While the basis of his article is subjective in nature, it centers around the following projections:
* -- Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projection
While the reduced homerun number can be argued, it's without a doubt concerning. Many believe the ultimate spread between taters will fall on the shoulders of Ortiz and Beltre. The gap between batting average, OBP, and Slugging are smaller percentages, but seem to favor the 2010 lineup.
Which brings us to the number we're all worried about, runs scored. The "minus 26" number is glaring, but when it breaks down to about one less run per week. The natural question then is, can Boston's offseason focus of bolstering the team's pitching and defense save us more than one run per week? My answer was an immediate yes.
Barring major injury, there is no reason why this team's enhanced pitching and defense can't hold opponents to an average of one less run per week throughout the season. Factor in what's expected to be a solid 8th and 9th inning bullpen presence and the math becomes easier to substantiate in your head.
My concern isn't completely eliminated, but the numbers help. Perhaps it's the natural nature of a Red Sox fan convincing him or herself of irrational hopes as the season approaches, but maybe, as the season comes to a close, the numbers will add up, and the Sox will be poised for a run deep into the playoffs with a truly balanced team. Maybe.
ITM note: Now that I've put this on record, if the Sox offense doesn't show up in 2010, Ortiz has a negative slugging percentage, and Beltre strikes out 287 times.....it's not my fault. Just sayin.