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 Post subject: Early projections for 2018 standings: ZiPS loves L.A.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:02 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:58 am
Posts: 540

You didn't naïvely think that baseball actually ever ended, did you? We don't huddle around hot stoves anymore in the winter, but baseball never stops and teams are already in the thick of it, strategizing for the 2018 season. Even the Houston Astros' front office, which is still cleaning off the dried residue of bubbly fermented grapes, isn't completely thinking about 2017.
As is my tradition, I run a "State of the Franchise" projection for all of Major League Baseball at the start of the offseason. This does not mean that these are the official 2018 projections that you'll see in March, but they are where each team stands with only the players currently under contract. That means no Jake Arrieta for the Chicago Cubs, no Yu Darvish for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and no Eric Hosmer for the Kansas City Royals.
For players with an options or opt-outs, ZiPS projects based on the likelihood that exercising an option or opting out of a contract would be a better idea than not doing so. So ZiPS assumes a >99.9 percent chance that Madison Bumgarner returns to the San Francisco Giants and a less than 0.1 percent chance that J.J. Hardy does (under the option at least) to the Baltimore Orioles.
These numbers do factor in regressions toward the mean (as the projections do) and as these are mean projections, you'll see a smaller spread between best and worst team than you eventually will in 2018's final standings. After all, these are mean projections for each team, and some teams will be fortunate, Womens Xavier Su'a-Filo Jersey some teams less so.
The bullpen must be fortified, to be sure, with closer Ken Giles' shattered confidence in need of repair. As cool as it was to see manager A.J. Hinch go retro Womens Xavier Su'a-Filo Jersey during the postseason by bringing back the three-inning save, Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers Jr. and perhaps even Brad Peacock will be too busy starting every five days to pick up seventh-, eighth- and ninth-inning work in Womens Xavier Su'a-Filo Jersey their spare time. The co-ace tandem of Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel will be together for a full season, which ought to take at least some heat off the bullpen.
Likewise, baseball's highest-scoring offense will remain largely intact. The Astros have five free agents, most notably Carlos Beltran. At this point, the 40-year-old designated hitter is more valuable for his leadership skills than anything he
still does with the bat, his clubhouse speech after Game 5 of the AL Championship Series carrying far greater weight than his 3-for-20 postseason showing. If Beltran doesn't retire -- he said he will defer that decision until a few weeks after the World Series -- he could return on another one-year contract for relatively low money.
Otherwise, the Astros will get the band back Womens Xavier Su'a-Filo Jersey together next season, and they will have as good a chance to repeat as any defending champion since the last team that actually did it -- the dynastic 1998-2000 New York Yankees, who were led, of course, by the original "Core Four." -- Scott Lauber
This is another way of asking how the Angels will get offensive support for Mike Trout. Re-signing Justin Upton and having him for a whole season will help, but that doesn't solve the sinkhole that was Pujols in 2017. He hit
.241/.286/.386, ranking 137th of 144 regulars in wOBA. Even though AL designated hitter spots were mostly terrible in 2017 (hitting collectively worse than the average AL hitter), the Angels still ranked 14th in the league in wOBA at the position. The other problem: They were also next-to-last in wOBA at first base. They can't enter 2018 with both Pujols and C.J. Cron penciled in as starters.



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