2023 “Special Blend” projections for your fantasy baseball leagues

One of the beautiful things about the game of baseball is the unique statistical opportunity that it offers. It is a game full of independent events. A pitcher throws a pitch and a batter swings at it. This happens over and over again, and that allows a lot of predictive data to be produced. With such a large sample size of these independent events over the course of a season, each season produces more and more data to analyze. This allows for a chance to use that data to predict how players will age and evolve and perform in their upcoming season based on all of the data we’ve seen in baseball history.

There’s no other sport where this kind of projecting can be done with as much detail and precision. That’s the main reason I create fantasy baseball cheatsheets as opposed to other sports. The data isn’t as predictive in other sports but… baseball? Oh, the data speaks volumes.

The History of the “Special Blend”

I started researching and diving into the world of these statistic-based projections a couple of decades ago. In those earlier days, there were projection systems with names like Marcel, CHONE, CAIRO and PECOTA. And, for the most part, these projection systems would be the first solid attempts at using a player’s recent stats to predict his future stats in a mathematical way.

Additional projections came and went over the years until we reached the point we’re at now. Only a few projection systems stood the test of time and they’re all pretty dang good now in their own ways. The people who make those projections do awesome and detailed work.

I studied that work many years ago. I found that taking the best projections and just averaging them together would produce more accurate projections than just using one projection system alone. That idea isn’t particularly shocking or novel, but it interested me nonetheless. I expanded on this idea over time and it got to the point where things got more complex than just averaging projections together.

My research found that each projection system had certain stats that it was better at projecting than others. I started taking the best projections for each stat and doing weighted averages based on which projections were best at projecting that stat. This involved a lot of nerdy analysis but it led me to create a unique way of combining projections to make them even more accurate than just averaging together projections alone.

Combining Projections In A Thoughtful Way

So, all of that is to say that I’m not actually doing my “own” projections here. I’m taking the hard work of others who designed complex projection systems and I’m figuring out a way to average those projections together in a thoughtful way. The sources that I use in my aggregation are:

Each stat, from Walks to Doubles, has its own special weighting based on my research into which of those sources are best at each stat. With that in mind and with my projections in hand, I’m able to create a magical special blend of projections each year.

The 2023 Projections

I tweeted a preview of the 2023 baseball projections a few days ago, as you can see below. Within that tweet, I mentioned some of my initial observations about these projections.

You’ll be able to look through these projections and come up with your own fun observations too. You can view the projections here or you can better access them by viewing them on this Google Sheet. Within the Google Sheet, you can make a copy for yourself or download the projections for your own use case. You’ll see in the projections that I also included the players’ projected WERTH value for a standard league format. The WERTH value is the combined z-score in the five standard roto categories for that player; it’s a way of showing how valuable a player is in a rotisserie league.

As always, you can use these projections within my Excel cheatsheets as you conduct your draft. Within those sheets, you can get WERTH values that are more customized to your league settings.

Good luck, and have fun!

Projections last updated on 03/26/2023

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  • Matt
    03/17/2023 at 2:26 PM

    Excellent work, as always! Thanks for everything you put into these sheets/tools!

    • Luke
      03/19/2023 at 3:38 PM

      And thank you for saying so! I often feel like I’m just replying to issues or questions so I also appreciate the little pats on the back when they appear haha.

  • Mark
    03/19/2023 at 3:34 PM

    Nice thanks! Do you have one for daily leagues in which Ohtani is one player so you basically have a hitter and SP with one pick? Just trying to figure out the value for him in this format

    • Luke
      03/19/2023 at 3:37 PM

      If you download the Excel cheatsheets on my site, they are customizable to your league settings and there’s a setting where you can say to treat him as one player who gets all his stats.

  • Matt Hilgenkamp
    03/23/2023 at 3:41 PM

    Do you expect to update these again before the season starts? No worries if not, just curious.

  • Edward Malczewski
    03/26/2023 at 9:02 PM

    Luke…Thanks for continuing to create these spreadsheets every year. Thanks to you I’ve won my league two years running and just wanted to say your work is greatly appreciated.

    • Luke
      03/26/2023 at 11:32 PM

      I really appreciate that comment. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me that, and I’m so happy to hear about your success!

  • Douglas Wiznewski
    04/15/2023 at 11:00 AM

    Hi Luke,
    Love your excel help!
    Any thoughts on where to download a free DFS baseball spreadsheet?