I attended spring training this year for the first time, which was a blast. I discovered that my group of friends who go each year apparently set a wager on certain questions concerning the Giants performance in the upcoming season; the winner gets steak dinner covered by everyone else the next March.
This years' questions were:
* Total wins on the season
* Runs scored on the season
* Runs allowed on the season
* Combined strikeout total, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain
* Home runs hit by first basemen (all players, only while playing first base)
Our submissions were:
Wins RS RA Ks HRs
95 707 595 411 20
92 666 578 389 21
91 615 575 397 23
90 683 611 396 26
89 640 620 389 27
88 645 610 380 26
85 655 630 335 25
83 633 593 333 33
(FWIW: the guesses that start with 91 wins and 89 wins both exceed their runs scored/runs allowed pythag by five wins, while the final guess (83 wins) falls three wins short of a 633 RS/593 RA pythag)
My guesses were the line that started with "85". I apparently expect the Giants to be a winning team, but not win the division.
As for runs allowed, the G-Men top three (four?) starters are of course studs, but with Eric Surkamp as our top option in the case of injuries or ineffectiveness, I am expecting runs allowed to rise compared with last year (I think I'd feel more comfortable with this season with Zach Wheeler in Richmond and Scott Barnes in Fresno :( ).
The offence can't help but improve over last year (Posey > Whiteside+Stewart, 2012 Crawford > 2011 Crawford, 2012 Belt+Pill+Huff > 2011 Huff), but I am not expected all the pieces to click all at once like they did in the second half of 2010. And I was cognizant that scoring has generally been dropping all around the league in the past few years, so that played some into my estimates.
Just looked it up, and Lincecum and Cain have averaged a combined 422.5 Ks the past four years, so my guess of 335 is probably too low. The number has been steadily declining though (451 > 432 > 408 > 399), and I was imagining a continued drop, and perhaps an injury. But such a steep drop off is more of a possibility than probability. A bounce back to 450 Ks is also of course a possibility.
As for first base homers, it looks like the team has three reasonable options, so, *ideally*, no one will get too much playing time if they are not hitting.
I am curious to tap the wisdom of the McCoven, and see what estimates people here would make for those five questions, and perhaps why.