PECOTA Team Projections: They’re Not Pretty

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Updated: February 10, 2017

Earlier this week, Baseball Prospectus released PECOTA projections for every team and for over 2,000 players. Unlike every other major projection system, BP is real bullish on the Angels this season. While most predict the Halos will finish above .500, PECOTA projects the Angels to be just four wins better than they were last season at 78-84. So what gives? Even after a full makeover this offseason, BP still thinks there are some sketchy characters on the team.

The main reason BP is bullish on the Angels is due to the pitching staff. Of the seven players vying for a rotation spot, only two are projected to have an ERA under 4.00 in Tyler Skaggs and Matt Shoemaker at 3.88 and 3.94 respectively. The bullpen isn’t as pretty. The only player projected to have an ERA under 4.00 is Jose Alvarez. Cam Bedrosian is projected to regress heavily with an ERA of 4.01. If I had to ballpark the ERA for the entire staff, I would say it would be around 4.50.

Another reason for such low projections is due to the regression of several starting players. Andrelton Simmons is predicted to have an average 21 points lower than the .281 he hit last season. Cameron Maybin’s WARP is just 1.0, a 1.4 point drop from last year’s WAR. Danny Espinosa’s projected home runs on the season is 12. That’s half of what he hit last season. I won’t go into too much detail for each player (that’s a story for another day), but many starters look like they will regress in 2017.

Obviously, projections aren’t guarantees and can be overcome. The 2014 Angels were not projected to win more than 90 games, yet they won 98. A lot has to go wrong in order for these measures to be met, so it’s unlikely they will finish with a record so low. PECOTA projections offer a glimpse of what may happen  during the season, but they are not set is stone.

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