April 1, 2008

Projections & Predictions #6

Gordon Edes looks at how almost everyone is picking the Red Sox as to (at the very least) win the East:
On ESPN.com, for example, 14 of 18 "experts" pick the Sox to win the division ... The three baseball columnists at YahooSports are unanimous in choosing the Sox to win the division. ...

Six of the eight baseball staffers at the New York Daily News pick the Sox. At the Chicago Tribune, it's five of seven ... [Detroit] Free Press columnist Mitch Albom picks the Sox over the Mets in the Series, while his esteemed colleague John Lowe goes with the Sox over the Atlanta Braves.

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman ranks the Sox as the best team in baseball. ...

The respected statistical analysts, such as the folks at Baseball Prospectus, rank the Red Sox No. 1. They have the Sox finishing 96-66, showing a slight drop in runs scored from 2007 and a slight increase in runs allowed. ... The unsentimental crowd at Hardball Times, another bellwether of statistical analysis, showed similar enthusiasm for the Sox, with 17 of 19 experts picking them to win the division. ...
Edes tells us that Daily News columnist Bill Madden "is among those who have fallen under the spell of the Toronto Blue Jays." ... What is it about the Jays? Do Madden and Cafardo and Massarotti really believe they're the best team in the East?

David Ortiz thinks the Tigers could be the best team in the league:
Look at the hitters in that lineup. By the third inning, the pitcher is going to be exhausted pitching to those guys. One right after another. The pitcher is going to have 50-55 pitches in the third inning. You're not going to make it through the fifth and then you go to the bullpen. I think they have more power than we do. They've got scary guys out there.

7 comments:

The Omnipotent Q said...

Madden just hates the Red Sox. Always has. For years would always have something in his Sunday column against the Sox.

Michael said...

Huh... contra Edes, Baseball Prospectus actually has the Yankees winning the AL East with a 97-65 record (881 RS/724 RA) over the Sox, who have a predicted 91-71 record (838 RS/745 RA).

redsock said...

Maybe Edes was referring to Joe Sheehan's AL preview (which has the Sox at one game better than the Chokers):

Boston Red Sox (96-66, 847 RS, 701 RA). Two months ago, this prediction might have been a bit rosier. The loss of Curt Schilling dings the runs allowed figure a bit, although it's complicated by the fact that Clay Buchholz will pick up some of the innings. The decline in offense is predicated on bounces from J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo not offsetting slips by David Ortiz -- who was amazing last year -- Jason Varitek, and Mike Lowell. Even with all that, this is the best team in baseball.

New York Yankees (95-67, 891 RS, 744 RA). The Yankees' offense is going to be much less impressive this season, as neither Alex Rodriguez nor Jorge Posada can be expected to reprise their team-carrying '07 lines, and there's no way the rest of the team makes up for the falloff. However, an upgraded back end of the rotation is going to make a big difference in the number of runs they allow overall. Ian Kennedy and Philip Hughes don't have to be stars; just solid league-average innings will be fine. The bullpen is a bit shaky before the eighth inning, and that fact will make it hard to execute the "Joba Chamberlain to the rotation in midseason" plan. He might not start five times this year.

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Patrick said...

Ya'll notice Fukudome went 3-3 with a single, double, HR, and walk? Pretty interesting. Probably not a sign of things to come but he definitely made a statement.

tim said...

Not to mention that Fukudome's 3 run dong came off good ol Gagné.

Jack Marshall said...

Only in sports do you qualify as an expert simply because someone gave you a job. The analysis in all of these sources is pretty pathetic. Ortiz was playing on one leg last year: why would anyone predict him to decline? Manny's playing for his contract and is in great shape...decline? Who was counting on Schilling? Didn't anyone with a brain assume that he was going to be a part-timer at best? When he truly was the staff ace and missed most of the season in 2005, the Sox didn't suffer much: why is he so important now? Frankly, Colon now looks like a better bet than Scill '08 ever was. And that doesn't even figure in Buchholtz.

Morons.

At least Papi has an excuse for his flawed analysis of the Tigers---he's an amateur sports analyst. But any Red Sox fan from the 70s and 80s who falls for the "the hitting is so good the lousy pitching won't matter" argument has a learning curve flatter than Eric Gagne's fastball.

redsock said...

Only in sports do you qualify as an expert simply because someone gave you a job.

Actually, it also works for being a music critic.

Not to mention that Fukudome's 3 run dong came off good ol Gagné.

I watched the 9th. Leadoff line drive single, then a four-pitch walk. Then three more balls to Fukudome -- none close -- the Cubs fans goin' nuts. He throws a strike (finally) and I was thinking to myself I'll bet Fuku's timing it for the next one. Yep. 3-1 cookie -- BOOM to CF! Tie game.

Then Milwaukee scores in the 10th and Gagne gets the win!

I'm going to watch Pedro and also flip over to BuffyVision for the MFY, so if anyone's not doing anything at 7 ...