Originally Posted by Maestro
All fair points there, MrMister. The only thing I can go by is the eye test. I can tell how hard this team plays under Robin. They bust their butt for that guy. Not to mention that the Ozzie saga really took a toll on the ball club last year. Huge difference in the energy and atmosphere in the locker room, in my opinion.
While that's all fine, statistics tell a lot. A stat like BABIP (batting average on balls in play) helps us somewhat predict what will happen in the future. League average is around .290, although you'll see guys that hit line drives at a higher rate (harder contact) and faster guys (higher chance of infield hits) likely have higher BABIP. Paulie is hitting LDs at a good rate, but it's not even his career highs. He's hitting for a little more pop, which may be sustainable, but no way that 43% of the hits he makes contact with will fall for hits. He'll likely end up just a tad higher than the league average, which is good, but still will result in him cooling down considerably.
Sale has pitched about as good as his numbers show, but the problem is he hasn't pitched a significant amount of innings as a starter in his major league career and is only 23, so he'll likely be limited in his innings - whether he's shut down during the middle of the season or otherwise. He won't be a 200 innings pitcher this season.
AJ will likely maintain his average, but not the power that he's getting. I'm sorry, but a 35 year old routinely poor offensive catcher won't post a .200+ ISO power, which is exceptional. You might only see another HR or two from him in the next month+. He's currently on a hot streak right now, just like many of the WS hitters.
I can see Rios continue his production, which actually isn't all that impressive when it stretches out to about a 2.0 WAR season (which is what your typical starter should produce) through 162 games.
tl;dr - A bunch of WS are hot all at once which is why they've won 10 of 11, many of them won't continue the amazing production they're on. As I said, the winner of the division won't top out over 90 wins, likely 85-89.