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mth123
03-20-2007, 07:38 AM
The Hardball Times have projected records for all teams in both leagues. They have based the projection on Wins Above Replacement level with adjustments for playing time, revised rosters, injuries, etc. Its interesting stuff. Check it out. The NL Central looks like this:




Team Win Loss % Chance of winning
St Louis 85 77 37%
Chicago 84 78 32%
Milwaukee 78 84 13%
Houston 75 87 8%
Cincinnati 73 89 5%
Pittsburgh 72 90 4%



They don't say much about the Reds in particular so I guess its up to us to debate why only 73 wins is projected. I'll start.

73 Wins seems about right to me (I actually was thinking 68 or 69). This team will have over 900 innings going to guys not named Harang, Arroyo or Coffey. That is the main problem right now IMO. The offense needs some help either from a Hamilton surprise or a Votto infusion as well. But 900 innings from 5th starter and mop-up man types is a real issue in my view.

Hopefully the team will move on to the next phase by sweeping out the dead wood and giving some younger hopefuls a chance by mid-season.

Jpup
03-20-2007, 08:34 AM
The Central will end up like this IMO:

Cardinals
Brewers
Reds
Cubs
Astros
Pirates

I don't really have a projection of wins and I could see the Reds finishing anywhere between 1 and 4. I am not at all sold on anything coming from Chicago and the Houston Astros are dog meat. The Cardinals should win by default, but they have their issues. If I was any kind of gambler, I would go with Milwaukee. They look the best to me right now although I haven't really checked on them this spring at all.

I did check out Atlanta and Detroit yesterday and Atlanta looks to have some rough sledding coming this year. Detroit looks poised to win the entire thing.

oneupper
03-20-2007, 09:19 AM
Astros have their problems, but I like them better than 8%.
Give me 12-1 odds on the Stros...I'll take them.

bucksfan2
03-20-2007, 09:28 AM
I think the central is wide open with the exception of the pirates.

The Cardinals have 2 trump cards in Carpenter and Pujols, but other than those two there are a lot of question marks.

The Cubs have a great offense and if you remember correctly 2 years ago Lee was putting up Pujols type numbers and in the MVP consideration. Their rotation is led by one of the biggest head cases in the game. I think if they start off slow this year they will implode.

The Brewers are dangerous if they can perform to expectatoins and also stay healthy.

The reds also have several questions but do have some potential as well as a wild card in Baily.

And the Pirates are the pirates.

dougdirt
03-20-2007, 09:29 AM
Im still going with the Brewers to win this division. I have a bet with a friend that the Brewers finish ahead of the Cardinals this season. I am just praying Ben Sheets can stay healthy this year for them. If he can, I think they take this division easily by 4 games or so.

Always Red
03-20-2007, 10:00 AM
I can certainly see how Hardball Times would come up with that win estimate for the Reds.

This team needs to hit better than it did last year. If Junior can stay healthy and embrace RF, that will go a long way to making it happen. This team still needs Junior's bat. Hamilton is a wild card- could be anything from Rookie of the Year to back on skid row again (God forbid). But you just can't count on him, yet. To me, Phillips, Ross and Hatte are all question marks; I wouldn't expect any of them to put up the numbers they did last year, although Phillips has the highest ceiling of this group.

I think this team could literally go anywhere from 1st to last this year. I think the pitching is deeper than last years pitching, in that the Reds have fewer terrible pitchers than they had in 2006.

If Burton is given a chance and can be an effective closer, it would go a long way to making this team, a lot better. Or, to be generous, if Hermanson can step up and do the job. But I'd rather see Burton get the opportunity. From all the pro-Hermanson noise coming out of camp, about how nasty his splitter is, looks like the job will be his to lose. But I think Narron speaks the truth when he says that a closer makes everyone else more comfortable and better in their roles.

Milty's in his walk year; he could respond well, and hopefully earn himself a fresh new contract somewhere else ;) ; but the key to Milty is if his knee holds up. When his knee is healthy and doesn't hurt, he truly is a different pitcher. Lohse could go either way, back in the dumpster, or be this years Arroyo. I think Majewski takes too much heat here; the guy is a good reliever when not hurt. Nope, he's not good enough to be a closer, but when healthy, he's good 8th inning material. Is he healthy, though?

In sum, I see too many question marks for my beloved Redlegs. I wouldn't be too surprised to see this team win 90, if it all comes together, or only in 70, if it all falls apart. :help:

Falls City Beer
03-20-2007, 10:02 AM
This team right now (things can change of course) has about a 77 win ceiling, I'd guess.

CySeymour
03-20-2007, 10:07 AM
The Cardinals have 2 trump cards in Carpenter and Pujols, but other than those two there are a lot of question marks.


And the Astro's have 2 trump cards in Oswalt and Berkman.

Strikes Out Looking
03-20-2007, 10:18 AM
There is no way the Cubs finish the season 11 games higher than the Reds. The NL Central is wide--wide open. Any team that finishes above .500 in division play has a chance of winning the division.

As to the Reds, if things break right, they could win 90 games, if they don't they could lose 90. However, I think that is true of every team in the league, so I am not really persuaded by these projections.

TeamSelig
03-20-2007, 10:40 AM
The Astros always have a crappy offense and good pitching.

Don't forget they added Carlos Lee.

CINCYREDS#1
03-20-2007, 10:56 AM
just cuz the cubs spent 1000000000 dollars in the offseason doesnt mean they are suddenly gonna be good

BRM
03-20-2007, 11:04 AM
This team right now (things can change of course) has about a 77 win ceiling, I'd guess.

77 win ceiling? You don't have much faith in this pitching staff do you? ;)

jojo
03-20-2007, 11:17 AM
I'm waiting to see what the actual 25 man roster is going to look like before I revisit this issue.

redsmetz
03-20-2007, 11:31 AM
I wouldn't hazard a guess as to the order of this division other than I think it's safe to say the Bucs will be on the bottom (although I wouldn't bet the house on that either). This division is as wide open as any other division in baseball.

A lot would have to fall right for us to win it, but it's not out of the question. A season like last year's wouldn't surprise me. And I agree with the poster who said it could be the Brewers year. I've said for years that this is not the mediocre division everyone says it is - I think it's probably the most balanced and competitive.

Bigredfan#1
03-20-2007, 11:31 AM
The Hardball Times have projected records for all teams in both leagues. They have based the projection on Wins Above Replacement level with adjustments for playing time, revised rosters, injuries, etc. Its interesting stuff. Check it out. The NL Central looks like this:




Team Win Loss % Chance of winning
St Louis 85 77 37%
Chicago 84 78 32%
Milwaukee 78 84 13%
Houston 75 87 8%
Cincinnati 73 89 5%
Pittsburgh 72 90 4%



They don't say much about the Reds in particular so I guess its up to us to debate why only 73 wins is projected. I'll start.

73 Wins seems about right to me (I actually was thinking 68 or 69). This team will have over 900 innings going to guys not named Harang, Arroyo or Coffey. That is the main problem right now IMO. The offense needs some help either from a Hamilton surprise or a Votto infusion as well. But 900 innings from 5th starter and mop-up man types is a real issue in my view.

Hopefully the team will move on to the next phase by sweeping out the dead wood and giving some younger hopefuls a chance by mid-season.

Most every expert last year picked the Reds to finish last!! Never know what will happen in Baseball, look at the Tigers last year, no one was picking them!

coachw513
03-20-2007, 11:42 AM
What is the most reflective point in their prediction is how closely bunched all the teams are...based on their numbers, if the Reds were to beat the Cardinals 6 more times than projected, the Reds win the pennant...this division will come down to 2 things: Health and July acquisitions

The health of guys like Griffey, Sheets, DLee, Prior, etc in addition to injuries to key pitchers/players will be enormous because NONE of the teams in this division can afford injuries with a lack of depth...

So if we assume teams that are fortunate to be relatively healthy, then it comes down to the best moves in June-July by ownership groups and GM's...

This actually excites me...we are in a competitive situation, not really of our own doing, but because the division is all pretty mediocre...and I do believe Krivsky and Bob C. will be willing to pull the trigger on deals to get it done (insert Nationals trade curses here :rolleyes: )...for as much as we all know about our team's questions, can we really say our rivals don't have as many questions as we do top-to-bottom???

IamWallaman
03-20-2007, 11:48 AM
Our "success" will mostly depend on how many other NLC teams breakout. That's where the majority of our Ws came last year.

If MIL plays as well as they supposedly should and CHC plays like a $100,000,000,000,000 team (that is what they spent right? :rolleyes: ) then we have a rough ride ahead. STL and HOU always annoy (despite our record against them last year) The only team we have a definitive leg up on is PIT.

I'm still going to remain somewhat optimistic and say 82-80. I, for one, am not doom-and-gloom about our offense or bullpen. The Reds seem steadier this year, unlike the past... no glaring weakness that will drag them down siginificantly but no superlative strengths to carry them into the post season.

I think our range anywhere from 74 to 86 wins depending on how the cards fall.


P.S. MLB the Show 07 sims put us between 76 and 86 for what it's worth.

KoryMac5
03-20-2007, 12:39 PM
I would love to say 85 wins but some of the decisions being made out of spring training aren't giving us the best opportunity to win.

deltachi8
03-20-2007, 12:41 PM
73 seems right in the ballpark. As Chris Welch said on XM..Monday it's Harrang, Tuesday Arroyo, then pray for rain until Saturday.

I(heart)Freel
03-20-2007, 06:54 PM
I think we have another season of reasonable parity in the NL Central. Everyone has obvious strengths and gaping weaknesses. So I think everyone beats up on each other in the inter-division games.

Reds play the Central 79 times. I give them 39-40 wins.

You never know with Interleague play how it will shake out. We didn't do too well last year. But I think we can split it in 2007. All I ask is one win in each series on the road and 2 wins in the home series. So...

Reds play Interleague 18 times. I give them 8-9 wins.

That leaves the NL East and West. Mets and Phils could be tough. And we know about those dreaded west coast trips. But we also see the Nat's and Rockies. I think this is where the season is made or lost. If we can split home/away series and maybe take some extra games here or there from the weaker bunch, then we make our humble run.

Reds play NL East/West 65 times. Can we win 35-36?

Add it all up in my little brain (ok I use Excel) and I get a win range from 82-85.

That just might be enough to win the division again this year. Moreover, it fulfills my annual request: make September interesting.

Take that, Hardball Times.

REDREAD
03-20-2007, 07:03 PM
I think that's a reasonable prediction.

The revamped Cubs are going to be better than the Reds, unless we get a miracle season out of Lohse and/or Milton. I wouldn't count on that.

STL, Chi, and Mil all have a shot at the division. Houston is a long shot, but not impossible.

The Reds and Pirates have no shot at all. One of the above 4 teams will likely put things together this year. The Reds' upside is a .500 team again, and we can't expect the division to be as mediocre as it was last year.

redsmetz
03-20-2007, 09:05 PM
Interesting that we're having this discussion and today USA Today did an article on the Pirates. It will be an interesting division this year, to say the least, and probably for years to come.


Pirates on the verge of breaking through?
By Seth Livingstone, USA TODAY
BRADENTON, Fla. — Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Tracy watched pitcher Paul Maholm give up three runs in the first inning of a spring training game against the New York Yankees. Yet Tracy wasn't bummed out.

That's because Maholm limited the damage and followed with two shutout innings. "Last season we'd have been more than likely out of that game in the first inning," Tracy says. "To walk back out there like that kid did and rectify himself with two very easy innings, that's growth."

SPORTS SCOPE: Walker, McCutchen bubbling under 25-man roster

It's all about that maturation process for a Pittsburgh team that will — on paper — closely resemble the one that finished the season 37-35 after a 30-60 start last season. The 2006 team that dropped 24 of 33 one-run games before the break went 14-6 in those type of games in the second half.

"We have the opportunity to use that second half as a springboard," Tracy says. "There is enough talent in this room to be a very successful team."

Can the 2007 Pirates become a National League version of the 2006 Tigers? "I'm not in the prediction business, other than to say that I think we've gotten better and I think better days are ahead," general manager Dave Littlefield says.

There are parallels to the Tigers for a Pirates franchise down so long (14 consecutive losing seasons) that it seemed to have forgotten how to win.

As the Pirates pitching staff grows together, it might be complementing a lineup that's in full bloom. The Pirates added the left-handed power they were lacking by trading for first baseman Adam LaRoche, who hit a career-high 32 homers for the Atlanta Braves. He boosts an offense that was last in the NL in runs scored but features NL batting champ Freddy Sanchez at third and All-Star outfielder Jason Bay (35 homers, 109 RBI).

TEAM REPORTS:Updates from around spring training

"He adds to our team a strategic component," Tracy says. "We were way too right-handed. All those one-run games we were involved in last year, teams passed on pitching to Sanchez and Bay."

Bay sees something else: "To be able to go out and find a guy who fit our profile — a young guy like LaRoche, who was probably the No. 1 guy on the wish list … how many teams are able to say, 'We want this guy,' and actually get him? That's big for us and our fans. We've been on the other end of a few of those deals."

Tracy is stressing that an unselfish, back-to-basics approach with his pitchers as well as position players. "Our pitchers are beginning to gain a full understanding of what they have to do in order to give themselves a chance to win," he says.

"I see a lot of young guys that are hungry to get on the right track and start wining," LaRoche says of his new surroundings. "For years, this team has asked guys to step into the middle of the fire. They don't have that year or two cushion. It's nice that just about all of them have at least a year's experience."

At 28, newly acquired right-hander Tony Armas is the only member of the rotation older than 25. Armas will be joined by lefties Maholm (11-11 in his first 36 big-league starts), opening-day starter Zach Duke (18-17 in his first two seasons) and Tom Gorzelanny (2-5 as a rookie), as well as right-hander Ian Snell, who won 14 games last year.

"Our guys still have to continue to get better, especially our starting pitching," Bay says. "That's basically where we live and die. But we're more confident knowing what Snell did last year and what Gorzelanny and Maholm did."

"It's the first time I've come to camp where you see everyone believing we have a chance to go out and do something special," says Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh's starting shortstop for a seventh season. "We do think we're going to turn some heads this season."

Rocket_Fuel
03-20-2007, 09:58 PM
Bring it on, I like the Reds chances this year! The rotation, on paper, is much deeper, and our bullpen should actually be solid. I think our offense is much more balanced as well. And this is from an 80 win team last year. Cross your fingers!

Degenerate39
03-20-2007, 10:12 PM
just cuz the cubs spent 1000000000 dollars in the offseason doesnt mean they are suddenly gonna be good

Like the Yanks for example