Updated: Apr 18
Before every series I will post these charts to help you get ready for the games, The methodology is described below.
Buckle up Astros fans. It is entirely possible that the next nine game stretch is the HARDEST on the 2023 Astros schedule. Next up for the Astros is a Blue Jays team that some consider one of the top teams in the MLB. The Blue Jays offense has the potential to be BRUTAL. Let's dig into the details and you will know what I mean.
Overall Preseason WAR Comparisons
You can see the projected WAR comparison position by position. There is something different in this table from all of the other matchups we have had all season. The BLUE JAYS project to be the more talented team. Their offense project to have better bats and better starting pitching. Again, these are the season projection numbers and NOT my opinion.
By the WAR method the Blue Jays would be predicted to win 92 games in 2023 vs. the 89 for the Astros. This data says expect a tough and tight series. Let's look at the grades.
Chart 1- Position Player Roster
Defensive Positions and rosters with bench and key minor league players. Who is injured? Then, the relative scores to arrive at who is better.
Update 4/18: McCormick went to IL and Bannon was called up. I gave a theory about what happened and explained why it was Bannon here.
Here you go. Validating the WAR data, the Blue Jays offense is BETTER than the Astros. I am not sure how many times I will type this. Wow, Toronto is LOADED. They had two A+ Catchers last year. I am still shaking my head that the Astros did not go hard for Jansen.
The Blue Jays have Five A/A+ players in their lineup! They then add three more B players!
Good Luck Astros pitching.
Chart 2- The Projected Batting Orders
In this section I predict the general batting order I expect both teams to use this series. I MIGHT update this as the series progresses. You also see how the batting lineup compares with the 2023 projected grades.
Two great offenses. What a battle!
Chart 3- Pitching Rosters
Starters and Relief pitcher rosters with key minor league players. Who is injured? Then, the relative scores to arrive at who is better.
The Starting pitching is even. The Astros might have a SLIGHT advantage in the bullpen. this is REALLY close.
Chart 4- Starting Pitching Matchups
In this section we look at the SP matchups by game.
The Astros don't have their two A graded pitchers vs. Toronto. Bassitt and Berrios have not looked good in their first three starts.
Folks, I will say it again. Buckle in. This might be a rough series for the Astros.
Series Prediction- I believe the Astros will win at least one of three in this series. The Blue Jays are REALLY a good team. It is time for the Astros to step up their game.
As we have discussed in the previous Astros Report Card Articles here is the grading scale for the position players.
To account for the value of defense a player can get a letter grade bump up or down based on their projected defensive WAR (or actual defensive WAR for 2022) for their primary defensive position.
For the pitchers we will use these two scales- one for 2023 based on projected FIP and the other for the 2022 actual FIP- data.
The overall score will be based on the point values to the right. The differences are tallied in the columns to the right.
Overall Score = Starter Differences + Bench Differences / 2 + MiLB Players Differences /4