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Player

Current Projected

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.
-alskor

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.
sabernar

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.
OldYanksFan




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Thursday, October 14, 2010

2010 ALCS Preview: Rangers vs. Yankees

Rangers in 3 or 4?

Well, we’re down to two teams in the quest for who gets to lose to the Phillies in the World Series. 

The Rangers have returned to the postseason for the first time since 1999 and have won a postseason series for the first time in their history, beating the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.

The Yankees weren’t even good enough to beat out the Rays for the AL East and instead had to back into the playoffs as the wild card. To put this simply:

A) The Rays are better than the Yankees as evidenced by winning the AL East
B) The Rangers are better than the Rays as evidenced by winning their playoff series against them

Despite this, they are actually going to play the games, so maybe the unexpected will happen.

Here’s how the Rangers’ position player project.

Lineup Pos 2010 OBP 2010 wOBA Proj OBP Proj wOBA PA Outs BR Def
Elvis Andrus SS .335 .296 .310 .309 35 24 3.52 0.2
Michael Young 3B .331 .336 .340 .341 35 23 4.51 -0.6
Josh Hamilton CF .411 .444 .366 .392 35 22 6.06 0.0
Vladimir Guerrero DH .346 .361 .355 .374 35 23 5.5 0.0
Nelson Cruz RF .372 .405 .343 .374 35 23 5.49 0.5
Ian Kinsler 2B .380 .357 .352 .357 32 21 4.59 0.2
Mitch Moreland 1B .360 .362 .319 .316 21 14 2.25 0.1
Bengie Molina C .292 .275 .286 .302 20 14 1.85 0.0
Julio Borbon LF .304 .287 .314 .297 1 1 0.09 0.0
Andres Blanco 2B .326 .298 .311 .297 1 1 0.09 0.0
David Murphy LF .355 .356 .334 .340 1 1 0.13 0.0
Cristian Guzman SS .308 .289 .305 .302 1 1 0.09 0.0
Chris Davis 1B .279 .267 .286 .319 0 0 0 0.0
Matt Treanor C .285 .266 .289 .277 6 4 0.44 0.0
Jorge Cantu 1B .301 .302 .317 .330 5 3 0.6 0.0

wOBA: Weighted on-base average
PA: Plate appearances
Outs: calculated as (1- Proj OBP) times PA
BR: Linear weights batting runs over series estimate of playing time
Def: Projected defense over series estimate of playing time using an average of DRS, TZ, UZR and ZR

The Rangers offense isn’t great, but they’ve got some pretty good hitters and and a strong defensive team.  One thing that they may benefit them is that they project slightly better against LHP.

Vs. L PA wOBA BR Outs
Elvis Andrus 5.0 .296 0.4 3.4
Michael Young 4.7 .356 0.7 3.0
Josh Hamilton 4.0 .365 0.6 2.6
Vladimir Guerrero 4.0 .391 0.7 2.5
Nelson Cruz 4.0 .387 0.7 2.6
Ian Kinsler 4.0 .378 0.6 2.5
Jorge Cantu 4.0 .340 0.5 2.7
Bengie Molina 4.0 .323 0.5 2.8
Jeff Francoeur 4.0 .331 0.5 2.9
Total 37.7 .350 5.2 25.0
Vs. R PA wOBA BR Outs
Elvis Andrus 5.0 .278 0.4 3.5
Michael Young 4.5 .335 0.6 3.0
Josh Hamilton 4.0 .413 0.8 2.5
Vladimir Guerrero 4.0 .367 0.6 2.6
Nelson Cruz 4.0 .371 0.6 2.6
Ian Kinsler 4.0 .350 0.5 2.6
Mitch Moreland 4.0 .357 0.6 2.6
Bengie Molina 4.0 .292 0.3 2.9
Julio Borbon 4.0 .301 0.4 2.7
Total 37.5 .339 4.8 25.0

I’m assuming they would play Jeff Francoeur and Jorge Cantu against lefties since they project better than Julio Borbon and Mitch Moreland, but the Rangers may have reasons for not doing that.  Even if they don’t, they still project better versus lefties, which is good for them since the Yankees would be starting lefties in four of the potential seven games.

Truth be told, the pitching staff is where the Rangers really shined in 2010.  Here’s how they project.

Pitcher Role 2010 RA 2010 FIP Proj RA Proj FIP IP R
C.J. Wilson SP1 3.66 3.59 3.93 3.68 13 5.7
Colby Lewis SP2 4.04 3.51 4.70 4.03 13 6.8
Cliff Lee SP3 3.56 2.59 3.75 3.40 15 6.2
Tommy Hunter SP4 3.87 4.99 5.19 4.98 5 2.9
Neftali Feliz CL 2.73 2.97 3.51 3.06 4 1.6
Darren O’Day SU 2.18 3.58 3.26 3.61 4 1.4
Darren Oliver MR 2.97 2.64 3.41 3.43 4 1.5
Derek Holland MR 4.71 4.04 5.94 4.63 2 1.3
Alexi Ogando MR 1.33 3.16 3.75 3.77 2 0.8
Dustin Nippert MR 4.37 4.95 5.47 4.97 1 0.6

2010/Proj RA: 2010/projected run allowed per nine innings
2010/Proj FIP:  2010/projected Fielding Independent Pitching
IP: Estimated innings pitched in this series
R: Estimated runs allowed in this series (Projected RA divided by nine times IP)

Obviously, we all know about Cliff Lee, the greatest postseason pitcher ever.  Lee’s not scheduled to start until Game 3 though, with C.J. Wilson getting the nod in the opener and Colby Lewis following up in Game 2.

Wilson’s a lefty who was primarily a reliever the last few years, but was moved into the rotation this year and did very well.  He may not be 3.35 ERA good, but he’s good.

Lewis was a pretty hot prospect a few years ago but put up a 6.71 ERA from 2002-2007 before winding up in Japan, where he pitched for the Hiroshima Carp in 2008 and 2009.  Lewis pitched very well there and then made a triumphant return to MLB and put up a very good year.  He doesn’t throw as hard as he did when he first came up, but he’s shown an improved slider and better command. His peripherals are in line with his performance too, so he looks like he’s a legitimately good pitcher now.

Cliff Lee has NEVER lost a postseason game.  EVER.  Think about how amazing that is.  No one has every faced Cliff Lee in a postseason game and beaten him.  In the entire history of baseball. 

Seriously, we know Lee’s good, and the Yankees are probably going to have to beat him at least once if they want a shot at advancing. 

I’m not sure if the Rangers will go with Tommy Hunter as their fourth starter, but it could be him or Matt Harrison I guess.  Whomever it is, he’ll be better than A.J. Burnett at least.

Here are the Yankees’s position player projections.  They’re the same as they were for the ALDS aside from adjusting the playing time to reflect a seven game series.

Lineup Pos 2010 OBP 2010 wOBA Proj OBP Proj wOBA PA Outs BR Def
Derek Jeter SS .339 .322 .361 .346 30 19 3.99 -0.4
Nick Swisher RF .357 .370 .353 .359 30 19 4.34 0.1
Mark Teixeira 1B .366 .369 .372 .388 30 19 5.09 0.2
Alex Rodriguez 3B .341 .360 .369 .388 30 19 5.09 -0.1
Robinson Cano 2B .382 .394 .356 .376 30 19 4.77 -0.1
Jorge Posada C .358 .358 .361 .367 26 17 3.93 -0.1
Curtis Granderson CF .323 .343 .334 .348 25 17 3.37 0.2
Lance Berkman DH .368 .350 .381 .384 20 12 3.32 0.0
Brett Gardner LF .379 .358 .356 .325 20 13 2.3 0.4
Francisco Cervelli C .350 .311 .314 .296 5 3 0.45 0.0
Marcus Thames DH .352 .364 .310 .340 16 11 2.05 0.0
Austin Kearns RF .351 .336 .335 .326 5 3 0.58 0.0
Ramiro Pena SS .256 .237 .296 .274 3 2 0.21 0.0
Greg Golson RF .261 .226 .265 .268 1 1 0.07 0.1

There’s really not much I can tell you here that you don’t already know.  Expect to see Thames against lefties and Berkman against righties at DH, and I have a hunch that Francisco Cervelli will get a start with Burnett since they had such good chemistry this year. 

And the pitching projections, again just adjusted for a seven game series.

Pitcher Role 2010 RA 2010 FIP Proj RA Proj FIP IP R
CC Sabathia SP1 3.48 3.55 3.48 3.39 14 5.4
Phil Hughes SP2 4.24 4.29 4.56 4.12 12 6.1
Andy Pettitte SP3 3.63 3.96 4.35 3.97 13 6.3
A.J. Burnett SP4 5.69 4.81 5.11 4.68 5 2.8
Mariano Rivera CL 2.10 2.85 2.43 2.77 4 1.1
David Robertson SU 3.54 3.54 3.97 3.39 4 1.8
Kerry Wood MR 3.33 4.09 3.99 3.95 4 1.8
Joba Chamberlain MR 4.58 2.94 4.70 3.94 3 1.6
Boone Logan MR 2.97 3.73 4.55 4.24 3 1.5
Sergio Mitre MR 3.91 4.79 5.21 4.52 1 0.6
Dustin Moseley MR 4.77 5.81 5.88 5.53 0 0.0
Total 63 28.9
63

The Yankees will go with CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte and Burnett in the first four scheduled games, which sets up Sabathia, Hughes and Pettitte to pitch in Games 5-7 if necessary.  Expect to see most of the relief innings going to Mo, Kerry Wood, Dave Robertson and Boone Logan primarily, perhaps with some Joba Chamberlain mixed in.

On paper, the Yankees are probably the better team.  However, if we factor in the fact that the Rangers are better against LHP and the Yankees are worse against LHP, that narrows the gap some.  Since the Rangers did the honorable thing by winning their division, they get home field advantage in this series, which narrows the gap a hair more.

I received an email asking me about this article at Fangraphs by Dave Cameron saying that there was no difference in win probability between Cliff Lee starting Games 1 and 5 versus 3 and 7 and running some simulations to show that it’s false.  The only problem is, it’s not false.  A team’s probability of winning a series is the sum of their probabilities of winning each game, and the order doesn’t matter, assuming playing time is the same.  If you want to argue that starting Lee earlier means you have the potential to use him more later in the series, then I suppose that’s possible, but aside from that, it doesn’t matter which games he starts.

Team Offense Defense Pitching Pythagenpat p162
Rangers 35.2 0.4 28.9 .603 98
VS
Yankees 39.6 0.3 28.9 .647 105

Pythagenpat: Estimated win percentage based on projected offense/defense + pitching, adjusted for home field advantage
p162: Pythagenpat times 162 games (full season win equivalency)
Anyway, based on these depth charts and accounting for HFA, the Rangers look like around a 98 win team and the Yankees look like around a 105 win team. So what happens if they play the ALCS 10,000 times?

Rangers: 45.2%
Yankees: 54.8%

Which is all just a fancy way of saying Rangers in 3.

--Posted at 6:34 pm by SG / 58 Comments | - (0)



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