2010 Preview: Updated Projections
January 8, 2010 3 Comments
The Red Sox seem to have made all of the major moves they are going to make this offseason. Now that our lineup looks to be all but set, let’s take a look at where we currently stand and what we might expect from this team this coming year.
Here are the projected numbers for our current team:
Marco Scutaro should provide additional runs over last season, and Mike Cameron will only provide part of Jason Bay’s contribution in the order. The addition of Adrian Beltre is actually a slight step down offensively from Mike Lowell. Altogether, the lineup is projected for 905 runs by David Pinto’s Lineup Analysis Tool, and following the 92% estimate, we find ourselves at about 832 runs on offense. If this kind of analysis can be believed, this means we are about 26 runs shy of last year’s offensive projection. This level of production would have still made us the 3rd most productive offense in the AL last season, ahead of Minnesota at 817 runs.
And here are our current projections for the pitching staff:
With the addition of John Lackey to an already strong rotation, that is some serious certitude from that rotation (and a 4.02 ERA). Between our top six guys, we expect something like 975.1 IP, and that’s all you typically need in a season. These six relievers are expected to provide 350 IP. Add in another 120 IP of 5.50 ERA innings, and we arrive at a bullpen ERA of about 4.05, very acceptable. That means a staff ERA of 4.03, which if we achieve that, would be a major accomplishment.
We haven’t even gotten to the good part yet. The Red Sox were close to last in defensive efficiency last season, and we brought in two of the best fielders of the past decade in Cameron and Beltre to remedy that. With the switch of Jacoby Ellsbury to left, the Red Sox will feature an impressive outfield, probably one of the top two or three in the Major Leagues. Ells plays the corners much better than he did CF last season, and Jason Bay was just abysmal in left, so we could be looking at a net gain of +30 UZR or more. In the infield, swapping out Lowell with Beltre means about a +20-run swing on the UZR scale. Again, this will be a very strong defensive unit, aside from catcher. So even if our improved defense saves only half of those runs, it should easily result in about 2 extra wins from defense alone.
All told, we are looking at a total of about 832 runs scored to 704 runs allowed, which translates into a run differential of +128. That puts our Pythagorean record at about 94-96 wins (depending on defense), right where Epstein wants it. The improved pitching ought to give opponents plenty of headaches in the postseason, and with Jed Lowrie and the addition of Bill Hall, we also have a deep and talented bench with some upside. We can’t outslug the Yankees, so we’re going to have to take a different tack. Let’s see how it pans out.