Before every series I will post these charts to help you get ready for the games, The methodology is described below.
IT IS OPENING DAY! ARE YOU READY TO REIGN?
The Astros start the season with a team that could be pretty good (WAR projected wins 81). So how do these teams matchup?
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 better than the White Sox batting but by not as big as a gap as these players would have had last year. The White Sox had several players that just had terrible years last year. Also, they no longer have Abreu.
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.
By this comparison the Astros are projected to be better than the White Sox pitching but by not as big as a gap as these players would have had last year. The Astros had several relief pitchers that had career/ near career years last year, and the White Sox's Lynn and Giolito are projected to be better than last year.
One big note- Hendriks is OUT.
Chart 4- Starting Pitching Matchups
In this section we look at the SP matchups by game.
For 3/30 Dusty is choosing to play Meyer over McCormick. Per Chandler Rome, Dusty said
“With Cease’s fastball he throws, I think (Meyers) has a better chance to hit him than McCormick does,”
Now the Astros may have zone quadrant data wrt Cease's fastball, but I would say it's Cease's SLIDER that would have given McCormick a challenge.
McCormick xwOBA 53 points higher vs. RHP 4-seam fastball, BUT 30 points lower vs. RHP sliders.
The above table used Cease's pitch mix vs. RHH and LHH. below is vs. RHH only.
Overall xwOBA vs. Cease's pitch mix - McCormick 0.273 vs. Meyers 0.270- statistically a tie.
Series Prediction- I believe the Astros will win three of this four game series. Game 3 is probably the biggest challenge for the Astros.
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