Using Steamer’s wins above replacement projections and the idea that a team of only “replacement-level players” would win 48 games, here are the projected standings for the NL West:
These projections include all the recent transactions (Drew Pomeranz is projected to be worth half a win! A.J. Pollock? 2.1) and are, of course, a bit conservative, but it’s clear the Diamondbacks are taking a big step back and the Rockies’ offensive struggles and negative pitching regression could be problematic for them this season even with Nolan Arenado on the roster.
I mention him because he and the Rockies are scheduled for an arbitration hearing next month. The team filed for $24 million, he filed at $30 million. There was also a brief rumor floating around earlier this week that he was a Yankees’ trade target this offseason and a free agent target next offseason. It’s hard to imagine Arenado returns to Colorado for 2020 and beyond.
All that to say that the Dodgers would have been projected to win the NL West very easily if they hadn’t signed A.J. Pollock and no matter what the Giants do, they’ll still be extremely bad. These next five years of the team building depth and looking good on paper but being difficult to watch in actual baseball games will be interesting if only because we’ll be twisting ourselves trying to picture scenarios where the Giants are actually good again.
But! To the larger point... what do you think about these projections? Sure, they’re based on statistical evidence, but this here is a blog dealing with emotions. Do you feel the Dodgers will under or overperform their projection? Are the Giants being viewed too favorably by the computers? Should they even bother to play the games if this is the best they can do?