Before every series I will post these charts to help you get ready for the games, The methodology is described below.
Next up for the Astros is a team that is surprising early. The Pirates are beginning to build possibly after their 62-100 season last year.
Overall Preseason WAR Comparisons
You can see the projected WAR comparison position by position. Overall, this would say the Astros have a significant talent advantage vs. the Pirates. The Pirates have some promising prospects still rising through their system, but they are not likely to hit the MLB in 2023. By the WAR method the Pirates would be predicted to win 74 games in 2023.
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.
By this comparison the Astros are projected to be significantly better than the Pirates batting. The Pirates have very few bats that are on the level of the Astros bats.
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.
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 Astros have a significant advantage in pitching as well. Both the Starters and Relief pitchers are significantly better for the Astros.
Chart 4- Starting Pitching Matchups
In this section we look at the SP matchups by game.
Series Prediction- If this series was in Houston, I would predict the sweep. I believe the Astros will win at least two of three in this series.
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