Irrational exuberance? Take a peek at the Sox fan website SoSH and you’ll find a lot of talk about the brilliant win total prospects for the Boston starters next year. Let me be the first to say that Boston has a spectacular starting staff, and a vastly improved bullpen from the opening of last year. But suggestions that the Sox will have 3 or more 20-game winners, or a starting staff of 5 pitchers that, alone, total more than 100 wins, seems highly unlikely. First, the level of play throughout the AL East has improved, and with the unbalanced schedule, that’s going to cut into win totals. The entire staff, which was already fragile, has aged. And let’s look at the track record. Over the last 3 years, here are the average win totals for Boston’s top 4 starters (this may surprise you):
Lowe: 19 (2 years only)
Of course, win totals do not always accurately reflect how well a pitcher has pitched (see Pedro’s record last year). But that’s only more reason to look dubiously on some of these win projections.