There are numerous ways to determine the winning potential of an MLB team. Wins alone do not always speak to the quality of a team’s performance. Projected runs scored (Rising Stars Series Edition) is yet another approach to consider.
You may have heard of wins-based point-scoring systems, like the AL & NL MVP ballots. For example, Mookie Betts led the American League in 2019 with 142 points, but his team finished at 69-73.
If you’re unfamiliar, projected runs scored (or PRS) is a metric that estimates a team’s offensive output based on a combination of past performance and present circumstances. Using statistical models that incorporate things like ballpark factors, batted ball distribution, and pitching performances, we can estimate a team’s anticipated runs scored for the rest of the season. With that in mind, let’s dive into how to calculate the projected runs scored for each MLB team.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Detroit Tigers?
Coming off a season in which they won 93 games and the AL pennant, it’s no surprise that the Detroit Tigers have a lot to look forward to in 2020.
The defending champs boast an all-star roster loaded with former MVP Award winners, Cy Young winners, and reigning champs like Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer, and Matt Harvey.
Even the team’s fans couldn’t help but be optimistic about the upcoming season after the Tigers clinched their third consecutive Central Division title and AL wild card with a 7-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on September 30th.
Based on that victory, Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Schulcz of the Athletic forecast the Tigers as the tenth-best team in MLB in 2020, with a projected runs scored of 718.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Chicago White Sox?
The Chicago White Sox are coming off back-to-back 90-loss seasons and haven’t ranked higher than 13th in the AL in terms of runs scored since 2005. Despite their struggles, they managed to keep their core group of players and added superstar Giancarlo Stanton via trade in 2019.
The team’s front office has prioritized offense in the hopes of bolstering their poor league ranking. In 2020, fans can expect to see more of the same as the White Sox look to become a more dangerous team on the basepaths.
According to Rosenthal & Schulcz, the White Sox have the fourth-best rotation in the AL and an offense that features two young stars in Yoan Moncada and Jo Adell along with Stanton. That gives them a good base to work with as they strive to improve upon their 79 wins from a season ago.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Houston Astros?
The Houston Astros won the AL West with a league-best 103 win season in 2019. They return many of the same players as last year and added two premiere arms in Alex Wood and Zack Wheeler in an attempt to keep pace in a loaded division.
Last year was the first time the Astros had ever won a division title and they look to continue building upon that success in 2020. Houston enters the season as one of the favorites to win the West.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The New York Yankees?
Despite finishing last in the AL in 2019 with an 86-76 record, the New York Yankees still managed to score more than 800 runs, a marked improvement over their total from 2018 (735 runs scored).
The Yankees return nearly all of their key pieces from a season ago and added a number of high-profile players via free agency, including Chris Archer, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu. This makes them the favorites to win the AL East for a third consecutive year.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Milwaukee Brewers?
The reigning NL champions and a favorite to repeat in 2020, the Milwaukee Brewers boast one of the best rotations in MLB and a lineup sprinkled with big league stars like Nolan Arenado, Christian Yelich, and Travis Shaw.
The offense, which features a corner outfield of Shaw, Charlie Blackmon, and Christian Vaughn, is among the best in the league, especially with slugger-first Yelich in the middle of the order. The NL Central may be hotly contested in 2020, but there’s no doubt the Brew Crew are the class of the division.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The St. Louis Cardinals?
The defending NL Central champs and a team to watch in 2020, the St. Louis Cardinals look to continue progressing under the leadership of Head Coach Mike Shildt and General Manager John Mozeliak. Despite a heartbreaking World Series loss last year, the Cardinals look to put that behind them and build upon their solid foundation.
The rotation features an experienced trio of Joe Musgrove, Ryan Madson, and Carlos Martinez and young arms like Brendan McCarthy and Jordan Lyles who could make a big impact down the stretch. The Cardinals have the pitching to keep opponents at bay and their offense has enough horses to score runs and win games.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Los Angeles Dodgers?
The defending NL West champs and another favorite to repeat in 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off a disappointing season and a regrouping effort that saw them reach the World Series for the second time in franchise history. They return many of their core pieces from a season ago and added a couple of high-profile arms in Hyun-jin Ryu and Walker Buehler, as well as second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
The offense, which features a corner outfield of Yasiel Puig, Max Muncy, and Cody Bellinger, is good enough to cause any pitcher trouble. The Dodgers have the pitching and the offense to reach new levels in 2020.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Tampa Bay Rays?
The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off their best season in the AL (85-77) and have kept their core foursome of Brad Miller, Eric Stamets, Sergio Santos, and Jesus Luzardo. They lost several of their important players to free agency, including Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, and Mark Trumbo, but still managed to keep their championship dream alive with a thrilling walk-off win in the 12th inning of Game 5 of the World Series.
Trained eye-balling plays a big role in analyzing pitchers and their matchup against certain batters. The same method can be used to project how many runs a team will score based on the batter v. pitcher matchup. There are a variety of websites (like Fangraphs) that do this kind of analysis and help you build an understanding of how much runs a team will score based on their current batting average against certain pitchers. This tool can help you identify which teams are likely to score the most runs and which ones are most likely to allow the most runs based on their current stats compared to their career averages against other starting pitchers.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Colorado Rockies?
The defending NL West champs and yet another favorite to repeat in 2020, the Colorado Rockies feature a number of solid building blocks, including Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Oscar Mercado, and added two more premier arms in Tyler Chatwood and Chad Whiteman in an attempt to improve upon their 94-68 record from a season ago.
The Rockies rotation boasts a couple of young studs in Whiteman and Chatwood, as well as veteran Jake Arrieta, who might just be the best pitcher in the majors at age 38. He’ll likely go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game. Arenado, Story, Mercado, and Jordan Schafer form a dangerous all-star core that gives the Rockies the pitching and offense to make a run at the division title in 2020.
How Do I Calculate Projected Runs Scored For The Arizona Diamondbacks?
The defending NL West champs and another favorite to repeat in 2020, the Arizona Diamondbacks added several key pieces via free agency, including Zack Greinke, Adam Ottavino, and Matt Harvey. The rotation features a trio of Mike Leake, Robbie Ray, and Patrick Corbin and solid back-end pieces including Ketel Marte, Nick Ahmed, and Archie Bradley. An offense that returns a majority of its pieces from a season ago should provide fans with plenty to cheer about in Arizona.