Astros 2016: Back to the future with projections
Predicting anything is a very inexact science, which is why Biff became a Gazillionaire in Back to the Future Part II by taking a sports almanac from the future back to 1955. One web site has compiled what they call a consensus of seven different sports mystics predicting what MLB hitters and pitchers will produce in the coming season. http://www.fantasypros.com/mlb/projections/hitters.php
Toodling around the different positions with an eye specifically to the Houston Astros reveals a number of interesting nuggets and the feeling that in some cases the consensus may not end up being as accurate as Biff was.
- Carlos Correa. Their predictions that Correa will put up 24 HR, 93 RBIs, 21 SBs with a .277 BA and a .812 OPS make him a formidable offensive weapon at a non-offensive position. But considering he had a .857 OPS and was on a 162 game arc for 36 HR and 111 RBIs as a 20 year old rookie, this prediction almost feels disappointing.
- Jose Altuve. He is predicted to be one of the top offensive 2Bs with 90 Runs scored, 38 SBs, 11 HRs and 61 RBIs while producing a .310 BA and a .782 OPS. Again, this is a strong season for a 2B, but a small step down from 2015 when he had 15 HRs, 66 RBIs and a .812 OPS.
- Starting pitching. They are showing 6 main SPs with varying numbers….Dallas Keuchel 15-9 / 3.06 ERA, Collin McHugh 12-10 / 3.79 ERA, Lance McCullers Jr. 10-8 / 3.63 ERA, Mike Fiers 9-8 / 3.81 ERA, Doug Fister 8-8 / 4.24 ERA and Scott Feldman 6-6 / 4.15 ERA. Keuchel and McHugh, while still pitching well would total 12 less wins than in 2015, however the 60 wins predicted here would be more than the 55 wins that the top 6 SP’s totaled in 2015.
- Closer. While A.J. Hinch keeps his choice of closer close to his vest, the projection experts say that Ken Giles and his 2.66 ERA will pocket 34 out of 37 save opportunities in 2016.
- Outfield. Ignoring Evan Gattis (who appears in both the DH and OF areas due to his handful of LF appearances), the top 3 Astro OFs are solid, but unspectacular. George Springer (26 HR, 76 RBIs, .258 BA, .801 OPS), Carlos Gomez (20 HR, 71 RBI, .261 BA , .751 OPS) and Colby Rasmus (23 HR, 62 RBI, .234 BA, .750 OPS) are backed up by Preston Tucker (11 HR, 36 RBI, .248 BA, .730 OPS) and Jake Marisnick (who apparently did not learn to hit in the off-season – 6 HR, 28 RBI, .239 BA, .643 OPS). So, sorry George you will have a better, but not spectacular year.
- First base. The big news here is that the experts predict that A.J. Reed will basically split the ABs at first base with Jon Singleton (351 vs. 331 ABs), but somehow Reed’s .260 BA/ .774 OPS as compared to Singleton’s .214 BA/.720 OPS will result in the same 15 HRs and only 2 more RBIs (49 vs. 47).
So where do you fall on all this prognostication?
- A lot of these numbers are unsurprisingly close to what these players put up in 2015. Which ones do you think will more likely go up? Go down?
- Any reason to believe this is any more accurate than what the fair folks here at the blog can do?
- Is there anything else in the web site that you would like to point to such as DH, 3B, C, or other relievers?