You guys are entertaining if nothing else.
I'll be bold and go with 84-78.
While we have a lot of huge question marks, nobody in our division made huge splashy moves to make them an obvious forerunner. Detroit is once again going to be hoping the other pitchers can catch up to Valverde, and depending on big sluggers with suspect defense. Cleveland has just as much turnover as we have, plus a new manager. Chicago hasn't changed much, except to ditch Pierzynski's bat. The Royals...well, who the hell knows with KC.
Under Gardenhire, we typically have played well against NL teams and that momentum seems to carry forward into the next few series. Spreading out NL matchups through out the year is probably going to be to our benefit.
But like everyone else said, the predictions could be incredibly different in 30-45 days.
Not sure how you can expect our team, the worst in the AL the last two seasons, to somehow improve by almost 20 games after downgrading the offense and defense and filling the rotation with question marks.
I don't honestly think that we've taken as far a step back offensively as some people think. I don't think anyone will miss Casilla offensively. I'm sure there are plenty of folks who would bank on Revere taking a step back offensively this year. The major loss is Span, and he hasn't actually been a model of health the last few years, nor has he returned to the excellent numbers he had in the Dome. On the flip side, Plouffe has has time to mature and heal his thumb, Willingham is coming off a career year, and Mourneau is another year removed from his concussion. Not only that, but we've got a new hitting coach who has done wonders in AAA.
As far as defensively, we have the new question mark in CF, but other than that, how are we any worse off than we were at the start of last year? At least going into spring training people have a whole lot better idea what position they're going to end up in.
And hey, our pitching staff can't get much worse.
As far as Detroit, I'm sure they're going to be picked as a favorite, but I don't think they're invincible. Is a 37 year old OF and a DH coming off a year lost to injury really gonna make that big an impact? I'm not entirely sure.
But who the hell knows for sure at this point?
As far as people expecting Revere to take a step back offensively...based on what?
And as far as that 37 year old RF Detroit went and got...does he seem to have missed a beat? He was the 5th ranked defensive RF in the game and had an OPS over .800.
Can't we wait until the second week of spring training for the first round of wild guesses? We don't even know whose arms have fallen off yet!
Why are people so optimistic about this team? The starting pitching will still be awful, the offense will be meh, they won't have a CF until May or June and expect him to learn on the job, and the bullpen has two reliable arms, not to mention the continuously eroding fundamentals by this team.
I voted 60-69. I just have a hard time thinking this team is any better than the past two seasons.
59-103 through 62 - 100 , and only hustons presence keeps us from being the worst team in the American leaque 3 years striaght
1) The starting pitching is almost certainly going to be better than last year. Last year was an aberration - every single pre-season starter was out of the rotation by July, and the club had to scramble just to throw somebody (anybody) out there. That's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. We may not set the league on fire in ERA+, but I see no where to go but up.
2) Morneau came back much better than I expected, Mauer is back in form at the plate, and even with the lack of production from the middle infield we did show the ability to score runs last year. Inconsistent, to be sure, but it is there. Similar years for M&M this year, Willingham at 80% of what he was, a surge by Plouffe or Parmelee (neither of which is out of the picture), and replacement value hitting from the rest should score us enough runs to be competitive and make a run at .500 ball.
3) Yes, CF is a gamble, but one everyone knew we had to take, and given the depth in the farm system, one that is not unjustified. I'm going to trust that the organization wouldn't have given away both Span and Revere unless they felt there was enough to bring up to at least fill the gap and allow the farm system to develop further.
4) Bullpen pitching is notoriously unpredictable. Every year it's a coin toss whether it gels or not. Last year was a pleasant surprise; the previous year wasn't. Who knows what we'll have this year, but even if it's not as reliable as last year, if the starters can get deeper into the game (into the 7th inning) it will reduce any impact.
5) Because life is more pleasant when you think about good things instead of bad things. I choose to hope for the best and not assume the worst, especially in February and March. We have enough to be depressed about in Minnesota in winter; why add this to the list?
I'll go for 73-74. Not good, but better than last year.
I have some hope that this team might do something like the 2004 Red Sox. Score a whole bunch of runs basically. They could do it if they get career years out of the heart of their order while catching fire with Plouffe, Hicks/Mastro, and Dozier. Pitching will be about damage control and lucky breaks.
66-75 would be my category.
With the chance to go as great as 15-2 or 14-3 against the likes of Houston, Miami, NY Mets and Milwaukee, a disastrous plague of injuries or performance down-years can be mitigated to the downside with these 17 gimmee games- providing an expectation floor of 66 Wins and can help inflate the ceiling to 75 Wins if "Plan A" stays fairly well-intact all season.
You can still compound probability, 7 coins flipped one after the other all landing heads consecutively has the probability is .7%. Each independent event is 50/50 but you can still determine the probability of a series.
I'll go with 73 wins this year. Being down here in Ft Myers now and watching them practice the last few weeks gets on pumped up, but realisticaly this team will still have trouble scoring runs, and probably with defense. The pitching should be better.