Bill James Projects the AL West (sort of)

Per the request of some of the HH community I have converted the 2011 projections of Bill James into WAR for both positional players and pitchers for the three contenders in the American League West.

Here is the methodology:
Position Players

  1. Convert hitters projected wOBA into "WAR-162" (oWAR if given 100% playing time)
  2. Multiply WAR-162 by projected playing time (PT%) to find the actual projected oWAR
  3. Add or subtract dWAR to find 2011 WAR (dWAR is not provided by James, rather a product of recent dWAR trends)

* The PT% and dWAR projections are completely subjective. I can manipulate those numbers to show different results at the readers request.

The calculation for pitchers' WAR was long and tedious so I won't go into detail here. If you want to know more about it you can read our buddy Dave Cameron's seven-part-series on Pitchers WAR over at FanGraphs.

Couple of other notes before we get started:

  • Total PT% equates to 900% (100% PT x 9 batters in the lineup)
  • Total Innings Pitched for each staff equates to 1,421
  • Each starting rotation features the 5-man rotation plus 1 spot-starter
  • James projections are not very WAR-friendly to relief pitchers
  • I have included a "WAR $" tab that calculates a players worth over the season with 1 WAR = $5MM (WAR $ = projected WAR x $5MM)
  • I have also included the player's 2011 salaries so we can calculate a player's cost per win ($/Win). [2011 salary/projected WAR= $/Win] Any player with a $/Win under $5MM is returning wins to his team under market value. A player whose $/Win is over $5MM is being paid over market value for the wins he contributes.
  • Player salaries are shown in millions
  • I pulled my 2010 position-by-position WAR numbers from this table which actually represents Wins Above Average. I added 2.5 to each value to represent Wins Above Replacement.
  • A handful of players projections were not available from Bill James. They were subbed with Marcel projections
  • I am not HTML-savvy so I apologize for the low-quality tables



Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Jeff Mathis 0.263 -0.36 60% -0.22 -0.1 -0.3 -$1.59 $1.70 -$5.36
Hank Conger 0.331 3.58 30% 1.07 0 1.1 $5.37 $0.41 $0.38
Bobby Wilson 0.318 2.83 10% 0.28 0.1 0.4 $1.91 $0.41 $1.07


          1.1 $5.70 $2.52 $2.21

To no surprise, Bill James expects a pathetic season from Jeff Mathis who will once again fail to contribute to the squad. Matter of fact, his negative WAR will actually hurt the Halos in 2011, yet again. The silver lining is the optimistic projection James put on Hank Conger. Despite being projected for only 30% of the playing time Hank still figures to contribute 1.1 WAR behind the plate. In a perfect world, Mathis would be designated to the bench allowing Conger to pick up 60% of the playing time behind the plate where he could contribute a 2+ WAR campaign. If that happens, the Halos could post a cumulative catcher's WAR around 2.5, a half-win better than last year's group.


Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Kendry Morales 0.367 3.67 90% 3.30 0 3.3 $16.50 $2.98 $0.90
Howie Kendrick 0.334 2.75 90% 2.48 0 2.5 $12.39 $3.30 $1.33
Erick Aybar 0.303 1.46 85% 1.24 -0.2 1.0 $5.19 $3.00 $2.89
Alberto Callaspo 0.323 2.12 65% 1.38 0.5 1.9 $9.38 $2.00 $1.07
Maicer Izturis 0.329 2.46 40% 0.99 0.5 1.5 $7.43 $3.10 $2.09
Brandon Wood 0.307 1.19 20% 0.24 0.2 0.4 $2.19 $0.41 $0.94
Total           10.6 $53.07 $14.79 $1.39


As we expected, Kendry Morales projects to make the biggest impact of the 2011 infielders. A 3.3 WAR may seem meek to some, but the 1B platoon of Napoli/Quinlan/Kendrick etc in 2010 posted a WAR of 1.5 on the season. The extra two wins will be a welcomed addition.

Kendrick also projects to have a pretty nice season with a 2.5 WAR in 2011. Angels second basemen also posted a lousy 1.5 WAR in 2010, so the Halos figure to pick up another win at 2B.

Aybar's projection is nothing to get excited about. The weak-hitting, slightly-below-average short stop is in line for a 1-WAR season in 2011. It's safe to say he is not the guy we want at the top of the lineup. Aybar's weak projection places further emphasis on the importance of Maicer staying healthy and/or Brandon Wood emerging as the player he was expected to be.

Third base is where it get's really interesting. Heading into 2011 it's looking like a Callaspo-heavy platoon with Maicer filling in on a somewhat regular basis. Neither Callaspo (1.9 WAR) nor Maicer (1.5 WAR) look very intriguing at first glance, but that is likely a product of their projected playing time (65% and 40%, respectively.) If you combine their 2011 WAR (and shave a little off the top since they cannot have 105% playing time) they look to be a 3+ WAR platoon over at the hot corner. This would be a tremendous upgrade over the -0.8 WAR Angels third basemen put up last year. The Callaspo/Izturis platoon would be 1 WAR short of Adrian Beltre's projected season in Texas. Would Beltre have been the better option at 3B? According to James, yes, by 1 win. Nonetheless, the Angels are getting 3+ WAR at third base for $5.1MM, as opposed to 4 WAR from Beltre at $14MM and a long term commitment. Reagins has certainly blundered this off-season, but maybe this wasn't one of them?


Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Vernon Wells 0.345 2.89 90% 2.60 0 2.6 $13.01 $23.00 $8.84
Peter Bourjos 0.314 2.09 90% 1.88 3 4.9 $24.42 $0.41 $0.08
Torii Hunter 0.346 2.95 90% 2.65 0 2.7 $13.27 $18.00 $6.78
Bobby Abreu 0.356 2.53 95% 2.40 0 2.4 $12.01 $11.00 $4.58
Reggie Willits 0.294 0.43 35% 0.15 -0.1 0.1 $0.26 $0.41 $7.86
Total           12.6 $62.98 $52.82 $4.19


Newcomer Vernon Wells (2.6 WAR) and fan-favorite Torii Hunter (2.7 WAR) are projected for very similar seasons in 2011. The real story is in center field. Peter Bourjos was on pace to have the best season a center fielder has ever had defensively had his numbers held over 162 games (dWAR extrapolated out to 5.1). It's probably unrealistic he can maintain that level of play over a full season so I knocked his dWAR down to 3. Still, add that dWAR to a modest oWAR of 1.88 and you end up with the highest WAR on the Angels roster in 2011. It may seem crazy but Peter Bourjos could very well be the most valuable player on the team in 2011.


Since we have the numbers in front of us we might as well go back in time to before the infamous Vernon Wells trade and see what the Angels would have looked like had that trade never gone down. For the purpose of this analysis lets assume that Bobby Abreu would have been the full-time LF, Mike Napoli the full-time DH, and Juan Rivera the 4th OF.

Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Juan Rivera 0.334 2.25 35% 0.79 0 0.8 $3.94 $5.25 $6.66
Mike Napoli 0.351 2.24 90% 2.02 0 2.0 $10.08 $5.80 $2.88
Bobby Abreu 0.356 3.53 95% 3.35 -2 1.4 $6.76 $9.00 $6.65


Bobby Abreu: The move from DH back to LF would benefit Bobby's WAR due to positional adjustment. The end result would be him gaining 1 WAR. But let's not forget how bad Bobby was in the OF in 2010 where he posted a -1.9 dWAR. At his age, there is no real reason to believe he would get any better in the field; if anything he'd probably be worse. We'll say -2 dWAR in 2011. So with the added 1 oWAR for positional adjustment and the subtracted 2 dWAR Bobby projects to be a 1.4 WAR player in LF in 2011.

Left field comparison:

Vernon Wells: 2.6

Bobby Abreu: 1.4

Mike Napoli: With a projected split between 1B (-1) and C (+1) in Texas, I left Nap's positional adjustment at 0. However, if he were to remain in Anaheim it is doubtful he would have seen much time behind the plate due to the presence of Mathis and Conger. A regular DH takes -1.5 hit on his positional adjustment. Mike's .351 wOBA given 90% playing time as the team's DH results in a war of 2.

Designated hitter comparison:

Bobby Abreu: 2.4

Mike Napoli: 2.0

Juan Rivera: Had Johnny Rivers remained in Anaheim he certainly would have been the fourth outfielder over the lackluster Reggie Willits. Juan's .334 wOBA with 35% of the playing time nets him a 0.8 WAR

4th outfielder comparison:

Reggie Willits: 0.1

Juan Rivera: 0.8

Pre-Trade Scenario: 4.2 WAR

Post-Trade Scenario: 5.1 WAR

In conclusion, did the Vernon Wells trade make the Angels better in 2011? Yes. Was the $80+MM commitment worth one extra win this season? That's going to be a tough sell... It's quite evident that Vernon Wells is going to have to exceed many analysts expectations in order to justify Reagins' decision to bring in the aging corner outfielder.


Pitcher FIP IP WAR WAR $ 11 Salary $/Win
Jered Weaver 3.63 222 4.3 $21.42 $7.37 $1.72
Dan Haren 3.58 238 4.8 $23.77 $12.75 $2.68
Ervin Santana 4.26 211 2.4 $11.90 $8.00 $3.36
Joel Pineiro 4.14 193 2.5 $12.31 $8.00 $3.25
Scott Kazmir 4.34 162 1.7 $8.34 $12.00 $7.19
Trevor Bell 3.51 86 1.8 $8.97 $0.44 $0.25
Total     17.3 $86.71 $48.56 $2.80


James expects some regression from Jered Weaver's ridiculous 2010 season where he emerged as a true ace. Nonetheless, Weaver is looking at a 200K season and a mid-3 ERA. Despite another ace-caliber season from Weaver, James suggests that Dan Haren may actually be the ace of the Halo staff in 2011. Haren's projections look very similar to Weaver's, just slightly better. The 1-2 punch of Weaver and Haren project for 9.1 WAR in 2011; Texas and Oakland project for under 7 WAR from the top two spots in their rotation.

We can expect much of the same from Ervin and Pineiro in 2011 as each are projected to match their 2010 performances of around 2.5 WAR a piece.

Needless to say, Scott Kazmir's 2010 season was an absolute abortion. His near-6 ERA resulted in a -0.8 WAR for the Halos. While James doesn't see Kaz returning to his old dominant form, he does project the lefty to return to near-league average (1.7 WAR), which would be a huge improvement over last year's contribution.

If Kazmir fails to pitch at a respectable level, he may be on a very short leash. Trevor Bell is waiting in the wings to snag that fifth rotation spot. In only 86 innings Bell projects for a 1.8 WAR. If given a full work load James implies Bell would be the third best pitcher in the Angels' rotation. If James' assessment is correct, Bell could be a big time contributor in the Halos rotation for years to come.


Pitcher FIP IP WAR WAR $ 11 Salary $/Win
Jordan Walden* 3.69 41 0.3 $1.72 $0.41 $1.19
Scott Downs 3.72 58 0.5 $2.32 $5.00 $10.77
Kevin Jepsen 3.51 61 0.6 $3.24 $0.44 $0.68
Hisanori Takahashi 3.84 84 0.5 $2.73 $3.80 $6.96
Fernando Rodney 4.11 65 0.2 $1.02 $5.50 $27.00
Total     2.2 $11.03 $15.15 $6.87


To no surprise, Fernando Rodney is the weak link in the bullpen. Fortunately, there is no shortage of guys to step into the closers role if Rodney is the gas can he was in 2010. Kevin Jepsen or Scott Downs would likely be the first to get the call, but Jordan Walden (13.5 K/9 in a short 2010 debut) could also be an option. With Thompson, Cassevah, and Bulger also in the mix the Angels bullpen should not struggle the way it did in 2010. Nevertheless, the Halos still trail the Rangers and the re-vamped Athletics bullpens in 2011.



Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Mike Napoli 0.351 3.74 70% 2.62 -0.5 2.1 $10.59 $5.80 $2.74
Yorvit Torrealba 0.309 2.30 60% 1.38 0 1.4 $6.91 $3.00 $2.17
Taylor Teagarden 0.314 2.59 5% 0.13 0 0.1 $0.65 $0.41 $3.16
Total           3.6 $18.15 $9.21 $2.54


It's difficult to predict how Texas is going to use Napoli this season. In this scenario I have him projected for 70% playing time; 35% behind the plate, and the rest split between 1B and DH. Of course, this could all change if/when the Rangers trade Michael Young. Nobody seems overly eager to stick Naps behind the dish for the long haul so I have to assume Torrealba takes the bulk of the innings back there. No matter how it shakes out, the Rangers are set to improve vastly on their sub-1 WAR from the catcher position in 2010.


Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Mitch Moreland 0.362 3.38 65% 2.19 -0.6 1.6 $7.97 $0.41 $0.26
Ian Kinsler 0.358 4.14 85% 3.52 0.5 4.0 $20.12 $6.00 $1.49
Elvis Andrus 0.309 1.80 90% 1.62 0.3 1.9 $9.62 $0.44 $0.23
Adrian Beltre 0.352 3.80 90% 3.42 0.6 4.0 $20.09 $14.00 $3.48
Michael Young 0.344 2.33 75% 1.75 -0.2 1.6 $7.75 $16.00 $10.32
Andres Blanco 0.282 -0.26 45% -0.12 0 -0.1 -$0.59 $0.60 -$5.11
Total           13.0 $64.96 $37.45 $2.88


Bill James seems to like Mitch Moreland pegging him for a 3.4 oWAR-162. However, his sub-par defense combined with Napoli stealing his at bats vs LHP should limit his playing time and overall production. First base was a black hole for Texas in 2010 (-0.3 WAR) so any combination of Moreland and Napoli should provide a very nice upgrade at 1B in 2011.

Despite an injury-plagued season from Ian Kinsler the Rangers benefited from a very strong season out of their second basemen in 2010. Kinsler is brittle so spotting him 85% PT might be generous, but if he can stay on the field at that rate he could be in for a 4 WAR season; a slight upgrade over Rangers' 2B in 2010.

Texas can expect much of the same at short stop in 2011. Andrus is an exciting player but doesn't project to be much more than an average major league short stop.

Coulda-been-Angel Adrian Beltre is the new guy in town for the Rangers in 2011. Beltre's all-around solid play projects as a 4 WAR season for the defending American League champs; a nice upgrade from the 2.5 WAR Ranger third basemen posted last season.

Until further notice, the disgruntled Michael Young is set to DH for the Rangers in 2011. Young, a solid hitter, has his WAR dragged down by the DH/CI positional adjustment and the lack of any real defensive presence. His lousy 1.6 WAR is a 2 win drop off from the production the Rangers received at the DH position in 2010.


Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Josh Hamilton 0.408 6.54 80% 5.23 0 5.2 $26.17 $12.00 $2.29
Julio Borbon 0.318 2.33 60% 1.40 0 1.4 $6.98 $0.70 $0.50
Nelson Cruz 0.394 5.73 75% 4.30 0 4.3 $21.49 $3.65 $0.85
David Murphy 0.353 3.36 60% 2.01 0 2.0 $10.07 $2.40 $1.19
Craig Gentry 0.206 -4.67 25% -1.17 0.1 -1.1 -$5.33 $0.44 -$0.41
Total           11.9 $59.38 $19.19 $1.62


In agreement with my previous articles, James suggests the reigning MVP Josh Hamilton is due for some regression in 2011. He will still be a force (5.2 WAR), but a far cry from the near 8 WAR player he was in 2010.

James doesn't seem to think too highly of speedster Julio Borbon out in center field. His 1.4 WAR projects him to be below major-league average. The Rangers might be better off moving Hamilton back into center field and giving super-sub David Murphy a full-time shot out in LF. If given a chance to play 90% of the time James projects Murphy as a 3 WAR player. Then again, with the injury constant injury concerns surrounding Hamilton and Cruz, Murphy is a valuable commodity off the bench.

James predicts we will see a lot of the same in the terms of Nelson Cruz in 2011. Cruz could be a 5 WAR player if he could put together a full season. Regardless, the Rangers will take his 4+ WAR even if he can only suit up 120 games a season.


Pitcher FIP IP WAR WAR $ 11 Salary $/Win
C.J. Wilson 3.71 208 3.8 $18.97 $7.00 $1.85
Colby Lewis 3.96 208 3.1 $15.62 $3.00 $0.96
Brandon Webb 3.45 179 3.9 $19.42 $4.00 $1.03
Tommy Hunter 4.61 158 1.1 $5.58 $0.41 $0.37
Derek Holland 4.35 158 1.6 $8.04 $0.44 $0.27
Dave Bush 4.71 174 1.0 $5.13 $0.42 $0.41
Total     14.6 $72.76 $15.27 $1.05


C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis combined for nearly 9 WAR during their simultaneous breakout seasons in 2010. James says both of these guys are due for some regression. Both project to be solid starters, but about 2 WAR shy of their 2010 contribution. Wilson pitched more innings in 2010 than he did in 2007-2009 combined making him a prime candidate for an injury/fatigue-riddled season.

Everyone seems to have written off Brandon Webb due to his recent injury woes. After all, the guy hasn't contributed since 2008. On the other hand, we can't forget he averaged over 5 WAR per season since 2003 before his shoulder took a crap. James predicts a comeback season for Webb. Not quite to his 6-7 WAR level, but a 4 WAR season would be massive for the Rangers. From what I understand, shoulder injuries tend to possess much more long-term damage than elbow injuries so it's possible Webb never pitches at a top-of-the-rotation level again. It will be very interesting to see what he can do after such a long layoff.

If Webb can't contribute solid innings the Rangers could be in a lot of trouble. After Wilson, Lewis, and Webb the talent level drops considerably. Personally, I see a bright future for Derek Holland. However, the lefty walks a good amount of hitters and lives up in the strike zone; a deadly combo for any pitcher, let alone a guy making half his starts in Arlington.

Tommy Hunter and Dave Bush round out the Rangers' rotation; neither of which are expected to pitch near a major-league-average level.


Pitcher FIP IP WAR WAR $ 11 Salary $/Win
Alexi Ogando 3.73 70 0.6 $2.76 $0.44 $0.80
Darren O'Day 3.61 71 0.7 $3.33 $1.25 $1.88
Darren Oliver 3.72 63 0.5 $2.52 $3.25 $6.45
Arthur Rhodes 3.23 58 0.8 $4.09 $3.90 $4.76
Neftali Feliz 2.97 74 1.3 $6.42 $0.44 $0.34
Total     3.8 $19.12 $9.28 $2.43


The slack left by the back end of the rotation is picked up by a very strong bullpen. The timeless Darren Oliver projects to be the least effective arm (0.5 WAR), which is just a tick behind the Halos most effective bullpen arm (Jepsen, 0.6). Arthur Rhodes may have been the best left-handed reliever on the market this past off season as James projects a higher WAR than both Downs and Takahashi.



Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Kurt Suzuki 0.318 2.83 85% 2.40 0.2 2.6 $13.01 $3.40 $1.31
Landon Powell 0.31 2.36 10% 0.24 0 0.2 $1.18 $0.41 $1.74
Jason Donaldson 0.32 2.94 5% 0.15 0 0.1 $0.74 $0.41 $2.79
Total           3.0 $14.93 $4.22 $1.41


Nothing new to report here. Kurt Clutch should see an enormous amount of playing time behind the plate and contribute nicely along the way.


Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Daric Barton 0.35 2.68 95% 2.55 0.4 2.9 $14.74 $0.44 $0.15
Mark Ellis 0.313 1.54 80% 1.23 0.7 1.9 $9.64 $6.00 $3.11
Cliff Pennington 0.311 1.92 90% 1.73 0.3 2.0 $10.14 $0.41 $0.20
Kevin Kouzmanoff 0.321 2.00 85% 1.70 0.4 2.1 $10.50 $4.75 $2.26
Adam Rosales 0.324 2.17 40% 0.87 0.3 1.2 $5.85 $0.42 $0.36
Total           10.2 $50.87 $12.02 $1.18


You wouldn't think there would be room in the big leagues for a .270-hitting first baseman that struggles to hit 10 jacks a season but Billy Beane would disagree. Daric Barton isn't sexy, but he's a durable OBP-machine with a nice glove, which adds up to about a 3 WAR season in 2011. Mark Ellis, Cliff Pennington, and Kevin Kouzmanoff round out the rest of the A's infield. Cumulatively, a light-hitting bunch who flash just enough leather to qualify as major-league-average players (2 WAR). Despite the lack of star power, this group is projected for nearly the same amount of wins as the Halos infield in 2011.


Player wOBA WAR-162 PT % oWAR dWAR 11 WAR WAR $ '11 Salary $/Win
Josh Willingham 0.363 3.93 80% 3.15 -0.2 2.9 $14.74 $6.00 $2.04
Coco Crisp 0.333 3.20 75% 2.40 0 2.4 $11.98 $5.75 $2.40
David DeJesus 0.34 2.60 95% 2.47 1 3.5 $17.36 $6.00 $1.73
Hideki Matsui 0.353 2.36 85% 2.00 0 2.0 $10.01 $4.25 $2.12
Ryan Sweeney 0.334 2.75 55% 1.51 0.2 1.7 $8.57 $1.40 $0.82
Chris Carter 0.346 2.95 20% 0.59 0 0.6 $2.95 $0.41 $0.70
Total           13.1 $65.61 23.81 $1.81


Oakland had a quiet but incredibly effective off season. The additions of Willingham, DeJesus, and Matsui have solidified a formidable outfield/DH group. Former Angel Hideki Matsui looks to put up a 2-win season which would be 1 win better than Oakland managed from the DH spot in 2010.

The most notable addition looks to be David DeJesus who James likes for a 2.5 oWAR plus an additional win with his glove in a corner outfield position. His 3.5 wins will come at a tremendous value ($1.7MM per win). It's just too bad the Angels weren't looking for a solid corner outfielder with the ability to lead off this off season. DeJesus could have been a great fit in Anaheim.


Pitcher FIP IP WAR WAR $ 11 Salary $/Win
Brett Anderson 3.39 171 3.7 $18.29 $1.00 $0.27
Trevor Cahill 4.6 218 1.3 $6.65 $0.44 $0.33
Dallas Braden 3.78 214 3.5 $17.36 $3.35 $0.97
Gio Gonzalez 3.83 212 3.3 $16.51 $0.42 $0.13
Brandon McCarthy 4.48 143 1.1 $5.36 $1.00 $0.93
Rich Harden 4.22 96 1.0 $5.12 $1.50 $1.47
Total     13.9 $69.28 $7.71 $0.56

Many analysts and fans have heralded Oakland's young rotation as the best in the division, but it may be more hype than anything. Brett Anderson leads the way with a very respectable 3.7 WAR making the case that his 2010 season was the real deal. On the contrary, James suggests that 18-game winner Trevor Cahill is not as good as advertised. James predicts a mere 1.3 WAR season for the young righty; a far cry from his all-star season one year ago.

A pair of young lefties make up the best 3-4 combo in the division. Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez figured to contribute nearly 7 WAR between the two of them rounding out a very solid front-four (if Cahill doesn't flounder as badly as James suggests).

Rich Harden's career has come full circle as he returns to his original club in 2011. He will likely take the fifth spot in the rotation over the lanky Brandon McCarthy if he can stay healthy (doubt it).


Pitcher FIP IP WAR WAR $ 11 Salary $/Win
Andrew Bailey 3.41 65 0.8 $3.86 $0.46 $0.60
Brian Fuentes 3.86 66 0.4 $2.06 $5.00 $12.11
Grant Balfour 2.97 69 1.2 $5.99 $3.75 $3.13
Michael Wuertz 3.4 67 0.8 $4.02 $2.80 $3.48
Craig Breslow 3.73 100 0.8 $3.94 $1.40 $1.78
Total     4.0 $19.87 $13.41 $3.37


Andrew Bailey anchors a very talent Athletic bullpen once again. Newly-acquired Brian Fuentes doesn't expect to contribute a great amount but the same can't be said for Grant Balfour. The dominant righty should contribute at least 1 WAR in 2011; a terrific addition for under $4MM (and a draft pick, I believe).

The Angels offense expects to take a big step up from their abysmal 2010 performance. The re-vamped outfield, a full season of Morales, and a 4 WAR upgrade at third base should bode well for the Halos. That said (had to do it 44FAN), the Angels still trail the well-rounded A's as well as the extremely talented Rangers coming into 2011. The Angels make up ground with their pitching staff which is without a doubt the class of the AL West, if not one of the best in baseball. However, Texas' and Oakland's loaded bullpens keep them close on the Angels' heels in pitcher's WAR. As it shakes out, James says Texas is still the team to beat in the West with both the Angels and A's well within striking distance.

I've heard a replacement level team will win anywhere from 42-48 games. Let's split the difference and go with 45 replacement level wins. Add in the positional and pitcher WAR scores for each club and Bill James projects the American League West race to end up..

Team Wins Losses
Rangers 91 71
Angels 88 74
Athletics 88 74


Thanks for reading... Go Angels!

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