Happy Tuesday, Athletics Nation!
Today marks the end of spring training for the A’s. They play their last game of the spring against the Giants this afternoon, then head out to Philadelphia for Opening Day on Friday.
As we are quickly approaching the start of the 2022 season, it is worth taking a look at where the Athletics rank in the esteem of the baseball world. Plenty of publications have put out their initial power rankings and pre-season predictions, so let’s dive in to see where the A’s sit.
First, a look at the power rankings. Most major sports publications put out their weekly rankings of all teams, to help understand the narratives of the season while giving a quick glance at who’s hot and who’s not. Likely not surprising to the Athletics Nation faithful, the A’s are widely considered to be not as we start the 2022 season.
Here’s where the A’s sit on Monday’s power rankings (end of 2021 rankings included in brackets):
- MLB.com - 27/30 (16/30)
- ESPN - 28/30 (13/30)
- Sports Illustrated - 28/30 (14/14 only playoff contenders ranked)
- CBS Sports - 25/30 (13/30)
- Bleacher Report - 18/30 (13/30)
Aside from BR’s ranking that has some leftover confidence from the end of last season, power rankers pin the Athletics as a bottom-tier team. For the blurbs that the A’s got, most focused on the spring salary slashing sell-off and how it has left the roster looking a lot more destitute than when the A’s were last ranked.
At the end of 2021 the Athletics were considered to be at or near the top half of teams, even as their playoff chances faded. The few positives granted to the A’s focus on the strengths of remaining names Sean Murphy and Frankie Montas, as well as expressing hopefulness for the bevy of near-MLB-ready prospects obtained over the last month.
Next, lets take a look at what the analytic-minded publications have projected for the A’s. We’ll dive into a few sources, but rather than ordered editorial lists, these are more along the lines of algorithmically driven measures and expectations for teams.
Various pre-season projections and predictions (system explanations provided in brackets):
W/L record - W/L percentage - projected rank - playoff chance %
- PECOTA (Baseball Prospectus) - 64-98 - .395 - 29/30 - 0.2% (PECOTA is projected based off previous player performance and comparable historical players.)
- FanGraphs - 70-92 - .430 - 27/30 - 1.0% (FanGraphs uses a blend of two proprietary projection systems called Steamer and ZiPS, then inputs those projections into a simulation that is run 20,000 times, providing these results)
- The Sporting News - 64-98 - 395 - 30/30 - 0.1% (A new projection system for this year, derived from previous player performance and park factors over 20,000 simulations)
- ESPN - 68-94 - .419 - 28/30 - 2.1% (ESPN does not detail its projection system, projections were given along with power rankings)
- USA Today - 70-92 - .430 - 26/30 (tie) - n/a (USA Todays projections are based off a panel of their writers, which I assume to mean these are simply the whims of Bob Nightengale)
Again, none of these figures are too shocking to A’s fans that have been paying attention. There is a bit more variation between specific figures, especially win/loss records. Previous years have shown that PECOTA and FanGraphs’ pythagorean system tend to underrate the A’s way of playing by a few wins on an up year, but also have been loftier than the A’s results in a down year. The last time the A’s tore down heading into 2015, they were still projected for a 77-85 record but turned in a 68-win season instead.
While these figures don’t offer any big surprise, they do serve as the benchmark of expectations for the year. We can look back to the preseason’s power ranks and projections in the coming weeks and months and see how the Athletics surprise us. Whether it’s a run to a high-70s win total out of nowhere, or a disappointing 100+ losses, we will simply have to watch the season to see how it shakes out.
- Hall: A’s latest round of spring cuts sends five players to minors
- Hall: A’s 40-man roster: Vimael Machin outrighted to Triple-A, but more spots needed
- Nico: Eyeball Scout Watches Monday Game, Only Throws Up In Mouth A Little
- Ashford: Spring Game #17: Big hits hurt A’s, lose to giants 5-3
- Hall: Cristian Pache will make Opening Day roster
- Moore: What Do Cities Lose When They Lose Pro Sports?
- He: Kotsay preaches ‘next man up’ mentality after Manaea trade
- Szymborski: San Diego Hatches a Manaea-cal Plot in Trade With A’s
- Nightengale: Sean Manaea, dealt from Oakland A’s to San Diego Padres, pitches against former team on same day as trade
- Bordow: Kotsay gives the big league word to three non-roster relievers
- Kawahara: A’s reassign Eric Thames, 4 others to minors as roster comes into focus ($)
- Gallegos: A’s aim to compete after the great reset
- Ravani: A’s slammed with second lawsuit against $12 billion waterfront ballpark project in Oakland ($)
- Page: Shipping Groups Sue Oakland A’s, City Over Waterfront Stadium Project ($)
- Martin: A’s to honor late broadcaster Ray Fosse with jersey patch
- Creamer: Oakland A’s to Wear Patch Honouring Ray Fosse in 2022
- A’s: Oakland A’s announce TV, audio, and Spanish-language broadcast information
- Felber: MLB: A front-office record will be tied on Thursday by Yankees, A’s
- Calloway: The next big Lansing Lugnuts star? Top Oakland A’s prospect Tyler Soderstrom has that potential
- Yamashita: Breakdown of Aviators’ opening day roaster
MLB News & Interest
- ESPN: 2022 MLB Season preview: Power Rankings, playoff odds and everything you need to know for all 30 teams
- Footer: Opening Day Power Rankings: Who’s No. 1?
- Reuter: Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups Ahead of Opening Day 2022
- Selbe, Laws: MLB Preseason Power Rankings: Everyone’s Chasing the Dodgers
- Snyder: MLB Power Rankings: Hope springs eternal ahead of 2022 Opening Day
- theScore Staff: Over/under: Breaking down 2022 PECOTA projections for every team
- Sutelan: MLB predictions 2022: Final standings, playoff projections, World Series odds for every team
- Hoffman: 2022 M.L.B. Season Preview
- McCullough: MLB players have moved past the lockout, but they’re still paying attention to what the owners do ($)
- MLB.com: A great unknown for each team ahead of Opening Day
- Adams: Out Of Options 2022
- Bowden: Juan Soto to the Yankees? Carlos Correa one and done in Minnesota? Bowden’s 22 predictions for the 2022 MLB season ($)
- Franco: Three Free Agents Suspended 80 Games After Testing Positive For PED
- Perry: Top 100 MLB Players for 2022 season: Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Mike Trout battle for No. 1
- Longenhagen, Szymborski: Positional Power Rankings: Bullpen (No. 16-30) (No. 1-15)
- Creamer: MLB Celebrates 75 Years Since Jackie Robinson’s Debut with New Logo
- Lukas: Video Game Shows New Unis for Jackie Robinson Day
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
A snippet of Ken Rosenthal podcasting on if MLB could force John Fisher to sell
Latest podcast with @TimMMcMaster:— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 4, 2022
*Crazy spring continues
*Cardinals’ pitching depth
*Can MLB force John Fisher to sell A’s?
Free to listen:
Spotify: https://t.co/y2VbfvhPpO pic.twitter.com/8sO7GAKWQg
Insight to how the A’s payroll should be calculated (check thread for more)
So that adds up to a little over $43 million.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) April 4, 2022
It will actually be at least a little larger than that as players like Sean Murphy have 2 years of service time.
That's an amazingly small payroll for an MLB club. But that seems to be a more accurate estimated number.
Late trade deadline this year!
Mark your calendars: This season’s MLB Trade Deadline will be August 2 at 6:00 pm ET.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) April 4, 2022
The A’s will be honouring Ray Fosse with a patch on the home whites this season
Happy Birthday Ray, we miss you.
Ray would have been 75 today.— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) April 4, 2022
It was also his wedding anniversary.
He will be missed and celebrated all season long. https://t.co/CAhFDsYI0w
An interesting jersey change for Jackie Robinson Day