Wednesday, April 4, 2012

South Side Season Predictions

It's almost baseball time again in Chicago. Which means, TCB's hibernation is now over. I'm awake and ready for some ball. So let's make some predictions.

Most people are down on the Sox this year. And honestly, to say people are down on the Sox is really putting it lightly. People, including Vegas, think the Sox have next to no chance to win the Pennant (+3500). Odds are a little better to win the division (+1000), but still not very good. I've got the Sox faring a little better than most with 79 wins, 3 above the most recent over/under of 76. Granted, I do have the Tigers 1 shy of 90 with 89 wins, so the Sox really won't be in contention for most of the final month or so of the year.

Last year was a weird year. There were a lot of statistical oddities of which I believe many will straighten themselves back out. I've got Adam Dunn at 31 HRs, 96 RBI, and a batting average at .237. Beckham is another one who had an interesting (another word for bad) season last year. I see a bit of a bounce back for him as well. I'll take .252. How bout Rios? Again, he's got to be a little better. I'm going with .270, 21 HR, 73 RBI.

Let's turn to some pitchers. I heard an interesting over/under line of the Sox starting rotation (Danks, Floyd, Peavy, Humber, Sale) winning 55 games. At first glance you would think this would be easy. 11 a piece, couple guys above, couple below, but we should get there. But when I looked at the math of 79 wins minus 55 wins for these 5 starters, I don't like it. I'm taking the current starting rotation with under 55 wins, how bout 47, but I'll say Sox starters, including anyone not in the current 5, get 62 wins.

Jake Peavy is healthy. I should bold that because it sounds like a prediction, but it's actually fact right now. So, I'll make some guesses on his numbers. How bout innings? 98 IP. Yeah, little low, but that's based on the fact that by the end of the year, I think he's our closer. I'm figuring in an injury, coupled with the back end of the Sox pen failing. Seems like a sure fire guess to me.

I'm a little nervous about Dayan. Usually I don't put a ton of stock in bad Springs, but when it's your first full Spring with a roster spot, you really can't chalk it up to "working on other things." Viciedo is sitting right at the .100 mark with just one more game left before the year starts. I wanted to predict a 25+ HR, 80+ RBI season for the big guy, but I'm gonna back off quite a bit and go for .235, 17 HR, and 69 RBI. Not exactly what we've all been dreaming of, but Dayan is still just 23 years old, so there's still time for him to figure it all out.

And last but not least my take on our new manager, Robin Ventura. Robin did get in that fight with Nolan Ryan, but I don't see him as a terribly fiery manager. Especially as he is supposed to be a replacement for the fiery-ist manager of all. I'll go with 1 ejection on the year. I'm sure we'll run into Hunter Wendelstadt one of these nights.

I really hope almost all of these are dead wrong. Sox winn 95 games, Dunn hits 45 HRs, and so on, but I have a feeling this is not going to be the best year. But, hope always springs eternal at this time of year, so you never know.

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