FanGraphs projects Andrew McCutchen to finish the season with a 5.4 WAR. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
FanGraphs unveiled two new features Thursday, depth charts and projected standings. Supreme Overlord of FanGraphs (unofficial title) Dave Cameron explains how they work and how to use them. The key takeaway is that the standings use a combination of ZIPS and Steamer projection systems, along with the depth charts, to suss out season records for all 30 teams.
One purpose we can use the projected standings for is looking at the Pirates' playoff chances. FanGraphs is pretty optimistic on the Bucs' playoff chances, projecting an 84-78 record, tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks just one game behind both the Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds for a Wild Card spot. The FanGraphs projections see the Pirates scoring more runs as the season goes on, but also giving up more for about an even run differential.
Let's compare the FanGraphs numbers to my two other preferred playoff ...
James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person.