Fangraphs is great site that provides many an interesting and fun thing. One might even be tempted to call it FUNgraphs, amirite?
Anywho, one of the interesting things that Fangraphs rolled out recently was their ZiPS projections for the rest of the season. Basically, it is the ZiPS projections we all love so much during the off-season only now it updates daily with projected season numbers for every player and team. I had hoped that combing through the projections would inspire me with some hope for the rest of the Halo season but, well… NOPE.
Even with my dreams dashed there is still some funnish tidbits worth reviewing:
-ZiPS RoS has the Angels going 60-50 the rest of the way, which is encouraging in that we won't have to suffer through all of this miserable play for much longer, but it still has them finishing with a record just barel over .500 at 83-79.
-Believe it or not, that does still provide a tiny glimmer of hope in that it ZiPS has the Yankees and A's winning the wild card spots with just 87 wins each. As such, if the Angels can find a way to overachieve by four or five games over the remaining 110 games, they could manage to slip into the post-season. That is a much rosier picture than last season when both wild card teams in the AL won 93 games.
–Mike Trout will, of course, be the Angels' best player by a longshot. He is projected to post a slash line of .285/.365/.518 and a 4.9 WAR the rest of the way. He's already at 2.9 WAR now, so that should put him firmly in the MVP discussion, except for the fact that the Angels will possibly be a non-playoff team and the BBWAA almost never votes for guys on losing teams for MVP. But you knew that already.
-ZiPS RoS apparently doesn't factor in the disintegration of body parts as it has Albert Pujols playing the rest of the season at a clip of .278/.352/.497 and a 2.2 WAR. He has been playing better of late, but that seems like an optimistic projection given his fragile state.
-What it isn't is optimistic about Josh Hamilton. Oh, he'll get better. Just not that much better. I have the feeling a .257/.321/.463 slash line and .334 wOBA over the next 110 games is not what the Angels thought they were paying for.
-Good news! ZiPS thinks Joe Blanton can get his ERA all the way down to 4.60 from this point forward. That still leaves him with an ERA over 5.00 for the season, but yay for progress!
-In a disappointing turn of events, Chris Iannetta is projected to be normal once more and have more hits (45) than walks (36). That's a real shame because his walk-to-hit ratio was quickly becoming my favorite statistical quirk of 2013.
-ZiPS does not believe in Peter Bourjos as is shown by his projected .312 wOBA. Right now I'd just be happy if ZiPS could project when he'll return from injury.
-The fuckleball appears to give both hitters and ZiPS fits. Robert Coello has been pretty good thus far, but that is not projected to last with a 4.61 ERA, 22 walks and 44 strikeouts.
-The Angels are already happy to have Jered Weaver back, but they will be ecstatic if he pitches to the 3.18 ERA, 7.74 K/9 and 2.24 BB/9 that he has projected. That strikeout rate would be the best he's posted since 2010.
-Maybe ZiPS knows something we don't know because Ryan Madson is not listed at all. SPOOKY!
-In a bit of a surprise, ZiPS is actually buying into the Howie Kendrick power surge, predicting nine more homers for him this season to total 16 on the season.
-And finally, because this is a huge pet peeve of mine, Erick Aybar is projected to carry a .310 OBP the rest of the season. Ladies and gentlemen, that's your leadoff hitter.