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Projecting the Padres versus the rest of the NL West

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All that change in the offseason and the Padres should have narrowed the gap between them and the division leaders, right?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I brought up how the Padres have a bit of a projection problem. That despite making headlines in December and the ownership getting gooey praise from the local paper, the team does not appear any closer to contending than it has in year's past. Someone pointed out in the comments of that post that they would like to see how projections stack up against the rest of the division. Let's take a look using Steamer's WAR projections from Fangraphs.

Team Position
Players
Pitchers Total Win Difference
Los Angeles Dodgers 25.1 14.4 39.5 ---
Colorado Rockies 20.3 10.2 30.5 -9
San Francisco Giants 20.9 8.9 29.8 -10
San Diego Padres 15.2 7.1 22.3 -17
Arizona Diamondbacks 14.2 7.0 21.2 -18

This does not stack up well for the Padres. I think we all knew that even with the changes this offseason that the Padres would be underdogs to the Dodgers and the division contains the defending World Series champs, but the goal should have been to create a much smaller gap than the one above. Seventeen wins is not a good starting difference between them and the defending NL West champions. Baseball seasons are not won with projections, but they should provide a baseline for expectation. A starting point for understanding how much needs to go right for your team (or wrong for others) to see something special happen. This starting point should be quite disturbing to many.