I've been fooling around with some projections of my own for the Giants in 2010, perhaps somewhat less rosy ones but ones I think I'd be willing to stand by. I don't know how grm got his charts to look so nice, so mine don't, but hopefully they are tolerable. I'll compare my projections straight across to his.
I was still fairly optimistic when adding the unknown fifth starter and spot starters into my totals because of what I see as the very real possibility of Madison Bumgarner taking over a starting job and pitching well at some point in the season. Other than that the biggest difference between my projections and rainman's are that I'm not as big a fan of the Giants' defense (Renteria, Sandoval, and Huff, oh my!), and I see the rotation pitching a somewhat smaller percentage of the team's total innings. Overall, rainman projects the rotation to allow 410 earned runs and I project it to allow 420 earned runs, pretty similar. The bigger difference in the pitching side of things between my projections and rainman's are in the bullpen. I don't see our best relievers getting nearly so many innings. Also, it seemed like a fool's errand to try to project an individual ERA for guys getting so few innings so I just projected their component stats and estimated an total bullpen ERA based on that. Overall, rainman's bullpen allows 196 runs (3.89 ERA) and mine allows 215 runs (4.06 ERA).
Throwing in the same total of unearned runs for comparision's sake and I'm projecting the pitching staff to allow 677 runs in 2010, 29 more than rainman's total of 648 and . Though in general rainman is slightly more optimistic in his forecasts, most of our difference on the pitching side is tied up in defense and on who ends up actually doing the pitching as opposed to individual projections. I also think that the Giants have more upside here than in the lineup, I'd be much less surprised to see them allow fifty fewer runs than I'm projecting than score fifty more.
On the lineup side, I don't expect a heck of a lot from the non-pandas. Schierholtz I've always been a fan of, but my projection is contingent on him really starting hot since I doubt the team will give him much rope to hang himself given Bochy's veteran-happy nature. I tried to hedge for some injury allowance in my playing time projections (especially to already or always injured guys like Freddy Sanchez or Aaron Rowand) - I feel like the PA distribution is still a smidge top-heavy but I got tired of tweaking it. Plugging in my projections for Giants hitters outside the top 13 and I have the offense scoring 680 runs, 23 more than last year's total but still well below rainman's 729.
That works out to a Pythagorean record of 81-81, which seems pretty reasonable to me. Last year's offense was incredibly, incredibly bad, and while it doesn't take much to improve it we really haven't done much to improve it. The pitching prevents us from being a true bottom-feeder in terms of overall performance but make no mistake, this year's team is another Sabean special.