ZiP note: Sale's ZiPS ERA is 0.10 points higher than it's listed by Dan. That's because I guessed what Sale would do in the 20 IP Szymborski had Sale down as a reliever, which you can find below. It's cheating, but the good kind, y'know? I also rounded his IP to the nearest whole inning. Inning thirds are so messy looking. Onward.
If White Sox starters perform to the community projection, they will pitch as well as the 2005 staff. Granted it's a little easier to pitch these days, but I still don't think I see a 3.77 ERA over 1000+ innings with The Cell for a home park. Then again, I think we're right that Mark Buehrle is the worst on the staff outside of Chris Sale.* So while I don't think we'll be so insanely good as the community suggests, I think Marcel is right on. Take a little off Jackson and add it to Danks and we're set. White Sox starters averaged 18 fWAR from 2005 to '10. That's more than 3.5 wins per starter, or about a 4.10 - 4.20 ERA or so. Our projection has us at like 22. If we hit that, we're winning 92-93 games and compensating nicely for the missing arm** in the pen:
Well, if you take the community's word for it, we're fine. But I'm inclined to take ZiPS and Marcel more seriously. We lost Jenks and Putz and only replaced one. And Crain isn't as good as either we lost. If we're really lucky, Sale will fill in both the missing starts and the missing set up man. So there's some upside, but I see an average pen following a great staff, maybe the best of the Kenny Williams Era. If we take that plus the Herm Effect and a slightly above average group of hitters, I think that's about 88 wins. I haven't been watching the Twins too closely, but I think the Sox have the advantage now the same way the Twins had the White Sox on the ropes in 2010. Here's hoping.
Also, I'd like to hear thoughts about improving the process for next year. This go around went very well, above my expectations. We ended up with 60+ votes for wOBA and ERA, even after I nipped a few ballots. In wOBA, some folks treated it like batting average, which I expected. wOBA isn't everyone's cup of tea. If there's a different web app that allows for more complex forms, let me know.
On the other hand, I think the wOBA projections will be more accurate than ERA and I think a lot of that is because of the investment it takes to understand wOBA. I will definitely be more careful in designing the form. I killed all votes of 1.50 ERA because I couldn't tell if folks were actually selecting that or had skipped that player. It amounted to a handful of individual votes (not full ballots), but it's confusion that I easily could've avoided. And obviously, I forgot user names for the position players. Makes it a lot easier to badger/guilt people into voting. I assume that was annoying. I make no apologies. Thanks to everyone for voting, it was a lot of fun for me to tally the votes.
*Kind of mind blowing, right?
**Apologies for the gruesome imagery. That's the writing life for you. That and moping around Paris for a decade.