Tomorrow is Opening Day! We still have four 2019 projections to go through meaning we’ll keep our tradition of failing to wrap this series up by the time the season starts for another year.
For a third straight day we’ll be looking at projections for a starter in the rotation. Much of the success the Mets hope to have this year lies on Zack Wheeler continuing his pivot last year to stardom. He emerged last year as the pitcher we all thought he could be and now he turns into his contract year. Last year there were trade rumors swirling around him and there were a few over the off-season as well. Depending on how the Mets perform this season, there could be even more trade rumors later this summer.
2018: 182.1 IP, 3.31 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 1.124 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 3.9 WAR, 3.01 DRA
Career: 3.70 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 1.307 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 3.55 DRA
It was just so nice to see Wheeler pitch pretty much a whole season last year and become a consistent start every week. Here’s how computer projections are handling him this year:
(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )
Every major projection sees him regressing a bit, which is not surprising with his age, health history and having only one good season. We also see some normal projection biases coming out. This is a classic time for ESPN to over-project a starter more positively than everyone else. This is a classic time for BP to project a regression stronger than everyone else.
While there is a massive spread in ERA’s there is not a massive spread in WHIPs. If you remove ESPN, the most positive projection, the WHIPS are all pretty much identical although they are still better than his career WHIP. Let’s see how this translates into actual results this season!