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Monday, August 10, 2020

2020’s Most Irreplaceable Players

How big a loss for the Braves was Soroka? With him still in the rotation, the ZiPS projection system had the Atlanta Braves with an 89.5% chance of making baseball’s expanded 16-team playoffs. Without Soroka, that number drops to 81.5%, nearly doubling the probability that Atlanta watches the playoffs from home. How does that eight percentage points rank among baseball’s stars? As I do every season, I asked ZiPS to re-project league standings with individual star players removed from their team’s rosters.

This isn’t a WAR ranking, which would be kind of boring. Teams whose playoff fortunes are most up in the air, especially those without sufficient depth, tend to be the ones that get in the most trouble when they lose a key player due to injury. The combination of good early results and deep rosters has left a few teams at the top of the food chain — the Braves, Dodgers, Athletics, Twins, and Yankees — without a single player in the top 25 in playoff leverage. That’s not to say that losing Mookie Betts or Cody Bellinger wouldn’t be a huge loss for the Dodgers, but the team has good backup options and it would take losing both to seriously change the team’s playoff odds.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2020 at 03:41 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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