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Fun with Projections: 2022 Version

Fun with Projections: 2022 Version

by Mike Whiteman

March 29, 2022


As we approach the delayed Opening Day, there are no shortages of projections and predictions for the upcoming Major League Baseball season.

One of the projections that I like to watch is Depth Charts from Fangraphs ( This system combines the player projections from the well regarded ZiPS and Steamer projections, and an expected allocation of playing time by the knowledgeable Seamheads staff.

I decided to use the Depth Chart projections to add wins to each team starting from replacement level (approximately 48 wins) to get projected 2022 records. This is the second year I’ve done this – here’s last year’s effort:

Now, the first thing that jumps out at us is that the wins and losses don’t really add up, and basically the records are a bit better than they really will be – for every team that wins a game, another has to lose. That being said, I think we can draw some conclusion from the numbers:

1. There seems to be a consensus amongst the projections that the Yankees are in for a significant bounceback. The trade of Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez for Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt along with the movement of Gleyber Torres off of shortstop could net the Yanks about five WAR from last year. Add to that, Gleyber’s WAR is projected to be in his 2018-2019 range. A healthy and resurgent outfield of Aaron Judge (5.9 WAR), Aaron Hicks (2.4) and Joey Gallo (4.2) would be a significant upgrade from the 2021 version.

Their projected cumulative pitching WAR is the best in baseball . This is contingent of optimism about Luis Severino’s return (2.4), a lockdown bullpen, and another ace performance from Gerrit Cole (5.8).

Now, I get it, it’s pretty optimistic to say that the team will be healthy and improve performance at the same time. Sometimes teams are good and lucky. Let’s hope that’s what is in store for the 2022 Yankees.

Just an FYI – for those anticipating a Brett Gardner return, he’s projected to be worth half a win this year.

2. The Dodgers are again loaded, and clearly look to be the class of the National League. Their projected batting WAR is about ten percent better than the next best team (Yanks). They are what we want the Yankees to be – a team that develops talent, makes the big trades, finds the bargains, and drops the big money on star players.

3. The best divisional races look to be found in each league’s Eastern divisions. Not only do they look good out of the gate, but most clubs can be counted on to augment during the season if need be.

4. The Twins made a splash with their player moves including the signing of Carlos Correa. They still stack up behind the White Sox, who feature a deep pitching staff.

5. The Giants, the surprise of baseball in 2021, look to come to earth this season.

6. Surprise team? If they stay healthy, watch out for the Angels. A middle of the lineup featuring Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani and Jared Walsh should score some runs.

Of course the new season will give us twists and turns and surprises that won’t show up in the spreadsheets and the data. One need go no further than the 2021 Giants, whom I calculated would win 72 games. They ended up winning 107.

That’s why they play the games, and why we watch them.

What are your 2022 predictions?


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