Starting with a baseline of 100 wins is unrealistic since it means that if everything breaks right you might finish with 105 or even 110 wins.
Since the team hasn't won 100 games since 1946, starting with the assumption that the team has 100 win talent strikes me as fanciful. Very few teams ever start their seasons with 100 win talent. And looking at this one certainly doesn't change that factor: the rotation is still too far unsettled and RF, LF and SS remain question marks.
Why is the fact that this team hasn't done it since 1946 even relevant? The relevant fact is that it's very hard to win 100 games. The next relevant fact is that despite it being hard, it happened in 2011, 2009, 2008, 2005, twice in 2004, three times in 2003, three times in 2002, and twice in 2001 including 116 games won by Seattle. That's fourteen times in the past eleven seasons. That's in the category of very hard to do but not absurdly hard.
Perhaps more to the point, between 1946 and 1975 the Sox only topped 90 wins four times. For the most part they just didn't have the talent level for 100 wins to even be possible.
Meanwhile, in the same eleven seasons that have seen 14 teams win 100 games or more, the Sox have won less than ninety three times and 95 or more six times.
That's the problem. You expect talent alone to win 100 games if everything goes your way. Reasonable people expect, with the talent/holes the team has, to win 90-95. You are starting with, what you call, a stable talent level of 100 wins. Almost everyone disagrees simply because the team hasn't been talented enough to win 100 in 60 years. This year is no different.
But this year really is different than the majority of those other seasons. Most of those years the Sox weren't very good. 1967 is called the Impossible Dream and not the Hey We Thought They Were Good But We Didn't Think They Were This Good Dream for a reason. And now we have a team that has been within striking distance of 100 wins for most of the last decade.
And we have all personally seen teams take their foot off the pedal. This team. Other teams in this division. And this year they are less likely to do so as early as they have in the past because the difference between winning the division and winning a wild card is very meaningful.
Van is using 100 wins as baseline, which IMO is silly. The pitching rotation is in chaos right now, we have no idea who's going to be filing out the end of it. Figure out who the 4th starter might be and I'd have more confidence in even making any sort of wins prediction.
Do you understand that Van didn't use 100 wins as a baseline because he felt like it? He used the number that the predictive models came up with.
And Daniel Bard is the fourth starter. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.
Nope, I understand full well what you are attempting to argue. I am not ignoring your prediction either. Your defense of EV is stunning.
Additonally, You believe the talent level of the team is 100 wins before any variables. Everyone else believes the talent level is 85-95 with the holes the team has (not factoring in any variables).
it's you whom doesn't understand.
You not only don't understand the argument being made, you don't understand the reality it is being made from.
If you believe this team has 85-95 win talent then you have to believe that the injuries suffered last year were normal. They were not. This team won 90 games last year with an abnormally high degree of injuries and you think it's reasonable to think that they're 5 games worse. It's not.
A reasonable projection of this team starts at higher than 90 wins. How much higher depends on how much better you think Bard and Doubront will be compared to Wake and Lackey because no, it is not reasonable to think they will be worse. It depends on how much you think a Ross/Sweeney platoon will be better than JD Drew because no, it's not reasonable to think they will be worse. It depends on how quickly Crawford comes back and how much better he will be than last year. It depends on how much Ellsbury is going to regress. It depends on all the little differences there are from one player one season to the same player the next season.
What it doesn't depend on, which an inordinate number of folks seem not to understand, is your emotional reaction to a shitty September and a shitty off season.