FanPost

Projecting the AL West: WAR Analysis

Like most of you I spent my evening cursing Arte and Tony; contemplating how I was going to enjoy my trip out to Spring Training this March knowing that the Halos were doomed for another third place season. I got to wondering.. is it really as bad as we think it is? Or is it possible that maybe the let down of failing to sign an impact bat has left us feeling doomed when it might not be as bad as it seems?

The following is a projected WAR analysis of the Athletics, Rangers, and our Halos. I did my best to project each teams 25-man roster. There may be a few minor discrepancies here and there, but I think they should be pretty close for the most part. I pulled the WAR projections from FanGraphs. Take the projections with a grain of salt, but they seem fairly realistic to me. For any players that didn't have a projection I did my best to come up with an accurate projection based on past performance. Here is what we got...

ROTATIONS

Athletics

Brett Anderson 4.2

Trevor Cahill 2.9

Gio Gonzalez 3.3

Dallas Braden 3.3

Rich Harden 2.0

Rangers

C.J. Wilson 3.5

Colby Lewis 3.7

Brandon Webb 2.0

Scott Feldman 1.0

Tommy Hunter 1.0

Angels

Jered Weaver 5.1

Dan Haren 5.4

Ervin Santana 2.8

Joel Pineiro 3.9

Scott Kazmir 1.0

RECAP: There has been a lot of talk about the A's having one of the best rotations in the league, but it is clear the FanGraphs community disagrees. The 1-2 punch of Weaver and Haren lead the Angels to an AL West leading WAR score of 18.2 compared to the A's 15.7. The Rangers are projected to struggle mightily with their rotation after the loss of Cliff Lee, boasting a score of 11.2 WAR.

BULLPENS:

Athletics

Brandon McCarthy 1.0

Josh Outman 0.8

Tyson Ross 0.1

Michael Wuertz 0.8

Brad Ziegler 0.7

Andrew Bailey 1.7

Rangers

Derek Holland 1.0

Alexi Ogando 1.0

Darren Oliver 1.3

Aurthur Rhodes 1.0

Mark Lowe 0.5

Neftali Feliz 1.7

Angels

Trevor Bell 1.0

Hisanori Takahashi 1.6

Scott Downs 1.2

Kevin Jepsen 1.2

Jordan Walden 1.0

Fernando Rodney 0.3

RECAP: The Rangers (6.5 WAR) and Halos (6.3) come in neck and neck for the best bullpen in the division. If the projections hold true, Reagins two RP pickups in Downs and Takahashi will be a huge reason for that. The scary part is the Halos least effective bullpen arm is our closer (Rafael Soriano time?) Oakland trails with a 5.1 WAR.

LINEUPS

Athletics

C Kurt Suzuki 2.6

1B Daric Barton 3.5

2B Mark Ellis 2.1

3B Kevin Kouzmanoff 1.4

SS Cliff Pennington 2.8

LF Josh Willingham 2.6

CF CoCo Crisp 2.9

RF David DeJesus 2.8

DH Hideki Matsui 1.0

Rangers

C Yorvit Torrealba 1.5

1B Mitch Moreland 1.0

2B Ian Kinsler 4.5

3B Adrian Beltre 5.1

SS Elvis Andrus 3.5

LF Josh Hamilton 5.2

CF Julio Borbon 1.3

RF Nelson Cruz 4.8

DH Michael Young 2.4

Angels

C Jeff Mathis -0.2

1B Kendry Morales 3.9

2B Howie Kendrick 3.2

3B Alberto Callaspo 1.6

SS Erick Aybar 2.3

LF Bobby Abreu 2.1

CF Peter Bourjos 2.6

RF Torii Hunter 3.4

DH Mike Napoli 4.0

RECAP: As expected, this is where the Halos give a lot of ground back to the Rangers; but surprisingly not the A's. The Rangers rep the most potent lineup in the division with a monster 32.3 WAR. The A's fall behind with only one player projected for a WAR over 3, and a newly acquired DH projected as a bust. Meanwhile, despite some obvious holes, strong projections for Torii, Kendry, and Napoli along with potential mini-breakouts from Howie and Bourjos give the Angels a 22.9 WAR in their starting lineup; just ahead of Oakland at 21.7.

BENCH

Athletics

Landon Powell 0.5

Adam Rosales 1.0

Steve Tolleson 0.1

Rajai Davis 1.5

Ryan Sweeney 1.5

Rangers

Matt Treanor 0.0

Andres Blanco 0.0

David Murphy 1.8

Craig Gentry -0.1

Chris Davis 0.0

Angels

Bobby Wilson 0.2

Brandon Wood -0.4

Maicer Izturis 1.7

Juan Rivera 0.6

Reggie Willits 0.1

RECAP: The A's make up some ground on the division here with their outfield depth. They lead with a bench WAR of 4.6 compared to the Halos 2.2 and the Rangers 1.7.

What does it all mean? 

The FanGraphs community projects the Angels to be the pitching class of the AL West with the best rotation in the division and nearly dead even for the best bullpen next to Texas. The Rangers horrid rotation gives Oakland the silver medal.

As expected, the Rangers lineup is far and away the best in the west with the Oakland just above the Halos (if you include the benches), but considerably behind Texas.

In summary, the Rangers have a lineup well out of the Angels league. However, the same can be said about the Halos rotation. The A's fall in the middle of the pack both offensively and defensively.

How does it all shake down?

The FanGraphs community projects Oakland's 25-man roster at 47.1 WAR; good enough for third place in the AL West.

Texas just edges out Oakland with a WAR of 48.7.

Our Halos..... 49.6.

Maybe we aren't dead in the water after all?

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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