Friday, March 21, 2008

By popular demand: 2008 predictions Part I

Warning: tons of unbridled optimism and possibly irrational enthusiasm follows.

By "popular demand," I mean one person -- reader Matt asked to see some predictions, and he also called me the Royals' number one female blogger, so here I am. At times, I feel like I just want to be a regular fan and watch the games to figure out how 2008 will go, but this is much more fun.

Team predictions - individual player predictions will come in Part II:

Team W-L
I think that, when a ballclub is in a rebuilding phase, it's only realistic to expect a 4-5 game improvement over the previous season's W-L record, so the safe prediction to make would be 74-88. But I don't want to be safe. This is my blog, so I can make wild predictions if I want to.

With the addition of Trey Hillman, and all the other things you've already read 100 times this off-season, I don't see why the Royals can't have a bit of a runaway season. I'm not saying they'll contend, but I'm saying I'd be disgusted with another last-place finish, and not entirely surprised with a 3rd place finish.

(Side note: Wooo! The Huskers just beat Oklahoma thanks to a walk-off home run by Craig Corriston. Incidentally, I just learned in this post of Rany's that the phrase "walk-off" was popularized because of the Royals.)

So if I want a 3rd-place finish, I suppose the Royals would have to win about 80 games, so I'll go with 80-82 as my official prediction.

----****A lot of time elapsed here, when the rest of my family arrived, and we had supper, basketball, church, and Wii time. I'm back.****-----

Team OBP
Well, I have officially drunk the Trey Hillman Kool-Aid. (That happened the day he was hired. It was delicious.) Well, that, and I am a fan of OBP anyway, and not at all a member of the "Home runs or bust!" mentality shared by a lot of other young fans. I dig long at-bats, and can sit patiently while Tony Pena, Jr. draws a walk. Okay, make that...I could sit patiently if that happened. I'm going to look for a team OBP of around .340.

Team ERA

Yuck, I don't want to do this in the slightest. I can't imagine it changing too much from last year, given all the questions surrounding our 4-5 spots and what will happen to the bullpen vacancies created by Riske's departure and Greinke's return to the rotation. As a staff, KC put up a 4.48 ERA last year, and while I hope it doesn't go up, I can't see it going too far down. Let's go with a 4.40.

Random tidbits:
Complete games thrown by KC pitchers: Four.
Different pitchers used in the 4-5 slots: Eleven
Number of lineups used: 123
Representative in the All-Star Game: Billy Butler and/or Zack Greinke. Why not two?
Better at home or away: Home, but not by much
Better before or after the Break: After
Number of former Royals pitchers to earn wins or saves against KC: Five? (Ed. note to self: What the heck kind of question was that?)

I'm preemptively labeling this post "eating my words," because I pulled a lot of it out of thin air, and everything I've ever guessed is wrong (see: Madness, March. More awful predictions coming...soon. Expect some starry-eyed projections for B&OT favorite Brian MANnister, and at what dates I think certain Omahans will be called up. Also probably something about Matt Wright, just because I can.


The Tao said...

Well, people are going to call you crazy, and they'll point and laugh, but for what it's worth, keep on believing that thing you believe. (For the record, your optimism > 1 win than my optimism.)

Minda said...

Well, I'm used to being called everything from "ridiculous" to "a chick" (which apparently is supposed to imply that I know nothing about baseball...pigs) so being called crazy for my KC optimism is no biggie. :)

Matt said...

Heck yes...when you win awards, can you list me as an inspiration?

I like the 80 wins pick, and if we get it I would rub it in the faces of all of the Cards fans I know as they watch their club finish last in the weak NL central.

With regards to the team ERA, is Hochevar ready for the majors? I think I've read that you have seen some games in Omaha...maybe you've seen him start?