The 2018 Padres are Looking to Gain Respect

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The San Diego Padres’ 2018 season starts in mere days, with high hopes among the fan base.

The 2017 Padres season was the 48th season of the San Diego Padres franchise in Major League Baseball and the Padres’ 14th season at Petco Park. The Padres finished the season 71–91 to finish in fourth place in the National League West Division, 33 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. They missed the playoffs for the 11th straight year.

Over this off-season and spring training, the Padres’ organization has made three additions to the infield. The team has added defensive leadership as well as bolstered the offense with the additions of Eric Hosmer, Freddy Galvis, and the return of Chase Headley.

2018 starting eight’s 2017 stats:

Manuel Margot, 13 home runs, 39 RBI, a .263/.313/.409 hitting line and .721 OPS.
Carlos Asuaje, four home runs, 21 RBI, a .270/.334/.362 hitting line and .696 OPS.
Wil Myers, 30 home runs, 74 RBI, a .243/.328/.467 hitting line and .792 OPS.
Eric Hosmer, 25 home runs, 94 RBI, a .318/.385/.498 hitting line and .882 OPS.
Chase Headley, 12 home runs, 61 RBI, a .273/.352/.406 hitting line and .758 OPS
Austin Hedges, 18 home runs, 55 RBI, a .214/.262/.398 hitting line and .660 OPS.
Freddy Galvis, 12 home runs, 61 RBI, a .255/.309/.382 hitting line and .659 OPS.
Hunter Renfroe, 26 home runs, 58 RBI, a .231/.284/.467 hitting line and .751 OPS.

The combined 2017 stats for the starting eight equal 140 home runs, 464 RBI, a .258/.321/.423 hitting line and .740 OPS.

When I look at these combined stats, I cannot understand how 14 out of 15 sports outlets have the Padres only improving slightly from last year’s 71 – 91 final record. They are also predicted to finish last in the division. With veteran pitchers on the mound along with new leadership with “the Hosmer effect”, my prediction for the Padres 2018 baseball season is an 80-82 record and finishing third in the National League West in front of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. “It’d be foolish to think the Padres can make any noise in 2018, especially in a tough NL West. But the Padres should be better than the team that finished 71-91 last year. The rotation is still a work in progress, but the San Diego bullpen should be solid and the Padres have enough proven hitters to avoid scoring the fewest runs in the league. Look for the Padres to finish 78-84, which is a good amount of progress for a rebuilding team.” – by Bryan Zarpentine

CBS Sports: “Padres now have one of the game’s top farm systems, but the big league roster is well short of postseason caliber. FanGraphs projections peg San Diego as a 73-89 team in 2018. I would have a hard time arguing they’re better than a 73-ish win team.” – by Mike Axisa

USA Today MLB: Los Angeles going 95-67, followed by the Rockies at 85-77. The Diamondbacks will go 84-78 to finish third in the division, followed by the Giants at 82-80 and the Padres at 71-91.

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“While the Padres’ youth movement gets more exciting each year, winning remains a challenge, particularly given another patchwork rotation.” – by Gabe Lacques

Athlon Sports: “They looked like a 100-loss team last year, but having some experienced starting pitchers kept them from being too bad. They’re still in that ‘try not to be too embarrassing at the big-league level’ phase, and while they’ve got a lot of high-ceiling talent in their system, there’s not a lot that’s ready to arrive this season.”

Baseball Perspectus : Record: 73-89, Runs Scored: 682, Runs Allowed: 760, Total WARP: 16.5, and a AVG/OBP/SLG (TAv): .239/.299/.379 (.245). 72 -90

PECOTA: 70 W, 660 RS, 773 RA—San Diego Padres (100/1)

Bovaba: (Over/Under) 69 1/2 San Diego Padres – Over 69 ½ Wins -115 / Under 69 ½ Wins -105 65 – 97 “Padres, who are still at least a few years away but boast one of the best farm systems in baseball and an exciting collection of young talent at the MLB level.”

Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports “They may not win a ton of games, but they’ll be super interesting from a team-building perspective. They’re past the purely talent accumulation part of a rebuild — like I said, that farm system is pretty stacked — and they’re now on the “learn how to win” part of things. If things go according to plan, many of the faces on this club will be on the next Padres club to make the playoffs. ” “Emphasis on the future. For now, the Padres, however promising, are simply outclassed in their division and will likely finish in last place.” – by Craig Calcaterra “Competing in 2018 would put this talented but young club well ahead of its projected window of contention so if the very likely reality of this season sets in and they don’t leapfrog the three returning playoff teams in the National League West this fast don’t lose faith.” – By Derek Togerso “The Padres were supposed to be historically terrible last year — they carried three Rule 5 players on the opening day roster — but managed to win 71 games despite a pythagorean record of 59-103 based on their runs scored and runs allowed. The team plays hard under Andy Green, and the manager last August signed a contract extension through 2021. So I’m inclined to take the over on 69½ but still think the Padres will finish with a losing record for an eighth consecutive season.” – by Eric Stephen “71 – Wins projected for the Padres, who signed first baseman Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million front-loaded deal. The contract guarantees Hosmer an average annual value of $21 million in the first five years, and $13 million in the back three. The Padres payroll was a measly $70 million, so it’s good to see a team spend, however Hosmer’s inconsistency raises questions as to how this will play out over time. Hosmer has had four seasons of between -0.5 and 1.0 WAR, which isn’t very encouraging.” – by Steven Martano “How teams fared compared to their Pythagorean won-lost projections, and what correlation – if any – there was between BABIP and wins.
Looking at the Pythagorean wins first: There were a few big outliers. The Padres, Royals, and Blue Jays won 14, 9, and 5 MORE games than their scored/allowed differential would have expected. And the Yankees (-11 wins), Indians (-8), Phillies (-5) and Diamondbacks (-5) all won significantly FEWER games than would be expected. The conventional wisdom is that all other things being equal, they’ll revert to the mean next year; the teams that overperformed, will win fewer games, while those that underperformed will win more. Padres: 14 wins over your Pythagorean projection is a LOT, and they did it despite a BABIP 13 points below the MLB average. Hard to tell whether Pythagoras or BABIP is dispositive.” – by Bernie “Candide” Gilbert

This 2018 season will be the season the Padres start the climb among National League teams in popularity, with the ultimate goal of playing spoiler to sports writers this MLB season.

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