Baseball Prospectus this week launched their 2019 PECTOA player projections and, in doing so, have started to update their projected standings.
I’ll be doing an Oakland A’s news update video on YouTube later in the week, but thought I’d quickly write up some thoughts on the AL West projection before then. Here it is:
From an A’s perspective, they’re predicting a large drop-off in performance, shedding 18 wins based against our 2018 total.
It’s very important to note here that the projected standings work on looking at their playing projections and then allocating playing time based on educated guesses. The A’s, like most teams, went through a significant amount of roster churn over the course of the 2018 season. As BP will be quick to say themselves, the standings as of 10 February include lots of contributions from players that may not feature for the team, and clearly can’t take into account the performance of in-season recruits.
In short, don’t take them as a guide as to where every team will stand at the end of the season. Take them as a guide as to where the team may stand playing through the season with the current roster options available as of today.
There’s no need to take any offence to the A’s 79-83 projected record, but what you can do on BP’s website is click on each team and see precisely what they are factoring in. For the A’s, the story is that they are very pessimistic about the returns we’ll receive from our current starting pitcher options. In particular, based on the projection, Marco Estrada’s player comment in the BP Annual will not be too positive, just as it wasn’t in the Ron Shandler Baseball Forecaster.
BP’s overriding projection is that the starting rotation looks dicey and the rest of the roster will not be able to make up the shortfall as well as they did last season. If true, that means the A’s once again will need to work some magic with the pitchers they’ve got – and likely with some pitchers they’ll get as the season goes on – to make it back to the post-season.
And, away from the stark current 79-83 projected win-loss record, I suspect that’s exactly what most of us A’s fans were thinking already.