Nothing like a snowy weekend to get me down to making my final go-overs and send the newest projections out to the world.

I’ve been wrestling with choices for how to handle the pitcher numbers…had a preliminary release last week which I did not publicize, although I know some of you noticed…and decided there were too many numbers that were too freaky to keep some of the mods I was trying to make.

Of course, there are some big free agents yet to drop (Machado and Harper, especially). My strategy on building these depth charts is this – I only fill out for teams. Almost nobody – I think literally nobody this year – gets more than 90% playing time estimate. Maximum playing times are loosely based on the computer returns, but I can’t give full playing time to guys who have only averaged 400 PA or 100 IP over the last few years. All positions have to be filled to 100% with players currently on the roster (and I do hope I have removed everybody who played for a team last year and got released – it can be really hard to track all of the veteran guys are in the 3A/major borderland). That means 162 starts and 100% of saves have to be allocated. Some of these current choices will get wiped out when players get signed – Craig Kimbrel will take saves away from somebody, no doubt. I will be updating these frequently – far more often than I write about the changes, I’m afraid.

Looking at the projections – Houston is looking like a runaway in the AL West. Cleveland is a clear favorite in the Central. I am surprised that I rank the Yankees ahead of the Red Sox, especially by the magnitude, but the Sox still make the first wild card. If – and a big if it is, no one knows that better than I do – if I turn out entirely right, then Tampa Bay looks to outlast the Twins for the second wild card. Three more teams from the West – the Angels, As, and Mariners – look good enough to contend for the Wild Card. The remainder, “led” to the back by the Orioles, appear to be playing for 2020.

Over in the NL, the West again looks like the clearest division, heading to the Dodgers. The Rockies, though, do look like solid competition, and rate my first wild card. The NL East is a dog-pile, with everyone but Miami (who I project with the worst record in baseball) gunning for the division; I have the Nationals on top by the slimmest of margins. I have the Cubs on top of the Central, and I don’t like it – the projections for all of their starters just look too favorable to me, as they have some of the worst comp performances around and I don’t think the computer is weighing them in enough. If they do falter, the Cardinals, Brewers, and (surprise) Reds are all nipping at their heels. I have 9 teams between 84 and 90 wins, and I need to get two division champs and two wild cards out of them.




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