Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections are out and needless to say, they're not favorable for the Athletics. The system projects the A's for 65 wins, third worst in the league and ahead of only the Rockies and the Nationals.
The system is unsurprisingly down on the A's offense, projecting the team for just 679 runs scored. The only team with a worse runs scored projection is the Nationals, who are projected for 18 fewer.
679 runs would actually be a significant improvement for the Athletics. This team scored an abysmal 585 runs in 2023, 56 runs behind the 29th ranked White Sox.
A full year of second baseman Zack Gelof should have a positive impact but the team needs Tyler Soderstrom and Esteury Ruiz to take steps forward and could desperately use some help from offseason additions Abraham Toro and Miguel Andujar.
Like the offense, PECOTA projects the pitching staff to be in rough shape. The A's are projected for 831 runs allowed, good for fourth worst in MLB. The White Sox and Nationals are projected to be worse, as are the Rockies who PECOTA has pegged for an incredible 911 runs allowed.
Just like the offensive side, the A's runs allowed projection would be a big jump forward compared to 2023. The A's gave up 924 runs last year. The pitching staff had the second worst ERA in the league, and the third worst FIP.
The additions of Alex Wood and Ross Stripling should hopefully mitigate some of the issues with the rotation but they'll be missing Ken Waldichuk to start the year and the bullpen is full of question marks.
The A's need a breakout from top prospect Mason Miller. The team has openly committed to using him in a bullpen role next year in an attempt to minimize his injury risk. It's unclear whether he'll be used in high-leverage spots right out of the gate but his stuff is good enough for him to become an elite reliever. Miller's performance will have an outsized impact on the team's success next year.
The A's have made a couple interesting offseason additions to plug some of the holes on the roster but they're a long way removed from looking like a playoff contender. If the team plays up to its full potential, it could win 70 games in 2024. That's not great but it would be a heck of a lot better than a third consecutive 100-loss season.