And why is 100 runs the magic number to shave off? In 104 starts covering 542.1 innings, the 'Bad' starters (as in anyone with a 5.3 or higher ERA) last year surrendered 383 earned runs. That's an ERA of 6.36!! Sure it's possible that the guys they got to correct that will be just as bad. Even if that mob just pitched to a 5 ERA -and that's still pretty bad- in those bad innings, it would shave 83 runs off the board. This is to say nothing of the fact that if they're pitching on average 1.3 runs better, they'll also likely be going a little longer into games. Just 1/3 of an inning more per start and we've got 34 fewer Jeff Gray innings. There's 11 fewer runs right there. 94 Runs saved, just by pitching 20% worse than average vs 36% worse.
Naturally, to improve by 16% would also mean fewer base runners, thus fewer unearned runs as well. We'll take a 16% reduction in unearned runs, 11. 103 Runs Saved just by starters pitching one more out and to a 5 ERA. Funny thing is, Correia's haters are hating on him for likely pitching to 4.7-4.9 ERA. So the pessimist's projection is better still than even that bleak calculation.
If we do the same with a 4.7 ERA, It's an additional 17 runs off the board from the starters, and 3 more unearned runs, pushing the total to 123 fewer runs. That works out to around 80 Wins with exactly the same offense. Two of the key members of the offensive attack are missing, but on the other hand, the team won't be behind by as much and as often. The current bunch stands to be able to score more than last year, particularly if motivated by a good start to the season.
Sure, it's only barely .500 team projection, but last year the Orioles won with a similar projection. It can happen, but it's probably best not to be getting yourself ready for the playoffs just yet.
Edited by LoganJones, 07 February 2013 - 11:24 AM.