Lessee where I end up

I can't compete with the fully-realized narratives yinz have been spinning out, so I'll take a numbers approach. I'm not really trying to be analytic (and I'm not looking at projections): the WAR numbers are shorthand for the kind of outcome vs. talent I'm expecting/hoping for. And since WAR is a loose number, I'm mostly going to group players: I think our 3 starting OFs are good for about 11 wins, and exactly how they get there doesn't matter.

So, start there: 25 + 6 + 22 = 11 wins

Middle IF, 3 wins

Bell/Jaso, 3 wins

Kang/Freese, 5 wins

Catcher: 3 wins

Cole-Taillon-Nova: 11 wins

Other SPs: 4 wins

Watson-Hudson-Rivero: 2.5 wins

Other RPs: 2 wins

Remaining bench: 1 win

Comments: I think Nova will be solid, but Taillon/Cole is doing most of the heavy lifting in that group. 15 wins for the rotation as a whole is aggressive, but it's because I think there's so much upside, and relatively limited downside. Literally nothing surprising would have to happen to reach that total, even if it requires good health and no collapses. I'm also bullish on the bullpen, because I like Rivero & Nicasio so much, because I think Hudson and Watson will contribute, and I like the remaining arms to net out firmly positive.

Where I think I'm high/aggressive: C, SP, RP, I've discussed the pitching, and the catcher number requires both a healthy Cervelli and a useful Diaz.

Where I think I'm conservative: 3B, MI, Bench. I don't see a ton of upside in those spots, but getting 3 extra wins out of that group would also not require any surprises or breakouts, just healthy Kang, steady Freese, Frazier coming into his own, and solid years from Mercer & Harrison. As with the SPs, that's a lot of good things coming together, but it's not exactly asking Harrison to repeat 2014.

That all adds up to... 45.5 + 48 = 93.5.

My goodness, that is optimistic. So let's call that ceiling: that's everyone reasonably healthy and reasonably productive, or a few injuries plus a breakout or three.

My actual prediction? 88-74, and the Nutting Invitational returns home after a hard-fought WC race amongst us, the Cards, the Giants, and the Mets.

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