About a week ago, I promised to provide my prediction for this season. I also indicated that it would probably be a little more optimistic than most. Yes, I understand that the Royals haven’t had a winning season since 2003, and yes, I know the over/unders from most sports books are around 78. I’m also aware that I’m as prone to the hopes of spring as anyone—perhaps even more than most.

But there’s not much I can do about that. I’ve tried to be as objective as I can, giving credence to data, patterns, comps, and general understanding. I tried to limit the influence of things I feel matter less—how I wantthe team to do and certain statistical elements. With that in mind, here is my prediction for the Royals’ 2013 season: 90-72.

I know; I know. It’s much more optimistic than most people’s, but someone has to be the outlier, the nut job. I have no problem being that guy. Let me tell you why it’s so high.

For starters, read my last post. The basis of my very generous prediction is my belief that the Royals are set for a breakout similar to that of the Rays in 2008. The Rays greatly improved an atrocious pitching staff in 2008, which allowed them to make a tremendous jump in wins.* The Royals probably aren’t set for as large a jump in pitching performance—mostly because their bullpen wasn’t as bad in 2012 as the Rays bullpen in 2007. But the Royals have the potential to improve greatly both offensively and in pitching (the Rays improved only slightly offensively).