The Totally Non Official Precursor To The Official Predictions Thread

How Many Games Will The Sox Win?

  • 100+

    Votes: 10 3.0%
  • 95-99

    Votes: 19 5.7%
  • 90-94

    Votes: 130 39.3%
  • 85-89

    Votes: 144 43.5%
  • 80-84

    Votes: 22 6.6%
  • 75-79

    Votes: 3 0.9%
  • 70-74

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • <70

    Votes: 2 0.6%

  • Total voters
    331

nattysez

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Rasputin said:
 
I don't think you can really say the Sox lack depth of pitching. The ceiling is not all that high for this bunch, but the depth is there. 
 
Porcello, Miley, Buchholz, Kelly, Masterson, Workman, Barnes, and Wright should be ready from the get go with Owens, Johnson, Rodriguez, and Escobar joining after a couple months, and they should all be capable of 5th starter level performance.
 
"They should all be capable of 5th starter level performance" applies to pretty much the entire rotation, which is the problem with this team -- they've got a collection of third-to-fifth starters.  
 
This feels a lot like the classic "all-hitting, no-pitching Sox" of decades past, the most recent vintage of which was in 1996.  In 1996 the team scored over 900 runs and wound up with a team ERA+ of 101 with Clemens, Mike Stanton and Heathcliff Slocumb having great years.  They won 85 games.  
 
Two comparable starting staffs might be the 2005 and 1997 (first year post-Clemens) Sox.  In 1997, Wake-Gordon-Sele-Suppan-Avery were the main starters while the team waited for Saberhagen to get healthy.  It did not go well, and the team wound up with an ERA+ under 100.  In 2005, Wake-Arroyo-Clement-Wells-Miller were the main starters while the team waited for Schilling to get healthy.  It did not go well, and the team wound up with an ERA+ under 100.  Unfortunately, the Sox don't even have the "potential ace we're waiting to get healthy" this year, unless you want to equate waiting for a Hamels trade with waiting for guys to get healthy. 
 
I also have serious concerns about a groundball-heavy team relying on X at SS.  If he struggles on D, that will make getting good performances out of the starters that much harder.
 
85 wins sounds about right.
 
Edit:  And as I was typing this out, Joe Kelly left his start with an injury.  So that's not good.
 

Devizier

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nattysez said:
 
This feels a lot like the classic "all-hitting, no-pitching Sox" of decades past, the most recent vintage of which was in 1996.  In 1996 the team scored over 900 runs and wound up with a team ERA+ of 101 with Clemens, Mike Stanton and Heathcliff Slocumb having great years.  They won 85 games.  
 
You could just as easily point to the Cleveland playoff teams of 1997 (ERA+ of 99) and 1999 (ERA+ of 102). Of course the '99 team scored 1000 runs, but the point stands.
 

snowmanny

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Dec 8, 2005
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Yeah, like many of you I don't really trust the starting pitching, so I'm saying 84-89.  But I think it's more likely it all comes together and they land in the mid 90's than it is they end up below .500.
 
Also the lineup and positional depth on this team is ridiculous.  Also the lineup and positional depth on this team is full of incredibly interesting and fun players.  Also I am incredibly excited to watch the lineup and the positional depth on this team and I mean deep deep depth.  
 
My real prediction is that this is going to be a great year to be a Red Sox fan.
 

foulkehampshire

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snowmanny said:
Yeah, like many of you I don't really trust the starting pitching, so I'm saying 84-89.  But I think it's more likely it all comes together and they land in the mid 90's than it is they end up below .500.
 
Also the lineup and positional depth on this team is ridiculous.  Also the lineup and positional depth on this team is full of incredibly interesting and fun players.  Also I am incredibly excited to watch the lineup and the positional depth on this team and I mean deep deep depth.  
 
My real prediction is that this is going to be a great year to be a Red Sox fan.
 
Mid 80's sounds about right to me. If everything breaks right (Continued growth from Miley, Porcello. Rebounds from Buchholz, Masterson. Useful IP from 5th SP) they could win more than 90. Too many IF's for my liking. The AL East may be up for grabs for anybody with around 90 wins...so 84-89 makes the Sox a reasonable contender. 
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Offense and a great bullpen (!!!!) will carry an otherwise okay starting pitching to 92 wins, a wild card victory at home, a smackdown of the West division winner and a harrowing ALCS defeat in 7 games.  Buchholz puts on a Lester like performance in the playoffs making everyone want to re-sign him because we need a true playoff ace, of course!
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Jun 26, 2006
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I went 85-89. I just don't see how the starting pitching is good enough. They'll score more than last year, obviously, but Buch is too iffy, Porcello too mediocre, Kelly too unproven, Miley too NL, and Masterson too recently terrible. The whole collection just argues for middle of the pack. The offense is good enough to put a thumb on the scale, but not enough to make this a great team. 
 
That said, maybe 88-89 wins gets a wild card spot. You don't have to be great to make the playoffs. Maybe the bats get crazy hot. 
 

Valek123

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Jul 13, 2005
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97 wins!?!, offense carries the pitching for much of the season. As the summer rolls on injuries to starters cause pitching to be solidified at asb, but Sox lose in the first round of the playoffs when starters run out of gas.
 

pk1627

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90-95 wins. Reminds me of 2005 team: great lineup, adequate pitching.

You know what other team they remind me at this time of the year? 2013. But that team had a fantastic Buch to start the year, and then a fantastic Lester/Lackey to end it. If the pitching gels like 2013, what a great year we'll have.
 

Coachster

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I've got us at .500. 81 wins. I'm owning this. Lots of 10-8 losses. Starting pitching up in flames, getting used to Stephen Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez, and maybe even Henry Owen taking regular turns, the bullpen up in flames, Koji toast, Mujica toasty, Breslow toasted. I enjoy offense as much as the next guy, but it's all we'll be enjoying this year.
 

bsj

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
I'm going with 90-95 wins, specifically 91, which I think will win the AL East. They will have one of the best offenses in the game, their starting rotation should be league average at worst and the bullpen, while not without risk, should be better than average. That's a recipe for winning a lot of games in a weak division.
I'm right at 91 as well. I am starting to really love this offense, and i agree with you on the pitching as well. For all the talk about this rotation not having an ace, it also has 3 #3 SP. No real dogs to be had, which is a nice thing.
 

Hagios

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Dec 15, 2007
672
84 wins. 
 
Koufax said:
I voted 80 - 84 because I am a miserable human being and a perpetual pessimist.  However, the mediocre starting rotation, the injury-prone right fielder, the aging DH, the unproven CF, the slight-hitting catcher, the rickety SS, the grossly fat 3B and the on-the-back-nine 2b and LF add fuel to the fire lighting up the skies showing me the image of a team that is not a dramatic improvement over last year's squad.  Mookie Betts is the one bright spot, but he will have to struggle for playing time, at least until Shane gets injured and Craig flames out again.  Once again I have sold all of my 50+ tickets to this season's games and wish all the fans and patrons well, but I won't be there.
 
And there is no Santa Claus.
 
I voted 80 to 84 as well. My prediction is for 84. I'm pessimistic of getting league average pitching this year. I'm also nervous about relying on players who are either old and breakable, or young and relatively unproven. I do love Betts though.
 

Devizier

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I picked 90-94. I'm going with 90.
 
The pitching won't be average. It will be below average. But only a bit below, not in the league of badness that you'll find in Texas (without Darvish) or Toronto (without Stroman).
 
The offense will be the best in baseball. I anticipate more than 800 runs scored this season. 
 
90 wins should be enough to make the playoffs this season. I anticipate that the standings will be pretty bunched together around MLB this season (Nationals excepted).
 

canderson

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Jul 16, 2005
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Picked 80-84, think they win 83 give or take a game or two.
 
Offense will be fine but I think pitching will be an issue once a few injuries set in. I'm worried also about SS and LF defense quite a bit.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I think it's funny that people "worry" about our potential LF defense.  Seriously, of all the things to worry about with a baseball team, LF defense wouldn't typically make any top 10 list.  Teams have been stashing bad defenders there forever.
 
It's not as though Hanley is a bad athlete.  He'll be mediocre at worst.  Frankly, I'll be very surprised if Hanley isn't better than the prior Ramirez who, uh, patrolled LF at Fenway.  
 
SS defense on the other hand, and the starting rotation?  Yeah, those could have us reaching for the Tums...
 

TigerBlood

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Minneapolis Millers said:
I think it's funny that people "worry" about our potential LF defense.  Seriously, of all the things to worry about with a baseball team, LF defense wouldn't typically make any top 10 list.  Teams have been stashing bad defenders there forever.
 
It's not as though Hanley is a bad athlete.  He'll be mediocre at worst.  Frankly, I'll be very surprised if Hanley isn't better than the prior Ramirez who, uh, patrolled LF at Fenway.  
 
SS defense on the other hand, and the starting rotation?  Yeah, those could have us reaching for the Tums...
 
100%agree. The "Hanley won't be able to adjust" is a bunch of ESPN hot-air that gets repeated by people who want to point out every single way in which this team isn't perfect. Hanley has played baseball his entire life, and was athletic enough to stick at shortstop on a major league team until age 31.
 

nattysez

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Minneapolis Millers said:
I think it's funny that people "worry" about our potential LF defense.  Seriously, of all the things to worry about with a baseball team, LF defense wouldn't typically make any top 10 list.  Teams have been stashing bad defenders there forever.
 
It's not as though Hanley is a bad athlete.  He'll be mediocre at worst.  Frankly, I'll be very surprised if Hanley isn't better than the prior Ramirez who, uh, patrolled LF at Fenway.  
 
SS defense on the other hand, and the starting rotation?  Yeah, those could have us reaching for the Tums...
 
These are the kind of rationalizations one makes during Spring Training that often don't work out.  "Hanley will be fine - he's a great athlete" turns into "Guys are going from second-to-third on Hanley's arm every other game" and "Hanley misplayed two balls off the wall and the Sox lost by 1."  When the pitching staff is iffy, the LF giving up an out or a couple of bases every other game is going to be a real problem.  I hope his defense is better than I expect, but the reports on his play tonight were discouraging.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Thought this was an appropriate place to post this. 
 
In an article on FiveThirtyEight about the Yankees improvement at SS by moving from CI to Didi, they included this graphic 
 
 
 
Obviously some positional juggling has taken place and Vazquez is gone, but it's kind of insane to see that that much improvement, at so many positions, is projected. I think you could further argue that RF will not take that much of a hit (given how much Nava's defensive ratings last year played a large role in his WAR) and will most likely actually improve. 
 

RedOctober3829

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84-78.  2nd wild card.  Starting pitching goes through it's up's and down's.  Bullpen does not have a good year.  Offense for the most part is very good, but can't sustain carrying an average at best pitching staff.
 

radsoxfan

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
 
Obviously some positional juggling has taken place and Vazquez is gone, but it's kind of insane to see that that much improvement, at so many positions, is projected. I think you could further argue that RF will not take that much of a hit (given how much Nava's defensive ratings last year played a large role in his WAR) and will most likely actually improve. 
 
My initial through looking at that entire graphic was…. It's amazing how awful Will Middlebrooks (and 3B in general) was last season.  
 
I didn't like the Panda signing particularly, but after watching that display at 3B last season, hard to blame Cherington for getting a little carried away. I think he knew he couldn't stomach another season at 3B like that. 
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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radsoxfan said:
 
My initial through looking at that entire graphic was…. It's amazing how awful Will Middlebrooks (and 3B in general) was last season.  
 
I didn't like the Panda signing particularly, but after watching that display at 3B last season, hard to blame Cherington for getting a little carried away. I think he knew he couldn't stomach another season at 3B like that. 
 
Yeah, other than Heyward in RF for STL, it's the biggest projected increase in MLB. Which probably says more about 2014 3B for the Sox than it does about Panda. 
 

flymrfreakjar

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Obviously some positional juggling has taken place and Vazquez is gone, but it's kind of insane to see that that much improvement, at so many positions, is projected. I think you could further argue that RF will not take that much of a hit (given how much Nava's defensive ratings last year played a large role in his WAR) and will most likely actually improve. 
 
Also I have a hard time believing that if he's healthy, Pedroia will have a worse season than last.
 

jacklamabe65

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I will still swear that Joe Kelly has the potential to be a second starter in October even after he's shown glimpses throughout the season. The loss of Christian was enough for me to move them to a 85-89 win team, but they will be fun to watch regardless!
 

CouchsideSteve

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I voted 85-89, good for a Wildcard play-in berth.
 
Very bullish on the offense (particularly for Ramirez and Napoli to have big seasons), but I think the defense may be a concern, and it's not difficult to imagine 3-4 rotation spots providing ~180IP with an ERA+ < 100.
 
Hate to say it, but this could also be the year both Ortiz and Pedroia take marked steps back.  
 

judyb

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Also I have a hard time believing that if he's healthy, Pedroia will have a worse season than last.
The way Fangraphs does WAR by team by position seems to be misleading when there are multi-positional players involved. It looks like the Red Sox WAR total from 2B last year includes Pedroia's season plus Betts whole season even though Betts played a lot of OF, too. Betts 1.9 WAR total is included in both the 2B and CF totals, Holt's 2.3 WAR is included in both the 3B and RF totals, and Nava's 2.7 WAR is included in both the LF and RF totals. There has to be a more accurate way to do this.
 

Traut

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81 wins. The rotation has serious question marks and the bullpen even more. This team is better than last year. They'll tease and they'll frustrate. But ultimately the plusses and minuses cancel each other out and this team finishes .500 + or - 1 or 2 games.
 

Plympton91

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I think expecting more than 85 wins out of this pitching staff is extremely optimistic. They need a lot to go right to have even an average rotation and bullpen. The offense should be great, even with a black hole at catcher until they call up Swihart and Victorino getting too many at bats against righthanders who will quickly find holes in his righthanded approach. The Blue Jays and Orioles are clearly better teams to me, and the Yankees are not too far behind.

But, that's the expected value. There's plenty of reason to be optimistic and I'm looking forward to watching this play out. At a minimum, they'll get answers to some questions, and they have the chips necessary to make adjustments as necessary if they can stay close, or to make themselves a world series favorite for 2016 if they falter.
 

patinorange

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I'm guessing 87 wins. I think the CV injury really hurts them. Hanley is really going to play left field. Yikes.
 
As always, how is the pitching? Who the hell knows, but I'm hoping to sneak into the playoffs and get hot.
 
Let's go!
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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adam42381 said:
I voted 85-90 wins based on almost nothing but my gut instinct. I'll feel more comfortable making a prediction once I get out and see the guys in action over the next month or so.
I'll go with 86 wins and one of the Wild Cards. I agree with many above me that the offense will be very good, but they will have a hard time carrying a mediocre pitching staff. 
 

MikeM

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I voted 80-84. Notably better then last year, but too many overall question marks for a  jump to playoff expectations. 
 
While i completely understand the reason/s for optimism, it won't necessarily take anything all that unexpected to play out for this pitching staff to sink us. That bottom line scares me, and the hypothetical possibility we somehow manage to fix it through a trade or two mid-season isn't enough to quell the surface concern there. 
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Rice4HOF said:
So, Hamels is 7 Wins above whoever is in the #5 rotation spot? That would require you to expect him to have a Pedro circa 1998 type season.
 
Or the #5 spot to be a suckhole of 2011 John Lackey proportions.  Neither of which is at all likely to happen.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat said:
 

I'd be happy to bet you any amount you want, for the Jimmy Fund, that he won't.

 
 
I hope you aren't proposing an even money wager. That would be insulting. 
 
What odds will you lay?  
 

Laser Show

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I don't think I've chimed in yet - 89 wins, which will be good enough at least for a wild card berth and possibly a division title depending on how shitty the rest of the division is.