to be high across the board with this approach, because DMBO's replacement levels and averages are significantly higher than MLB's. (Two main reasons for that: we know how good players are and don't have to worry about that changing mid-season, and we have far fewer injuries and no need for rest which allows us to give good players a greater share of PT.)

Pitching is probably the easiest way to look at that. The average MLB pitcher has an ERA+ of 100 by definition. But the average DMBO pitcher will be significantly better than that. Heck, even the average DMBO starting pitcher is likely to be better than that. The top 200 SP (6.7 per team, accounting for depth and guys farmed for service time) have an average ERA+ of 104. Add in relievers and the average ERA+ for a DMBO pitcher is probably somewhere in the 105-110 range.

I think that will show up pretty clearly if you run the same numbers for every AL team, as I suspect the average team is going to wind up with something like 90 expected wins from this method. And while I know we're better than the NL, I think expecting us to win 95% of the interleague games is a little bit optimistic...  ;D

And I hope this is seen as helpful, not negative, as I totally appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this!
« Last Edit: 11 Apr 2018 11:19:55 AM by Yankees CC »

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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #6 on: 11 Apr 2018 11:38:18 AM »
Quite possibly true. We'll see in six months time.
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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #7 on: 11 Apr 2018 11:07:30 PM »
AL Central 2018 Preview
I liked Larry’s format for the AL West so much that it is mirrored in this narrative. 

Before getting into the 2018 rosters and projections, let’s revisit what occurred within the division during 2017.  This was the dominant division of the simulated American League and likely overall, with three teams recording a minimum of 90 wins and all qualifying for the playoffs.  Cleveland led the entire simulation with 818 runs scored and a sim-leading +170 run differential, while Minnesota finished in the latter category +168 runs, and third place Kansas City Royals finished tied for the fewest runs allowed.

The Central played the balance of the AL at a .597 clip in ’17 (which equates to 96.7 wins for a single team) with only one team finishing below .500 (a mere two games) when facing the other two AL divisions.  In other words, it’s not fun playing against this division, and it’s not exactly a piece of cake going head up against each other.

The AL Central doesn’t appear to be willing to take a step backwards for 2018.  If anything, there may be even more balance.

I’m pleased to report the Dodgers have no games against this division for 2018.

2017 Final Standings-AL Central (and order of 2018 reviews)
Cleveland Indians 100-62
Minnesota Twins 97-65
Kansas City Royals 90-72
Chicago White Sox 79-83
Detroit Tigers 75-87

Cleveland Indians-While hesitant to refer to any team as a juggernaut, the Indians came out on top in 2017 and could repeat in 2018.  As noted above, the Indians scored the most runs in last year and return with batters who hit the most HR’s, tied for second, and finished fourth as the core of an extremely formidable lineup.  Overall, the pitching staff may be even more balanced than the lineup.  The combination of the two makes the Indians far from a long-shot bet to repeat as division champs.

The primary position player addition appears to be catcher Yasmani Grandal to an already potent line up.

Barring significant injury, this will again be a premier team.

Anticipated Starting Pitchers with ERA+ Projections (listed alphabetically)
Chris Archer 125
Carlos Carrasco 132
J.A. Happ 111
Aaron Sanchez 111
Antonio Senzatela 110

Bullpen (listed alphabetically)
Dellin Betances 145
Jerry Blevins 124
Simon Castro 104
Jeurys Familia 132
Donnie Hart 108
Miles Mikolas 100
Seung-hwan Oh 126
Edward Paredes 113

Anticipated Starting Position Players with OPS+ Projections
C- Stephen Vogt 101
1B-Yasmani Grandal 110
2B-Jason Kipnis 98
3B-Nolan Arenado 131
SS-Dansby Swanson 94
LF-Shin-Soo Choo 104
CF-Kevin Kiermaier 105
RF-Giancarlo Stanton 168
DH-Edwin Encarnacion 129

Bench (listed alphabetically)
Eduardo Escobar 99
John Jaso 101
Brendan Ryan 45

Draft Outlook:  Three picks, with two in the 2nd and the final selection in the 5th.

Projected 2018 Record:  97-65

Minnesota Twins-The Twins have an enviable amount of available depth for starting pitching, with the current active roster providing two options for swing/spot starters.  Whether the proper five were selected for this preview’s listing of the primary starters remains to be seen.  Of note is that the two not listed in the rotation below have ERA+ projections as starters and could see those numbers rise in shorter inning assignments.

The core of the lineup should assure that Bobby’s team continues to be a high scoring squad.

Anticipated Starting Pitchers with ERA+ Projections (listed alphabetically)
Yu Darvish 133
Jacob deGrom 117
Francisco Liriano 88
Lance Lynn 106
Andrew Suarez 87
Luke Weaver 108

Bullpen (listed alphabetically)
Clay Buchholz 82
Andrew Chafin 122
Luke Jackson 106
George Kontos 109
Trevor May 112
Miquel Socolovich 104
Andrew Suarez 87
Tony Zych 119

Anticipated Starting Position Players with OPS+ Projections
C-Brian McCann 109
1B-Jose Abreu 130
2B-Joe Panik 108
3B-Paul DeJong 100
SS-Wilmer Difo 76
LF- Steve Pearce 111
CF-Ender Inciarte 99
RF-Mookie Betts 125
DH-J.D. Martinez 147

Bench (listed alphabetically)
Yan Gomes 79
Franklin Gutierrez 106
Chris Owings 87

Draft Outlook:  Four picks, with one toward the end of the 1st round.  Then one 4th and two 5th rounders.

Projected 2018 Record:  87-75

Kansas City Royals-In 2017 the Royals’ pitching staff was elite:  2nd in the AL in ERA, WHIP, RC/27; 1st in Quality Starts and QS%; and 3rd in the fewest inherited runners allowed to score by the bullpen.

They will likely struggle to match that sort of dominance in 2018 but should be a decent staff.  Luis Severino is dominant and likely No. 2 Aaron Nola would be the stopper on several teams.  Adam Wainwright, Sal Romano, and Rob Zastryzny are at least league average.  The guess on this end is that Stephen Wright and Matt Harvey (picked up from waivers) end up in the bullpen for long-duty, spot starts and to help if any of the Top 5 are injured.

Given a bullpen with Chad Green, C.J. Edwards, Alex Colome, Adam Liberatore, and Chasen Shreve, two strong starters on the front end of the rotation followed by at least three league-average guys just might be good enough.

Jon’s lineup should take a fair amount of pressure off the 3-5 starters.

One note:  As of this writing, the Royals roster is above the 25-man limit (as is allowed this time of year), and my notes and positional projections do not incorporate which players are anticipated to be sent down to Omaha.

Anticipated Starting Pitchers with ERA+ Projections (listed alphabetically)
Aaron Nola 125
Sal Romano 97
Luis Severino 138
Adam Wainwright 99
Rob Zastryzny 97

Bullpen (listed alphabetically)
Alex Colome 116
C.J. Edwards  136
Chad Green 146
Matt Harvey 85
Adam Liberatore 124
Chasen Shreve 112
Steven Wright 95

Anticipated Starting Position Players with OPS+ Projections
C-J.T. Realmuto 97
1B-Carlos Santana 132
2B-Ian Kinsler 116
3B-Anthony Rendon 121
SS-Addison Russell 98
LF-Evan Gattis 115
CF-Billy Hamilton 75
RF-Corey Dickerson 116
DH-Logan Morrison 131

Bench (listed alphabetically)
Johan Carmargo 78
Matt Duffy 92
Pete Kozma 44
Jeremy Hazelbaker 87
Brian Goodwin 85
Brett Phillips 87
Aaron Altherr 103

Draft Outlook:  Two picks, a 3rd and a 5th, will require a little deeper analysis than some GM’s may be required to do, but Jon is pretty good at it.

Projected 2018 Record:  88-74

Chicago White Sox-Jack McKeon may be better known as a MLB manager, but for a stint as the GM for the Padres he was commonly referred to as Trader Jack.  I don’t know what the new DMBO White Sox GM TJ Barnaba’s initials stand for, but if you review his transaction register the parallel may be noticed by more than me.

This roster has been retooled, and not with just a handful of players.  Shipping Clayton Kershaw to Tampa was bold, but he was under contract for only his option year.  Bringing in Miguel Cabrera, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland, Trevor Rosenthal, Dee Gordon, Ben Zobrist, and Joe Mauer (among others), along with the signing of Aroldis Chapman completely changed the look of this team.

The starting rotation is below average, but if TJ can get enough good starts from Duffy and Nova combined with enough outings of five innings from the others, he has a superb bullpen to bring the wins home.  The White Sox offense should be markedly improved from last year.

Anticipated Starting Pitchers with ERA+ Projections (listed alphabetically)
Danny Duffy 112
Michael Fiers 93
Doug Fister 95
Ivan Nova 101
Dan Straily 88

Bullpen (listed alphabetically)
Aroldis Chapman 177
Christopher Devenski 128
Carlos Estevez 122
Greg Holland 137
Nate Jones 120
Clayton Richard 87
Trevor Rosenthal 121

Anticipated Starting Position Players with OPS+ Projections
C- Kyle Schwarber 115
1B-Joe Mauer 109
2B-Jedd Gyorko 109
3B-Jose Ramirez 123
SS-Trea Turner 103
LF-Ben Zobrist 99
CF- Dee Gordon 85
RF-Dexter Fowler 113
DH-Miguel Cabrera 124

Bench (listed alphabetically)
Jeff Bandy 82
Sandy Leon 79
Robbie Grossman 109
Cameron Maybin 92

Draft Outlook:  The Pale Hose will be shopping from the “deep dive” section of draft research with two 5th round selections.

Projected 2018 Record:  86-76

Detroit Tigers-It wasn’t all that long ago the Tigers were back-to-back DMBO World Series Champions.  It’s a cyclical world, and 2018 finds the Tigers continuing the retooling process to get back on top, but definitely talent is on board from which GM Bryan Hanna can build around. 

While this projection has the Tigers finishing in last in the division, they wouldn’t be assessed as such in all divisions.  Both the pitching staff and starting lineup seem to be upgrades from last year, and I anticipate them to finish with at least five more wins than last year.  They will definitely score more runs this year.

The Tigers will be fun to watch grow over the next few seasons.

Anticipated Starting Pitchers with ERA+ Projections (listed alphabetically)
Felix Hernandez 96
Michael Pineda 101
C.C. Sabathia 99
Jeff Samardzija 108
Jameson Taillon 110

Bullpen (listed alphabetically)
Tony Barnette 113
Brad Brach 132
Ryan Dull 104
Steve Geltz 83
Jake McGee 101
Yusmeiro Petit 105
Zach Putnam 106   

Anticipated Starting Position Players with OPS+ Projections
C-Derek Norris 92
1B-Matt Olsen 124
2B-Kolten Wong 103
3B-Miquel Sano 123
SS-Carlos Correa 147
LF-Michael Brantley 99
CF-Joc Pederson  117
RF-Aaron Judge 143
DH-Yulieski Gurriel 122

Bench (listed alphabetically)
Tommy Joseph 107
Hernan Perez 91
Brett Nicholas 78
Dominic Smith 103

Draft Outlook:  Bryan is holding a premium pick with the 8th pick in the 1st round, then circles back with a 4th rounder and two picks in the 5th.

Projected 2018 Record:  80-82
« Last Edit: 11 Apr 2018 11:34:10 PM by Dodgers DS »

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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #8 on: 13 Apr 2018 7:26:05 AM »
Good read! Thanks for doing this

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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #9 on: 13 Apr 2018 11:12:44 AM »
It should be another very interesting season, for sure!

I will have Luke Jackson and his 106 ERA+ sitting in the 5th spot, which should be a solid upgrade from the low end guys back there. 

The goal is the division title, but I also would be surprised if I don't even make the playoffs!
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2018 4:34:22 PM by Twins BS »

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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #10 on: 13 Apr 2018 2:00:41 PM »
Dang.  I will haz a sad if I finish 3rd and don't crack 90 wins this year!

Great write up!
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Re: Americal League Previews
« Reply #11 on: 13 Apr 2018 2:29:51 PM »
In a moment of clarity, I realized when projection Runs Allowed for the AL West, I neglected to include unearned runs in the total. Adding in a static increase of 8% additional runs allowed per team, everybody's over/under number is now a bit lower.
Larry Waters
Assistant General Manager, Pittsburgh Pirates

Avoiding disasters with occasional brilliance