Reaching into the past to glean something for the future...In 2009 with a preseason projected line up of Spilly, Tulo, Helton, Hawpe, Atkins, Iannetta, Smith, and Barmes, it indicated that this line up could score 851 runs (they scored 804 runs) with the additions of Fowler and CarGo. In 2008 with a preseason projected line up of Taveras, Tulo, Helton, Holliday, Atkins, Hawpe, Nix, and Torrealba it indicated that this line up could score 826 runs (they scored 747 runs). So what about 2010? Using 2010 projections on Fangraphs and the handy dandy runs estimator you get the about 845 runs scored with the line up below.
I think the above line up has to be the most secure of any line up coming into a season. I mean 2008 Rox had no clue who was going to be at second. You also figure in 2010 you will have Smith, Olivo, Spilly, Mora, and Giambi taking some bats throughout the season. Know if you assume the line up above is a playoff contender with 845 runs scored and you assume that a runs score to runs allowed playoff ratio is about 1.16 then Rox's pitchers need to only allow 728 runs to score to keep up their end of the bargain. Also a 845 to 728 spread should give Rox a 92 win season! I have seen a few early season projects ranging from 83 to 86 to 87 to 92. For those bettor's out there if Vegas stays on that 83 line I would take the over big time!
No question expectations are high this year. Our Rox aren't going to sneak into the playoffs this time around. Because of this most of the early projections do have the team winning more than 85 games. Based on projections with Bill James, CHONE, and Marcels on Fangraphs, if you plot runs scored versus runs against you have 799/672, 813/741, and 823/726 respectively. Based on this you get 94, 88, and 90 wins. So I think a Wild Card is definitely in play but what about the division? Things to think about: Will Dodgerland implode because of the owner's divorce and Manny's future, can the Giants score runs and will their pitcher stay healthy, and can the D-Backs find their winning ways with a revamped offense and Webb's new arm? Sorry Padres fans but don't see you guys fighting for the division especially when Gonzalez is traded to the BoSox this summer.
And what is a perfect summer at Coors: For the offense it would be CarGo continues his playoff offensive prowess, Fowler stays healthy and runs, Tulo hits in April, Helton's back holds on, Stewart can hit lefties, Hawpe hits for an entire season, Barmes becomes sneaky good in the 8th spot, and the catcher's find some consistency at the plate. For the pitchers it would be Francis finds his old stride, Cook stays healthy, U-ball becomes a true ace, de la Rosa pitches for an entire year, and Hammel improves upon last year. For the relievers it would be Betancourt and Street...can the dynamic duo close out late inning rallies on a consistent basis?
I give the Rox 90 wins...