The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 








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Yankees.com: Gardner has Yu’s number, but Yanks fall in Texas
(6 Comments - 7/29/2014 7:14:59 am)

Yankees (54-50) @ Rangers (41-64), Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:05pm
(51 Comments - 7/28/2014 11:26:34 pm)

USA Today: Injured Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki shows up at Yankees game
(14 Comments - 7/28/2014 7:42:37 pm)

NJ.com: Yankees end homestand with 5-4 loss to Blue Jays
(13 Comments - 7/28/2014 4:03:33 pm)

Blue Jays (54-50) @ Yankees (54-48), Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:05pm
(92 Comments - 7/28/2014 10:14:35 am)

MLB.com: Cashman prioritizes adding bat before August
(13 Comments - 7/26/2014 10:34:05 am)

Blue Jays (54-49) @ Yankees (53-48), Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:05pm
(52 Comments - 7/26/2014 10:13:21 am)

CBS Sports: Yankees acquire Chris Capuano from Rockies for cash
(7 Comments - 7/25/2014 10:21:16 am)

Yankees.com: Victorious McCarthy continues to stabilize Yanks
(20 Comments - 7/24/2014 9:15:12 pm)

Rangers (40-61) @ Yankees (52-48), Thursday, July 24, 2014, 1:05pm
(55 Comments - 7/24/2014 5:28:17 pm)



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, April 10, 2014

Q&A with the Replacement Level Red Sox Blog, Part 2

I just realized I never posted the second part of the Q&A with the Replacement Level Red Sox blog so here it is.  You can go read the second part of our answers to their questions here.

How excited are you by the player tracking technology that MLBAM previewed recently?

(Jose) More data is better than less.  I really like the idea of being able to track how quickly a player reacts and how efficient he is and running his route to the ball.  I think that can be really instructive, if a guy is good at those things he will adjust as he ages better than a guy (like Ellsbury in my opinion) who often just outruns his mistakes.

(MCoA) I’m kind of getting tired of baseball producing all these new important data sets I don’t have time to understand. Back in my day we had Runs Created and OPS+ and it was good enough for us. These fancy new statistics just detract from my enjoyment of the game.

Derek Jeter looks you straight in the eyes with his calm captainy gaze. Do you A) swoon B) wake-up because you are dreaming C) Wake up several days later with a gift basket D) YEAH JEETS!

(MCoA) Is this choose your own adventure? A -> D -> C -> B.

Would you rather have a) Jacoby Ellsbury or b) Grady Sizemore and $152 million?  Asked in another way, what is your opinion of the Yankees FO?

(MCoA) It took me a while to get over Ellsbury signing with the Yankees. I love Ellsbury. He provides all the joys of a pure speed player—get ready for some straight steals of home—with almost none of the frustrations (reasonable plate discipline, power, and contact skills). If you can look past your analyses of the contract, I think you’re going to have a terribly fun time rooting for him.

I am confused by the Yankees offseason. Cano is obviously better than Ellsbury and seems a better bet to age well. If they’d just sucked up that second round pick, they could have had the solidly above average Stephen Drew locked in for third base, backing up shortstop, with whichever of Brian Roberts or Kelly Johnson is most healthy and effective at second. The lack of depth on the infield boggles. I know these guys project to 1 WAR or whatever, but the risk of full-on below replacement Wilton Veras style disasters seems way too high for a contending team. A Masahiro Tanaka can cover for all manner of sins, I guess.

With AJ Pierzynski on the team now, has there ever been a Red Sox free agent signing that you hated so much when he played for another team that you couldn’t get past rooting for him as a Red Sox? Like, if Joba Chamberlain suddenly started pitching for the Red Sox, would it be hard to root for him?

(Jose) I’m a pretty simple root for the laundry guy.  Jarome Iginla was booed every time he touched the puck for the Penguins last year and now he’s one of the most popular Bruins.  I think it is most impactful where a player struggles.  I’m going to give a guy I like a little more rope than a guy like AJ.

(MCoA) I’m a sucker. I’ve completely talked myself into A.J. based on his appearances on the postseason teevee. He’s just a tough competitor, you guys.

Now that Cano is gone, is there a player worth fearing on the Yankees?

(MCoA) Masahiro Tanaka. That dude looks every inch a Cy Young contender and playoff ace. The Yankees are all about the pitching now, it seems. Behind Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda will never age and Ivan Nova is probably pretty good. I dunno. If enough breaks right in the rotation, if Tanaka is a Cy Young contender, Nova is as good as his component stats, Sabathia figures out how to get results with diminished velocity, that’s a rotation that could carry a merely ok lineup to an easy division title. I’m probably being too optimistic—this is what I do every spring—but I see more potential for this Yankees team to underplay their ~85 win projection than to outperform.

How many home runs do you think Pedroia will hit in 2014 now that he appears fully recovered from his thumb injury?

(MCoA) Dustin Pedroia doesn’t recover from injuries. He just develops a new injury which sediments over the old one. I’m amazed Pedroia remains effective given what he’s inevitably playing through. He’ll have another Dustin Pedroia season complete with a month-long slump where the pain gets to be too much.

What do you think is a fair extension number for Jon Lester?

(MCoA) Lester’s a strange case. He’s actually been no more than average for going on two seasons. He has a 101 ERA- over 2012 and 2013. Lester is better than that, based on his component stats and pre-2012 performance, but the projection systems generally peg him around 2.5 WAR. That’s a nice pitcher, but it’s not a guy you’d give $100M to. That’s maybe a 4/65 kind of pitcher, and obviously Jon Lester ain’t signing for no sixty million dollars.

At the same time, Lester was an ace from 2008 to 2011, and he found that same stuff and command last year in the postseason. One thing we had noticed about Lester during his weaker outings was that he would get locked in to pounding the inner half of the zone with his fastball to RHB, and when his command wasn’t good enough, he’d get pounded. Lester needs to work inside with the fastball to get hitters to swing and miss on the cutter, but he seemed too stubborn to make adjustments when it wasn’t working. In the postseason, Lester mixed up his repertoire and showed real improvement. Is that sustainable? Who knows. This is all by way of saying that I could totally justify a 5/110 contract extension, and I can see the case for letting him walk. If Lester wants more than five years or significantly more than $20M per season, I’d probably say it’s better to start working in the kids. It kind of feels like whichever choice the Sox make, it’ll be the wrong one.

Which of the Red Sox starting pitchers are you most worried about?

(Jose) Lackey easily.  I think he’s the X factor in the rotation.  If he’s right then Lester/Buchholz are your aces, Peavy/Doubront are depth and Lackey is the guy that rounds it out.  He was kind of “eh” in the spring and he’s a mid-30s pitcher who isn’t that far from being historically craptacular.

How weird is this Jerry Remy thing? Should there be anything less meaningful to a baseball fan than an announcer’s private life.

(Jose) I’ll start with a disclaimer that I’m a huge Remy fan.  I attended a baseball camp he ran in the early 80s (real live MLB player Roger LaFrancois taught me how to block pitches!) and I still remember the way he used to bounce at the plate as he waited for pitches.  Earlier in the off-season I wrote on our site that I was glad he was coming back and that he shouldn’t be punished for his adult son’s misdeeds.

But (saw that comin’ didn’t you?) having listened to a few games this spring it is awkward.  I think it is terribly unfair for him to lose his job over the behavior of his adult child but right now listening to Jerry Remy announce baseball games makes the experience less enjoyable, not more enjoyable like it used to.

(MCoA) There’s a lot of evidence that Jerry Remy and his wife were effectively enablers for their monster of a son. Jared was arrested many, many times but never actually punished for his serial abuse of women in part because of the legal and material support of the Remys. I can’t get past it, and I am going to be watching the other feed on MLBtv for Red Sox games until Remy is out of the booth.

--Posted at 12:15 pm by SG / 4 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Q&A with the Replacement Level Red Sox Blog

We are doing a slightly belated season preview Q&A with our frenemies over at the Replacement Level Red Sox Blog.  The first part of ours was posted there yesterday so go there if you want to see more of me complaining about the Ellsbury contract.  Here’s the first part of our questions and their responses.

What are the expectations from Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr after their “disappointing” 2013s?

(Jose) I’d quibble with Bradley’s 2013 as “disappointing.”  He actually played well at Pawtucket after being at Portland the year before.  Expectations were unfairly raised for him with the hot spring but I think his season was exactly what you’d want from a prospect of his ilk and track record.  I think the “OK bat/great glove” profile is still pretty reasonable for him.  Every time I’ve seen him play the defense makes me think of Devon White, he has the same gliding style.  Offensively I think .260 with 10-15 HR is probably reasonable (given 550 PA).

I’ve been a Middlebrooks skeptic but I’m buying him right now.  I’m probably being unreasonably optimistic but I’m buying the story about his vision correction and the power is for real.  His defense is really the frustrating thing about him, he’s terrible over there but I can see 25-30 homers.

(MCoA) What Jose said on Bradley, basically, but I’m worried about Middlebrooks. He’s still very raw at the plate and in the field, and there’s a good chance he’ll never develop into an actual ballplayer.

Is Xander Bogaerts scary or really scary? What should we expect for 2013? The future?

(MCoA) Really scary. You can see my CFBPS post for something that is disturbingly close to my honest opinion of Bogaerts. I think the coolest thing about Bogaerts is how quickly he has been improving. At 19 he earned a call-up to Portland and while he showed very impressive power, his 21/1 K/BB ratio suggested a kid who would get found out against higher level pitchers. Instead he dedicated himself to putting together better at-bats and learning pitch recognition, and the next season he drew 65 walks and struck out 93 times in 515 PA between AA and AAA. He has brought that same plate discipline to the majors without losing any of his 70 power, and to my eye Bogaerts looks like a polished middle of the order hitter already. CAIRO projects him to a .332 wOBA—I’d take the over on that. By a lot.

The only question with Bogaerts is his glove, which looks adequate at shortstop but unspectacular. He’s young and quick enough that he can play there now, but as he fills out Bogaerts may have to be moved over to third base.

Why do you have so many good pitching prospects and who do you like most? Rubby De La Rosa?

(MCoA) The Red Sox drafted insanely well during the early Theo Epstein years. 2003-2005 netted Jonathan Papelbon, David Murphy, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie. The results trailed off from there, and the 2008 and 2009 drafts yielded basically the null set. Theo’s final two drafts were a return to form. Anthony Ranaudo and Brandon Workman were supplemental and second round picks in 2010, while Matt Barnes and Henry Owens came in the first and supplemental rounds in 2011. On top of that, the Dodgers saw fit to hand us Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa in the Nick Punto trade.

As fun as they are, all of these prospects come with notable flaws. Owens is not a hard thrower, and he has racked up strikeouts with a fantastic changeup and a deceptive delivery which doesn’t show the ball to the hitter until the last second. His control is not great. Matt Barnes has a true plus fastball that he spots well, but the rest of his repertoire is a work in progress. Allen Webster is a converted position player who is still very much learning to pitch, and this shows up in regular lapses in command. Ranaudo has an injury history as long as his limbs. Workman seems like the most consistent of all of them, but the Red Sox appear to profile him more as a reliever. (He’s made the MLB roster as a reliever, and pitched well there in the stretch run last year.) De La Rosa looked like the leading light of this group based on past results, but he has not recovered anything close to acceptable command since his Tommy John surgery in 2011, and he’s easily the most likely bust of the group.

I think Ranaudo, if healthy, should be a cromulent major league starter. From Webster, Owens and Barnes, the Red Sox should be able to develop one front-of-the-rotation pitcher. As a stat nerd, I can’t help but prefer Ranaudo’s history of quality performance to the upside of Webster, Owens and Barnes. Subjectively, Owens is probably my favorite, though. I love a deceptive lefty with a pull-the-string changeup.

The Sox underperformed while imploding in 2012 and then overperformed while growing beards (and I imagine eating less chowda than normal) in 2013. What will they do in 2014?

(Jose) I think 87-88 wins feels about right and that’s the cusp of a WC berth.  The biggest thing the Sox have going for them (and in my opinion the biggest Yankee flaw) is depth.  I think the Sox can handle injuries as well as any team in baseball with the exception of Ortiz and Pedroia.

(MCoA) Yeah, I spent the entire winter arguing that the Red Sox needed to add a star to get to that 90-93 win projection, and they didn’t do it. The optimism of spring has me feeling like the Red Sox are probably more likely to outperform their 86-88 win projection than to underperform. I like the upside of Bogaerts and Sizemore, and I think the club has depth to cover almost any injury, as Jose said.

Did any of you grow solidarity beards? I had a beard this winter for the ridiculous cold, it was OK, but eating became… difficult after hitting the 3 month mark or so.

(MCoA) I thought I’d come to terms with the fact that I apparently never quite completed puberty, but I didn’t shave for a bit last fall anyway. There were… splotches.

--Posted at 8:02 am by SG / 16 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yankees.com:  Yanks can muster little support for Kuroda

HOUSTON—The Yankees remodeled their batting order at a price tag of nearly $300 million, a spending spree deemed necessary after too many punchless evenings last season. Through the first 18 innings of this season, they’re still waiting for returns on that investment.

They might be waiting a while.

--Posted at 11:38 pm by Jonathan / 12 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CAIRO 2014 v0.2’s Extremely Early and Completely Useless 2013 Projected MLB Standings

I figured I had a long offseason ahead of me if I was going to do everything in my power to make the Yankees look better than they are. The thing that needed to be done first was put the Yankees in the context of the rest of MLB.  So I’ve been working on building my CAIRO season simulation disk and gave it a trial run last night.  This was current through rosters as of yesterday morning.

As the title says, this is extremely early and completely useless so think of it more as a goof than anything too serious.  So using CAIRO v0.2 which I’ll probably post tomorrow and the depth charts from MLB Depth Charts and Rotochamp as a rough gauge of playing time, here’s how the 2014 MLB season looks as of November 20.

Date 11/20/2013
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Red Sox 92 70 808 728 53.4% 10.7% 9.8% 73.9%
Rays 87 75 664 587 21.3% 11.6% 11.7% 44.5%
Blue Jays 86 76 816 761 14.9% 10.2% 11.7% 36.8%
Orioles 84 78 750 711 10.4% 6.3% 8.7% 25.4%
Yankees 71 91 674 801 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.5%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Tigers 91 71 773 661 71.1% 4.9% 4.5% 80.6%
Indians 85 77 725 670 21.6% 10.1% 10.0% 41.7%
Royals 79 83 703 758 6.1% 2.0% 4.1% 12.1%
Twins 74 88 707 774 1.2% 0.2% 0.8% 2.2%
White Sox 70 92 711 804 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 91 71 760 641 61.4% 12.9% 9.0% 83.3%
Athletics 86 76 710 641 24.6% 17.6% 16.4% 58.6%
Angels 84 78 664 643 13.8% 12.8% 12.4% 39.0%
Mariners 72 90 617 684 0.2% 0.4% 0.7% 1.4%
Astros 54 108 660 970 0.0% - - -
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Nationals 90 72 697 608 52.9% 19.3% 10.1% 82.3%
Braves 90 72 645 589 45.1% 23.5% 10.5% 79.1%
Phillies 77 85 634 676 1.4% 1.6% 3.8% 6.9%
Marlins 73 89 574 641 0.5% 0.9% 1.7% 3.2%
Mets 68 94 589 682 0.1% - 0.1% 0.2%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Reds 87 75 676 620 34.6% 9.8% 9.3% 53.7%
Pirates 87 75 593 551 36.3% 8.7% 10.3% 55.2%
Cardinals 85 77 621 574 27.1% 9.0% 10.5% 46.5%
Brewers 75 87 706 763 1.3% 0.8% 1.5% 3.6%
Cubs 73 89 625 680 0.9% 0.3% 1.0% 2.1%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Dodgers 88 74 640 584 42.3% 7.0% 10.4% 59.6%
Giants 85 77 607 574 20.0% 6.5% 10.5% 37.1%
Diamondbacks 84 78 618 588 20.0% 6.3% 9.9% 36.2%
Rockies 81 81 852 861 9.9% 3.2% 6.4% 19.6%
Padres 80 82 602 596 7.8% 3.0% 4.1% 14.9%

W: Projected final 2014 wins
L: Projected final 2014 losses
RS: Projected final 2014 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2014 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: Projected wins within one standard deviation

Let me reiterate, these are extremely early and completely useless.  There are literally hundreds of free agents still out there to be signed, and trades to be made, and players to be injured.  There’s also the traditional error bars that projections have, which means you should probably look at this with a 10 game swing on either side of a team’s average projected win total, particularly right now with so much roster churn to come.

But if you are a Yankee fan, like I used to be, this is pretty disheartening.  It’s not surprising, and if you put the lineup and pitching staff together based on how they project in 2014 you will see they are about as far from championship caliber as any team in the American League.  Maybe moreso considering the relative strength of their division. 

No, the Astros are not an AL team, even if they use a DH.

Don’t worry though, the Yankees will sign Carlos Beltran and he’ll make them a 95 win team.

--Posted at 8:09 am by SG / 61 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 26, 2013

NY Times: Yankees Find a Way to Avoid a Sweep

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — At age 37 with cranky knees, Alfonso Soriano is not nearly as swift as he once was. In an earlier life with the Yankees in his middle 20s, Soriano was able to rely on sheer speed and agility as he twice recorded seasons with 40 stolen bases.

Now, stolen bases come more from his mind and the knowledge he has accrued in 15 years in the major leagues, and few were as critical as the one he swiped in the 11th inning Sunday that led directly to a vital 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Summoning every bit of information about the craft of base stealing that he had gleaned from his previous 365 attempts — and with his manager’s blessing — Soriano set out on an 85-foot sprint that changed the course of the game, and perhaps the Yankees’ playoff hopes.

The Yankees really needed to win two of the three games in Tampa Bay over this weekend, but alas they couldn’t do it.  Saturday’s game was the killer, as CC Sabathia looked like vintage CC for just about the whole game except for a four batter stretch that cost the Yankees their 2-0 lead and the game.  CC was pretty much sitting 94-95 all game, something he hasn’t done all year.  Unfortunately, even if he pitches well going forward it’s probably too little and too late.

The big problem the Yankees face now is that they need a lot of help from a lot of crappy teams.  They’re fighting against Cleveland and Oakland teams that have easier schedules going forward, even if the Yankees were able to take care of their own business against Baltimore, Boston and Tampa Bay.  Here are my estimated projected strengths of schedule for each team over the rest of the season, accounting for home field advantage.

Team Opponent W%
Indians .486
Athletics .490
Rangers .492
Yankees .500
Rays .509
Red Sox .512
Orioles .522

And here’s how many wins every team ahead of the Yankees project to end the season with.

TM W
Tigers 98
Red Sox 94
Rangers 93
Rays 93
Athletics 90
Indians 88
Orioles 86
Yankees 85

Let’s put that in the perspective of the expected W-L records over the rest of the season.

Team W L
Yankees 16 16
Rays 19 15
Rangers 18 14
Athletics 18 15
Red Sox 17 13
Indians 17 15
Orioles 16 17

Let’s forget about Boston, Tampa Bay and Texas for now.  I can’t see the Yankees making up the seven or eight games in projected record over the rest of the season to catch any of them.  Yeah, they play Boston seven more times, all at home, but even if they win five of those seven games they still have to make up another five games.  They play the Rays just three more times, so even if they sweep that series they would have to make up another four games.

The Yankees play the Orioles seven more times (three at home, four on the road so they can pass them by beating them.

Which means it’s basically down to winning the games they can win and then watching what Oakland and Cleveland do in these remaining games.

Game #
Angels@Athletics 3
Astros@Athletics 4
Athletics@Angels 3
Athletics@Mariners 3
Athletics@Rangers 3
Athletics@Tigers 4
Athletics@Twins 3
Rangers@Athletics 3
Rays@Athletics 3
Twins@Athletics 4
Game #
Astros@Indians 4
Indians@Braves 3
Indians@Royals 3
Indians@Tigers 3
Indians@Twins 4
Indians@White Sox 4
Mets@Indians 3
Orioles@Indians 3
Royals@Indians 3
White Sox@Indians 2

I’d feel better about the Yankees’ chances if Oakland didn’t have so many games left against the Angels, Astros, Mariners and Twins and Cleveland didn’t have so many games left against the Astros, Twins, White Sox and Mets.

I fear the Yankees have run out of time.  They are probably one of the six best teams in the AL right now, but they haven’t been for too much of the season to make up for it.

--Posted at 8:03 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Best 43 Games Stretches by Every 2013 MLB Team

Tm StartDate EndDate W-L WPCT season WPCT% RS RA
LAD 6/22 8/9 35-8 .814 .583 209 130
PIT 5/14 6/30 30-13 .698 .597 166 131
STL 4/9 5/27 30-13 .698 .571 198 133
TBR 6/16 8/4 30-13 .698 .568 175 124
ATL 6/26 8/14 29-14 .674 .612 221 146
CIN 4/15 5/31 29-14 .674 .567 197 136
DET 6/20 8/8 29-14 .674 .588 236 161
NYY 4/7 5/25 29-14 .674 .521 191 146
OAK 5/15 7/2 29-14 .674 .563 199 147
TEX 4/2 5/19 29-14 .674 .579 210 150
CLE 6/14 8/1 28-15 .651 .537 211 163
TOR 5/5 6/23 28-15 .651 .458 242 181
BOS 4/13 5/27 27-16 .628 .590 215 184
KCR 6/26 8/13 27-16 .628 .525 186 162
CHC 4/5 5/23 16-27 .372 .433 173 180
CHW 6/5 7/25 16-27 .372 .387 184 209
COL 6/13 7/31 16-27 .372 .467 152 202
HOU 4/17 6/2 16-27 .372 .328 171 241
LAA 4/3 5/19 16-27 .372 .445 186 226
MIL 4/19 6/4 16-27 .372 .433 174 209
NYM 4/19 6/8 16-27 .372 .458 143 196
SDP 6/18 8/6 16-27 .372 .450 152 193
SFG 5/16 7/2 16-27 .372 .437 151 189
MIA 5/6 6/23 15-28 .349 .387 137 188

I figured this would give some perspective on just how hard it’s going to be for the Yankees to win 30+ of their 43 remaining games. 

 

--Posted at 8:48 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)




Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 MLB Postseason Odds Through Games of July 21

Date 7/22/2013
Iterations 1,000,000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Red Sox 94 68 825 730 51.6% 23.9% 10.6% 86.1%
Rays 92 70 743 651 34.7% 29.4% 16.5% 80.7%
Orioles 88 74 763 740 11.0% 16.1% 20.9% 47.9%
Yankees 83 79 694 684 2.3% 4.4% 8.9% 15.5%
Blue Jays 77 85 758 748 0.0% 0.8% 1.1% 1.9%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Tigers 91 71 806 682 75.1% 2.2% 4.9% 82.2%
Indians 86 76 758 730 21.6% 4.7% 8.8% 35.2%
Royals 78 84 668 679 2.7% 0.5% 1.7% 4.8%
Twins 70 92 672 778 0.1% - 0.2% 0.3%
White Sox 69 93 658 734 0.1% - 0.1% 0.2%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Athletics 93 69 725 641 74.0% 5.2% 6.6% 85.8%
Rangers 88 74 733 690 23.7% 11.2% 16.6% 51.5%
Angels 80 82 747 709 1.7% 1.2% 2.5% 5.4%
Mariners 74 88 660 727 0.2% 0.1% 0.5% 0.7%
Astros 55 107 625 868 0.0% - - -
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Braves 93 69 694 600 90.0% 0.6% 2.7% 93.2%
Nationals 81 81 635 622 5.9% 1.6% 8.3% 15.8%
Phillies 78 84 647 698 3.2% 0.5% 3.2% 6.8%
Mets 75 87 666 715 0.6% 0.4% 1.0% 1.9%
Marlins 61 101 559 701 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Cardinals 98 64 757 614 68.0% 21.5% 9.7% 99.1%
Reds 91 71 718 622 15.3% 38.6% 31.4% 85.4%
Pirates 91 71 638 603 16.2% 34.8% 32.7% 83.7%
Cubs 73 89 659 695 0.1% - 1.3% 1.4%
Brewers 69 93 660 728 0.0% - 0.2% 0.2%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Diamondbacks 84 78 688 672 41.5% 1.0% 3.0% 45.6%
Dodgers 83 79 647 631 37.9% 0.5% 3.5% 41.8%
Rockies 78 84 742 765 12.6% 0.2% 1.6% 14.3%
Giants 77 85 652 670 6.9% - 0.9% 7.8%
Padres 71 91 642 714 0.7% 0.1% 0.2% 1.0%

W: Projected final 2013 wins
L: Projected final 2013 losses
RS: Projected final 2013 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2013 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)

At least the Yankees have a good chance of not finishing last.

Should they sell?  Probably.  Will they sell?  Probably not.

--Posted at 9:27 am by SG / 59 Comments | - (0)




Friday, July 19, 2013

Boston Globe: Finally, Yankees arrive at Fenway Park

The Red Sox and Yankees, who last met on June 2 in the Bronx, are teams going in opposite directions. The Sox have the most wins in baseball at 58-39 and are in first place in the American League East. The Yankees are in fourth place at 51-44, six games back. They’re closer to last than first, sitting 5½ games ahead of the Blue Jays.

The Yankees have never finished fourth or lower since baseball switched from a two-division format to a three-division format with the advent of the wild card in 1994. The last time the Yankees finished fourth, George Herbert Walker Bush was in the White House — 1992. That capped a six-season span starting in 1987 in which the Yankees finished fourth or lower every year in the then-seven-team AL East.

The Yankees are one of the few teams that do not put names on the backs of their road uniforms. That’s too bad because their current lineup is unrecognizable. The Yankees are in life-preserver mode, treading water and floating aimlessly until their stars come back.

The Bronx Bombers have been more shooting blanks. They’re only 20th in baseball in runs scored and 20th in home runs.

This article would annoy me if it wasn’t mostly accurate.

The Yankees have 67 games left on the season, and 9 of them are in Fenway.  That means 13% of their second half schedule is going to be spent playing in a dingy, dilapidated and disgraceful bandbox.  The good news is that means the Yankees can control their own destiny if Boston remains the team to beat in the AL East.  The bad news is that the Yankees stink, and playing the better team in their ballpark in 13% of your remaining games is likely not going to lead to a good outcome.

I’ve tried to write the blog post about how good the Yankees could be going forward when they get some key players back a few times now but every time I start it I read about Derek Jeter going back on the DL or Curtis Granderson not yet cleared to take swings off a half mound or whatever else and I realize this team probably isn’t going to ever become all that good.  They aren’t likely to trade for any significant upgrades because they don’t have all that much worth trading for.

Can a .500 team go the 39-28 they would need to do to get to the 90 wins that will keep them in the race for at least a wild card by the end of the season?  This post All Star Break seven game road trip against Boston and Texas will probably tell us if that’s feasible or a pipe dream. 

I’m assuming the Yankees right now are maybe an 82 win team through the end of August.  In that case, here’s what log5 sees for them.

Date Road Team Home Team rW% hW% xW xL
7/19/2013 7:10 PM Yankees Red Sox .509 .552 .437 .563
7/20/2013 4:05 PM Yankees Red Sox .509 .552 .437 .563
7/21/2013 8:05 PM Yankees Red Sox .509 .552 .437 .563
7/22/2013 8:05 PM Yankees Rangers .509 .535 .454 .546
7/23/2013 8:05 PM Yankees Rangers .509 .535 .454 .546
7/24/2013 8:05 PM Yankees Rangers .509 .535 .454 .546
7/25/2013 2:05 PM Yankees Rangers .509 .535 .454 .546
7/26/2013 7:05 PM Rays Yankees .557 .509 .471 .529
7/27/2013 1:05 PM Rays Yankees .557 .509 .471 .529
7/28/2013 1:05 PM Rays Yankees .557 .509 .471 .529
7/30/2013 10:10 PM Yankees Dodgers .509 .510 .479 .521
7/31/2013 10:10 PM Yankees Dodgers .509 .510 .479 .521
5.5 6.5

rW%: Road team projected winning percentage
hW%: Home team projected winning percentage
xW/L: Expected wins/losses using log 5

So I think .500 is the benchmark for the rest of this month.  If they can go 6-6 I’d consider the rest of July reasonably successful.  But if I were a betting man I think 4-8 is more likely.

--Posted at 10:51 am by SG / 4 Comments | - (0)




Friday, May 31, 2013

Q&A with the Replacement Level Red Sox Blog

In anticipation of this weekend’s bloodbath series with Boston, we though it’d be fun to do a blog crossover with our sister site, The Replacement Level Red Sox Blog.  So we exchanged a few questions with each other to help the other team’s fan base get a sense of how things are going so far.  Anyway, here are the questions we sent them and their responses.

1) Is Clay Buchholz really this good?

Well, yes and no. He’s certainly no Aaron Small, but he’s pretty talented. Buchholz has always had the arsenal to be a dominant pitcher: three different fastballs, a hammer curveball, a wicked changeup and, at times, the ability to command all his offerings. His past struggles have often come from pitching himself into trouble as a result of trying to be too cute with his approach. Then he’d lose faith in his stuff and his ability, and subsequently he’d be a wreck out there for a while.

Buchholz isn’t doing anything dramatically different mechanically, and his stuff is still the same as it’s always been. If there’s been a silver bullet for him this season, it’s been his willingness to attack the strike zone early with four-seam fastballs. In the past, he’d sometimes fall in love with the idea of trying to generate quick ground ball outs with his sinking two-seamer early in the count. Batters caught on to this and began laying off. Buchholz doesn’t throw the two-seamer for strikes as reliably as the four-seamer, so suddenly he was starting off with a lot of 1-0 counts. Now that he’s challenging hitters with first pitch four-seamers more often, Buchholz is starting off with more 0-1 counts and good things are happening. It will be interesting to see if the hitters adjust again and, if so, what Buchholz does in response.

2) What’s been the biggest surprise so far, aside from him?

I think the obvious answer among pitchers (despite his home run-a-palooza as I type this) is John Lackey.  It is not just that Lackey has had success but how he has done it.  When you watch him pitch the stuff and the results match up.  I think most Sox watchers expected him to be improved, since it’s not mathematically possible to be worse than Lackey was in 2011, but now he actually looks like the pitcher he was in Anaheim.

Among position players, the other one is Daniel Nava.  Nava in his previous two seasons had kind of done the Jed Lowrie thing where he would have a couple of great weeks then slump for a month but the two good weeks kept the numbers looking pretty. This year he has stayed reliable. He has gone from being a switch hitter in name only to at least showing some competence on the right side. Nava had a huge BABIP split between batting righty and batting lefty, so he might always have been a good enough hitter from both sides despite the top-line OPS split.

3) Who’s been the biggest disappointment so far?

Will Middlebrooks, no question. Middlebrooks was a big surprise last year for most statistically inclined Sox fans. He kept getting solid prospect rankings despite having no plate discipline whatsoever. Suddenly he’s on the Red Sox, he’s still striking out too much and not walking, but he’s making just enough contact and hitting for more than enough power to be a solid regular. I think a lot of Sox fans figured that the improvement in contact rate had to be real, and even if Middlebrooks never developed any real OBP, a good defensive 3B with 30-HR power is a plus player anyway.

Instead he regressed, the contact rate slid back down to completely unacceptable, and now he’s out with a back injury. The Red Sox backup 3B is Jose Iglesias, whose bat is doubtful at shortstop, and even he’s hitting better than Middlebrooks.

4) Who do you expect to play significantly better or worse going forward?

He’s an easy choice since he’s riding a hot streak, but Jacoby Ellsbury is definitely better than an 85 OPS+. He’s not a .260 hitter when he’s healthy—his BABIP is running about 25 points below his career norms—and even if the home run power never returns, Ellsbury should be better than this.

For playing worse, I should mention that Red Sox fans hate Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He’s hitting well so far, but he hasn’t changed his hitting strategy in any way—he still just takes his big stupid swing at whatever looks good. On top of that, he is a ludicrously bad defensive catcher. We are waiting for his OBP to return to its normal sub-300 level while cringing every time he uncorks a throw eight feet wide of second or stabs at a strike and pulls it out of the zone for a ball. I think he’s worse than his top-line numbers suggest, and he’s probably still going to get worse.

5) How confident are you that the team can sustain their early season success as the season moves on?

I don’t think this is a true .600 team. I do note that the 83-ish win consensus for the Red Sox was based on their having by a good margin the worst starting pitching in the division. As I argued earlier this year, with merely above average starting pitching, the Red Sox are an 87 win club and solidly in the middle of the divisional race. Upgrade to good, and it’s closer to 90. I’d probably peg them as an 87-89 win team that’s been playing over their heads by a few games so far.

6) What other team from the AL East is likely the biggest threat to the Red Sox and Yankees?

  I felt the division was Tampa’s for the taking at the start of the season and I still think they are the team to be wary of.  With the division featuring no pushovers I think the Rays’ depth on the mound is a huge advantage.  If they can stay in striking distance I think having guys like Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome and Alex Torres give them innings as the year goes on is going to be a boost.  I think that was a critical part of their comeback (and conversely the Sox failures) in 2011.  I can easily see them just staying steady all year while the rest of the teams in the division have ups and downs because of that.

7) What do you think about having such a high pick in the draft compared to your typical normal lower slots and do you think the Sox will take advantage of it?

The high draft pick is cold comfort for the profoundly dispiriting season we endured last year, but it’s better than nothing. The emerging consensus among draftniks such as Jim Callis, Keith Law, and John Sickels seems to be that the Sox are tuning their draft approach to the high pick and are prepared to be more aggressive than usual. Whereas the Sox typically focus on college players in the first round (about 70% over the last five years), the rumors are currently coalescing around two high school players who may be on the board at #7: RHP Kohl Stewart and OF Clint Frazier. Both of those kids may go in the top six and leave the Sox looking for a Plan B, but they speak to a desire to turn this unusually high pick into the sort of high-ceiling talent the Sox rarely have access to at their usual position late in the round.

8) With pitchers like De Rosa, Webster and Ranaudo in the upper minors, pitching is clearly a strength in the Sox system, how does the rest of the system look? And who should we be worried about next year? In 3 years? in 5?

Pitching is undeniably the greatest strength of the system, as Matt Barnes (AA), Brandon Workman (AA), and Henry Owens (Hi-A) all have a case to be on that list as well. The rest of the system is deep in promising infielders and very thin in the outfield.

SS Xander Bogaerts (20) is the cream of the infield crop, showing much improved plate discipline and contact skills in his first full season of AA. The jaw-dropping power that landed him on a bunch of top ten prospects lists is starting to show up too. Bogaerts’ teammate 3B/1B Michael Almanzar (22) has shown signs he’s finally growing into his power swing and is mirroring Bogaerts’ maturing plate approach. One step down the ladder in Hi-A, 3B Garin Cecchini (22) isn’t so much kicking down the door for a promotion as he is just running straight through it, posting a 356/464/588 line (through Wednesday night’s game) with more walks than strikeouts. 2B Sean Coyle (21) and 2B Mookie Betts (20) have posted strong lines thusfar in A-ball, Coyle recently cooling off after a blistering April and Betts heating up in May.

Who should you worry about next year? Jackie Bradley Jr. Despite a rocky introduction to major league pitching he’s going to hit, and he’s already a spectacular defensive outfielder.

Who should you worry about in 3 years? The pitchers. The Sox aren’t going to hit on every one of their promising arms, but they’re going to have a very good and very deep starting rotation even if they only manage to bring two or three of their young guys to the big leagues successfully.

Who should you worry about in 5 years? Bogaerts. He’ll be in the show before then, but this is when he’ll be hitting his prime.

Update: And here’s our Q&A with them:

Q&A with Replacement Level Yankees Weblog: Part the First

--Posted at 7:57 am by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The 2013 MLB Projection Blowout

With Opening Day rapidly approaching, it’s time for my 2013 MLB projected standings blowout.  The idea behind this series of posts is to try and project how the 2013 MLB season might look given what we think we may know right now.  I’ve been doing a version of this since 2005, and you can see the results by looking at the following links.

2005
2006
2007
2008 Pt 1
2008 Pt 2
2009 AL
2009 NL
2010 AL
2010 NL
2011 AL
2011 NL
2012

A quick look at the previous seasons shows that the results are hit and miss.  Projections don’t pretend to be omnisicent, so they can only tell us so much about how things play out.  Hence the following disclaimers.

1) Projection systems are inherently limited in their accuracy, particularly for pitchers. We can get a rough idea of how most players will perform by looking at their past histories and how similar players have performed, and factoring in aging and regression, but abilities/talent can change in ways that can’t be forecasted.

2) Playing time distribution in these simulations will not match actual 2013 playing time. I used the rosters and depth charts available at MLB Depth Charts plus whatever I’ve read over the offseason as my guide to set these up as realistically as possible, but it’s a possible source of error. Rosters were set up to have 35-40 or so active players per team, and to get a reasonable amount of playing time from the bench and extra pitchers, to more closely model reality. Basically, no players are set to play more than 90% of the time, starting catchers are restricted to at most about 75% of the games, and I’ve made sure teams get a non-trivial amount of starts from their 6-8 starters. The healthier a team is in 2013, the more likely they will be to exceed these projections, and vice versa.

3) We cannot predict injuries and/or roster changes. These simulations do try to adjust projected playing time based on past health issues, so someone like Erik Bedard is not expected to make 30 starts. I’ve also included random injuries which may lead to some of the outlying results you see, but there’s no way to account for all the fluctuations that will happen with rosters this season.

4) These are NOT my predictions. These are projections based on running a computer simulation hundreds of thousands of times with projection data that is inherently limited. If your favorite team doesn’t project well, don’t blame me, blame the computers and spreadsheets that projected them. I guess you can blame me for the CAIRO results if you want, otherwise you can take heart in the 2006 Tigers projecting to win 80, the 2010 Giants projecting to go 81-81 or the 2012 Orioles projecting to win 70 games.  These are not meant to tell you how the season is going to play out.  I prefer to think of them more as a starting point for discussion, with a range of something like 10 wins in either direction based on how things actually end up playing out.  You can look at them and argue about why you think some teams will be better or worse.

5) Since this is all automated, I don’t break ties. I simply award all ties a share of either the division title or wild cards when it happens which is why you may see some funny decimal places in the standings that follow.

6) These are the averages of hundreds of thousands of simulated seasons, so the results will tend to regress towards the mean. The final standings will not look like this, because they only play the season once.  If the first place team in a division projects to win 85 games, it doesn’t mean 85 wins will win the division, but I’ll get into that into more detail further down in this post.

7) Even if you knew exactly what every player would do, and exactly how much they’d play, you would not get the standings right.  A few one run games or a disparate performance in more crucial situations can cause any team to over/under achieve what their stats say they should have done.  So if that’s true, you have to figure that since we have no idea what any individual player do or how much they’ll play, the margin of error on these is massive.

There’s too much stuff to fit it all into one post, so I’ve created a separate post for each projection system.  I will use this post to show the results of the aggregate/average of all the projections. You can follow the links below to look at the individual projection systems’ results.

This year, I’m using five different projection systems.  You can click on each of the links below to get some more information about each system and to see how their specific projected standings look.

CAIRO
Marcel
Oliver
Steamer
ZiPS

I should note that the Marcel projections used here were generated using Python code provided by Jeff Sackmann and are not the “official” projections, although they should be almost identical.  I’ll also mention that ZiPS will have its own projected standings so these should not be considered the official version.  Playing time distribution, run environments and park factors may cause some divergence between what ZiPS forecasts and what mine say.  When in doubt, go with the official version.

With all the disclaimers out of the way, on to the projected standings.  These are the combined results for all five projection systems.  The standings are rounded to the nearest win so if the total W-L doesn’t add up to 2430-2430 that’s why.

American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS% W+/-
Blue Jays 89 73 795 728 29.1% 9.9% 9.6% 48.5% 77-100
Rays 88 74 715 644 27.6% 9.5% 8.8% 45.9% 77-100
Yankees 85 77 774 745 18.6% 7.9% 8.2% 34.7% 73-96
Red Sox 82 80 819 803 15.4% 6.6% 8.2% 30.2% 70-93
Orioles 79 83 738 766 9.3% 4.5% 5.8% 19.6% 68-90
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Tigers 89 73 797 714 46.4% 6.6% 6.8% 59.8% 77-100
Royals 81 81 716 721 19.3% 5.6% 6.5% 31.4% 70-92
Indians 80 82 741 744 18.7% 5.0% 6.2% 29.9% 69-91
White Sox 76 86 718 767 12.4% 4.0% 4.8% 21.2% 65-88
Twins 67 95 693 825 3.2% 0.9% 1.6% 5.6% 56-78
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Angels 91 71 763 656 40.0% 12.3% 9.3% 61.7% 80-103
Rangers 88 74 795 727 30.1% 12.0% 10.0% 52.1% 77-100
Athletics 87 75 731 679 24.6% 12.1% 10.0% 46.6% 75-98
Mariners 73 89 660 722 4.7% 2.9% 3.8% 11.4% 61-84
Astros 60 102 649 866 0.5% 0.3% 0.7% 1.6% 49-72
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Nationals 90 72 690 598 44.5% 11.3% 8.3% 64.0% 79-102
Braves 88 74 673 622 32.3% 11.5% 9.7% 53.5% 77-99
Phillies 80 82 665 680 15.1% 7.2% 7.9% 30.1% 69-92
Mets 73 89 645 703 5.3% 3.1% 4.2% 12.6% 61-84
Marlins 69 93 624 731 2.8% 1.9% 2.5% 7.3% 57-80
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Reds 89 73 741 662 41.0% 8.9% 7.9% 57.8% 78-101
Cardinals 85 77 686 655 26.8% 8.8% 7.8% 43.4% 73-96
Brewers 79 83 704 733 13.4% 5.5% 6.5% 25.3% 67-90
Pirates 78 84 665 691 11.6% 4.3% 5.6% 21.5% 66-89
Cubs 74 88 652 705 7.2% 3.3% 4.1% 14.6% 63-85
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/-
Dodgers 87 75 677 618 30.9% 9.4% 8.9% 49.2% 76-99
Giants 87 75 665 613 28.3% 9.1% 9.0% 46.4% 76-98
Diamondbacks 84 78 716 696 22.7% 8.1% 8.0% 38.8% 73-95
Padres 78 84 643 668 11.0% 4.4% 5.4% 20.8% 66-89
Rockies 74 88 775 847 7.2% 3.2% 4.2% 14.6% 63-85

W: Projected final 2013 wins
L: Projected final 2013 losses
RS: Projected final 2013 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2013 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: Projected wins within one standard deviation

As noted earlier, this is NOT saying that you can win the NL West by winning 87 games.  It’s saying that the team that finished in first most frequently in that division averaged 87 wins over hundreds of thousands of seasons.  Here are the average win totals for each spot in each division.

Place ALE ALC ALW NLE NLC NLW
1 94 91 95 94 92 92
2 89 84 89 87 85 87
3 85 79 83 80 81 83
4 81 74 73 73 76 78
5 75 66 60 66 70 71
WC1 91 90
WC2 87 86

Here is how each division broke down in terms of percentages using the aforementioned pie charts.

In the AL East, we’ve got the mostly tightly bunched group of teams in baseball, with just 10 wins separating Toronto at the top and Baltimore at the bottom.  Toronto and Tampa Bay look like they’re neck and neck as of right now.  The Yankees are already ravaged by injuries and at this point it doesn’t seem like it would take a lot for them to end up having a losing season and even finish last.  Should they lose Robinson Cano or CC Sabathia for any significant amount of time that may be exactly what happens.  Boston has improved quite a bit from where they were at the end of last season, although they apparently still have a ways to go.  The projections are expecting a big regression from Baltimore, although they have enough talented young players with upside that they could beat their projections by quite a bit.
     

The AL Central basically looks like Detroit and everyone else.  Kansas City and Cleveland are jockeying behind the Tigers.  It’ll be interesting to see what the Indians get out of Scott Kazmir, who did not have a Steamer projection and projected pretty poorly in all the other systems.  He’s throwing harder than he was when last seen in the majors and could surprise some people.  For the Royals, it looks like Big Game James may not get into many big games this year, although stranger things have happened.  The White Sox are projected to fall off a bit from last season, and the Twins look like they aren’t going to be very good.

There’s a new floormat in the AL West, and it’s the Houston Astros.  Can they lose 100+ games for the third year in a row?  The projections think they can.  Houston projects to be so bad that they have essentially balanced out the league difference between the AL and NL.  Last year, the AL went 1150-1118 thanks to interleague play.  If you add Houston’s 55-107 to that you get a record of 1205-1225.  Los Anaheim looks like the favorite here and project to win more games than any other team in baseball, with Texas a strong second.  The Angels do have some concerns in their rotation, which could open the door for the Rangers.  Oakland projects to fall back a bit from last year, but still should be in contention.  Seattle still doesn’t look particularly good, although they should score some more runs this year, which is something.

The Nationals project as favorites in the NL East, especially now that the restrictions are off Stephen Strasburg.  The Braves aren’t quite at their level, but project to be pretty good as well.  The Phillies appear to be showing their age, and if Roy Halladay doesn’t bounce back they could be in trouble.  The Mets don’t look good to me, especially with Johan Santana looking iffy and the Marlins may be as bad as the Astros.  If Placido Polanco is hitting cleanup to ‘protect’ Giancarlo Stanton, it’s hard to see them winning 60 games.

In the Central, the Reds look like the clear favorite.  The Cardinals were closer before losing Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal, but they seem like the second best team in the division.  Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are neck and neck with each other and the Cubs look to be bringing up the rear.

In the West, the Dodgers are spending money like there’s no tomorrow but I’m not so sure they’re spending it all that well.  They project a hair better than San Francisco but given the margin of error inherent in projections there’s really no difference in their projections.  The Diamondbacks had a bizarre offseason and losing Adam Eaton for two months hurts, but they should be in the mix if a few things go their way.  The Padres look a bit better than I expected, although still not good and the Rockies stink.

Usually there’s a surprise team or two in here but this year nothing really stands out.  In general it seems that aside from a handful of really bad teams we’re seeing more parity.  Between that and the second wild card you can pretty much see any team in baseball sneaking into the postseason.  Except the Astros.

And there you have it.  The 2013 projection blowout.  Results are not guaranteed.

On an unrelated note, our sister site, the Replacement Level Red Sox launches today. Check them out at replacementlevelredsox.com.

--Posted at 6:59 am by SG / 45 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

NY Times: Yankees at Payroll Threshold, at Least for Now

As of Dec. 31, 2012, the Yankees’ payroll was right at the targeted threshold of $189 million, give or take a few hundred thousand. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts at BaseballProspectus.com, the Yankees have contractual commitments to 14 players worth $189,475,000. That includes Kevin Youkilis’s new one-year, $12 million contract and the $8.5 million they still owe A.J. Burnett.

But it doesn’t include technically unsigned players like Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova and Clay Rapada, who are under the Yankees’ control but are either arbitration eligible or will have their contracts renewed for 2013. Once the Yankees come to agreements with those players, the payroll will rise, but it won’t affect their seemingly ironclad plan to be under $189 million for 2014, the year that significant luxury tax incentives kick in.

If the Yankees are over the $189 million mark for 2014, their luxury tax rate would soar to 50 percent (they are currently at 40 percent). If they are below it, the rate would plummet to 17.5 percent, and that could translate into potential savings of $50 million. Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ managing general partner, has clearly stated his desire to be under the mark, which is why the Yankees have, for the most part, made only tepid advances in the free-agent market in the past two seasons.

Unless the Yankees work out a trade for Curtis Granderson to clear out payroll space, I’m guessing the roster they have now is the roster they’ll start the season with.  If they can get Scott Hairston to sign for one year that may be the only other major addition.  I suppose if Cesar Cabral shows enough in spring training they could trade Boone Logan as well.

With Hairston, they’re probably around a 90 win team.  That probably puts them in a dead heat with Toronto for first place in the East, although I think the Rays could add a bat that would put them right up there as well.

Happy New Year!

--Posted at 9:12 am by SG / 6 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NYDN: Dickey to Jays makes Girardi’s job tougher

Joe Girardi’s job got a little tougher this week — and he knows it.

The Blue Jays continued their busy winter, trading four players to the Mets in exchange for R.A. Dickey, the National League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Dickey joins a rotation that had already bulked up with the additions of Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, adding them to incumbent starters Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero to form a very deep starting five.

“The Blue Jays have done a lot to improve their team,” Girardi said in an e-mail to the Daily News. “Adding a pitcher like Dickey gives them another quality starter at the top of their rotation. When you look at Toronto’s rotation, it now has a lot of different looks and a lot of experience with Johnson, Buehrle and now Dickey.”

I don’t expect Dickey to repeat his 2012, but CAIRO still likes him a lot in 2013.  As a Jay he projects to put up an ERA of around 3.65 over 211 innings which would be worth somewhere in the area of 4.5 - 5 wins.  Here’s how the AL East now projects adding Dickey to the Jays, Stephen Drew to the Red Sox and a few other tweaks to the other teams’ depth charts.

TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Blue Jays 90 72 805 724 28.2% 10.3% 9.9% 48.4%
Yankees 88 74 790 739 24.4% 10.4% 9.7% 44.5%
Rays 87 75 699 636 23.9% 9.8% 9.2% 42.9%
Red Sox 84 78 815 782 16.6% 7.8% 8.5% 32.9%
Orioles 77 85 729 781 6.8% 4.1% 5.6% 16.6%

The teams are still pretty tightly bunched, but Toronto’s got a bit of a separation from the pack now.  Anyway, projected standings in December don’t really tell us all that much so please Orioles fans don’t kill me.

--Posted at 9:09 am by SG / 36 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, December 13, 2012

USA Today: Dodgers on track to pass Yankees in 2013 payroll

12:24AM EST December 13. 2012 - NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are on track to become only the second major league team with a $200 million payroll and could end the New York Yankees’ streak of 14 years as baseball’s biggest spender.

The Dodgers are at $214.8 million for 21 signed players next season, according to a study of their contracts by The Associated Press. That follows last weekend’s additions of free agent pitcher Zack Greinke for a $147 million, six-year contract and South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin for a $36 million, six-year deal.

It looks like the next CBA may have a new a target.

--Posted at 9:03 am by SG / 87 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How Does Signing Youkilis Impact the AL East?

I re-ran my projected standings with Kevin Youkilis getting 500 PA split among 3B, 1B and DH and here’s how it impacted the AL East projected standings.

Before:

TM  W   Div  WC1   WC2  PS%
Rays 86.0 25.8% 8.4% 10.2% 44.4%
Blue Jays 86.0 25.3% 9.2% 8.2% 42.7%
Yankees 85.0 23.0% 8.6% 7.7% 39.3%
Red Sox 84.0 20.1% 7.7% 8.4% 36.2%
Orioles 73.0 5.8% 3.1% 5.0% 13.9%

After:

TM W Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Blue Jays 86.5 25.3% 9.0% 8.7% 42.9%
Yankees 86.4 25.0% 8.7% 9.2% 42.9%
Rays 86.0 24.6% 8.7% 8.8% 42.1%
Red Sox 82.6 17.9% 6.9% 8.4% 33.2%
Orioles 74.1 7.3% 3.7% 4.8% 15.8%

Difference:

TM W Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Blue Jays 0.5 -0.2% 0.5% 0.2% 0.7%
Yankees 1.4 0.1% 1.5% 3.6% 5.0%
Rays 0.0 0.3% -1.4% -2.3% -3.6%
Red Sox -1.4 -0.8% 0.0% -3.0% -3.0%
Orioles 1.1 0.6% -0.2% 1.9% 1.7%

This includes all the other moves that were made since I ran these as well as some adjustments in playing time so that also affects this, but basically adding Youkilis if he can get 500 PA is worth about a win and a half or so.  Is that worth $12M?  It depends on how much you value a 5% increase in qualifying for the postseason I guess.

--Posted at 8:24 am by SG / 65 Comments | - (0)




Monday, December 10, 2012

CAIRO 2013 v0.2’s Extremely Early and Completely Useless 2013 Projected MLB Standings

Since I was curious about how the big trade between Kansas City and Tampa Bay affected the AL East, I ran some projected standings based on rosters as of last night.  As the title says, this is extremely early and completely useless so think of it more as a goof than anything too serious.  So using CAIRO v0.2 and the depth charts from MLB Depth Charts and Rotochamp as a rough gauge of playing time, here’s how the 2013 MLB season looks as of December 10.

Update: CAIRO v0.5 is now available

Date 12/10/2012
Iterations 100000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Rays 86 76 698 643 25.8% 8.4% 10.2% 44.4%
Blue Jays 86 76 789 741 25.3% 9.2% 8.2% 42.7%
Yankees 85 77 771 738 23.0% 8.6% 7.7% 39.3%
Red Sox 84 78 788 759 20.1% 7.7% 8.4% 36.2%
Orioles 73 89 718 780 5.8% 3.1% 5.0% 13.9%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Tigers 91 71 791 709 46.2% 7.3% 6.0% 59.5%
Royals 84 78 717 701 24.7% 6.4% 8.3% 39.4%
White Sox 80 82 725 755 18.2% 4.4% 6.5% 29.0%
Indians 73 89 692 768 7.3% 2.7% 4.0% 14.0%
Twins 65 97 696 854 3.7% 1.6% 1.6% 6.9%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Angels 95 67 726 616 43.4% 12.8% 9.3% 65.6%
Rangers 88 74 762 699 24.7% 12.1% 10.6% 47.5%
Athletics 88 74 712 653 25.2% 11.0% 8.6% 44.8%
Mariners 74 88 626 692 6.0% 4.3% 5.0% 15.3%
Astros 60 102 651 850 0.6% 0.4% 0.8% 1.8%
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Nationals 94 68 699 590 46.4% 9.9% 8.0% 64.2%
Braves 86 76 686 630 23.8% 11.2% 8.9% 43.9%
Phillies 82 80 666 657 18.0% 7.0% 7.9% 32.9%
Mets 75 87 665 715 8.3% 4.7% 5.3% 18.2%
Marlins 69 93 625 729 3.5% 2.0% 2.9% 8.4%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Reds 91 71 722 635 41.9% 7.9% 7.5% 57.3%
Cardinals 86 76 696 645 28.0% 7.9% 8.7% 44.6%
Brewers 78 84 711 742 12.7% 5.2% 6.5% 24.4%
Pirates 77 85 663 688 11.1% 5.5% 6.6% 23.1%
Cubs 71 91 635 721 6.3% 2.4% 3.5% 12.1%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Dodgers 90 72 677 587 35.0% 9.3% 9.0% 53.4%
Giants 87 75 663 598 27.6% 9.8% 8.2% 45.6%
Diamondbacks 81 81 692 678 15.9% 7.1% 7.1% 30.1%
Padres 81 81 659 654 15.9% 7.7% 7.6% 31.3%
Rockies 71 91 770 865 5.6% 2.4% 2.5% 10.5%

The Astros are going to make it awfully easy for the AL West teams to win the wild cards, aren’t they?

Did I mention that these are extremely early and completely useless?

--Posted at 8:50 am by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, December 6, 2012

2013 CAIRO MLB Projections v0.2

I’ve decided to post an update for CAIRO since the Yankees have made so many significant moves.  Well, maybe not but some teams have.

It can be downloaded at the following link.

cairo_2013_mlb_projections_v0.2.zip

Update: CAIRO v0.5 is now available

As far as what’s changed since version 0.1:
- I’ve moved players that have switched teams
- Added a few players like Kyuji Fujikawa
- Added a tab for projected wOBA platoon splits.  You can replace CAIRO’s projected wOBA with any other you like and it will recalculate them.  These are based on the work done on platoon splits in The Book and a spreadsheet designed by berselius from ObstructedView.net.
- Since I don’t bother with projecting playing time aside from whatever CAIRO spits out, I’ve got additional tabs for batters and pitchers based on the depth charts at RotoChamp.  CAIRO’s more for statistical analysis than Fantasy but hopefully this will help out any people that want to use it for Fantasy and it’s set up so that I can update it very easily in future releases.

As a goof I ran 100 iterations of the 2013 MLB schedule to get some projected standings but won’t post the whole thing.  Here’s how the AL East looks as of last night.

Team W L RF RA Div WC1 WC2
TAM 88 74 687 620 33.5 10.8 11.5
NYA 87 75 773 732 32.0 8.0 7.5
TOR 86 76 797 754 24.5 7.5 14.5
BOS 80 82 793 782 5.0 4.5 5.5
BAL 77 85 728 777 5.0 2.8 4.5

Get to work Cashman!

--Posted at 7:08 am by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)




Friday, November 30, 2012

NY Times: Martin Leaves the Yankees for the Pirates

Russell Martin’s two-year tenure with the Yankees ended Thursday when he agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, leaving the Yankees without a No. 1 catcher.

“I had a great time in New York,” Martin said by phone from Montreal, his hometown. “It was probably the best baseball experience of my life. But this is the business, and it was time to move on.”

It seems to me the Yankees could have matched this deal and I’m not sure why they didn’t.  If it would have taken three years to keep Martin I’d have felt better about letting him walk, but at 2 years and $17M he only has to be worth about 3 wins over two years to be worth it.

We got spoiled by the elite offense that Jorge Posada provided for years as a catcher that makes it a bit harder to appreciate Martin I think.  No, he’s not a great hitter, but neither are the majority of catchers in baseball and there’s pretty some evidence that Martin’s defense makes him even more valuable than his basic stats indicate.

I think this confirms that getting to the target of a $189M payroll in 2014 may be the Yankees #1 focus right now, and that’s going to make it a bit harder to build a super team for 2013.  Of course, you don’t need a super team to win a World Series, but it helps.

I’m not sure where the Yankees will go from here.  I’d be surprised if the starting catcher on Opening Day is on the roster right now.  Here’s the list of free agent catchers and how CAIRO would project them as Yankees.

Last First Age Pos Tm Lg PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO GDP avg obp slg wOBA BR BR/650 BRAR oWAR
Napoli Mike 32 C NYA AL 394 342 86 16 1 22 44 98 9 .250 .344 .493 .360 55 91 29 2.9
Pierzynski A.J. 37 C NYA AL 458 424 114 20 2 12 22 53 12 .270 .309 .412 .313 49 69 18 1.8
Blanco Henry 42 C NYA AL 168 152 36 7 0 6 14 35 3 .234 .298 .396 .304 17 67 6 0.6
Shoppach Kelly 33 C NYA AL 287 251 54 10 1 11 23 90 4 .214 .299 .387 .303 29 66 10 1.0
Snyder Chris 32 C NYA AL 237 202 43 7 0 8 30 57 5 .213 .319 .366 .308 24 65 8 0.8
Barajas Rod 38 C NYA AL 315 286 64 11 0 12 19 60 5 .225 .280 .391 .291 30 62 9 0.9
Olivo Miguel 35 C NYA AL 436 410 95 18 1 18 20 120 8 .231 .265 .415 .290 41 62 13 1.3
Schneider Brian 37 C NYA AL 160 143 31 6 0 3 13 30 4 .219 .291 .335 .281 13 54 3 0.3
Treanor Matt 37 C NYA AL 183 157 33 5 1 3 20 36 3 .211 .304 .312 .282 15 52 3 0.3
Nickeas Mike 30 C NYA AL 267 239 54 11 0 4 24 49 6 .224 .298 .315 .279 21 52 4 0.4
Paulino Carlos 24 C NYA AL 305 287 62 14 1 4 14 58 7 .215 .257 .310 .252 20 42 -1 -0.1

BR: Linear weights batting runs
BR/650: BR pro-rated to 650 PA
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
oWAR: Offensive wins above replacement (BRAR divided by 10, although maybe it should be more like 9.5 now)

Not a particularly inspired bunch.

Napoli’s almost certainly not an option, and I’m guessing Pierzynski will want(and get) two years.  So he’s not an option either.  I don’t even know if Henry Blanco is still playing and I’m not sure why CAIRO thinks so highly of a 42 year old catcher, although I guess it probably has to do with him being utilized in a way that plays to his strengths which makes his rate stats better.  He’s not a starter anyway.  Actually, almost none of these guys are except for Pierzynski and Olivo.

So maybe someone like Olivo, Shoppach, Barajas or Snyder will be on their radar, with an eye on anyone who may get non-tendered.

I don’t know that it’s a huge deal.  I ran some projections last night that have the Yankees as around an 89 win team right now.  Considering they were an 80 win team if they had done nothing and have since re-signed Hiroki Kuroda (4.8 wins), Andy Pettitte (2.8 wins) and Mariano Rivera (1.0 win without leverage, maybe 1.5 with)  that seems about right.  They can probably add a win or two in RF if they can’t upgrade catcher.  I’m also assuming Michael Pineda won’t pitch this year, so if by some miracle he’s able to contribute in the second half that could add a win or two.

For whatever it’s worth at this early stage(ie, not a whole hell of a lot), I’ve got Toronto at around 88 wins assuming relatively good health from Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson but between Bautista’s wrist, Reyes’s hamstrings on turf and Josh Johnson’s injury history that may be somewhat optimistic.  The Rays are at around 86 wins but they can add a bat and get to 90 wins pretty easily by upgrading 1B or the OF (or both).  The Orioles are in the 77 win range, and Boston’s bringing up the rear as they should be at about 74 wins.  Of course those teams aren’t done with their offseasons yet so all of this is subject to change.

--Posted at 9:10 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Friday, November 16, 2012

TGS LA: Dodgers may have an edge for Hiroki Kuroda

There might be a reason why the Los Angeles Angels have reportedly gotten involved in trying to sign free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.

Previously, teams have been under the impression that Kuroda would either re-sign with the New York Yankees or return to his native Japan to finish his career. But Kuroda has told friends that his first preference is to pitch in Southern California, where his two daughters are attending elementary school.

Kind of tough to compete with family reasons.  Not bringing Kuroda back is likely to have about as big of an impact on the Yankees plans as their failure to sign Cliff Lee a couple of years ago.  Let’s hope that this time they have an actual Plan B.

--Posted at 4:47 pm by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, October 13, 2012

2012 ALCS Preview - Tigers vs. Yankees

It took the Yankees and Tigers the full five games for both teams to advance past the ALDS, but here they are.  The problem for both teams is that they had to use their aces in the fifth game, which means they can’t start the ALCS with Justin Verlander or CC Sabathia.

The Tigers as presently constituted are better than the 88 win team in the AL Central that they were this year, at least if you believe the projections.  Here’s how their offense projects over a seven game series using Oliver from the Hardball Times.

Order Player Pos PA avg/obp/slg woba Outs BR
1 Austin Jackson CF 31 .279/.343/.421 .335 20 3.9
2 Omar Infante 2B 31 .286/.315/.409 .314 21 3.5
3 Miguel Cabrera 3B 31 .334/.415/.604 .432 19 6.0
4 Prince Fielder 1B 31 .298/.405/.517 .400 19 5.2
5 Delmon Young DH 31 .279/.311/.443 .324 22 3.7
6 Jhonny Peralta SS 31 .263/.320/.413 .320 22 3.6
7 Andy Dirks LF 31 .279/.323/.448 .333 21 3.9
8 Avisail Garcia RF 20 .252/.279/.375 .285 15 1.8
9 Alex Avila C 25 .260/.352/.410 .338 16 3.1
Bench Gerald Laird C 7 .244/.304/.360 .295 5 0.7
Bench Ramon Santiago IF 4 .254/.313/.351 .295 3 0.4
Bench Danny Worth IF 1 .239/.305/.357 .294 1 0.1
Bench Don Kelly UT 0 .242/.296/.376 .295 0 0.0
Bench Quintin Berry OF 8 .239/.312/.320 .287 5 0.8
Bench Brennan Boesch OF 0 .263/.317/.419 .322 0 0.0
Bench Bryan Holaday C 0 .223/.274/.331 .267 0 0.0
Total 282 189 36.6

wOBA: Weighted on base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs

The Tigers obviously have the two best hitters in this series in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.  The rest of the lineup is not quite as impressive.  They’ve been platooning Alex Avila and Gerald Laird at catcher and Avisail Garcia and Quintin Berry in he OF, so I’ve assumed they’ll continue doing that.  Defense was an issue for them for most of the year, but adding Omar Infante and getting Brennan Boesch out of the lineup seems to have helped them there quite a bit, and with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer striking out everyone it’s probably not going to be a big problem in three of the games at least.

If we give them 27 outs per game they project to score an estimated 36.6 runs over 7 games.

Here’s how their pitching looks.

Player Role IP H R ER HR BB K ERA
Doug Fister SP1 13 13 5 5 1 3 9 3.46
Anibal Sanchez SP2 12 12 6 5 1 4 10 4.09
Justin Verlander SP3 14 11 5 4 1 4 14 2.89
Max Scherzer SP4 6 6 3 3 1 2 6 4.02
Rick Porcello SP5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.56
Jose Valverde CL 4 4 2 2 0 2 3 3.70
Joaquin Benoit SU 4 3 1 1 0 1 5 3.10
Phil Coke SU 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 4.03
Octavio Dotel MR 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 3.35
Al Alburquerque MR 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 4.43
Drew Smyly MR 3 3 2 1 0 1 3 4.30
Darin Downs MR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.55
Luis Marte LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.31
Brayan Villarreal LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.72
Total 63 58 27 25 6 18 57 3.58

The Tigers have Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer lined up to pitch the first four games.  In theory that would mean Fister, Sanchez and Verlande would pitch games 5-7, but since those games won’t be played it doesn’t matter.  The rotation is strong, with only Anibal Sanchez projecting worse than any of the starters the Orioles threw at the Yankees and he’s only .03 runs per nine worse than Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen’s projections.  If the Yankees had trouble with Baltimore’s starters, they’re really going to have trouble with Detroit’s.

They’ve had some issues with their closer, who projects worse than Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel so it’ll be interesting to see if Jim Leyland sticks with him if he struggles in his first appearance or two.  Our old friend Phil Coke is their main lefty out of the pen, although Drew Smyly provides depth there as well.  You can futz around with how I assigned the bullpen innings but if you don’t they project to allow 27 runs in this series.

36.6 runs scored and 25 runs allowed equals a team that would win about 63.8% of their games, or 103.3 over a 162 game season.

How does that compare to the Yankees?  Let’s see.  First, the position players.

Order Player Pos PA avg/obp/slg woba Outs BR
1 Derek Jeter SS 31 .299/.353/.405 .337 21 3.8
2 Ichiro Suzuki LF 31 .289/.324/.385 .313 21 3.5
3 Alex Rodriguez 3B 25 .271/.348/.462 .352 17 3.5
4 Robinson Cano 2B 31 .304/.361/.530 .381 20 4.9
5 Mark Teixeira 1B 31 .256/.346/.489 .359 20 4.5
6 Nick Swisher RF 30 .267/.357/.463 .357 20 4.2
7 Curtis Granderson CF 30 .249/.337/.509 .360 20 4.5
8 Raul Ibanez DH 29 .256/.319/.454 .334 20 3.7
9 Russell Martin C 29 .232/.323/.389 .317 20 3.2
Bench Eric Chavez 3B 8 .264/.321/.431 .327 6 1.0
Bench Brett Gardner OF 0 .266/.360/.391 .337 0 0.0
Bench Eduardo Nunez IF 3 .254/.294/.346 .283 2 0.3
Bench Chris Stewart C 0 .230/.289/.318 .272 0 0.0
Bench Jayson Nix IF 3 .216/.273/.356 .276 2 0.3
Bench Chris Dickerson OF 0 .252/.332/.384 .319 0 0.0
Bench Andruw Jones OF 0 .232/.327/.456 .340 0 0.0
Total 281 189 37.4

I’m kind of hoping that Alex Rodriguez will be back in the lineup for good but I’ve given some of his PA to Eric Chavez in case.  With Detroit’s rotation all right-handed, the Shockmaster™ should be mostly full-time.  We may see Nun-E and Nixy a few times so I threw them a few PA as well.  With these assumptions they’d project to score a bit less than one run more than the Tigers over seven games.  Of course, they’ll have to hit a lot better than they hit in the ALDS to even sniff that number.

The pitching is a mess.  By blowing Game 4, the Yankees lost the option to start CC in Game 1.  The good news is they have Andy Pettitte fully rested to start Game 1.  Unfortunately, they have no one else from the ALDS rotation who can start on full rest in Game 2.  They could try Hiroki Kuroda on three days rest but he’s never started on three days rest and I don’t think they’ll go that route.  My guess is they’ll use David Phelps with Derek Lowe caddying him in Game 2 and hope for the best, then bring back CC on three days rest to match up against Verlander in Game 3.  That would set him up to pitch in the theoretical Game 7 that won’t happen since Detroit’s going to sweep but let’s let our imaginations run wild. 

So my guess at the rotation is something like: Andy Pettitte, David Phelps, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia. 

The order could change.  Pettitte would have four days rest before Game 5 so he could start that one.  I’m more concerned about how the innings get allocated than the order for this so let’s press on.

Player Role IP H R ER HR BB K ERA
Andy Pettitte SP1 12 11 5 5 1 3 10 3.58
Hiroki Kuroda SP2 6 6 3 2 1 1 5 3.67
CC Sabathia SP3 13 12 5 5 1 3 12 3.44
Phil Hughes SP4 5 5 3 2 1 1 4 4.22
David Phelps SP5 5 5 2 2 1 2 4 4.06
Rafael Soriano CL 4 3 2 2 0 1 4 3.41
David Robertson SU 5 4 2 2 0 2 6 3.46
Boone Logan SU 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 3.99
Joba Chamberlain MR 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 4.14
Clay Rapada MR 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 3.62
Derek Lowe MR 5 6 3 3 0 2 3 4.64
Cody Eppley MR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.15
Freddy Garcia LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.74
Ivan Nova LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.60
Total 63 60 28 26 7 20 56 3.76

Because of the mess that is the rotation I gave Derek Lowe more innings than I’d typically give a long reliever and the worst projected pitcher on the staff.  It shouldn’t make a huge difference on the bottom line though.

Based on this playing time the Yankees figure to allow around 28 runs, which makes them a roughly 62.7%/101.6 win team.

Detroit has a slight edge at .638 vs. .621.  Having home field advantage gives the Yankees about a .006 boost, so you’ve got something like a .633 team playing a .624 team.  Given that, here’s what my playoff simulator says for this series.

Yankees: 49.7%
Tigers: 50.3%

The Tigers are slight favorites, but it’s basically a tossup.  It’d be nice for the Yankees to avenge the last two times Detroit knocked them out of the playoffs, but I’m not betting on that happening.

--Posted at 8:45 am by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 MLB Division Series Odds through Games of October 10

Team Div
NYA 81.3%
STL 76.8%
DET 64.1%
SFN 54.0%
CIN 46.0%
OAK 35.9%
WAS 23.2%
BAL 18.7%

Div: Probability of winning divisional series

--Posted at 8:09 am by SG / 73 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2012 MLB Division Series Odds through Games of October 9

Team Div
DET 86.0%
CIN 75.8%
NYA 64.0%
STL 52.7%
WAS 47.2%
BAL 35.9%
SFN 24.1%
OAK 13.9%

Div: Probability of winning divisional series

 

--Posted at 8:33 am by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)




Monday, October 8, 2012

2012 MLB Division Series Odds through Games of October 7

Team Assigned Win % Division %
DET.631 92.6%
CIN.558 87.5%
NYA.635 83.6%
WAS.617 63.8%
STL.568 36.2%
BAL.513 16.4%
SFN.539 12.5%
OAK.529 7.4%

Assigned Win %: Estimate of team strength using Oliver projections and depth charts for remaining games in series
Division %: Projected odds of advancing past the division series

--Posted at 8:13 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, October 7, 2012

2012 ALDS Preview - Orioles vs. Yankees

After battling down to the wire, the Yankees were able to stave off the Orioles to win the AL East by two games.  Their reward for that is to play the Orioles on the road for two games to start the ALDS.

All season long, we’ve heard/read/said that the Orioles were not for real, that they were lucky and that they were due to crash at any point.  That was mainly a function of a run differential that was negative for almost the entire season as well as seemingly unsustainable records in both one run games (29-9) and extra inning games (16-2).  In general, teams approach about .500 in those games although having a strong bullpen can help a team win a higher percentage of close games and that’s something the Orioles have had all season.

None of what the 2012 Orioles got lucky with matters right now.  The only thing that matters is how good the 25 man roster they will have for the ALDS is, and how it may match up against the Yankees.  Because of that, I’m going to look at projections for the Orioles and Yankees which will account for their performances this year as well as in recent prior seasons.  This will account for the fact that some players may have over/under performed expectations and are possibly better or worse than their 2012 numbers, but more importantly it will account for the fact that the rosters and playing time distributions in a five game series are a lot different than they are in a 162 game season and simply comparing two teams’ over 2012 Pythagenpat records is the height of laziness when it comes to statistical analysis.  Well that or using FIP for pitcher WAR.  But I digress.

For the projections, I’m using Oliver from the Hardball Times.  They’ve been updated as of last week and include 2012 MLEs for players that spent time in the minors so I feel they are the most complete version of forecasts available right now.

So, as I mentioned, it’s all about rosters and playing time.  Based on what is out there, here is my rough guess at those two things.  First up, the Orioles’ lineup and bench.

Team BAL projection oliver
Order Player Pos PA avg/obp/slg woba Outs BR
1 Nate McLouth LF 22 .238/.325/.388 .317 15 2.5
2 J.J. Hardy SS 22 .255/.297/.428 .312 16 2.5
3 Chris Davis RF 21 .278/.331/.494 .354 14 3.0
4 Adam Jones CF 21 .289/.330/.485 .350 14 2.9
5 Matt Wieters C 21 .256/.325/.428 .329 15 2.5
6 Jim Thome DH 15 .276/.379/.558 .400 10 2.6
7 Mark Reynolds 1B 21 .229/.335/.481 .352 14 2.9
8 Manny Machado 3B 21 .249/.300/.393 .303 15 2.2
9 Ryan Flaherty 2B 12 .247/.298/.400 .304 9 1.3
Bench Luis Exposito C 0 .232/.289/.360 .287 0 0.0
Bench Taylor Teagarden C 0 .202/.273/.337 .272 0 0.0
Bench Omar Quintanilla IF 1 .247/.304/.386 .302 1 0.1
Bench Robert Andino UT 8 .243/.297/.351 .288 6 0.7
Bench Lew Ford OF 8 .273/.330/.460 .342 6 1.1
Bench Xavier Avery OF 1 .233/.292/.328 .276 1 0.1
Bench Endy Chavez OF 2 .258/.295/.359 .287 1 0.2
Total 196 135 24.5

wOBA: Weighted on base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs

The idea here is to try and allocate PA over a 5 games series.  So basically it was a case of adding PA until the team got to 135 outs (27 outs times 5 games).  That includes double plays and obviously there may be games where teams don’t need to bat for 27 outs (home wins) but as long as the scale is the same for both teams it doesn’t matter.

The Yankees will be throwing lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in the first two games and if there was a game 5 it’d probably be CC again so that might impact some of the PAs for the lefties.  So I gave some DH PA to Lew Ford instead of Jim Thome and some 2B PA to Robert Andino instead of Ryan Flaherty.  For the most part I don’t expect the other bench guys to play much.

Basically this estimates that the Orioles would score about 24.5 runs in an average five game series using this allocation of playing time.

And here’s what the Yankees lineup and bench should like.

Team NYA projection oliver
Order Player Pos PA avg/obp/slg woba Outs BR
1 Derek Jeter SS 21 .299/.353/.405 .337 14 2.6
2 Ichiro Suzuki LF 21 .289/.324/.385 .313 14 2.4
3 Alex Rodriguez 3B 21 .271/.348/.462 .352 14 2.9
4 Robinson Cano 2B 21 .304/.361/.530 .381 14 3.4
5 Mark Teixeira 1B 21 .256/.346/.489 .359 14 3.0
6 Nick Swisher RF 21 .267/.357/.463 .357 14 3.0
7 Curtis Granderson CF 21 .249/.337/.509 .360 14 3.1
8 Raul Ibanez DH 13 .256/.319/.454 .334 9 1.7
9 Russell Martin C 20 .232/.323/.389 .317 14 2.2
Bench Eric Chavez 3B 10 .264/.321/.431 .327 7 1.2
Bench Eduardo Nunez DH 8 .254/.294/.346 .283 6 0.7
Bench Jayson Nix IF 3 .216/.273/.356 .276 2 0.3
Bench Chris Stewart C 0 .230/.289/.318 .272 0 0.0
Bench Brett Gardner OF 0 .266/.360/.391 .337 0 0.0
Bench Andruw Jones OF 0 .232/.327/.456 .340 0 0.0
Bench Chris Dickerson IF 0 .252/.332/.384 .319 0 0.0
Total 201 135 26.4

Yes, I know Andruw Jones and Chris Dickerson are not on the roster.  They are just place holders.  Anyway, the only spot I see some finagling of playing time is DH with some combination of Raul Ibanez, Eduardo Nunez, Alex Rodriguez and Eric Chavez.  I threw Jayson Nix three PA for the hell of it as well. 

So the Yankees have a very slight offensive edge here, 26.4 runs to 24.5 runs.

How about the pitching?  Here’s my stab at the Orioles first.

Player Role IP H R ER HR BB K ERA
Jason Hammel SP1 7 7 3 3 1 2 6 4.06
Wei-Yin Chen SP2 6 6 3 3 1 2 4 4.06
Miguel Gonzalez SP3 5 5 3 3 1 2 4 4.78
Chris Tillman SP4 5 6 3 3 1 2 4 5.22
Joe Saunders SP5 5 6 3 3 1 2 3 4.52
Jim Johnson CL 3 3 1 1 0 1 2 3.48
Pedro Strop SU 3 3 1 1 0 2 3 4.12
Luis Ayala SU 3 3 1 1 0 1 2 4.04
Darren O’Day MR 4 4 2 2 1 1 4 3.56
Brian Matusz MR 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 5.09
Jake Arrieta MR 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 4.82
Troy Patton MR 2 2 1 1 0 1 1 3.97
Tommy Hunter LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.85
Zach Britton LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.44
Total 45 46 23 21 6 15 34 4.28

Apparently the Orioles will be using Jason hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez in the first three games.  It’s expected that Chris Tillman would pitch the fourth game if necessary although it could also be Zach Britton or Joe Saunders.  So a lot of this could be impacted by how that plays out.

Although Hammel is on tab to pitch the opener which should make him available for Game 5 if needed, he hasn’t been healthy in the second half so I restricted him to one start and gave a start to Joe Saunders.  Because Oliver doesn’t like most of the O’s starting pitchers after Hammel and Chen and I think it may be underselling them a bit I limited them to five innings and gave more innings to the bullpen where they have better projected performers.

The big question for Baltimore is whether Gonzalez and Tillman are closer to the 3.25 and 2.93 ERAs they posted in the regular season or to their 4.78 and 5.22 projected ERAs.  It’s the difference of two runs in this scenario.  That may not seem like much, but it’s the equivalent of a swing of about six wins in a five game series but I’ll get into that in more detail shortly.

Same crap for the Yankees.

Player Role IP H R ER HR BB K ERA
CC Sabathia SP1 14 13 6 5 1 4 13 3.44
Andy Pettitte SP2 6 6 3 2 1 2 5 3.58
Hiroki Kuroda SP3 6 6 3 2 1 1 5 3.67
Phil Hughes SP4 5 5 3 2 1 1 4 4.22
Ivan Nova SP5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.60
Rafael Soriano CL 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 3.41
David Robertson SU 3 2 1 1 0 1 4 3.46
Boone Logan SU 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 3.99
David Phelps MR 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 4.06
Joba Chamberlain MR 2 2 1 1 0 1 2 4.14
Clay Rapada MR 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3.62
Cody Eppley MR 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4.15
Derek Lowe LR 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 4.64
Cory Wade LR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.21
Total 45 42 20 18 5 14 41 3.68

The Yankees should be in very good shape if the CC Sabathia we saw in his last three starts is the CC Sabathia we see this postseason.  His velocity still hasn’t been overly impressive to me and the fact that he pitched well against an awful Blue Jays team and an even worse Red Sox team isn’t overly impressive to me either.  But let’s hope for the best.

So we’re looking at a Yankee pitching staff that projects to allow around 20 runs vs. a Baltimore staff that projects to allow 23.  Running the offensive and pitching numbers through Pythagenpat looks like this.

Team BAL NYA
RS 24.5 26.4
RA 23.1 19.9
pyth .528 .631
p162 85.5 102.2
w% 39.7% 60.3%

If you instead think that Gonzalez and Tillman are the guys they were in 2012 it looks like this.

Team BAL NYA
RS 24.5 26.4
RA 21.0 19.9
pyth .572 .631
p162 92.7 102.2
w% 44.1% 55.9%

That seems a bit closer to reality for me.  The Yankees should be favorites to win this series, but not overwhelmingly so.

--Posted at 8:25 am by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, October 6, 2012

NY Times: Returning to Playoffs in Style, Orioles Await Yankees

Buck Showalter managed the first American League wild-card team, the 1995 Yankees, losing an excruciating division series. On Friday he was here for the league’s first one-game wild card playoff as manager of the Baltimore Orioles. There was no series this time, just one chance to continue a miracle season.

“Our approach is it’s sudden life, not sudden death, and there’s something good, real good, that can happen,” Showalter said before batting practice at Rangers Ballpark. “If you had told us at the end of the season last year that we’d have a chance to put a roster together for one game, we’d have signed up for that in blood. I’m sure Texas feels the same way.”

Maybe, but probably not. The Rangers won the last two A.L. pennants and came within a strike of their first World Series title last October. They led the West division this season from the fourth game through the 161st, but tumbled into the wild-card game the last day of the regular season. Now they are finished, victims of a long-dormant potion called Oriole Magic.

Raise your hand if you can guess the next victims of Oriole Magic.

--Posted at 1:10 pm by SG / 20 Comments | - (0)




Monday, October 1, 2012

Reuters: Rangers, Orioles, Yankees make postseason

(Reuters) - Texas closer Joe Nathan’s critical save helped the Texas Rangers clinch a playoff spot with an 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels that also secured postseason berths for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees on Sunday.

Nathan blew a chance for a save in the opening game of a doubleheader with the Angels, allowing two runs in the ninth in a 5-4 defeat, but he nailed down the ninth in the nightcap to launch Texas back into the postseason.

The two-time American League champions (93-66) gained at least a wild-card berth with the victory, which put them two games ahead of Oakland in the American League West with three to play in the regular season.

Baltimore and New York, who both won on Sunday to remain deadlocked in the American League East, also secured at least a wild-card spot thanks to the Rangers’ triumph.

At least this saves me typing “if by some miracle the Yankees make the postseason” for a few days.

The way this season has unfolded leaves a lot of uncertainty about who the Yankees will be playing and where they’ll be playing. 

They could still end up as the #1 seed and have home field advantage through the ALCS if they win one more game than Texas.  That’d give both teams the same record, but since the Yankees won the season series vs. the Rangers they’d get the tiebreaker. 

Obviously if they win one more game than Baltimore they win the AL East outright.  Whichever team wins the AL East will be the #2 seed at the very minimum since Detroit can’t win more than 89 games.  If the Yanks and O’s end up tied then they’ll have to play a one game playoff game for the division title.  Whomever wins that game will get Detroit in the ALDS and whomever loses that game will get to play the second wild card team in a one game play-in, which looks like it’ll most likely be Oakland but could also end up being Tampa Bay or the Angels.

You could see a scenario where the Yankees tie Baltimore, then lose the division playoff game then have to play the second wild card team just to get into the ALDS.  So in theory the Yankees would have to get through two elimination games just to get into the ALDS.  If you assume they’d used CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda in those games, which may not work given the way the rotation is currently configured, you’re looking at an ALDS rotation of Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and ??? in the first three games if by some miracle the Yankees make the ALDS.

Wait, I thought I didn’t have to say if by some miracle anymore?

I think Texas is the best team in baseball, but I don’t necessarily think they’re the scariest opponent the Yankees may face.  They lead the AL in runs scored and have a solid defense and their pitching from top to bottom is strong, but they don’t necessarily have a true dominant #1 starter.  That being said, Yu Darvish has the stuff to pitch like one in any given game and Matt Harrison has had a great year even if he’s pitching a bit over his head.  Ryan Dempster’s ERA hasn’t been great for Texas but his peripherals are actually pretty strong so he is another arm that could give teams fits.

The Tigers have clinched a tie for their division and should be able to set up their rotation to have Justin Verlander going twice in the ALDS, and they’ve obviously got a killer 3-4 in their lineup.  But their defense makes the Yankee defense look like Tampa Bay’s. 

Oakland seems like a possible tough matchup because they can run a bunch of good pitchers at you and have a few guys who have the power to change a game on one swing.  They’re rated as one of the top five defenses in the league by UZR although DRS says they’re closer to average.

Baltimore seems like the weakest possible team out of all of the viable postseason teams, but that doesn’t make them a bad team.  Since August 4 they’ve got a Pythagenpat winning percentage of .654 which is equivalent to a 106 win team.  You can’t completely ignore their early season performance, but you can understand that they’ve changed the composition of their roster significantly enough that it shouldn’t have much bearing in assessing how good they might be right now.

The Rays and Angels face long odds of qualifying for the postseason, but if they get in it’ll be no treat facing either team given their rotations and some of their front-line position players.

The next three days should be exciting.

--Posted at 8:17 am by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yankees.com: Lead remains one with Yanks’ rout in Toronto

TORONTO—Russell Martin has tried to take pride in not bringing his at-bats behind the plate during what has been a mostly disappointing season, but the Yankees have no complaints about how he’s swinging now.

Martin continued his September surge by launching a big three-run homer to break open Friday’s 11-4 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, helping inch the Yankees closer to their goal of securing the American League East title.

New York’s victory dropped its magic number for clinching a postseason berth to two and a division title to five, but the Yankees and second-place Orioles remain separated by just one game in the AL East, as Baltimore posted a 9-1 win over the Red Sox that the Yankees couldn’t help but notice on the scoreboard.

Martin’s picked the right time to start getting hits. Now let’s hope that Robinson Cano isn’t hurt too badly.

Is there some reason Rafael Soriano had to pitch with a seven run lead last night?  Just curious, I didn’t get to see the game.

And I’d like to thank the Red Sox for putting forth such a strong effort against the Orioles.  Getting a leadoff single and then not getting another hit the rest of the game?  That’s almost Yankee-like.  Let’s hope they can keep applying the pressure to the Orioles over the next two days.

--Posted at 6:13 am by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 28, 2012

Yankee and Oriole Win Probabilities over the Rest of 2012

I’ve become really pessimistic about the Yankees’ chances of winning the division, so I’m hoping that if I look at the rest of the schedule rationally I’ll feel a bit better about things.

I did revised CAIRO projections for Baltimore, Boston, Tampa Bay, Toronto and the Yankees and here is what they say.

Projected runs scored per game:
NY: 4.8
TB: 4.5
BOS: 4.3
BAL: 4.1
TOR: 3.8

Using these offensive numbers with the revised pitching projections for the scheduled starters(for six innings) and the average 2012 relief ERA for each team for three innings for the six remaining games gives us this.

Opponent Baltimore xW Opponent Yankees xW
Cook Tillman 0.58 Jenkins Kuroda 0.53
Doubront Johnson 0.45 Romero Pettitte 0.73
Stewart Chen 0.65 Alvarez Hughes 0.60
Cobb Saunders 0.42 Buchholz Sabathia 0.45
Shields Gonzalez 0.54 Lester Nova 0.38
Hellickson Tillman 0.33 Matsuzaka Kuroda 0.55
2.96 3.24

xW: Expected win probability for the Orioles and Yankees using Bill James’s log5 methodology

So there you go.  The Yankees should win the AL East by 1.28 games.  Nothing to worry about.

--Posted at 10:31 am by SG / 26 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 21, 2012

Yankees.com: Martin’s walk-off HR keeps Yanks alone in first

NEW YORK—As Russell Martin galloped down the third-base line, taking a moment to see how far he could possibly fling his batting helmet, the Yankees clustered at home plate to celebrate what most agreed was their biggest hit of the season.

The schedule is growing thin, the games are becoming more crucial, and the Yankees went home with exactly what they needed on this night. Martin’s 10th-inning blast was the game-winner, lifting New York to a 2-1 victory over the Athletics on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

“There’s pressure, but it’s fun; it’s a fun atmosphere,” Martin said. “There’s a lot of energy in the crowd, you can feel the weather change a little bit. Playoff weather is coming. I like it. I enjoy it. I’m ready for it.”

No kneeling tonight.

I didn’t see much of CC’s performance but it looks like he had a heck of a night.  Apparently, it’s too much to ask the Red Sox to play the Orioles hard this weekend.  I guess they’re saving themselves for the last series of the season in the Bronx.

--Posted at 11:11 pm by Jonathan / 20 Comments | - (0)



The Postseason Implications of this Series with Oakland

The Yankees’ second half slide really began when they got swept in Oakland in a four game series following a home sweep of Toronto.  Prior to that series, the Yankees had a 10 game lead in the division and were 57-34.  Since the opener of that series on July 19 they’ve gone 29-29 and lost nine games off their division lead.

The A’s and Orioles have 85 wins, and the Yankees have 86.  The other wild card contenders at this point have a pretty hard road ahead of them to catch any of the three.  The Angels are at 81 wins, the Rays are at 80, the Tigers are at 79 and Boston’s at 68.  But it’s certainly not impossible that things could change over the next week.

Here’s how the postseason odds for the AL look as of this morning.

TM W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93.4 68.6 80.1% 10.3% 6.8% 97.1%
Orioles 91.2 70.8 19.6% 35.8% 33.4% 88.8%
Rays 86.5 75.5 0.2% 1.3% 6.0% 7.5%
Red Sox 73.0 89.0 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 72.3 89.7 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88.2 73.9 72.2% 0.1% 0.8% 73.0%
Tigers 86.4 75.6 27.6% 0.1% 1.9% 29.6%
Royals 74.4 87.6 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.7 95.3 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.5 95.5 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96.1 65.9 90.9% 7.4% 1.2% 99.4%
Athletics 91.1 70.9 9.0% 43.0% 38.5% 90.5%
Angels 87.2 74.8 0.0% 1.8% 11.4% 13.2%
Mariners 74.9 87.1 0.0% - - -

W: Projected final 2012 wins
L: Projected final 2012 losses
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)


Here are how they change based on the four possible outcomes of this series.

A’s 3-0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 89.9 72.1 58.2% 4.3% 22.6% 85.1%
Orioles 89.4 72.6 39.2% 5.8% 38.1% 83.1%
Rays 84.9 77.1 0.6% 0.2% 6.0% 6.8%
Red Sox 71.7 90.3 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 71.1 90.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 86.6 75.4 74.2% 0.1% 0.2% 74.5%
Tigers 84.8 77.2 23.8% 0.1% 2.2% 26.1%
Royals 73.1 88.9 0.0% - - -
Twins 65.6 96.4 0.0% - - -
Indians 65.2 96.8 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 94.4 67.6 85.2% 12.8% 0.6% 98.6%
Athletics 91.2 70.8 12.8% 74.8% 16.1% 100.0%
Angels 85.8 76.2 0.0% - 12.5% 12.5%
Mariners 73.4 88.6 0.0% - - -
A’s 2-1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 92.1 69.9 70.9% 9.0% 14.5% 94.4%
Orioles 90.6 71.4 28.3% 18.9% 40.1% 87.3%
Rays 86.2 75.8 0.0% 0.1% 7.2% 7.4%
Red Sox 72.5 89.5 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 71.8 90.2 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 87.6 74.4 76.1% - - 76.1%
Tigers 85.6 76.4 23.1% - 1.8% 24.9%
Royals 74.0 88.0 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.1 95.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95.4 66.6 89.2% 10.0% - 99.1%
Athletics 91.6 70.4 10.0% 61.0% 26.1% 97.1%
Angels 86.7 75.3 0.0% 0.2% 9.9% 10.1%
Mariners 74.2 87.8 0.0% - - -
Yankees 2-1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93.7 68.3 84.1% 10.2% 4.8% 99.1%
Orioles 91.1 70.9 15.5% 42.2% 34.7% 92.4%
Rays 86.3 75.7 0.0% 0.2% 4.0% 4.2%
Red Sox 72.8 89.2 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 72.1 89.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 87.8 74.2 75.3% 0.1% 0.4% 75.8%
Tigers 86.1 75.9 24.3% 0.1% 0.8% 25.2%
Royals 74.3 87.7 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95.8 66.2 95.4% 3.2% 0.6% 99.2%
Athletics 90.7 71.3 4.2% 41.3% 44.0% 89.5%
Angels 87.2 74.8 0.0% 2.2% 10.6% 12.9%
Mariners 74.6 87.4 0.0% - - -
Yankees 3-0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 94.5 67.5 92.6% 6.6% 0.2% 99.3%
Orioles 91.1 70.9 7.0% 58.8% 24.3% 90.1%
Rays 86.3 75.7 0.0% 1.6% 6.5% 8.1%
Red Sox 72.8 89.2 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 72.1 89.9 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88.1 73.9 74.9% - 0.2% 75.1%
Tigers 86.5 75.5 24.7% 0.4% 1.5% 26.6%
Royals 74.2 87.8 0.0% - - -
Twins 66.4 95.6 0.0% - - -
Indians 66.3 95.7 0.0% - - -
TM W L Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95.7 66.3 96.2% 2.8% 0.6% 99.6%
Athletics 89.9 72.1 3.2% 26.8% 53.3% 83.4%
Angels 87.1 74.9 0.2% 2.6% 13.4% 16.2%
Mariners 74.6 87.4 0.0% - - -

With Baltimore at Fenway for three games, they have a very good chance at solidifying their postseason odds since they’re guaranteed to gain ground on one of the A’s or Yankees if they can win.  Since Boston is really not even an MLB team at this point I’d be shocked by anything less than sweep.  In fact, if it were possible I’d say the Orioles would pick up four wins in three games against Boston.

But the Yankees can’t worry about that.  They just need to win.  Hopefully they can take two of three.

--Posted at 10:17 am by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stats Inc: Teagarden lifts O’s to 4-2 win over Seattle in 18

SEATTLE (AP) The Baltimore Orioles weren’t going to be denied a victory - or making history - even if it took 5 hours and 44 minutes to do it.

Taylor Teagarden stroked a pinch-hit RBI single to right in the 18th inning to help give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-2 comeback victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

The win allowed the Orioles (84-64) to pull within a percentage point of the Yankees (83-63) for the lead in the AL East. The Yankees were rained out Tuesday and will play a split double-header with Toronto on Wednesday.

Baltimore maintained a three-game lead in the wild-card race over the Los Angeles Angels, who beat Texas 11-3 in Anaheim.

Congratulations to the Orioles and their fans on their 2012 AL East Championship.

And a special shout out to former Yankee Jesus Montero for going 0 for 8 in this game and stranding 7 men on the bases.  He’d have fit right in on the Yankees, especially since I assume his .259/.297/392 line this year would be in the .359/.397/.592 area if he was playing half his games in DNYS..

--Posted at 5:16 am by SG / 11 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Postseason Implications of this series with Baltimore

I have to admit that I really have no idea how good the 2012 Orioles are.  Much has been made of the fact that they’ve been outscored this season, but that ignores the fact that their current roster is not the same as the roster they had earlier in the year.  Team talent is not static, and any analysis that assumes that what the Orioles have done all season long is the best way to assess how good they are at this very moment is simplistic and lazy. 

That being said, I’m kind of lazy myself and don’t feel like revising and re-running all their projections right now.  But anyone that wants to discuss how good/bad the Orioles really are should at least acknowledge that they’re no longer giving starts to Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta, and what they did in the rotation in the first half of the year should have little bearing on how good the Orioles will be over the rest of the season.  The fact is, they’re right in the heart of the postseason race and anything can happen from here on out.  They very well could win the World Series if everything falls into place for them.

I also am fairly uncertain about how good the Yankees are right now.  I’m reasonably sure they’re not the 94 win team they projected to be at the start of the year when they had Mo and Brett Gardner and Michael Pineda, and that they probably won’t be that good through the end of the year given the injuries they’ve been dealing with and the apparent loss of Curtis Granderson and Andruw Jones’s ability to hit a baseball.  Jones should be less of a concern than Granderson, but Joe Girardi’s stubborn insistence on playing him against every LHP the Yankees face makes him a lot more important to this team than he ought to be.  Especially when teams are champing at the bit to throw every LHP they can find against the Yankees, which is logical. 

We also don’t know if/when they’ll get Mark Teixeira, Ivan Nova and Andy Pettitte back and what they’ll do if/when they do come back.  All three have the potential to significantly improve this team, but all three have a very realistic chance of not being able to return and be effective.  I don’t think that’s pessimistic, I just think it’s realistic.  If the Yankees can get all three back, they improve the lineup and the rotation and the bullpen and start to look like one of the better teams in baseball, if not the best, again.

Rather than using projections and YTD performance for this run through the postseason implications of this series, I’m going to just assume that the Yankees and Orioles are roughly .500 teams.  So consider this more theoretical than the typical postseason odds I run.

In that case, here’s how the postseason probabilites for the AL look as of this morning. 

TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 90 72 782 677 45.0% 13.6% 15.5% 74.1%
Rays 89 73 694 603 29.2% 12.9% 18.0% 60.2%
Orioles 89 73 699 737 25.8% 12.5% 14.8% 53.0%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 61.7% 1.8% 4.2% 67.6%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 38.3% 2.3% 6.9% 47.5%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 68 94 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.8% 3.8% 0.6% 99.2%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 3.6% 37.6% 21.6% 62.8%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.7% 15.4% 18.6% 35.7%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)

And here’s how they look for each of the possible outcomes of this series.

Orioles 4-0 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Orioles 90 72 699 737 55.6% 11.6% 12.6% 79.8%
Rays 88 74 694 603 27.8% 11.6% 16.3% 55.7%
Yankees 88 74 782 677 15.8% 14.7% 19.1% 49.6%
Red Sox 74 88 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 64.0% 2.0% 3.6% 69.5%
Tigers 86 76 742 692 35.3% 3.0% 5.4% 43.7%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 67 95 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 95 67 834 698 93.9% 4.4% 0.9% 99.2%
Athletics 88 74 691 631 3.9% 35.3% 22.3% 61.6%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.4% 16.6% 19.2% 37.1%
Mariners 77 85 632 651 0.0% - - -
Orioles 3-1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Orioles 89 73 699 737 39.0% 14.6% 15.7% 69.3%
Yankees 89 73 782 677 30.2% 15.7% 16.5% 62.5%
Rays 89 73 694 603 30.6% 13.4% 15.9% 59.9%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 64.1% 2.3% 4.2% 70.5%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 35.7% 2.6% 4.9% 43.2%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 67 95 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.5% 3.9% 1.3% 99.6%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 4.1% 33.1% 23.3% 60.5%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.3% 14.3% 18.1% 33.7%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -
2-2 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 90 72 782 677 47.3% 13.7% 13.6% 74.6%
Rays 89 73 694 603 30.1% 12.7% 16.1% 58.8%
Orioles 89 73 699 737 22.6% 11.3% 20.9% 54.8%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 89 73 754 703 60.9% 2.6% 4.0% 67.5%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 39.1% 2.4% 5.9% 47.4%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 68 94 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.7% 4.4% 0.2% 99.3%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 4.2% 35.6% 21.5% 61.3%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.2% 17.2% 18.0% 36.4%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -
Yankees 3-1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 91 71 782 677 67.5% 10.5% 8.7% 86.7%
Rays 89 73 694 603 22.8% 16.8% 17.7% 57.3%
Orioles 88 74 699 737 9.7% 11.3% 18.5% 39.4%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 63.4% 2.0% 2.8% 68.2%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 36.6% 3.0% 5.5% 45.1%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 68 94 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 94.2% 4.2% 0.9% 99.2%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 4.3% 36.5% 24.5% 65.3%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.6% 15.8% 21.5% 38.8%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -
Yankees 4-0 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 92 70 782 677 79.6% 10.5% 6.1% 96.3%
Rays 89 73 694 603 17.9% 22.0% 23.6% 63.5%
Orioles 86 76 699 737 2.3% 8.5% 13.6% 24.4%
Red Sox 75 87 781 775 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 73 89 732 783 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 88 74 754 703 61.1% 3.0% 4.0% 68.1%
Tigers 87 75 742 692 38.7% 3.1% 6.5% 48.3%
Royals 73 89 681 745 0.0% - - -
Indians 68 94 668 827 0.0% - - -
Twins 67 95 720 835 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 96 66 834 698 95.2% 3.7% 0.9% 99.7%
Athletics 89 73 691 631 3.6% 35.1% 24.5% 63.2%
Angels 87 75 772 699 1.1% 13.8% 20.7% 35.6%
Mariners 78 84 632 651 0.0% - - -

Remember that I’m assuming the Yankees are Orioles are .500 teams.  If you think that’s too pessimistic for the Yankees and too optimistic for the Orioles adjust accordingly.

The Yankees, Orioles, Rays, White Sox, Tigers, A’s and Angels are all bunched within four games of each other, so it’s likely going to be a dogfight to qualify for the postseason.  Hopefully the Yankees are better than a .500 team and can pull away from the pack a bit. 

Getting back to Yanks vs. O’s, your pitching matchups for the series are:

Thursday, September 6, 2012
David Phelps, RHP (3-4, 3.13 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel, RHP (8-6, 3.54 ERA)

Phelps hasn’t been great over his last couple of starts, including his last start against Baltimore where he walked 6 in 4.2 innings.  Hammel was the Orioles’ best starter through June 22 with a 2.61 ERA, but he lost effectiveness over his last four starts, probably at least partially due to a knee injury that ended up requiring surgery that put him on the DL on July 13.  He’s making his first start since returning from the DL and may be rusty.  Let’s hope so.

Friday, September 7, 2012
Phil Hughes, RHP (13-12, 4.18 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen, LHP (12-8, 3.79 ERA)

Hughes was cruising through his last start against Baltimore through five innings, but the wheels came off in the sixth.  Maybe if he walks Mark Reynolds every time he can keep the Yankees in this game.  Wei-Yin Chen was dominant against the Yankees in his last start, but his bullpen and defense ended up making his final line look less than great in a game the Yankees stole thanks to a J.J. Hardy error.

Saturday, September 8, 2012
CC Sabathia, LHP (13-4, 3.42 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders, LHP (1-1, 4.63 ERA)

Two finesse lefties face off in the third game of this series.  The Yankees really needed a big game from CC in his last start against Tampa, but didn’t get it.  I’d like to think they’ll get it here but CC hasn’t looked like CC this year and while his peripheral stats are pretty similar to what they’ve been throughout his Yankee career, his fastball velocity is still down almost 2 mph and I think it’s having a significant impact on his effectiveness.  Saunders is back from Little League, and has made one crappy start and one pretty good one.  As a lefty, he’s sure to give the Yankees fits.

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Freddy Garcia, RHP (7-6, 5.09 ERA) vs. Zach Britton, LHP (5-1, 4.15 ERA)

Garcia’s got a 7.53 ERA over his last three starts while averaging less than 5 innings per game.  He’s given up 12 runs over those three games.  Zach Britton has a 0.94 ERA over his last four starts, and has struck out 29 hitters in 28.2 innings while going 4-0.  Oh, and he’s a lefty. 

I hate these pitching matchups.  It will be a monumental task for the Yankees to win this series.  I suppose Phelps vs. Hammel might be okay if Phelps rebounds a bit and Hammel is rusty.  I’d be shocked if Hughes outpitched Chen.  CC should be able to beat Saunders, but WTF knows?  And that last game looks like a disaster.

I think we’re looking at a split here at best, and wouldn’t be surprised to see the Orioles taking 3 out of 4.  Even if that happens, that just means the Yankees will be down by a game in the division as they head to Boston for three games while the Orioles get to host Tampa Bay for three.  Unfortunately, this will probably be Boston’s version of the postseason.  Fortunately, Boston’s probably not all that good right now and it may not matter.

I realize we feel like the Yankees should be in the postseason every year given their payroll, but it’s kind of fun to have meaningful games in September, isn’t it?  Living and dying on every pitch for a month is an emotional roller coaster but that’s part of the entertainment factor of baseball, and one we don’t necessarily get enough of as Yankee fans who usually are watching their team set up their postseason rotation over the last few weeks of the year.  It’s like an extended version of the postseason.

It also might be a good reminder that just getting into the postseason is a pretty good accomplishment in and of itself and the season’s not a failure if the Yankees don’t win the World Series.  Despite what Randy Levine will surely say at the end of the year if they don’t.

--Posted at 8:19 am by SG / 35 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yankees.com: Dead Team Walking

ST. PETERSBURG—The Rays crushed three homers to power their way to a 5-2 win over the Yankees at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, clinching a series win and in the process pulling within 1 1/2 games of the American League East-leading Yankees.

New York now shares the division’s top spot with the Baltimore Orioles, who routed Toronto, 12-0, earlier in the evening.

The playoffs effectively started tonight.  The Yankees pissed away their 10 game division lead and have lost sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time in 84 games.  So now they have to outplay Baltimore and Tampa Bay over the rest of the season if they want to take the division, something they haven’t been able to do since the All Star Break.

--Posted at 9:12 pm by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 3, 2012

Yankees.com: Yankees’ grip on East lead looser after loss

“It’s not a good feeling,” the Yankees’ Robinson Cano said. “You lose some games, and you just want to win games. You don’t want to put your head down. We’ve just got to turn the page; just be ready for tomorrow.”

That may be more difficult for Cano than others; the second baseman felt discomfort in his left hip trying to flag down the go-ahead hit, Chris Gimenez’s soft eighth-inning dribbler off losing pitcher David Robertson, as it scooted through the right side of the infield.

The Yankees do not expect Cano’s injury to force him to miss more than a day, but now that they’ve seen what was once a 10-game lead in the AL East trimmed to a single contest by virtue of the Orioles’ win over the Blue Jays, off-days are a luxury the Yankees can’t afford.

“I would love to keep the lead,” manager Joe Girardi said. “When you win the division, you don’t really care what you win by. You’d just love to keep the lead. That’s important.”

Scoring runs is also important. Staying healthy too. The Yankees seem to suck at both lately.

--Posted at 8:50 pm by Jonathan / 24 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 31, 2012

NJ.com: Carig: Yankees face Orioles in crucial series with first place in sight for Baltimore

However, sometimes numbers fail to project reality, and the status quo is rendered meaningless. Which is why as the Orioles arrive today for a three-game series, the Yankees find themselves faced with an unsettling reality.

Their lead in the American League East — which once stood at a seemingly insurmountable 10 games — has been whittled down to just three.

Inconceivable as it may have seemed just a month ago, an Orioles sweep this weekend would give them a share of first place with the Yankees, who have spent the last several weeks leaking oil.

The Orioles are really pissing Pythagoras off.  The Yankees can help soothe him by winning two or three of the games in this series.  Your pitching match ups for this series:

Friday, August 31
Miguel Gonzalez, RHP (5-3, 3.66 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (12-9, 2.98 ERA)

Saturday, September 1
Wei-Yin Chen, LHP (12-7, 3.78 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia, RHP (7-5, 4.90 ERA)

Sunday, September 2
To Be Announced Chris Tillman, RHP (7-2, 3.26 ERA) vs. David Phelps, RHP (3-4, 2.96 ERA)

Not digging that Saturday match up much, and to be announced is never an easy pitcher to face so tonight’s game seems pretty freaking important.  Plus winning tonight would guarantee that the Yankees would still be in first place on Monday, and that would be cool.

Update The postseason odds implications of this series are below.

Now W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93 69 794 674 87.5% 5.5% 4.2% 97.1%
Rays 88 74 695 607 9.4% 23.5% 27.1% 60.0%
Orioles 86 76 689 754 3.1% 6.8% 14.0% 24.0%
Red Sox 77 85 801 760 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 74 88 745 777 0.0% - - -
Orioles 3 - 0 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 91 71 794 674 70.5% 10.6% 7.4% 88.4%
Rays 88 74 695 607 15.6% 16.4% 21.5% 53.4%
Orioles 88 74 689 754 13.9% 13.8% 21.7% 49.3%
Red Sox 77 85 801 760 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 74 88 745 777 0.0% - - -
Orioles 2 -1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 92 70 794 674 81.7% 8.4% 4.5% 94.6%
Rays 88 74 695 607 12.8% 18.4% 24.8% 55.9%
Orioles 87 75 689 754 5.5% 11.9% 18.6% 36.0%
Red Sox 77 85 801 760 0.0% - 0.0% 0.0%
Blue Jays 74 88 745 777 0.0% - - -
Yankees 2-1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93 69 794 674 88.4% 5.6% 3.0% 96.9%
Rays 88 74 695 607 10.4% 22.7% 27.5% 60.6%
Orioles 86 76 689 754 1.2% 7.8% 14.2% 23.3%
Red Sox 77 85 801 760 0.0% - - -
Blue Jays 74 88 745 777 0.0% - - -
Yankees 3-0 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 94 68 794 674 92.9% 4.4% 2.0% 99.3%
Rays 88 74 695 607 6.2% 24.1% 29.8% 60.1%
Orioles 85 77 689 754 0.8% 5.9% 12.1% 18.9%
Red Sox 77 85 801 760 0.0% - 0.1% 0.1%
Blue Jays 74 88 745 777 0.0% - - -

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)

--Posted at 9:58 am by SG / 28 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, August 30, 2012

NY Times: Looking for Cushion Before Tough Stretch, Yankees Have a Hard Fall

As the Yankees head into an important 10-game stretch, it would have served them well to wrap up their final game against the last-place Toronto Blue Jays with a series-winning victory. Then they could have moved on to more significant matters, like playing their divisional rivals, with a clear conscience.

Instead they were sloppy and ineffective, allowing the scrappy Blue Jays to leave town with an 8-5 victory Wednesday afternoon and a series win. The Yankees made three errors, handed back leads, dropped balls and surrendered 12 hits in a game that should make Yankees fans shudder about their prospects against the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays.

With no game scheduled Thursday, the Yankees will have a full day to ruminate over one of their worst performances of the year.

Yesterday’s game was rough, and I’m seriously thinking this team will blow their division lead now.  To lose to this version of Toronto, at home, in a game started by CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ?  The Blue Jays came into this series having lost seven straight games and then won two out of three.  The Cleveland Indians have won one of their last 14 games.  Guess who they got the lone win against?

We’re waiting for Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera to come back from injury to save the team while ignoring the fact that we’ve been cursing them all year for their less than inspired performance. 

What makes it especially frustrating is that there doesn’t appear to be any clear great teams in baseball.  Texas’s injuries in the rotation make them appear slightly more vulnerable than they were.  I don’t think anyone fears the Tigers or White Sox much.  The Rays can pitch, but their offense isn’t the stuff of nightmares, and Baltimore seems like a classic case of overachieving.  The whole National League is underwhelming, unless you think re-creating the 2011 Red Sox makes the Dodgers better than the 1927 Yankees.

We probably don’t have to wait until the end of September to see if the Yankees will lose the division.  They can make or break their season over the next 10 games.  Hopefully they start it off by taking the upcoming home series vs. Baltimore before they go on the road for 10 games (3 at Tampa Bay, 4 at Baltimore, and 3 against Boston).

 

--Posted at 5:55 am by SG / 71 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 27, 2012

Toronto Sun: Yankees looking vulnerable

NEW YORK - There is blood in the water in The Bronx and the sharks are beginning to circle.

On the morning of July 19, after completing a sweep of the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium the day before, the New York Yankees woke up with a 10-game lead in the American League East. Life was good.

Thirty-eight days later, the Blue Jays are back in town and suddenly there is reason for concern.

That 10-game lead? It’s been sliced to four games and the Tampa Bay Rays, once a speck in the distance, just keep getting bigger and bigger in the Yankees’ rear-view mirror. And don’t look now, but the Baltimore Orioles are right there behind the Rays, breathing down the necks of the Yankees.

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays on their 2012 AL East title.

 

--Posted at 10:44 am by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yahoo: Red Sox Officially Reset the Team with Blockbuster Dodgers Trade; A Fan’s Take

On Friday, news quickly spread that the Los Angeles Dodgers had presented the Red Sox with a “Get Out of Jail Free Card”, agreeing to a trade where they would acquire first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford, and utility-infielder Nick Punto, and a large portion of the nearly $262.5 million contracts remaining on those four players, from Boston. In return, the Red Sox would get top pitching prospects Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, outfield prospect Jerry Sands, infielder Ivan De Jesus, and first baseman James Loney.

This seems like a great trade for Boston.  You have to figure Beckett and Crawford aren’t worth remotely what they’re being paid so you get out of two bad contracts.  Gonzalez’s contract isn’t as bad, although it’s probably questionable that he’ll be worth it over the life of it.

This almost certainly makes the 2012 Red Sox worse, so we’ll have to see how it ends up impact the AL East race.  Baltimore, Tampa Bay and the Yankees all have six games remaining against Boston.

For the Dodgers, I don’t think this is a good trade in terms of the value they’re getting back and what it’s going to cost them.  But it solidifies them for the rest of the 2012 race and it gives their fans more evidence that the days of Scrooge McCourt are gone and not coming back.

It’s a fascinating trade though, isn’t it?

--Posted at 9:32 am by SG / 39 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 24, 2012

NYDN: Yankees may need dominant final run to best AL East rivals

With six games remaining against the Rays and seven against the Orioles — all 13 of those games coming during a 17-day stretch beginning Aug. 31 — the Yankees will have every opportunity to control their own destiny.

“We play everyone,” Derek Jeter said. “It’s going to be tough, but all the teams that are close to us, we play. If we win, we win.”

The Rays have been the hottest team in baseball, entering Thursday 18-6 since July 28 to trim their deficit in the AL East from 9½ games to three.

While it’s true that the division will likely be decided mostly by how the Yankees, Rays and Orioles play against each other over the final stretch of the season, here’s how the three teams’ schedules compare.

Orioles xW Rays xW Yankees xW
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 vs Athletics 1.14 3 @ Indians 1.90
4 vs White Sox 1.77 3 @ Rangers 1.41 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Yankees 1.06 4 @ Blue Jays 2.22 3 vs Orioles 1.94
3 @ Blue Jays 1.35 3 vs Yankees 1.50 3 @ Rays 1.50
4 vs Yankees 1.57 3 vs Rangers 1.53 4 @ Orioles 2.43
3 vs Rays 1.24 3 @ Orioles 1.76 3 @ Red Sox 1.57
3 @ Athletics 1.26 3 @ Yankees 1.38 3 vs Rays 1.62
3 @ Mariners 1.33 4 vs Red Sox 2.18 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Red Sox 1.19 3 vs Blue Jays 1.79 3 vs Athletics 1.77
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 @ Red Sox 1.01 3 @ Twins 1.89
3 vs Red Sox 1.31 4 @ White Sox 2.04 4 @ Blue Jays 2.31
3 @ Rays 1.12 3 vs Orioles 1.88 3 vs Red Sox 1.69

xW are expected wins for each series using Bill James’s Log 5 methodology accounting for home field advantage.  According to that, the Orioles should win about 16 of their remaining games, the Rays should win about 20 and the Yankees should win about 22.  If we remove the games against each other, the schedules look like this.

Orioles xW Rays xW Yankees xW
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 vs Athletics 1.14 3 @ Indians 1.90
4 vs White Sox 1.77 3 @ Rangers 1.41 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Blue Jays 1.35 4 @ Blue Jays 2.22 3 @ Red Sox 1.57
3 @ Athletics 1.26 3 vs Rangers 1.53 3 vs Blue Jays 1.85
3 @ Mariners 1.33 4 vs Red Sox 2.18 3 vs Athletics 1.77
3 @ Red Sox 1.19 3 vs Blue Jays 1.79 3 @ Twins 1.89
3 vs Blue Jays 1.47 2 @ Red Sox 1.01 4 @ Blue Jays 2.31
3 vs Red Sox 1.31 4 @ White Sox 2.04 3 vs Red Sox 1.69
11.14 13.31 14.83

The most difficult part of the Orioles’ schedule over the rest of the season is probably those four games against the White Sox and the three games in Oakland.  They also have 9 games left vs. Toronto, who should be better with this weekend’s expected returns of Jose Bautista and Brandon Morrow.

The Rays probably have the most difficult remaining schedule of the three teams with six games against Texas and four games at Chicago. 

In theory, the Yankees have the benefit of playing the slumping Indians and Twins three times apiece and have 10 games left against Toronto, although that’s likely to be less of an advantage with Bautista back and Morrow probably starting three of those games. 

The common thorn in the ass for all three teams is the six games they have against Boston.  As much as the Red Sox have underwhelmed this season, they’ll surely relish the chance to play spoiler for someone.

On paper, the Yankees have the easiest schedule of the three teams, but it probably won’t matter much if they don’t play well against Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

--Posted at 8:03 am by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)




Friday, August 17, 2012

NYDN: Boston Red Sox visit Yankees with improbable dream to earn AL wild card spot

Boston is teetering on falling out of contention, despite winning in Baltimore Thursday night, 6-3. Players have complained to ownership about manager Bobby Valentine on more than one occasion. Owners have held a clandestine meeting with players, and Valentine wasn’t invited. And subsequent to this, all public sentiment has been supportive of the manager. It’s perplexing and reeks of dysfunction. A Yankees sweep could be the wreck on the hiighway.

The Sox say they still believe they will get hot, even though they’ve lost a lot more than they’ve won since the July 26 secret meetings (there also was one between ownership and Valentine). Their reality is it has to happen soon. The teams that lead for the AL wild cards are on pace to win approximately 87 games; the Sox could get there by winning about two out of every three to finish.

Here’s how I have MLB’s postseason odds looking as of this morning.

TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95 67 814 678 87.6% 8.0% 1.4% 97.0%
Rays 87 75 695 623 9.8% 31.6% 21.4% 62.8%
Orioles 82 80 690 765 1.7% 7.7% 11.3% 20.6%
Red Sox 80 82 804 741 0.6% 3.0% 5.7% 9.3%
Blue Jays 75 87 765 780 0.1% 0.2% 0.5% 0.7%
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
White Sox 90 72 751 699 66.2% 6.8% 8.5% 81.5%
Tigers 87 75 760 722 33.5% 13.8% 14.3% 61.6%
Indians 73 89 712 813 0.1% 0.0% 0.2% 0.2%
Royals 71 91 679 749 0.0% - - -
Twins 69 93 727 836 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Rangers 94 68 816 711 86.5% 5.1% 2.8% 94.3%
Angels 84 78 750 691 6.3% 11.5% 18.9% 36.7%
Athletics 84 78 667 657 6.7% 11.9% 14.4% 33.0%
Mariners 76 86 648 674 0.3% 0.2% 0.4% 0.9%
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Nationals 98 64 709 601 75.0% 19.8% 5.1% 99.8%
Braves 94 68 747 643 24.8% 49.7% 15.8% 90.3%
Mets 77 85 700 748 0.0% 0.1% 0.7% 0.8%
Phillies 75 87 673 692 0.0% - - -
Marlins 71 91 630 712 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Reds 96 66 703 614 78.6% 7.6% 7.6% 93.8%
Cardinals 90 72 774 653 14.6% 14.2% 35.3% 64.1%
Pirates 87 75 676 684 6.5% 6.8% 24.2% 37.5%
Brewers 76 86 730 730 0.0% - 0.5% 0.5%
Cubs 65 97 616 731 0.0% - - -
Astros 55 107 610 800 0.0% - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS%
Giants 87 75 683 652 50.1% 0.7% 3.5% 54.3%
Dodgers 86 76 647 632 36.2% 0.7% 4.3% 41.2%
Diamondbacks 83 79 717 681 13.5% 0.2% 2.8% 16.4%
Padres 70 92 618 695 0.0% - - -
Rockies 65 97 766 871 0.0% - - -

Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)

The Yankees can’t eliminate Boston with a sweep this weekend, but they can make it almost impossible for them to win the AL East.  If the Yankees sweep Boston and then go 21-20 over the rest of the season, Boston would have to go 36-7 just to tie them.  If the Yankees went 14-27 they’d end up at the 87 wins that the wild card leaders are on target for and Boston would still have to go 29-14 to tie them.

Here are the pitching matchups for this series.

Friday, August 17
Franklin Morales vs. Phil Hughes

Saturday, August 18
Jon Lester vs. David Phelps

Sunday, August 19
Josh Beckett vs. Hiroki Kuroda

Since seemingly turning the corner with his start on May 6, Phil Hughes has had the occasional bad start.  However, until his last two turns in the rotation he’s been able to rebound in the following game.  On May 28 he gave up 7 runs in 5.1 innings in Anaheim and followed that up with a complete game four-hitter where allowed just one run in Detroit.  He gave up six runs at home against Atlanta on June 28 and followed that up with 8 shutout innings vs. Cleveland.  Since May 6, Hughes hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any two consecutive starts until his last two.

But now that he’s had back-to-back poor starts I have to admit my faith in him is shaken.  Tonight’s game would be a nice way to redeem some of that faith, but I’m not betting on him.

I like the other two match ups a bit better.  I’ll be pretty disappointed if the Yankees don’t take at least two of these three games.

 

--Posted at 8:31 am by SG / 45 Comments | - (0)




Monday, August 13, 2012

Crunch Time

The Yankees will open up a seven game home stand tonight against Texas in the first of a four game series.  They follow that up with three games against Boston before hitting the road for three games against the White Sox.  That will end a brutal stretch where they’ve played 20 straight days.

Their lead in the AL East is down to 5 games over Tampa Bay and 5.5 games over Baltimore.  Tampa Bay will play three games at Seattle followed up by four games at Anaheim.  Then they’ll host the Royals for three games over that same stretch.

All due respect to the Orioles, I don’t consider them the threat that Tampa Bay is so I’m not including them here. 

Given the comparative schedules of the Yankees and Rays I’d expect the Yankees to lose some more ground over this stretch.  What I don’t know is how much is a reasonable expectation.  But we can estimate it using log 5 expectations for both teams.

I’d estimate that the Yankees as presently constituted (minus CC and A-Rod) are about an 88 win team and the Rays are about an 89 win team.  So here is how their schedules compare through August 22.

Date Game YxW Game RxW
8/13/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Mariners 0.52
8/14/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Mariners 0.52
8/15/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Mariners 0.52
8/16/2012 Rangers@Yankees 0.51 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/17/2012 Red Sox@Yankees 0.54 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/18/2012 Red Sox@Yankees 0.54 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/19/2012 Red Sox@Yankees 0.54 Rays@Angels 0.42
8/20/2012 Yankees@White Sox 0.47 Royals@Rays 0.67
8/21/2012 Yankees@White Sox 0.47 Royals@Rays 0.67
8/22/2012 Yankees@White Sox 0.47 Royals@Rays 0.67
Total 5.09 5.29

YxW: Yankees’ expected wins
RxW: Rays’ expected wins

It turns out that those four games for the Rays in Anaheim make the gap between the two teams’ schedules smaller than I thought.  We should probably expect the Yankees to go 5-5 over the next 10 games, so hopefully the Rays won’t do much better than that.  The Yankees will play the Rays six times in September, and that has the potential to determine the outcome of the AL East, so it behooves the Yankees to maintain as much separation from them as they can.

For whatever it’s worth, excluding their games against each other, the Rays probably have the tougher schedule from August 23 on.  Their opponents have a collective estimated winning precentage of about .515 while the Yankees’ opponents have one of .485.  So the Yankees are theoretically still in a pretty good position for taking the division.  Whether or not they’ll take advantage of that is a bigger question.

 

--Posted at 9:28 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Monday, July 30, 2012

TGS NY: Bobby V: Yanks could miss playoffs

And then Valentine raised the prospect of the Yanks falling apart, a bigger longshot than the prospect of Boston overcoming an absurd rash of injuries and rallying over the final two months to earn one of two available wild cards.

Valentine wasn’t interested in talking about wild cards. When it was suggested Boston might be a liberated team in the postseason, a team feeling no pressure entering a sudden-death shootout, Valentine said, “But then again, we might win the division. Who knows?”

The division? The same division keeping the Red Sox in last place?

“Oh yeah,” Valentine said.

Not the wild card?

“I haven’t looked at it that way,” he answered. “No, no. ... We play a lot of games against the Yankees.”

The link plays a video so don’t click on it if you don’t want to see it.

I think as much as we hate to admit it, Valentine is right.  No team that entered a series with an 11 game lead on a team and exited it with a 10 game lead with 61 games remaining has ever been able to hold on to such a slim lead.

The one advantage the Yankees have is that other teams don’t have the fearsome Pedro Ciriaco DHing for them.  So maybe they can win a few more games against other teams.

Anyway, crappy series, but not a realistic cause for concern.  Yes, the Yankees and the Red Sox play nine more times this year, but even if the Yankees win just one-third of those (like they just did) Boston has to outplay them by seven games over their other 52/51games respectively just to tie.  The Yankees can probably win at least three of those Boston games that if they keep CC Sabathia off the mound in those nine games.  So if the Yankees then went 27-25 over their 52 non-Boston games ( a winning percentage of 51.9%), Boston would have to win 33 of their final 51 (a winning percentage of 64.7%). 

I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, because it could.  But I am still not concerned about it.

--Posted at 8:00 am by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)




Friday, July 27, 2012

The Postseason Implications of this series with Boston

We’re down to a mere 12 remaining games against Boston this year, with three of those slated for this weekend in the first road series at DNYS for Boston.  How we’ve gotten to four days from August with Boston making their first trip to the Bronx I don’t really understand, but here we are.  So we’ll pick this up from the the last time I ran these.

Anyway, the Yankees had a chance at really hurting Boston’s somewhat slim division title chances over this past week as the Red Sox have lost 5 of their last seven.  If that sounds familiar, it should because it’s exactly what the Yankees did over the same time period.  So no ground gained, which is annoying, but better than the alternative.

The Yankees can’t eliminate Boston this weekend, but they can make it pretty close to impossible for the Red Sox to catch them.  Here’s how the AL East’s postseason odds stand as of this morning.  The overall odds for all the teams are actually a bit lower than this but I removed the variance from the simulations to focus on the impact of the series, so keep that in mind.

TM W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95.1 66.9 93.0% 3.5% 2.0% 98.5%
Rays 82.2 79.8 2.0% 8.5% 13.7% 24.2%
Red Sox 81.3 80.7 2.0% 5.8% 10.3% 18.1%
Blue Jays 80.3 81.8 2.0% 4.0% 5.3% 11.3%
Orioles 77.3 84.7 0.0% 1.5% 1.0% 2.5%

Here’s how those change based the possible outcomes of this three game set.

Red Sox 3-0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93.1 68.9 94.5% 1.5% 1.0% 97.0%
Red Sox 82.6 79.4 1.5% 10.8% 17.7% 30.0%
Rays 81.2 80.8 0.5% 6.8% 14.2% 21.5%
Blue Jays 79.3 82.7 1.5% 6.8% 4.7% 13.0%
Orioles 76.3 85.7 0.0% 1.0% 1.0% 2.0%
Red Sox 2-1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95.3 66.7 96.0% 1.0% 0.5% 97.5%
Rays 83.0 79.1 0.0% 9.0% 11.5% 20.5%
Red Sox 82.7 79.3 1.0% 6.8% 14.5% 22.3%
Blue Jays 80.2 81.8 2.0% 1.3% 5.5% 8.8%
Orioles 79.0 83.0 1.0% 1.5% 2.0% 4.5%
Yankees 2 -1 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95.8 66.2 99.0% 0.0% 1.0% 100.0%
Rays 82.2 79.8 0.0% 6.3% 15.2% 21.5%
Red Sox 81.2 80.8 0.0% 3.5% 8.3% 11.8%
Blue Jays 80.0 82.0 0.0% 2.0% 6.8% 8.8%
Orioles 77.5 84.5 0.0% 0.5% 4.0% 4.5%
Yankees 3 -0 W L Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 97.3 64.8 99.0% 1.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Rays 83.1 78.9 1.0% 10.8% 17.3% 29.1%
Red Sox 81.1 80.9 0.0% 4.5% 7.8% 12.3%
Blue Jays 80.1 81.9 0.0% 2.5% 7.5% 10.0%
Orioles 78.1 83.9 0.0% 1.0% 0.0% 1.0%

Like I said, once you return variability to the simulations the Yankees odds of making the postseason in the last two scenarios isn’t really 100.0%.  But it’s pretty damn high.

Your pitching matchups for the weekend are:

Friday, July 27, 7:05 PM ET
Aaron Cook vs. Phil Hughes

Saturday, July 28, 4:05 PM ET
Jon Lester vs. CC Sabathia

Sunday, July 29, 8:05 PM ET
Felix Doubront vs. Hiroki Kuroda

Those seem like pretty favorable matchups for the Yankees overall.  Aaron Cook’s been pretty effective despite racking up strikeouts with the frequency of a Yankee hit with RISP, and every Hughes start in DNYS has the potential for setting a record for HRs allowed by a pitcher, so that game seems like the one with the highest variablity.  I think the Yankees can probably split the next two games at the very least, so tonight’s game is the key I think.

Missing Alex Rodriguez for this series stinks, but at least Boston is still missing David Ortiz.  I’d lay 50/50 odds that Eric Chavez will be healthy by the end of this series, assuming Jayson Nix gets the starts on Saturday and Sunday with lefties going.

I really, really, really would love a sweep, because with the way the Yankees played on the West Coast they owe it to us.  But taking two out of three would also suffice.

--Posted at 8:36 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CBS NY: Yankees’ Gardner Suffers Third Setback; CC Set To Return

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — CC Sabathia found the whole experience of his first trip to the disabled list with the Yankees a little “embarrassing,” and he is looking forward to making his first start in more than two weeks.

Brett Gardner might have to wait even longer to return from an elbow injury.

Sabathia will make his first start since June 24 on Tuesday night against Toronto. Out with a groin strain, he says he’s feeling well enough to pitch as long as he needs to and thinks the time off might have been more beneficial to his left arm than the groin.
...
Gardner was sore a day after he had four at-bats in a three-inning simulated game and was being kept off the field Monday. The speedy outfielder has already had two setbacks in his recovery from a strained elbow that has sidelined him since April 18.

At this point, Gardner may do the unthinkable and break Damaso Marte’s record for setbacks in a season.  Are we comfortable with a platoon of Andruw Jones/Raul Ibanez and DeWayne Wise on defense for the rest of the year?  Jones has a .339 wOBA vs. RHP this year and Ibanez has a .338 wOBA vs. LHP.  The average AL LF has a wOBA of .331, so assuming that Jones and Ibanez can keep up what they’ve done the Yankees would be slightly better than average on offense although they probably give away some of that on defense.  They can use Wise in spots where defense can be leveraged more optimally I guess.

It seems like a seller’s market right now with so many teams still having a reasonable chance at the second wild card, so I don’t know who’s available and what the price will be.  Here are how I have each teams’ odds of qualifying for the postseason as of this morning.

TM PS%
Yankees 93.2%
Rangers 92.2%
Nationals 83.0%
Reds 78.7%
Braves 71.5%
Giants 61.8%
White Sox 60.7%
Angels 59.3%
Cardinals 58.8%
Pirates 46.6%
Tigers 45.8%
Red Sox 43.2%
Dodgers 32.9%
Rays 32.0%
Indians 27.9%
Diamondbacks 25.0%
Mets 20.2%
Athletics 19.2%
Blue Jays 17.4%
Brewers 11.5%
Orioles 6.3%
Marlins 4.6%
Phillies 4.1%
Royals 1.8%
Rockies 1.0%
Mariners 0.8%
Twins 0.3%
Cubs 0.3%
Padres 0.3%
Astros -

I’d probably say any team under 20% should be a seller, but they may feel differently.  So who may be available from those teams, and what would they cost?

--Posted at 8:24 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Friday, July 6, 2012

Yankees.com: Yanks’ four-run seventh caps wild Fenway win

BOSTON—Mark Teixeira ripped a go-ahead two-run triple off Vicente Padilla in the seventh inning, lifting the Yankees to a wild 10-8 slugfest victory over the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park.

Teixeira clapped his hands and pumped his fists with emotion after sliding into third base, marking a satisfying blow for the slugger, who has spoken publicly several times about his disdain of Padilla’s reputation for throwing at opponents.

Raul Ibanez followed with a run-scoring double off Padilla, and Eric Chavez greeted Scott Atchison with an RBI single in the four-run frame, helping the Yankees pull away in a contest that saw both clubs bat around for five runs in the first inning.

The Yankees scored ten runs on fourteen hits, but they didn’t hit one home run all night. They stink.

If tonight’s game was any indication of how the rest of the weekend will go, tomorrow’s day-night doubleheader should be a doozy.

--Posted at 10:18 pm by Jonathan / 5 Comments | - (0)



The Postseason Implications of this series with Boston

The second half of the Yankees’ 2012 MLB schedule gets kicked off with four excruciating games against Boston.  As I’ve mentioned before, 16 of the Yankees final 81 games are against Boston, which means there’s a fair amount of potential volatility in both teams’ chances of taking the division and/or one of the wild cards.  The Yankees have built up a healthy 7.5 game lead on Boston, but the gap between them according to their Pythagorean records is only 1.5 games (the Yankees are at 47-34 and Boston’s at 46-36).  That doesn’t matter for the games that have been played so far, but it should be part of the consideration when thinking about what both teams will do going forward.

This chart shows the postseason probabilities for the AL East as of this morning, as well as with the four potential outcomes of this four game set.  I’ve removed the uncertainty from the simulation since we’re focusing more on the deltas based on the series outcomes, which is why the odds of this morning differ slightly from yesterday’s post.  Adding in the uncertainty should reduce the top teams’ chances slightly and increase the lower teams’ chances slightly to account for things we can’t necessarily predict.

Now W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95 67 803 682 87.9% 5.6% 3.4% 96.8%
Red Sox 85 77 821 724 7.5% 15.3% 21.7% 44.5%
Rays 84 78 718 676 2.8% 11.1% 18.5% 32.4%
Blue Jays 81 81 793 771 1.5% 3.9% 10.8% 16.2%
Orioles 78 84 700 782 0.3% 0.8% 3.6% 4.7%
Red Sox Sweep W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 93 69 803 682 77.3% 10.7% 8.0% 96.0%
Red Sox 87 75 821 724 16.7% 20.4% 23.1% 60.2%
Rays 84 78 718 676 4.3% 10.4% 15.0% 29.6%
Blue Jays 81 81 793 771 1.4% 3.5% 7.8% 12.6%
Orioles 78 84 700 782 0.4% 1.2% 3.5% 5.0%
Red Sox 3-1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 94 68 803 682 83.1% 7.3% 5.1% 95.5%
Red Sox 86 76 821 724 11.6% 17.2% 23.3% 52.1%
Rays 84 78 718 676 3.4% 11.8% 17.6% 32.8%
Blue Jays 81 81 793 771 1.5% 3.8% 9.2% 14.4%
Orioles 78 84 700 782 0.4% 1.1% 4.2% 5.7%
Split W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 95 67 803 682 88.4% 4.5% 4.0% 96.9%
Red Sox 85 77 821 724 6.6% 16.4% 22.6% 45.6%
Rays 84 78 718 676 3.6% 12.5% 19.1% 35.3%
Blue Jays 81 81 793 771 1.4% 4.7% 9.5% 15.6%
Orioles 78 84 700 782 0.1% 1.7% 3.3% 5.0%
Yankees 3-1 W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 96 66 803 682 93.0% 3.2% 2.1% 98.3%
Red Sox 84 78 821 724 2.8% 14.9% 20.0% 37.7%
Rays 84 78 718 676 2.5% 11.9% 19.5% 33.9%
Blue Jays 81 81 793 771 1.3% 5.8% 9.2% 16.3%
Orioles 79 83 700 782 0.3% 1.3% 4.5% 6.1%
Yankees Sweep W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS%
Yankees 97 65 803 682 95.4% 2.7% 0.9% 99.0%
Rays 84 78 718 676 2.2% 15.9% 19.8% 37.8%
Red Sox 83 79 821 724 1.4% 11.0% 17.1% 29.4%
Blue Jays 81 81 793 771 1.0% 4.3% 11.5% 16.8%
Orioles 78 84 700 782 0.1% 2.0% 3.7% 5.8%

Even a Red Sox sweep still leaves the Yankees as clear favorites in the AL East, although it reduces their odds by over 10%.  If the Yankees and Red Sox are equally good, it’s tough to see Boston making up what would still be a four game deficit over 76 games.  But a Red Sox sweep would stink.

Red Sox 3-1 knocks the Yankees’ division title chances down by about 5%.

The most likely scenario, a split of the four games improves the Yankees’ odds slightly, because the runway for Boston gets a little shorter.

Yankees 3-1 increases their odds by about 6%, and a Yankee sweep pushes them up by about 8%.

Boston’s still missing Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and will be without Dustin Pedroia who’s heading to the DL, which means they’re not at full strength for this series.  Of course, the Yankees are missing arguably their two best starters in CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, as well as Brett Gardner so they’re not exactly at full strength either.  Here are the pitching matchups.

Friday, July 6, 7:10 PM ET
Hiroki Kuroda vs. Josh Beckett

Saturday, July 7, 12:35 PM ET
Phil Hughes vs. Franklin Morales

Saturday, July 7, 7:15 PM ET
Freddy Garcia vs. Felix Doubront

Sunday, July 8, 8:05 PM ET
Ivan Nova vs. Jon Lester

Friday’s game seems like the key one to me.  Hiroki Kuroda’s been pitching pretty well of late, but the offense he’s faced haven’t exactly been juggernauts.  The Yankees have been a bit better vs. RHP(.258/.336/.457) than LHP(264/.330/.447) this year, plus it’d be nice to see them smack Josh Beckett around after the way he stifled them last year (4-0 in 5 starts, 34 IP, 10 BB, 5 HBP, 38 K, 1.85 ERA).  Seriously, the horse’s ass had 5 HBP in 34 innings vs. the Yankees and 4 HBP in 159 innings vs. everyone else.

I really don’t like the pitching matchups on Saturday.  Sunday seems like a tossup.  I think Nova can pitch pretty well, but I don’t know how the Yankees will do against Lester.

I’d be happy with a split I think.

--Posted at 8:00 am by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yankees.com: Yanks grind out late rally to push Rays aside

It looked like the Rays were well on their way to making it 10 straight losses for the Yankees at The Trop when Carlos Pena launched a two-run homer off Boone Logan into the right-field stands, putting Tampa Bay ahead, 3-1, in the seventh—especially after New York missed a prime scoring opportunity in the top half of the inning.

But David Robertson pitched a clean eighth inning—a welcome experience for him after admittedly blowing Monday’s game, a 4-3 loss—and Tampa Bay relieved Price with Farnsworth, a righty.

Farnsworth walked leadoff batter Eric Chavez and struck out Derek Jeter, then issued free passes to Curtis Granderson and Teixeira to load the bases. Alex Rodriguez then walked on six pitches, bringing in Chavez and trimming the Rays’ lead to one run.

“I wasn’t getting ahead of them, first off, on strike one, which obviously was huge,” Farnsworth said. “They’re going to sit on their one pitch, and they’re not going to swing. ... It’s all on me for not throwing strikes.”

Girardi added that it’s not always easy for hitters to leave the bat on their shoulder when a pitcher is throwing so many balls, especially when they could just as easily hit their way back into the game.

“We’ve got guys who can change the complexion of the game with one swing,” Girardi said. “But they remained patient, and I give them a lot of credit.”

Robinson Cano took care of things from there, knocking a two-run single to center field off left-hander Jake McGee—who relieved Farnsworth—to give the Yankees the lead. The hit also gave Cano eight straight games with at least one RBI.

“Every win’s a big win, but it’s good to get that monkey off your back,” Cano said. “You want to be able to win one and get over it. You don’t want to go to Boston losing three games.”

No, you certainly don’t want that, Robinson.

In other somewhat odd news, the Yankees claimed Darnell McDonald off waivers.  This likely means we won’t be seeing Brett Gardner before Labor Day. Of 2013.

--Posted at 12:09 am by Jonathan / 10 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, July 1, 2012

WhiteSox (42-36) @ Yankees (47-30), Sunday, July 1, 2012, 2:05pm

CHW: Gavin Floyd (29, RHP, 6-7, 4.80) vs NYY: Phil Hughes (26, RHP, 8-6, 4.48)

Lineups:
White Sox
Chicago White Sox
A. De Aza, CF
K. Youkilis, 3B
A. Dunn, DH
P. Konerko, 1B
A. Rios, RF
A. Pierzynski, C
D. Viciedo, LF
A. Ramirez, SS
G. Beckham, 2B

Yankees
D. Jeter, SS
C. Granderson, CF
M. Teixeira, 1B
R. Cano, 2B
N. Swisher, RF
R. Ibanez, DH
E. Chavez, 3B
R. Martin, C
D. Wise, LF

Will Hughes extend the Yankees win streak to two games? Will he allow fewer than four White Sox HRs?  Tune in and find out.

--Posted at 1:02 pm by Jonathan / 57 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Indians (37-36) @ Yankees (45-28), Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 1:05pm

CLE: Ubaldo Jimenez (28, RHP, 7-5, 4.59) vs. NYY: Andy Pettitte (40, LHP, 3-3, 3.29)

Lineups
Indians
M. Brantley, CF
A. Cabrera, SS
J. Kipnis, 2B
J. Lopez, 3B
C. Santana, DH
S. Duncan, LF
C. Kotchman, 1B
L. Marson, C
A. Cunningham, RF

Yankees
C. Granderson, CF
N. Swisher, RF
A. Rodriguez, 3B
R. Cano, 2B
M. Teixeira, DH
R. Ibanez, LF
E. Chavez, 1B
R. Martin, C
J. Nix, SS

Joined in progress….

Mini Liveblog:
I’ll do what I can for folks at work for a while; will probably be able to put in a few innings.

1st inning recap:
Andy gave up one hit but struck out the side.  Ubaldo put a couple runners on (Granderson and A-Rod) with walks, but Cano struck out and Teixeira popped out to end the inning.  Way to get the RISP fail started early boys.

Top of the 2nd:
A bouncer to A-Rod who throws wide of first and Chavez is unable to make the swipe tag. Santana safe on an infield single.  a throwing error by A-Rod.
Duncan promptly doubles into the gap in right center to plate Santana. 1-0 Indians.
Kotchman strikes out swinging for the first out.
Soft grounder to Nix at short who bare hands it and makes a great throw to first for the out.  Marson makes two down.
Pettitte walks Cunningham for some reason.
On a 1-2 count to Brantley, Cunningham succumbs to a pickoff/caught stealing, 1-3-6.  Inning over.

Bottom of the 2nd
Ibanez rolls over one, grounding out to second.
Chavez does essentially the same thing as Ibanez.  Two gone.
Martin strikes out looking at a pitch on the outside part of the plate.

Top of the 3rd
With a fresh count, Brantley strikes out looking for his second strikeout in 3 innings.
Cabrera strikes out swinging for Andy’s 6th K in 2.2 innings.
Kipnis grounds one in the hole at second, Cano lunges and makes the grab.  His momentum guides his throw toward Chavez’s right, but Eric stretches and makes the grab while falling to the ground for the third out.  Good defense all around there.

Bottom of the 3rd
Nix strikes out swinging on a high slider.
Granderson skies one to deep right center for the second out. It was caught right in the middle of the warning track.
Swisher also hits one sky high to right field and its caught by Cunningham about a step onto the warning track.  Three down and eight in a row for Ubaldo.

Ubaldo looks pretty good, but I feel as though he’s gotten away with hanging a few pitches.

Top of the 4th
Lopez grounds one to Nix for the 6-3.
Santana frozen on an 0-2 cutter for strike three.
Duncan hit ball high in air near second. Duncan out when Cano catch ball. Duncan make third out.

Bottom of the 4th
A-Rod strikes out swinging.  He did not look comfortable in that AB.
Cano rips a line drive single to right to end the no-hitter bid by Ubaldo.
Teixeira strikes out looking. Surprisingly, nobody is in scoring position.
Ibanez walks to put Cano in scoring position with two outs.  The inning will be over shortly.
Chavez rocks a 1-0 pitch to left center that goes all the way to the wall for a double, scoring both Cano and Ibanez. 2-1 Yankees. I really like Chavez.
Martin swings weakly at an outside pitch, grounding out to second for the third out.

Since the Yankees have not hit a HR yet, we can safely assume the Indians will win this game.

Top of the 5th
Kotchman grounds one hard up the middle and off Andy’s shin or ankle.  He rolls to the ground but it looks like he’ll try to walk it off. Kotchman reaches on an infield single.
Pettitte throws one pitch to Marson but it’s obvious he’s not able to put a lot of weight on that leg.  Girardi comes out and takes Pettitte out of the game.  This is exactly what you want to see when you just got news that your ace is going to the 15-day DL. Cody Eppley comes in to pitch.
A bouncer down the line to third and A-Rod makes, in my opinion, a half-ass effort to grab the ball and it goes off his glove.  Ruled a single, and now runners on 1st and 2nd.
Cunningham sacrifices the runners over with a bunt to Chavez who throws to Cano at first.
Girardi takes out Eppley and brings in Rapada.  A-Rod’s defense today has been fairly crappy.  If these runs score, he’ll be partly responsible for all 3 Cleveland runs.
Freddy Garcia is scheduled to start on Friday but now he’s throwing in the bullpen.  Girardi is mixing and matching in the 5th, so he’ll need an arm to go a couple of innings in this game.  If Freddy comes in, Adam Warren may get the nod on Friday.
Brantley grounds one to Chavez and Kotchman is sent home from third.  The throw comes home in plenty of time and Kotchman lowers his shoulder and knocks Martin over, however the out is made.  Runners on the corners, two gone.  Great job by Martin to hang in on that collision.
Cabrera lines a single to left scoring the Indians second run.  Game is tied 2-2 with runners at first and second now.
Kipnis pops it up in short center and Nix can’t make the play; Brantley scores to give the Indians a 3-2 lead as Cabrera moves to third. What a crappy way to lose the lead.  A-Rod’s defense is now angering me even more.  Nix was running straight out on that pop up and probably missed it by a foot or two.
Freddy Garcia comes in to put out the fire…..
Kipnis steals second with no throw on the 0-1 pitch from Garcia. Lopez strikes out swinging on a Garcia curve. And the inning is mercifully over.

Bottom of the 5th
Nix strikes out looking.
Granderson flies out to almost the same spot he did in his last AB, but slightly shallower.
Swisher flies out to short left field. Three outs. Way to come right back at them, Yanks.

Top of the 6th
Santana hits a very high popup to Nix. One down.
Duncan pops out in foul territory to Nix. Two down.
With two strikes, Kotchman can’t hold up on a Garcia slider low and out of the zone. Three down.

Bottom of the 6th
The Yankee text poll regarding what should be done with instant replay has 51% of voters saying “Bad calls are part of the game”.  Selig must have texted in eleventy billion times.
A-Rod leads off with a looping double down the right field line.  Good start, but now the Yankees have RISP, so the inning will be over shortly.
Cano reaches out for an outside pitch and hits the ball about 8 rows deep into the left field stands for a two-run home run. Yankees take a 4-3 lead.  Wow, I thought the ball was going to be deep, but not that deep.  He is powerful.
Teixeira flies out to left for the first out.
Ibanez pops out to second in short right for the second out.
Chavez works a walk.  Jimenez’s pitch count now at 105.
Martin meets expectations and makes an out of the fielder’s choice variety, 6-4.  Three down.

Top of the 7th
Marson lines one hard to right, Swisher moves about 15 feet to his left and makes the catch.  One down as Boone Logan warms in the Yankees bullpen.
Cunningham pops up a Garcia slider to Nix at short.  Two down.
Brantley bounces one to Chavez at first who takes it himself for the last out of the seventh.  Nice job by Garcia today.

Bottom of the 7th
Joe Smith comes in to pitch the bottom half of the inning for the Indians.
Nix chops one up the middle and Cabrera makes a very good play to get Nix by a half step for the first out.
Granderson strikes out swinging on an outside slider.
Smith looks like a tough pitcher to hit against, even for lefties. And appropriately Swisher strikes out swinging.  Inning over.

Top of the 8th
High Socks for hope time.  Cabrera grounds it sharply down the first base line; Chavez was in no-doubles position and gets his glove on it. One out. He didn’t field it cleanly but the ball stayed in front of him and he had plenty of time to step on first himself.
Robertson strikes out Kipnis looking on an outside fastball. Two down.
Lopez can’t hold up on a Robertson curveball in the dirt with two strikes. Inning over.

Bottom of the 8th
Update on Pettitte: He suffered a fractured ankle and will be out a minimum 6 weeks.  So the Yankees just lost two starters in one day.  Wonderful.
Vinnie Pestano now pitching for the Indians.  Sounds like a type of pasta dish.
A-Rod reaches out and grounds one off the end of his bat to second.
Cano hits one the other way to short on the ground; Cabrera is able to get to it, but not with enough time to make a throw (plus he bobbled it).  Base hit for Cano.
Teixeira grounds softly into the 4-5 fielder’s choice (the shift was on and the out was made at second by Lopez).  Two down.
Ibanez bloops a single into short left, Teixeira moves to second.  With a runner in scoring position, the inning will be over shortly.
Dewayne Wise comes in to run for Ibanez.
Chavez pulls a grounder through the hole at second and Teixeira comes in to score. 5-3 Yankees. Choo’s throw home was close but he bounced it and Teixeira slid in before the tag could be made.  Chavez is the man.
Shocking absolutely nobody, Martin strikes out swinging to end the inning.

Top of the 9th
Everybody KNEEL! Along with Soriano coming in to close, Dewayne Wise is now in left.
Chisenhall, in to pinch hit, lines a single to right field.
Soriano walks Choo and now the tying runs are on base.  If you’re not genuflecting at the altar of Soriano yet, do so now. 
Kotchman flies out to Wise in left. Runners stay put.
Marson grounds one through the hole at short.  Runners move up one.  Oh boy….
Damon comes in to pinch hit for Cunningham…with the bases loaded….at Yankee Stadium.  But he waves at an outside fastball for strike three.  Two down.
The count to Brantley goes to 3-1.  And he walks in a run on the next pitch.  I’m still kneeling, but with just one leg.
Cabrera hits a high fly about 265 feet to left field, and the final out is recorded in the glove of Dewayne Wise. Soriano said KNEEL! Yankees win 5-4.

--Posted at 12:15 pm by Jonathan / 87 Comments | - (0)




Monday, June 25, 2012

Baseball Prospectus: Lindbergh: The AL Wins Interleague Again

After 252 interleague games, we have a final tally for 2012: AL 142, NL 110. That’s a .563 winning percentage for the AL, which translates to a 91-win pace over a 162-game season. The AL has now taken the NL’s lunch money in interleague play for nine consecutive seasons.

In other news, water is wet.  Also, the sky is not blue, it’s transparent but appears to be blue because of the way the light from the sun gets scattered by the atmosphere.

The Marlins deserve credit for going 3-12 with a 6.22 ERA in six games against Boston, six games against Tampa Bay and three games against Toronto.  Thank for the help Miami.

--Posted at 8:02 am by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Yankees.com: Cano wraps Subway Series in Yanks’ favor

NEW YORK—Robinson Cano connected for an eighth-inning homer off Miguel Batista, lifting the Yankees to a 6-5 victory over the Mets on Sunday in the conclusion of this year’s Subway Series.

The Yankees secured their fifth win in six contests against their crosstown rivals, taking the lead as Cano atoned for an earlier error by crushing his 16th homer, nearly depositing it into the Home Run Apple in center field.

The Bombers’ victory came on a night in which they were able to rough up R.A. Dickey for five runs in six innings, but CC Sabathia accepted just a no-decision as wildness and defense let him down in his shortest start of the year.

Another shaky start for CC, but luckily the Yankees’ offense was able to overcome it, as well as some pretty piss-poor defense.  Dickey seems like a really nice guy, but I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t smiling when the Yankees broke his scoreless streak in the top of the third with a Teixeira sac fly, and then piled on with a Swisher 3-run HR in the very next AB. Cano was able to break the 5-5 tie in the 8th with a deep shot over the center field wall off Miguel Batista.
And finally, this interleague nonsense is over. Rejoice.

--Posted at 10:39 pm by Jonathan / 2 Comments | - (0)




Friday, June 15, 2012

Yahoo: Yankees Invade Washington as Nationals Host Battle of Top Teams: A Fan’s View

The two hottest teams in baseball face each other as the Washington Nationals welcome the New York Yankees to the nation’s capital. Each team is riding a six-game winning streak and sits in first place in their respective divisions, making this the must-watch interleague matchup of the weekend.

Excitement over the Yankees’ rare appearance in D.C. is multiplied by the early-season success of the Nationals, who have the second best record in baseball and come into the three-game series with a better record than the Yankees. The Nats are in the middle of a five-series run through the dangerous AL East, and the team returns home following a perfect six-game roadtrip to Boston and Toronto.

I’m looking forward to this series, although I had a morbid curiosity to see how the Yankees would do against Stephen Strasburg.  I’ve got the Nationals now projected to finish the season at 92-70 with a 58.2% chance at taking their divison and with overall postseason qualifying odds of 78.3%.  The only two teams with higher odds are the Rangers (94-68) at 88.8% and the Yankees (93-69) at 81.8%.

This is where I point and laugh at Cliff Lee again, BTW.  Sure, he’s making more money per start than I make in a year, but we have the same number of wins and he’s on a worse team than my favorite team…

Pitching matchups for the weekend series are:

Friday, June 16
Phil Hughes (6-5, 4.76 ERA)  vs. Gio Gonzalez (8-2, 2.35 ERA)

Saturday, June 17
Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.81 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.91 ERA)

Sunday, June 18
Ivan Nova (8-2, 4.64 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.02 ERA)

I’m hoping for two out of three, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Yankees get swept either. 

Then again, it never would.

--Posted at 9:40 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 MLB Projected Standings and Postseason Odds through June 3

It’s been a while since I last ran these, so here’s how things look as of this morning.  Team projections are based about 2/3 on their average pre-season projection from here and 1/3 on YTD performance in component runs scored and allowed, with some adjustments for roster changes and injuries.

Date 6/4/2012
Iterations 1000000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Yankees 90 72 811 705 35.5% 16.8% 13.6% 65.9% -4.6 -25 -7
Rays 89 73 740 667 30.4% 18.0% 14.1% 62.5% 0.0 -25 -16
Red Sox 86 76 836 750 21.2% 15.1% 14.2% 50.4% -4.1 7 16
Blue Jays 82 80 776 755 9.1% 8.5% 10.9% 28.5% 0.4 2 -20
Orioles 78 84 711 782 3.8% 4.6% 6.9% 15.3% 7.9 -1 -37
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
White Sox 85 77 731 735 43.4% 4.1% 5.5% 53.0% 9.0 24 -37
Indians 81 81 749 763 24.3% 3.6% 5.4% 33.3% -0.9 -18 11
Tigers 81 81 756 738 23.5% 3.1% 5.1% 31.7% -4.7 -28 2
Royals 74 88 685 747 7.6% 1.0% 2.1% 10.6% -0.5 -20 -18
Twins 66 96 701 837 1.3% 0.1% 0.3% 1.7% -5.6 -29 15
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 97 65 840 690 80.3% 6.5% 4.0% 90.8% 5.7 33 -12
Angels 85 77 700 639 16.8% 15.2% 12.6% 44.7% -5.0 -42 -22
Mariners 74 88 680 721 1.9% 2.4% 3.8% 8.1% -0.2 -2 -20
Athletics 71 91 645 713 1.0% 0.8% 1.6% 3.5% -5.0 -62 -43
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Nationals 88 74 659 614 29.3% 12.0% 10.8% 52.1% 3.8 -24 -42
Braves 87 75 730 681 25.0% 11.2% 10.7% 47.0% -0.6 16 15
Marlins 85 77 689 667 19.8% 10.2% 10.3% 40.3% 1.6 -18 -14
Phillies 85 77 693 640 18.4% 10.4% 10.5% 39.3% -4.2 -5 11
Mets 80 82 694 747 7.6% 5.2% 6.8% 19.6% 6.5 11 -6
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Reds 91 71 701 643 50.0% 11.7% 8.1% 69.8% 3.8 -14 -17
Cardinals 89 73 758 676 35.7% 13.0% 9.7% 58.4% 2.0 27 -2
Brewers 80 82 701 699 8.3% 4.8% 6.0% 19.1% -4.7 2 34
Pirates 77 85 611 693 4.9% 2.9% 4.3% 12.0% 5.3 -57 -59
Astros 69 93 630 745 0.8% 0.4% 0.8% 2.0% 5.7 25 -11
Cubs 65 97 630 744 0.3% 0.1% 0.3% 0.7% -6.1 -26 -6
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Giants 87 75 660 638 39.4% 6.1% 6.4% 51.8% 2.5 -12 -10
Dodgers 87 75 659 659 38.3% 6.2% 6.8% 51.3% 11.6 18 -31
Diamondbacks 80 82 681 683 13.9% 3.5% 4.9% 22.4% -3.7 -12 10
Rockies 77 85 784 782 7.9% 2.2% 3.5% 13.6% -5.5 37 52
Padres 65 97 604 694 0.5% 0.1% 0.2% 0.7% -10.6 -43 5

W: Projected final 2012 wins
L: Projected final 2012 losses
RS: Projected final 2012 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2012 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: 2012 revised projected wins minus 2012 pre-season projected wins
RS+/-: 2012 revised projected runs scored minus 2012 pre-season projected runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2012 revised projected runs allowed minus 2012 pre-season projected runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

The Yankees have regained their rightful place at the top of the division, although they can lose that tomorrow pretty easily.  They’re projecting to end the year almost five wins worse than they originally projected to, but at least so far no one aside from Texas in the AL looks like they’re likely to be much better.

The biggest surprise for me here is the White Sox, who are nine games ahead of their pre-season projections and now have a greater than 50% chance at their division.  There is little evidence of luck in their component stats, so they haven’t gotten lucky in terms of wins vs. actual performance so far this year.  Whether it will continue is the question, but no one else in their division looks all that great so why not? 

I am getting way too much schadenfreude out of the Phillies now projecting to fourth and Cliff Lee having 0 wins despite a 3.00 ERA.  Good choice Cliff!  THe Nationals now hold a slight edge over the Braves in a pretty balanced division from top to bottom.

The Reds have passed St. Louis in the NL Central, which currently looks like a two team race.  The Cubs and Padres are probably duking it out for worst team in baseball, which should please Twins and Astros fans.

The Dodgers are still the biggest overall gainer vs. pre-season projections although now it appears they’ll be neck and neck with San Francisco for the NL West. 

There are still four months left, so a lot of this can/will change.  So consider it more of a checkpoint than a prediction.

--Posted at 7:29 am by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yankees.com: Pettitte tosses gem to earn first win since 2010

NEW YORK—The eyes that claim ownership of the most recognizable stare in Yankees history were flickering with intensity, even with seven zeroes already on the scoreboard. Andy Pettitte wasn’t done yet.

Needing few words to convey that his vintage form had returned, the left-hander completed eight scoreless innings for his first victory in 22 months as the Yankees defeated the Reds, 4-0, in the opener of Interleague Play on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

“Big league W’s are precious,” Pettitte said. “It’s a good feeling any time you get a win. It’s what we’re playing for, to win games and help this team to win. I didn’t come back not to help us win. I just feel like I’m doing my job, really.”

I wasn’t able to see the game as I’ve been hopping flights all over North Carolina today.  But apparently Andy looked good and gave this team something they desperately needed.  Maybe I’ll just stay down here and they can rip off a few more wins. Actually, in a couple of days I will be leaving the country for a week, so expect the Yankees to take over first place by Thursday.

--Posted at 12:22 am by Jonathan / 6 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yahoo: Yankees-Blue Jays Preview

Already without Mariano Rivera (torn ACL), New York placed fill-in closer David Robertson on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained muscle in his left ribcage.
“We lost Mariano first. The bullpen will do whatever we have to do,” said Rafael Soriano, who is expected to take over for Robertson. “Now with two guys down, it’s not easy for us.”

The Yankees have dropped 12 of 19 at Toronto.

I thought the Yankees had done pretty poorly in Toronto recently, but had no idea it was that bad.  Needless to say I’m not expecting a great series this week given the current state of the team.  Luckily it’s only a two-gamer.  Then it’s back home to begin the inanity of interleague play.

--Posted at 8:55 am by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Friday, May 11, 2012

Yankees.com: Ibanez’s blast helps Yankees solve Felix

One night after the Bombers knocked around the Rays’ David Price, Raul Ibanez’s three-run homer helped power an 11-hit assault on Felix Hernandez as the Yankees toppled the Mariners, 6-2, on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

“I think that things are definitely coming around offensively; guys are swinging the bats well,” said Ibanez, whose sixth-inning blast off Hernandez put New York in command. “We’ve been having some good swings together as a group.”

--Posted at 11:48 pm by Jonathan / 19 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Postseason Implications of This Week’s Series with Tampa Bay

The Yankees begin a six game homestand tonight with Tampa Bay.  Tampa Bay is tied for first place with Baltimore, but it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re better than Baltimore and are a bigger threat to the Yankees’ chances at winning the division. 

At the beginning of the season, the Yankees projected about three games better than Tampa Bay (94 wins vs. 91 wins) but the Rays now have a 3.5 game lead and the Yankees are a bit weaker with Michael Pineda on the shelf.  Based on what’s happened so far and playing out the rest of the season according to how the teams project going forward gives me a final AL East standings projection that looks something like this.

TMWLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Rays917176168244.6%26.0%12.8%83.4%2.1-4-1
Yankees917183371842.8%26.0%13.2%82.0%-3.7-46
Red Sox84788417696.9%9.2%16.6%32.7%-7.11235
Blue Jays82807737554.9%8.3%13.4%26.6%1.20-21
Orioles78847197830.9%2.3%4.8%8.0%8.36-36

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: 2012 revised projected wins minus 2012 pre-season projected wins
RS+/-: 2012 revised projected runs scored minus 2012 pre-season projected runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2012 revised projected runs allowed minus 2012 pre-season projected runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

The pitching matchups for this series are as follows.

Tuesday, May 8: The Undefeated James Shields (5-0, 3.05 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (3-1, 5.58 ERA)
Wednesday, May 9: Jeff Niemann (2-3, 4.05 ERA) vs. David Phelps (0-1, 3.74 ERA)
Thursday, May 10: David Price (5-1, 2.35 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (4-0, 4.15 ERA)

So here are how the standings and postseason odds change based on the various potential outcomes of this series.

Rays 3-0WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Rays936976168261.0%18.8%8.3%88.1%3.8-4-1
Yankees897383371826.2%28.5%17.0%71.7%-5.3-46
Red Sox83798417695.6%11.7%15.4%32.8%-7.51235
Blue Jays83797737556.2%10.2%15.1%31.5%1.50-21
Orioles78847197831.0%2.8%5.4%9.2%8.36-36
Rays 2-1WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Rays927076168251.9%21.4%12.5%85.7%2.7-4-1
Yankees907283371836.4%26.4%14.6%77.4%-4.3-46
Red Sox83798417695.6%10.5%16.7%32.8%-7.41235
Blue Jays83797737555.4%9.6%12.9%27.9%1.40-21
Orioles78847197830.8%2.0%6.5%9.3%8.06-36
Yankees 2-1WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Yankees917183371844.7%24.9%13.9%83.5%-3.4-46
Rays917176168240.4%24.5%13.2%78.1%1.8-4-1
Red Sox83798417697.9%9.9%16.1%34.0%-7.21235
Blue Jays82807737555.5%8.4%12.7%26.5%1.20-21
Orioles78847197831.5%3.0%5.7%10.2%8.26-36
Yankees 3-0WLRSRADivWC1WC2PS%W+/-RS+/-RA+/-
Yankees927083371852.1%22.1%11.3%85.5%-2.6-46
Rays907276168233.9%26.6%15.7%76.2%0.8-4-1
Red Sox84788417697.7%11.2%15.1%34.0%-7.11235
Blue Jays82807737555.1%7.6%14.5%27.2%1.20-21
Orioles78847197831.1%2.4%6.4%10.0%8.46-36

Sure, it’s early.  And yes, the Yankees play the Rays enough times over the rest of the season to make up any ground they lose in this series, but this is still a pretty important series.  You might even say it’s the most important series of the season so far.

--Posted at 9:45 am by SG / 23 Comments | - (0)




Friday, May 4, 2012

Yankees.com: CC wins fourth straight after Yanks erupt late

KANSAS CITY—Eduardo Nunez’s go-ahead RBI triple opened the floodgates in a four-run seventh inning as the Yankees rallied to top the Royals, 6-2, on Friday at Kauffman Stadium.

Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter also homered as New York snapped its three-game losing skid behind eight strong innings from ace CC Sabathia, who won his fourth straight start.

That was a much needed win, more to regain sanity than anything else.

Also, For now, Robertson, Soriano will split ninth.

This seems like a good idea if it means using Robertson in the higher leverage situations.

--Posted at 10:30 pm by Jonathan / 41 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yankees.com: Garcia ousted early as rallying Yanks fall

NEW YORK—Freddy Garcia is long removed from blowing fastballs by hitters, but he found a second life as a soft-tosser who hit the corners exceptionally. Those days, too, seem to be fading further and further into the rear-view mirror.

Loud boos showered the veteran as he was sent to a second-inning exit on Saturday, and Garcia may have pitched himself out of New York’s rotation with his latest clunker, hit hard for six runs as the Tigers defeated the Yankees, 7-5, at Yankee Stadium.

We can now complete SG’s trend line for Freddy:
April 10: 4.2 IP, 4 R
April 16: 5.2 IP, 5 R
April 21: 1.2 IP, 5 R
April 28: 1.2 IP, 6 R

--Posted at 10:59 pm by Jonathan / 10 Comments | - (0)




Friday, April 27, 2012

Yankees.com: Yanks use passed ball to walk off vs. Tigers

NEW YORK—Derek Jeter raced home to score the winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Yankees defeated the Tigers, 7-6, on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

Brayan Villarreal recorded the first out of the ninth inning, but Jeter walked and moved to third base on a wild pitch as Curtis Granderson walked.

The last pitch skipped away from catcher Alex Avila and rolled to the backstop as Alex Rodriguez waved home Jeter, who slid home and called himself safe as Villarreal couldn’t catch the throw to the plate.

The play of the game, of course, was this defensive gem.  The hat flying off as he slides/falls-flat-on-his-face is what makes it for me.

Hurry back, Brett.

--Posted at 11:09 pm by Jonathan / 14 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 MLB Starting Pitching Through April 24

TeamIPTBFRAERAFIPxFIPBB/BFK/BF
Nationals104.74012.151.722.032.855.5%24.2%
Cardinals112.04392.732.573.063.425.7%17.8%
Rangers120.74972.832.763.253.907.6%19.1%
Pirates86.73543.012.83.103.867.3%14.7%
Phillies117.34733.142.843.173.205.3%20.1%
White Sox110.74423.173.093.423.637.9%23.8%
Athletics122.04953.322.953.634.196.1%13.3%
Marlins100.34143.503.413.303.516.5%18.4%
Giants107.74393.593.513.663.806.8%19.6%
Dodgers104.74353.613.013.633.809.4%21.8%
Rays107.34533.773.444.164.319.9%16.1%
Blue Jays109.74434.023.785.454.329.3%13.5%
Tigers95.34064.253.873.293.436.2%21.4%
Reds106.04484.423.993.924.236.5%14.3%
Angels106.04404.504.334.243.405.9%20.2%
Mariners107.74544.514.433.623.885.9%18.3%
Mets96.34184.583.923.623.257.7%20.8%
Indians84.03674.614.184.194.319.0%13.9%
Astros108.34664.654.244.144.028.2%16.7%
Diamondbacks108.04564.754.334.173.687.5%18.4%
Cubs106.04554.754.253.423.638.8%21.8%
Braves101.74304.784.163.803.999.1%19.3%
Brewers102.74414.914.823.913.607.0%21.8%
Padres104.04454.934.153.923.8511.0%19.8%
Orioles100.34335.024.224.334.159.5%18.7%
Royals88.03865.324.814.114.4911.7%16.8%
Rockies88.33905.404.894.964.839.5%12.6%
Red Sox94.34135.725.634.924.229.9%17.9%
Yankees96.34276.175.514.353.446.1%21.1%
Twins95.04237.016.735.504.386.9%13.0%

FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
xFIP: Expected fielding-independent pitching

Twins pitching vs. the Yankees: 2-2, 6.09 RA
Twins pitching vs. the rest of the league: 3-11, 5.88 RA

Remember how the Yankees’ starting pitching was supposed to be a strength?  Now they’re hoping a 40 year old who hasn’t pitched in a year can ride in and save the day.

CC should be fine.  I think Nova’s a good bet for continued success thanks to the big improvement in his peripherals.  Whether that makes him a 2 or a 3 I don’t know, but it’s probably safer to think he’s a 3.  Kuroda will also be ok I think, but I don’t think he’s a 2 in the AL.  It’d be nice if Phil Hughes wasn’t awful, because with Michael Pineda looking less and less likely to pitch this year Andy Pettitte could in theory fill one hole between Hughes and Freddy Garcia, but he can’t fill two.  My guess is Garcia’s start on Saturday will be his last for this turn in the rotation.

Despite what they’ve shown to date I’d bet a reasonable amount of money the Yankees will not remain the second worst starting rotation in MLB by the end of the year.  I think they have a chance to crack the top 20.

--Posted at 9:51 am by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 MLB Offenses through April 23

TmR/GBR/G
NYY6.066.18
TEX5.765.83
ATL5.474.71
CLE5.295.08
TOR5.124.65
BOS5.075.18
STL4.945.15
COL4.804.91
TBR4.754.57
HOU4.474.33
CHW4.444.45
SFG4.444.49
LAD4.414.34
DET4.383.85
ARI4.294.22
MIL4.294.14
BAL4.254.27
LgAvg4.204.24
LAA4.194.02
MIA3.804.01
MIN3.714.04
CHC3.653.01
WSN3.623.87
KCR3.564.20
SDP3.533.41
SEA3.532.96
NYM3.504.12
CIN3.313.36
OAK2.893.09
PHI2.823.13
PIT2.001.87

R/G: Runs scored per game
BR/G: Linear weights batting runs per game

Yes, I realize posting this means the Yankees will not score for the next week.

 

--Posted at 7:52 am by SG / 38 Comments | - (0)




Monday, April 23, 2012

NJ.com: Carig: Yankees expect powerful Rangers team in upcoming series

Indeed, the Rangers have lived up to their billing. At spring training, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman proclaimed the Rangers the class of the American League, by virtue of their status as two-time defending league champions. They host the Yankees in a three-game set that begins Monday coming off an 8-1 road trip.

The Rangers have a 13-3 mark, the best in baseball.

“Explosive offensive,” Girardi said. “Speed. Power. Play very good defense. Starting pitching is deep. Their bullpen is deep. They’re a complete team.”

The Rangers lead all of baseball in run differential at +52, having scored 94 runs while allowing 42.  At their current pace they’d end the year with a 132-30 record and would score 952 runs and allow 425.  Their Pythagenpat winning percentage of .816 is higher than their measly .813 actual winning percentage.

I don’t think they’re quite that good.  My favorite quick and dirty check of how a good team is uses the linear weights of the components their offense has produced and their pitching/defense has allowed to see how their runs scored and allowed break down in a neutral context.  This will adjust for teams that have performed better or worse than expected in crucial situations, something that is generally not predictive.

According to linear weights batting runs, the Rangers offense should have produced 96 runs and their pitching and defense should have allowed 48.  So they’ve really only produced at a level commensurate with a .790 wpct team, aka a team that would win 128 games over a full season.

I knew they weren’t that good.

The Yankees are doomed, aren’t they?

--Posted at 7:28 am by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, April 22, 2012

How have the first two weeks of the 2012 MLB season changed team projections?

We’re roughly about 10% of the way throught the 2012 regular season, which is a pretty small sample size to make sweeping observations about how good or bad teams are.  That doesn’t mean that what’s happened to this point isn’t important, because it is.  I wanted to see what teams have seen the biggest shifts in their outlooks based on how they projected coming into the year compared what they have done since.

The way I looked at this involves three basic steps.

1) Get 2012 projections.  In this case I’m using the average of the 2012 MLB projection blowout that I ran at the beginning of April.
2) Estimate revised team strength.  For now, this is just a basic weighted average of the team’s projections heading into the year and their Pythagenpat performance to this point.  I’m not making any adjustments for injuries/roster changes/etc., yet,  although as we get deeper into the season I’ll probably do that.
3) Run the rest of the 2012 MLB season through my Monte Carlo simulator and see what happens.  This includes a variable that alters team strength in each iteration to account for things that projections can’t account for.

Here’s what it says.

Date 4/22/2012
Iterations 100000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Yankees 94 68 848 718 49.0% 14.1% 24.0% 87.1% -0.8 12 7
Rays 87 75 764 695 23.9% 15.0% 34.6% 73.5% -2.0 -1 12
Red Sox 83 79 828 765 13.9% 11.2% 28.1% 53.1% -7.6 -2 32
Blue Jays 81 81 780 775 11.6% 7.8% 21.4% 40.9% -0.5 6 0
Orioles 70 92 712 812 1.6% 1.9% 6.2% 9.7% 0.1 -1 -6
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Tigers 88 74 780 730 46.6% 6.1% 17.7% 70.4% 2.9 -4 -6
Indians 86 76 779 758 33.4% 8.2% 22.3% 63.9% 3.6 12 7
White Sox 78 84 706 755 11.2% 4.4% 12.9% 28.5% 1.6 -1 -18
Royals 70 92 697 771 4.5% 0.8% 5.6% 10.9% -4.8 -8 6
Twins 70 92 720 824 4.2% 0.9% 3.7% 8.8% -1.6 -11 3
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 99 63 822 679 78.2% 7.4% 8.0% 93.6% 8.4 15 -24
Angels 85 77 738 667 17.0% 16.4% 28.9% 62.3% -5.1 -3 6
Mariners 73 89 672 734 2.8% 3.2% 7.8% 13.8% -1.5 -10 -7
Athletics 72 90 687 739 2.0% 2.8% 9.0% 13.8% -4.1 -20 -17
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Braves 90 72 734 664 32.5% 11.3% 23.7% 67.5% 2.3 20 -2
Phillies 88 74 677 611 25.9% 12.4% 21.6% 59.9% -1.4 -21 -17
Nationals 88 74 674 639 27.5% 10.4% 24.4% 62.3% 3.8 -8 -17
Marlins 82 80 699 672 11.3% 8.4% 18.2% 37.9% -1.8 -8 -9
Mets 74 88 677 749 2.8% 3.0% 8.5% 14.3% 0.2 -6 -3
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Cardinals 94 68 740 662 53.9% 10.5% 16.8% 81.1% 7.2 9 -17
Brewers 86 76 700 677 21.2% 9.5% 19.0% 49.7% 1.2 1 13
Reds 84 78 699 665 18.7% 9.6% 21.5% 49.7% -2.9 -16 5
Pirates 73 89 639 726 3.3% 1.8% 6.2% 11.3% 1.5 -29 -26
Cubs 68 94 652 757 1.8% 1.6% 2.8% 6.2% -3.2 -4 7
Astros 66 96 607 747 1.2% 0.3% 1.2% 2.7% 1.9 3 -8
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Giants 85 77 672 649 29.6% 5.3% 14.9% 49.8% 0.6 0 2
Dodgers 83 79 649 674 22.7% 5.3% 11.1% 39.1% 8.1 8 -17
Diamondbacks 83 79 687 677 22.8% 4.3% 14.1% 41.2% -1.3 -6 3
Rockies 81 81 751 744 20.1% 4.9% 12.6% 37.6% -1.2 3 13
Padres 72 90 638 690 4.8% 1.4% 5.1% 11.3% -3.5 -9 2

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: 2012 revised projected wins minus 2012 pre-season projected wins
RS+/-: 2012 revised projected runs scored minus 2012 pre-season projected runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2012 revised projected runs allowed minus 2012 pre-season projected runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

Good thing for Cliff Lee he signed with the young upstart Phillies instead of the old decrepit Yankees.  And remember how the Rangers and Angels looked to be neck and neck heading into the year?  Yeah.  The Dodgers seem to have snuck their way into the division race now, but other than that the division standings look pretty similar to how they did entering the season.

And here’s a chart that shows the changes in revised team wins projections for each team.

TM W+/-
Rangers 8.4
Dodgers 8.1
Cardinals 7.2
Nationals 3.8
Indians 3.6
Tigers 2.9
Braves 2.3
Astros 1.9
White Sox 1.6
Pirates 1.5
Brewers 1.2
Giants 0.6
Mets 0.2
Orioles 0.1
Blue Jays -0.5
Yankees -0.8
Rockies -1.2
Diamondbacks -1.3
Phillies -1.4
Mariners -1.5
Twins -1.6
Marlins -1.8
Rays -2.0
Reds -2.9
Cubs -3.2
Padres -3.5
Athletics -4.1
Royals -4.8
Angels -5.1
Red Sox -7.6

The Rangers have been destroying the competition and look like they’re probably the best team in baseball.  The Dodgers and Cardinals are the biggest positive surprises in the National League so far.  The Angels are the biggest disappointment in the AL.

But the Red Sox have to be the most pleasant surprise in baseball for me.

--Posted at 9:17 am by SG / 62 Comments | - (0)




Friday, April 20, 2012

Crashing the Party

I decided to make use of my field pass during Yankees' batting practice on Friday afternoon. I figured that I should make the most of it before somebody wised up and revoked it.

Trying to remain as incognito as possible, I snapped off a few pictures using my phone (hence the poor picture quality). Click on any of them to enlarge.


I took this shot just as the Red Sox were finishing up their BP - all the Yankees were still in the dugout getting ready to come out and stretch.


Papelbon is right, Mo has a great smile.


CHB asked asked A-Rod about his favorite Fenway moments. I believe A-Rod mentioned his first major league game in July of 1994.


One of the funnier moments I witnessed was when Nick Swisher came into the dugout before taking BP. Russell Martin was just about to sit down with a reporter from a Canadian news outlet, and Swisher started yelling out, "French time? Time for French!?"

Another interesting thing I caught was Swisher talking to Ibanez about the difference between Yankee Stadium's short porch and the wall in left at Fenway. He said something about how if you get jammed at Yankee Stadium, you won't be able to muscle it out; but you can get jammed and still go deep over the monster. Or maybe it was the other way around. The funny thing was that it almost looked like he got jammed in his first plate appearance on Friday and he actually took it the other way for a HR over the monster.



Kuroda sitting down for an interview with Japanese TV. I only caught one word: Ichiro.

Every time I get an assignment for a Yankee game, I hope to see Mariano Rivera take the mound. So when Cody Eppley came in with a four run lead in the bottom of the ninth, I was a bit disconcerted. However, it only took one single off the bat of Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Girardi to make the inevitable call to the bullpen, and I once again got to see my absolute favorite player in action. Two strike outs and a ground out was all the Red Sox could muster against the greatest closer in baseball history, and the Yankees took the first game of the season series 6-2.

Happy Birthday Fenway.

--Posted at 10:28 pm by Jonathan / 30 Comments | - (0)



A Tale of Two Log 5s

The Yankees have been a bit under their expected record to this point using Bill James’s log 5 expectations given pre-season projections for them and their respective opponents and adjusting for home/road advantage/disadvantage. 

The Red Sox have been more than a bit under their expected record using the same criteria.  Here’s how they compare.

TeamNYA  
DateOppxWaW
6-Apr@TAM0.530
7-Apr@TAM0.530
8-Apr@TAM0.530
9-Apr@BAL0.651
10-Apr@BAL0.651
11-Apr@BAL0.651
13-AprLAA0.521
14-AprLAA0.520
15-AprLAA0.521
16-AprMIN0.640
17-AprMIN0.641
18-AprMIN0.640
19-AprMIN0.641
  7.687.00

 

TeamBOS  
DateOppxWaW
5-Apr@DET0.530
7-Apr@DET0.530
8-Apr@DET0.530
9-Apr@TOR0.561
10-Apr@TOR0.560
11-Apr@TOR0.560
13-AprTAM0.511
14-AprTAM0.511
15-AprTAM0.511
16-AprTAM0.510
17-AprTEX0.500
18-AprTEX0.500
    
  6.334.00

xW: Expected wins using log 5 and these pre-season projections
aW: Actual wins

The Yankees actually project as slight favorites in this series at 1.56 - 1.44.  Here’s how the two teams’ would compare to their overall log 5 based on the various potential series outcomes.

Yankee sweep: Yankees aW: 10, xW: 9.23, Boston aW: 4, xW: 7.77
Yankees 2-1: Yankees aW: 9, xW: 9.23, Boston aW: 5, xw: 7.77
Boston 2-1: Yankees aW: 8, xW: 9.23, Boston aW: 6, xW: 7.77
Boston sweep: Yankees aW: 7, xW: 9.23, Boston aW: 7, xW: 7.77

So the Yankees really only need to win one of these games to remain closer to their relative expectations than Boston. 

I’d obviously like to see more than that.

--Posted at 8:24 am by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)




Monday, April 16, 2012

CBS Sports: MLB Preview: Minnesota at New York

Including postseason, Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees have won 33 of 40 at home against the Twins over the past decade, and Yankee Stadium fans will likely be relishing the chance to rudely greet Minnesota starter Carl Pavano.

Minnesota (2-7) was swept over the weekend by Texas at home, and now faces a major nemesis. The Yankees (5-4) have eliminated Ron Gardenhire’s club from the playoffs four times in the decade since he took over as Twins manager, and he’s well aware of his poor record in the Bronx.

“We just play the schedule,” Gardenhire told MLB.com. “We’ll go to New York for four tough games, and then off to Tampa for three more tough ballgames. So it’s a tough road trip.”

The Twins didn’t project to be very good this year and so far they’re living up to that.  While they’re probably better than the 36-126 pace that they’re on, they may be the worst team in the American League.  Which would make them the favorite for the NL Wild Card.  The Twins’ primary problem this year has been offense.  Only Oakland is scoring fewer runs per game than them.  Their pitching has also been pretty crappy with an RA of 5.33 per game, but that’s better than four other teams.  Interesting note, Tampa Bay has the worst RA in the league.  Mentioning this allows me to post this very irritating table of Tampa Bay’s 2012 pitching splits so far.

Split W L RA FIP IP H R ER HR BB SO BF BB/BF K/BF BABIP
Boston Red Sox 0 3 11.63 7.78 24 39 31 31 7 16 16 124 12.9% 12.9% .381
New York Yankees 3 0 4.00 5.09 27 21 12 12 2 18 16 119 15.1% 13.4% .232

If it makes you feel better, I’m sure Tampa Bay’s fan is not happy about this either.

Back to the Twins, the pitching matchups for this series are:

Monday, April 16, 7:05 PM ET
Carl Pavano vs. Freddy Garcia

Tuesday, April 17, 7:05 PM ET
Francisco Liriano vs. CC Sabathia

Wednesday, April 18, 7:05 PM ET
Jason Marquis vs. Hiroki Kuroda

Thursday, April 19, 7:05 PM ET
To be announced vs. Phil Hughes

You have to give the Twins the edge in that Thursday match up.  Pavano vs. Garcia is probably a tossup, and I’d give the Yankees the edge in the other two matchups.  A sweep of a four game series is tough no matter how poor the opponent, but I’ll be disappointed in anything less.

This also means that Ivan Nova will start the first game of the Yankees’ next series in Fenway.  I trust Nova more than any other pitcher in the rotation right now (given the way CC’s looked so far) to pitch decently against Boston, which means he’ll probably get shelled.

--Posted at 1:24 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yankees.com: Jeter’s homer helps Yankees outslug Angels

NEW YORK—Derek Jeter cracked a three-run homer and Ivan Nova turned in six effective innings for the victory as the Yankees defeated the Angels, 11-5, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Mark Teixeira had two hits, including a run-scoring double, as part of a four-run third inning that sent Angels starter Jerome Williams to an early exit.

Jeter’s second blast of the year was a line drive into the right-field seats off Hisanori Takahashi in the fourth inning, opening up a seven-run lead and providing Nova with a large cushion to cruise toward his second victory of the year.

The Angels made it a three-run game by the seventh, when Albert Pujols knocked in a run with a single facing an ineffective Rafael Soriano, but David Robertson bailed the Yankees out of a bases-loaded jam to escape the inning.

It’s nice when the Yankee offense graces us with their presence, isn’t it?  Derek Jeter can’t carry this team alone all season.

Nova’s final line doesn’t look all that great, but I thought he pitched pretty well over most of the game.  He continued to show the separation in his walks and strikeouts that are an indication that he’s not pitching over his head with 2 BB and 8 K, but he gave up 2 HRs and 4 runs so it was a mixed outing.

The Yankees have won 5 of 6 after starting the year 0 for 3 against the juggernaut Rays.  The schadenfreude-lover in me also is happy that the Angels weren’t able to leave this series feeling they’ve “turned their season around” and that Albert Pujols didn’t really break out.  I still think they’re a good team and will be in contention until the end of the year, but let that start after tonight.

A 5-4 record feels meh, but it’s about where we should have realistically expected them to be at this point.  The home series against the Twins starting tomorrow seems like a good opportunity to try and move ahead of those expectations.

--Posted at 10:39 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sliding 101 with Eduardo Nunez


--Posted at 1:23 pm by Jonathan / 15 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yankees.com: 100 years ago, Yankees pinstripes are born

NEW YORK—In a wooden ballpark located on The Hilltop in upper Manhattan, northwest of the Polo Grounds and close to the shores of the Hudson River, the New York Highlanders were ready to open their 1912 season. Their opponents on this day, April 11, were the Boston Red Sox. They were not rivals.

The Highlanders, commonly called the Yankees but a year away from formally taking on the name, had altered their uniforms nearly every year since their arrival from Baltimore in 1903. This season, they had another new look, sported by 23-year-old Ray Caldwell as he delivered the first pitch of the season.

They had added pinstripes.

According to the article, the Cubs were actually the first team to have pinstripes on their baseball uniform dating back to 1907.

--Posted at 1:27 pm by SG / 14 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ivan Nova’s Curveball

Ivan Nova Curveballs
PZone%Chase%Miss%
2011 Season58941.3%26.0%26.6%
4/9/20122360.9%55.6%45.5%

Ivan Nova's curveball was really working last night. In two strike counts, he threw the pitch ten times, resulting in no hits and five strikeouts. Of those five strikeouts, four came on curveballs located out of the zone. I'd like to think that he was able to set that up by locating his curve in the strike zone throughout the game. If batters were aware that Nova was willing to throw the pitch in the zone, they were probably more likely to hack at it in two strike counts.

The two hits he gave up on curves were both located inside the strike zone: a double by Wieters in the 4th on a 2-1 pitch with the bases empty, and a single by Adam Jones in the 6th on an 0-1 pitch with the bases empty.

The one backwards K Nova recorded with his curveball last night came in the bottom of the seventh against Robert Andino. That must be why he was so testy after the game....

--Posted at 9:10 am by Jonathan / 71 Comments | - (0)




Monday, April 9, 2012

Yankees.com: Jeter’s four hits set up Yankees’ first win

BALTIMORE—Derek Jeter had four hits and Andruw Jones homered to support Ivan Nova’s effort as the Yankees posted their first victory of the season on Monday, defeating the Orioles, 6-2, at Camden Yards.

Hoping to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1973, the Yankees rode seven solid innings from Nova, who outpitched Baltimore counterpart Brian Matusz and washed away the remnants of an unsuccessful spring.

I generally look at three numbers after every Nova start.  Runs, walks and strikeouts.  When he allows two runs, walks none and strikes out seven, I’m seeing the evidence I need to see to think that Nova’s improvement over the last season or so is legitimate and sustainable.  He hit 96 mph and had great breaking stuff tonight, and threw the best game a Yankee starter has thrown this year. 

--Posted at 9:15 pm by SG / 31 Comments | - (0)



CBS Sports: MLB Preview: New York at Baltimore

Perhaps the only thing more surprising than how well the Baltimore Orioles have played this season is how poorly the New York Yankees have looked.

The Orioles will try to open 4-0 for the second consecutive season and send the Yankees to their first 0-4 start in 39 years Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Camden Yards.

While ending a run of 14 straight losing seasons would be considered a very successful campaign for Baltimore, the Yankees are again expected to compete for a championship.

Tm PA R H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
BAL 102 15 25 3 1 5 2 0 10 12 .275 .353 .495 .847
NYY 119 12 21 5 1 2 1 0 18 16 .212 .336 .343 .680
Tm W L ERA IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO
BAL 3 0 1.00 27 15 5 3 1 8 0 16
NYY 0 3 5.92 24.1 29 18 16 5 16 4 28
Tm Pos CH PM AvgPM Diff RS
Bal 1B 6 5 5 0 0
Bal 2B 12 10 10 0 0
Bal 3B 10 8 8 0 0
Bal CF 4 4 4 0 0
Bal LF 4 4 4 0 0
Bal RF 6 5 5 0 0
Bal SS 9 9 8 1 1
Bal Total 51 45 43 2 2
NYY 1B 2 2 2 0 0
NYY 2B 6 3 4 -1 -1
NYY 3B 10 7 7 0 0
NYY CF 10 6 8 -2 -2
NYY LF 3 2 3 -1 -1
NYY RF 9 7 8 -1 -1
NYY SS 8 4 6 -2 -2
NYY Total 48 31 38 -7 -7

CH: Fieldable chances in Zone Rating
PM: Plays made (CH converted into outs)
AvgPM: PM by average defender over same # of chances
Diff: PM minus AvgPM
RS: Runs saved compared to average (Diff times run value at position of a play made)

--Posted at 8:44 am by SG / 111 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Tale of Two Defenses

Player Tm Lg Pos CH PM AvgPM Diff RS
Rodriguez, Sean TB AL SS 6 6 5 1 1
Brignac, Reid TB AL SS 5 5 4 1 1
Rodriguez, Alex NYY AL 3B 7 6 5 1 1
Joyce, Matt TB AL LF 3 3 3 0 0
Keppinger, Jeff TB AL 2B 2 2 2 0 0
Rodriguez, Sean TB AL 2B 2 2 2 0 0
Zobrist, Ben TB AL RF 3 3 3 0 0
Teixeira, Mark NYY AL 1B 1 1 1 0 0
Gardner, Brett NYY AL LF 1 1 1 0 0
Swisher, Nick NYY AL RF 6 5 5 0 0
Johnson, Elliot TB AL 2B 3 2 2 0 0
Nunez, Eduardo NYY AL SS 3 2 2 0 0
Longoria, Evan TB AL 3B 2 1 2 -1 0
Pena, Carlos TB AL 1B 3 2 3 -1 0
Jennings, Desmond TB AL CF 3 2 3 -1 0
Jones, Andruw NYY AL LF 1 0 1 -1 -1
Cano, Robinson NYY AL 2B 5 2 4 -2 -2
Jeter, Derek NYY AL SS 4 1 3 -2 -2
Granderson, Curtis NYY AL CF 8 4 7 -3 -2
Total TB 32 28 27 1 1
Total NYY 36 22 30 -8 -6

CH: Fieldable chances in Zone Rating
PM: Plays made (CH converted into outs)
AvgPM: PM by average defender over same # of chances
Diff: PM minus AvgPM
RS: Runs saved compared to average (Diff times run value at position of a play made)

Sample size, blah blah blah.  Defensive metrics, blah blah blah.

--Posted at 10:43 am by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

CAIRO 2012 v1.0 and Final Pre-season MLB Standings Projection

I’ve uploaded the final pre-season 2012 CAIRO projections and projected standings.  They can be downloaded here.

cairo_2012_v1.0.zip

Yeah, I know Opening Day was technically last week.  Sue me.

Here are the standings and of course, the pie charts.  I should be posting more projected standings from other systems later today, so I’ll save the disclaimers and explanations for after that’s all done.

Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
AL East NYA 96 66 848 713 52.8% 19.6% 11.1% 83.5% 86 - 106
AL East BOS 91 71 857 751 23.7% 21.0% 16.1% 60.8% 81 - 101
AL East TAM 91 71 765 667 22.4% 25.7% 14.9% 63.0% 81 - 101
AL East TOR 79 83 771 793 0.8% 2.4% 3.1% 6.2% 69 - 89
AL East BAL 70 92 736 838 0.4% 0.1% 0.5% 1.0% 60 - 80
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
AL Central DET 87 75 803 741 55.2% 1.3% 10.3% 66.8% 77 - 97
AL Central CLE 84 78 759 721 36.4% 2.4% 9.3% 48.0% 74 - 94
AL Central CHA 74 88 699 806 3.0% 0.2% 0.8% 4.0% 64 - 84
AL Central KC 73 89 682 754 3.6% 0.2% 0.8% 4.6% 63 - 83
AL Central MIN 71 91 725 815 1.8% 0.0% 0.3% 2.1% 61 - 81
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
AL West TEX 93 69 809 685 54.2% 12.7% 17.3% 84.1% 83 - 103
AL West LAA 92 70 739 640 44.7% 14.3% 14.6% 73.6% 82 - 102
AL West OAK 74 88 685 753 0.5% 0.3% 0.9% 1.7% 64 - 84
AL West SEA 73 89 669 742 0.6% 0.0% 0.6% 1.2% 63 - 83
AL WC1 93
AL WC2 90
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
NL East PHI 91 71 690 610 51.0% 15.1% 9.0% 75.0% 81 - 101
NL East ATL 86 76 705 664 20.5% 16.4% 10.2% 47.1% 76 - 96
NL East WAS 85 77 669 632 17.7% 12.8% 9.7% 40.1% 75 - 95
NL East FLA 83 79 710 694 10.3% 8.6% 7.0% 25.9% 73 - 93
NL East NYN 74 88 665 737 0.7% 0.8% 0.8% 2.2% 64 - 84
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
NL Central STL 89 73 728 654 47.2% 11.1% 9.4% 67.7% 79 - 99
NL Central MIL 86 76 695 646 29.2% 11.6% 11.8% 52.6% 76 - 96
NL Central CIN 85 77 707 670 22.7% 10.8% 11.2% 44.8% 75 - 95
NL Central PIT 71 91 653 743 0.6% 0.3% 1.0% 1.9% 61 - 81
NL Central CHN 71 91 648 748 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.9% 61 - 81
NL Central HOU 61 101 584 752 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 51 - 71
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PS% W 1 Std
NL West SF 85 77 663 634 36.5% 5.2% 10.2% 51.9% 75 - 95
NL West ARI 84 78 692 674 33.9% 3.0% 9.2% 46.0% 74 - 94
NL West COL 82 80 755 750 21.2% 2.9% 6.6% 30.7% 72 - 92
NL West SD 76 86 635 674 4.1% 0.9% 1.6% 6.6% 66 - 86
NL West LAN 75 87 622 671 4.3% 0.3% 2.5% 7.1% 65 - 85
NL WC1 90
NL WC2 88

Div: Percentage of times team won division
WC 1: Percentage of times team won first wild card
WC 2: Percentage of times team won second wild card
PS%: Total percentage team qualified for the postseason (DIV + WC1 + WC2)
W 1 Std: Wins within one standard deviation

--Posted at 7:45 am by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boston.com: Valentine blasts Girardi

When the inning was over, the Red Sox took the field but were waved off by the umpires. Valentine had righthander Clayton Mortensen warmed up and coming in from the bullpen.

“It was regretful that [Clayton] Mortensen warmed up though and then we were told that they weren’t going to play extra innings. I didn’t think that that was very courteous,’’ Valentine said.

“The umpire came over and said we couldn’t play. I don’t care about not playing. Why do I have to warm up my pitcher who’s trying to make a team? Come in in a tie game against the Yankees and maybe help him make a team, and instead he has to walk off the mound and take a shower. That’s just not very courteous.’’

According to their travel roster, the Yankees had seven pitchers available. One of them, D.J. Mitchell, threw in the bullpen during the game and could not have pitched. But the others could have.

“Usually there’s communication between the umpires and the manager and it didn’t happen tonight for whatever reason,’’ Girardi said. “I didn’t know they had another guy.’’

Valentine expected that message to come from Girardi.

“Usually you go over and say, ‘Hey, I don’t have any more.’ I don’t know. I haven’t been around in a long time,’’ he said. “Joe knows better than I. I guess you just walk off the field.

“I’m sure [Girardi] didn’t do anything deliberate. It’s just I have to answer a pitcher who’s trying to make the team. That’s why you use that bullpen.’’

If getting Mortensen in the game was so important to Valentine, perhaps he could have used him in one of the nine official innings, perhaps in one of the seven thrown by Aaron Cook and Ross Ohlendorf?  And if giving Mortensen a fair chance to make the team is so important to Valentine, is there any reason he’s pitched a grand total of three times this spring?

--Posted at 7:01 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, March 18, 2012

WaPo: Boswell: Phillies’ toughest opponent might be Father Time

Baseball must despise a sure thing. The Phils are still a sane pick to be in the World Series. But they also might not even win their own division. With a speed that is chilling, the gap between the Phils and the rest of the NL East — much less all of baseball — has shrunk to the point where this season, or very soon, the young, rising Braves, Nationals and Marlins, or all three of them, may be on the Phils’ aging heels.

I want to take a trip down memory lane.

March 11, 2011: Hardball Talk: Cliff Lee chose Philly because the Yankees are getting older. At least in Cliff Lee’s mind.

“Texas probably finished second to be honest with you. Just as far as the quality of the team and the chance to win a World Series ring, I think they’re a better team. That’s just my opinion. The Yankees can do anything at any moment to improve and they’re not afraid to go do things. That was part of the decision making process too,

Durp.

but I felt like with what the Red Sox had done and it seems like some of the Yankee guys are getting older, but I liked the Rangers.”

Double durp.

If I sum up age times PA and age times batters faced divided by PA + BF for all teams using my current depth charts for 2012, here’s the average age by team.

PHI: 30.5
NYA: 30.1
STL: 29.3
LAA: 28.9
BOS: 28.6
MIN: 28.6
OAK: 28.4
COL: 28.3
LAD: 28.2
MIL: 28.1
CHN: 28.1
PIT: 27.9
TEX: 27.9
NYN: 27.9
SF: 27.7
MIA: 27.6
TB: 27.6
HOU: 27.5
CLE: 27.4
BAL: 27.4
CHA: 27.4
SEA: 27.2
SD: 27.1
ARI: 27.0
CIN: 27.0
DET: 27.0
WAS: 26.9
TOR: 26.6
ATL: 26.5
KC: 26.0

Triple durp.

Here are CAIRO’s up to the minute projections for each of the three teams that were in contention for Cliff Lee’s services.

NYA: 96-66
TEX: 93-69
PHI 91-71

Quadruple durp.

--Posted at 3:32 pm by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SI.com: Phillies And Yankees Both Interested In Jorge Soler

The Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees are currently interested in 19-year-old Cuban baseball prospect, according to ESPN.com.

Soler is considered a major power hitting prospect, and according to some analysts would be one of the top 50 prospects in baseball immediately after signing with a team. While some believe he isn’t athletic as fellow Cuban defector Yeonis Cespedes, who just yesterday signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the Oakland Athletics, he is seven years younger and may have more upside.

--Posted at 11:27 am by Jonathan / 21 Comments | - (0)



Montreal Gazette: Pirates still out front in A.J. Burnett sweepstakes

Yes, the Montreal Gazette.  I am going international in the quest to know the very latest on this critical situation and will leave no stone unturned.

A source said Tuesday that the Indians and Angels checked in about Burnett, with Cleveland offering Travis Hafner as part of its proposal. The source said the Angels made what the Yankees considered to be an “even better offer,” but Burnett has a limited no-trade clause that lists 10 teams, including the Angels.

I wonder who the Angels offered?  I’d assume Jeff Mathis but he was traded, so it must be someone of that ilk.  Vernon Wells maybe?

--Posted at 8:09 am by SG / 9 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Much Might A.J. Burnett Be Worth to Pittsburgh?

There’s been no reported change in the status of the Yankees discussing trading A.J. Burnett to the Pirates.  According to Marc Carig the teams are deadlocked over the parameters of a potential deal.

The Yankees have already rejected a proposal in which the Pirates would have absorbed $10 million while sending a package of minor-leaguers for Burnett. But left-handed DH candidate Garrett Jones was never discussed, the person with knowledge said.

The Yankees, according the person with knowledge, are “fully prepared to have A.J. in camp,” if a deal can’t be arranged. However, the Pirates remain frontrunners in talks.

Two other teams are involved in trade talks for Burnett, and according to the person with knowledge, one of the teams is “very serious.” But that club is one of several on the West Coast included on Burnett’s no-trade list.

We know Burnett’s raw stats would probably look better in the NL, but I thought it might be instructive to look at two sets of CAIRO projections for Burnett.

Burnett as a Yankee

% G GS W L IP H R ER HR BB HBP SO RA ERA FIP RAR WAR
80% 36 36 12 11 211 205 104 96 24 78 9 196 4.42 4.12 3.84 39 3.9
65% 34 34 11 11 200 201 105 98 25 79 10 179 4.73 4.41 4.18 30 3.0
Baseline 32 32 10 11 190 199 106 99 26 79 11 164 5.03 4.70 4.52 22 2.2
35% 26 26 7 10 152 165 90 84 23 67 10 126 5.33 4.99 4.86 13 1.3
20% 23 23 6 9 133 149 83 78 22 62 10 106 5.63 5.28 5.20 7 0.7

FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
RAR: Runs saved above replacement level using RA
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RAR divided by 10)

Burnett as a Pirate

% G GS W L IP H R ER HR BB HBP SO RA ERA FIP RAR WAR
80% 36 36 13 10 211 182 87 81 19 76 9 218 3.72 3.46 3.30 36 3.6
65% 34 34 11 11 200 179 89 83 20 77 10 199 4.01 3.74 3.62 28 2.8
Baseline 32 32 10 11 190 177 91 85 21 77 11 183 4.29 4.01 3.95 21 2.1
35% 26 26 8 9 152 147 77 72 19 65 10 141 4.57 4.28 4.27 12 1.2
20% 23 23 6 9 133 133 72 67 18 60 10 118 4.86 4.55 4.60 6 0.6

In terms of value there’s not much difference there.  The values aren’t identical but they are close enough to basically be equivalent given the margin of error inherent in projections. Eyeballing the Pirates’ projections, Burnett would probably be their best starter assuming Erik Bedard can’t stay healthy, which is generally a safe assumption.  If 2 WAR is close for Burnett in 2012, then we can probably assume something like 1-1.5 WAR in 2013, so he should be worth something like 3-3.5 WAR for Pittsburgh.

The problem is we don’t know how much a marginal win for Pittsburgh is worth to them.  Accordign to my last projected standings Pittsburgh projected to win around 68 games.  An earlier Marcel run said 72.  Adding two wins to either total still leaves Pittsburgh well short of realistic contention although it probably boosts their odds of qualifying for the postseason by about 3%.  If a marginal win is worth something like $5M to the Yankees, it may only be worth something like $3M to Pittsburgh.

If I were Pittsburgh, I’d hold steady at $10M.  I don’t think Burnett’s worth more than that to them.  My guess is the Yankees will eventually cave after trying to extract every last cent they can.  $10M is probably worth more to them than having Burnett at this point.

--Posted at 10:37 am by SG / 65 Comments | - (0)




Monday, February 13, 2012

WSJ: Where Burnett Places In the Pantheon of Busts

If his Yankee career is over after three years, a 34-35 record, and a 4.79 ERA, then we can finally assess Burnett’s place in the Yankee pantheon—of free agent busts. Before the 2009 season, the Yankees promised Burnett $82.5 million over five years. Various reports indicate that the Pirates could pick up between $10 million and $13 million of the remaining $33 million the Yankees owe Burnett—meaning the Yankees will pay Burnett roughly $70 million for a total of 3.4 Wins Above Replacement, a stat that measures a player’s total value over that of a triple-A call-up, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

How does that measure up against some of the other long-term, little-return contracts the Yankees have handed out in the Derek Jeter era? Will Burnett be remembered as poorly as big-name busts like Kenny Rogers, Kei Igawa, and Carl Pavano?

This deal seems to be taking too long to materialize, making me think Pittsburgh is starting to get wise. We need more articles written about Game Two to help sway their front office.

--Posted at 10:51 pm by Jonathan / 23 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, February 12, 2012

TGS: Pirates lead A.J. Burnett talks

The two teams haven’t agreed on the dollar figure the Yankees will eat to facilitate the trade, and they haven’t agreed on the players that the Pirates will send to the Yankees.

But they have found enough common ground that Pittsburgh is now the clear front-runner.

A source familiar with the negotiations had told ESPNNewYork’s Wallace Matthews on Saturday that the talks had “legs” and were “real.”

But Pirates right fielder Garrett Jones, a left-handed bat whom the Yankees coveted, had been taken off the table, according to the source.

With the serious trade talks going on the Yankees have paused their pursuit of a designated hitter in the free agent market.

They are doing so, a baseball official said, because they want to see if they receive someone who could DH in a possible deal for Burnett.

Apparently, the Yankees “don’t love” the two minor leaguers the Pirates have offered in a potential A.J. Burnett trade.

--Posted at 1:53 pm by Jonathan / 17 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CAIRO 2012 v0.5 and More Somewhat Useless Projected Standings

I’ve uploaded the latest version of the 2012 MLB CAIRO projections. They can be downloaded here.

The only changes from version 0.4 were moving players who were signed/traded to their new teams.  I think this will probably be the last release until right before Opening Day unless I find any issues.

I figured since I’ve updated again I’d run another set of projected standings so here is what they look like.

Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL East NYA 97 65 844 692 54.3% 22.5% 8.0% 84.8%
AL East TAM 92 70 772 660 23.2% 27.4% 14.1% 64.8%
AL East BOS 92 70 862 745 22.1% 27.0% 15.3% 64.4%
AL East TOR 78 84 758 795 0.4% 1.2% 2.6% 4.1%
AL East BAL 70 92 734 847 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL Central DET 88 74 814 741 60.7% 1.6% 12.7% 75.0%
AL Central CLE 84 78 763 729 32.1% 0.8% 9.5% 42.4%
AL Central CHA 74 88 705 805 3.5% 0.2% 1.0% 4.7%
AL Central KC 74 88 687 762 3.3% 0.0% 0.8% 4.1%
AL Central MIN 67 95 720 861 0.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.5%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL West TEX 92 70 812 695 51.2% 8.6% 17.0% 76.8%
AL West LAA 91 71 741 653 47.0% 9.9% 16.6% 73.5%
AL West OAK 76 86 685 735 0.7% 0.6% 1.7% 2.9%
AL West SEA 74 88 673 729 1.2% 0.2% 1.0% 2.4%
AL WC1 94
AL WC2 91
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL East PHI 92 70 701 605 60.8% 12.4% 9.1% 82.2%
NL East WAS 86 76 676 625 18.6% 18.2% 9.1% 45.8%
NL East ATL 85 77 700 676 13.2% 12.5% 11.0% 36.7%
NL East FLA 82 80 708 699 7.3% 8.0% 7.1% 22.3%
NL East NYN 75 87 670 733 0.3% 1.2% 1.8% 3.2%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL Central STL 90 72 737 654 47.8% 12.4% 10.3% 70.5%
NL Central CIN 87 75 715 665 27.3% 11.6% 12.1% 51.0%
NL Central MIL 86 76 696 645 24.6% 12.3% 11.7% 48.6%
NL Central CHN 71 91 650 745 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.5%
NL Central PIT 68 94 649 764 0.1% 0.0% 0.3% 0.4%
NL Central HOU 60 102 584 773 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.3%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL West SF 85 77 663 630 38.1% 3.1% 8.4% 49.5%
NL West ARI 84 78 659 634 33.5% 3.6% 8.9% 46.1%
NL West COL 81 81 761 759 18.3% 3.0% 6.6% 27.9%
NL West SD 76 86 633 668 5.2% 0.8% 2.2% 8.2%
NL West LAN 75 87 621 669 4.9% 0.7% 1.8% 7.3%
NL WC1 90
NL WC2 88

Div: Percentage of times team won division
WC 1: Percentage of times team won first wild card
WC 2: Percentage of times team won second wild card

These look more realistic to me than the last set I ran with Marcel.  Probably a bit high on the Yankees, but since CAIRO was created to make the Yankees look better than they are that stands to reason.

I am a bit surprised that Washington now projects better than Atlanta, even if it’s just a one game edge.  The only other major differences from this and the Marcel version is St. Louis at the top of the NL Central and San Francisco and Arizona above Colorado, both of which make sense to me.

Anyway, it’s still early, this is still not that useful, etc.,

--Posted at 9:58 am by SG / 43 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, February 4, 2012

NY Post: Girardi says Yankees need some more offense

“I think it will be helpful,” Girardi said of potentially adding another hitter. “I think we’ve had a good offseason, [but] I think it’s important to our club that you add that other bat.”

General manager Brian Cashman is looking for a designated hitter to replace recently traded Jesus Montero. Former Yankees Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are among the free-agent possibilities.

“Johnny has been a great player for a long time,” Girardi said. “There’s been a bunch of names talked about, and they’re all good players. [Raul] Ibanez, he’s had a great career, and Matsui has had a great career. Obviously, we know what Johnny and [Matsui] have meant to this organization and Ibanez has had success wherever he’s been. ...”

Well, except when he started out in Seattle.  But that was like 12 years ago - he’s just hitting his stride now.

--Posted at 8:17 pm by Jonathan / 41 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, January 28, 2012

Still Too Early 2012 MLB Standings Projection

Instead of running these with CAIRO this time I used Marcel, mainly out of curiosity in seeing what an unbiased projection that was not created to make the Yankees look better than they are would say.

It says this.

Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL East NYA 92 70 785 682 45.3% 20.3% 10.4% 76.0%
AL East BOS 90 72 830 750 27.9% 26.1% 10.8% 64.8%
AL East TAM 88 74 717 646 23.7% 21.2% 12.2% 57.1%
AL East TOR 81 81 723 727 3.0% 6.9% 6.8% 16.7%
AL East BAL 70 92 694 806 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL Central DET 84 78 747 708 43.0% 2.4% 10.1% 55.4%
AL Central CLE 83 79 722 708 30.6% 2.9% 7.8% 41.3%
AL Central CHA 79 83 686 703 15.2% 1.5% 4.2% 20.9%
AL Central KC 79 83 691 714 10.8% 1.9% 4.1% 16.9%
AL Central MIN 68 94 693 813 0.4% 0.0% 0.1% 0.5%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
AL West LAA 87 75 719 663 43.7% 6.1% 11.4% 61.2%
AL West TEX 87 75 765 707 38.2% 6.9% 13.4% 58.6%
AL West OAK 82 80 682 674 14.9% 3.1% 7.4% 25.3%
AL West SEA 76 86 649 689 3.2% 0.7% 1.6% 5.5%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL East PHI 90 72 689 615 44.8% 16.5% 10.7% 72.0%
NL East ATL 89 73 668 608 38.2% 19.2% 9.9% 67.3%
NL East WAS 83 79 645 634 10.8% 10.3% 8.1% 29.2%
NL East FLA 80 82 682 690 5.7% 5.2% 5.4% 16.3%
NL East NYN 74 88 630 680 0.6% 1.5% 1.2% 3.2%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL Central CIN 89 73 719 647 60.4% 8.4% 10.9% 79.7%
NL Central STL 84 78 708 681 24.6% 10.7% 7.0% 42.2%
NL Central MIL 81 81 678 672 13.1% 6.7% 7.7% 27.5%
NL Central PIT 72 90 657 732 1.6% 0.2% 1.0% 2.8%
NL Central CHN 70 92 668 761 0.4% 0.2% 0.4% 1.0%
NL Central HOU 66 96 617 749 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
Div Team W L RF RA Div WC 1 WC 2 PL%
NL West COL 85 77 749 711 32.1% 6.4% 10.9% 49.4%
NL West ARI 85 77 685 656 30.8% 7.3% 10.8% 48.9%
NL West SF 85 77 629 606 29.6% 5.4% 11.3% 46.3%
NL West LAN 76 86 618 659 4.1% 1.5% 2.7% 8.2%
NL West SD 75 87 608 653 3.4% 0.6% 2.5% 6.4%

Div: Percent of time team won division
WC 1: Percent of time team won first wild card
WC 2: Percent of time team won second wild card

We still don’t know if there will be a second wild card yet, so you can chop off that column and subtract that percentage from the team’s over playoff percentage. 

Because Marcel regresses more heavily than other projections and because it assumes every one who hasn’t played in MLB projects as league average, you see a tighter spread here than you’ll see in other projected standings.  The standard deviation for team wins in my last CAIRO projections was about 9.  In this version it’s 7.1.  That may be more realistic if you think about how little we really know about how good/bad players and teams are, even though what will actually happen in 2012 will show a much bigger spread more in line with other projected standings.

Here are the average win totals for the placings in each division and for the two wild cards.

Div Place Avg W
AL East 1 96
AL East 2 91
AL East 3 86
AL East 4 80
AL East 5 69
Div Avg W
AL Central 1 89
AL Central 2 83
AL Central 3 79
AL Central 4 75
AL Central 5 67
Div Avg W
AL West 1 92
AL West 2 86
AL West 3 81
AL West 4 74
AL WC 1 91
AL WC2 88
Div Avg W
NL East 1 94
NL East 2 88
NL East 3 83
NL East 4 78
NL East 5 72
Div Avg W
NL Central 1 92
NL Central 2 85
NL Central 3 80
NL Central 4 74
NL Central 5 69
NL Central 6 63
Div Avg W
NL West 1 91
NL West 2 85
NL West 3 81
NL West 4 77
NL West 5 71
NL WC1 89
NL WC2 87

What this shows is that on average a team needed 96 wins to win the AL East, etc.,.

Some obvious things to consider would be:

- the difference between Yu Darvish (and other imports) and a league average pitcher
- prospects who project better than league average
- players who switched to parks that will affect their projections since Marcel does not park-adjust

Despite all that, the ordinal rankings seem reasonable.  The only differences between this and CAIRO in that regard are that I have St. Louis ahead of Cincinnati and the Diamondbacks and Giants ahead of Colorado.

This is current through Francisco Cordero signing with Toronto, and assumes Prince Fielder at 1B and Miguel Cabrera playing a terrible version of 3B for Detroit in 70% of their games, and DHing in 25% of them. 

--Posted at 8:19 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CAIRO 2012 v0.3 and Some Extremely Early and Completely Useless 2012 Projected Standings

I’m releasing CAIRO 2012 v 0.3 today which mainly fixes a problem with a handful of pitchers like Alexi Ogando and Ross Ohlendorf and moves players to new teams where applicable.  I figure it’d be a good time to run some projected standings even though they are too early to be of any real value.

DISCLAIMER: This is very limited in telling us much about how 2012 will play out for a large number of reasons.

1) There are still a lot of roster changes coming.  This may give us some sense of how the offseason has impacted teams to this point and it also shows us how things might look if nothing changed from now until April.  Which won’t happen.

2) It’s too early to construct meaningful rosters for a lot of teams, so these projections will favor the teams that have essentially completed their 2012 rosters.

3) In addition to that, projection systems are inherently limited.  They are designed to estimate a player’s true talent based on what they’ve done so far and also by factoring in things like age and how similar players have performed in the past.  They will generally be in the ballpark for the general population of MLB players, but they can miss significantly on individual players which can obviously affect certain teams more heavily than others.

Anyway, using the depth charts from the wonderful MLB Depth Charts and includng playing time from players on the 40 man roster who don’t necessarily figure to be part of the the opening day 25 man rosters to account for organizational depth and playing out next season 100,000 times, here’s how CAIRO v0.3 sees things as of December 13, 2011.  These were run with Aramis Ramirez as a Brewer, but I didn’t remove any of the non-tendered players from yesterday from their rosters.

Date 12/13/2011
Iterations 100000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Yankees 94 68 862 740 59.0% 16.8% 75.9%
Red Sox 91 71 868 763 31.1% 26.1% 57.2%
Rays 85 77 717 654 9.5% 11.8% 21.4%
Blue Jays 75 87 773 817 0.3% 0.6% 0.9%
Orioles 68 94 741 853 0.0% 0.1% 0.1%
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Tigers 89 73 780 703 54.3% 4.7% 59.0%
Indians 87 75 751 696 40.8% 5.9% 46.6%
White Sox 77 85 723 795 3.3% 1.5% 4.8%
Royals 73 89 684 760 1.6% 0.2% 1.8%
Twins 66 96 698 829 0.0% - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Rangers 93 69 812 697 58.0% 13.7% 71.6%
Angels 90 72 720 640 39.5% 16.6% 56.1%
Mariners 77 85 653 668 2.3% 2.0% 4.2%
Athletics 71 91 636 686 0.3% 0.1% 0.4%
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Phillies 92 70 681 598 60.6% 10.5% 71.1%
Braves 87 75 711 662 24.9% 13.8% 38.7%
Marlins 81 81 716 695 8.2% 4.4% 12.6%
Nationals 80 82 665 668 4.9% 3.2% 8.1%
Mets 76 86 669 710 1.4% 1.6% 3.0%
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Brewers 92 70 700 646 52.5% 14.3% 66.7%
Cardinals 90 72 708 648 36.8% 19.3% 56.2%
Reds 84 78 724 704 10.1% 10.8% 20.9%
Cubs 74 88 649 727 0.3% 1.1% 1.4%
Pirates 70 92 656 758 0.4% - 0.4%
Astros 60 102 569 759 0.0% - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Giants 88 74 656 613 46.3% 6.4% 52.7%
Diamondbacks 86 76 647 613 31.2% 6.4% 37.6%
Padres 81 81 620 613 11.3% 4.6% 15.9%
Dodgers 79 83 624 644 7.9% 2.9% 10.8%
Rockies 76 86 726 776 3.4% 0.6% 4.0%

The most shocking thing here is the Astros projecting to win 62 games IMO.  I also am amused by the fact that the Marlins don’t really project any better than the Nationals despite all their largesse this offseason.

Also, be aware that I haven’t accounted for the stupid new second wild card thing yet, since I am not certain that it will be implemented for this upcoming season, and rremember that this is more for fun than utility and take it in the appropriate spirit.

--Posted at 11:22 am by SG / 44 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lohud: Yankees take right hander in Rule 5

In this morning’s Rule 5 draft, the Yankees took RHP Brad Meyers from the Nationals.

The Yankees lost no one.
...

UPDATE, 10:23 a.m.: There’s a report from Kansas City that the Royals have traded their pick, LHP Cesar Cabral out of the Red Sox system, to the Yankees.

I have to say I know nothing about either player.  I’d assume Cabral is an ace-in-training given his prior organization, but I’ll post their CAIRO projections in a minute.

Here you go.

mlbamid Last First Age Team Lg Role G GS W L IP H R ER HR BB SO BF RA ERA FIP WAR
455122 Meyers Brad 27 NYA AL SP 22 22 8 6 125 140 67 61 15 25 83 524 4.80 4.42 3.98 1.9
501627 Cabral Cesar 23 NYA AL RP 50 2 4 4 76 87 47 43 7 35 52 340 5.55 5.13 4.39 0.0

Meyers doesn’t have overpowering velocity, but has very good control.

Fastball: Sits in the 92-94 mph range at times, but he sits comfortably in the 89-91 mph range with some nice sink

Full scouting report here.

Sounds like a Darrell Rasner type, and profiles similarly.  That’s not a bad thing to have around for depth at the very least.  I think the CAIRO may be a little optimistic, but seems like he’s a nice gamble to take.

Cabral was taken in them 2010 Rule 5 draft by Tampa Bay before being returned to Boston, so he’s apparently someone who’s interesting as a lefty arm out of the bullpen (where he’s pitched the last two years).  His projection isn’t great, but he appears to have decent stuff.

Scouting Report: Lefty with a solid frame and a smooth delivery. Pitches exclusively from the stretch. Fastball sits between 88-92 mph and tops out at 95 mph. Secondary pitches include an excellent 81-83 mph circle changeup, a mid-70s slurvey curveball, and a sharp 79-82 mph slider. Gets a lot of swings and misses with his changeup, which has nice downward movement

Full scouting report here.

In other news.

Foxsports:Source: Darvish to be posted Thursday

Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will be posted on Thursday, taking the first step toward pitching in the majors next season, according to a source familiar with his plans.

Early Thursday, Darvish confirmed on his blog that he will use the system. ‘‘I have decided to use the posting system,’’ he wrote. ‘‘I wanted to tell my fans directly, so that is why I am posting this on my blog.’‘

The sudden availability of Darvish, a potential top-of-the-rotation starter, will be a major attraction for clubs frustrated by the lack of elite starters in this year’s free-agent market and the high asking prices on quality pitchers in trades.



Also.

Jon Heyman’s Twitter: [C.J.] Wilson signs with angels $75M 5 yrs

That Wilson deal looks like a bargain.  I’m a bit surprised no one else would go beyond that. Seems like a better value than what Darvish is eventually going to cost for probably similar production.

Yahoo! Tim Brown: Pujols agrees to terms with Angels on landmark deal.

Pujols should fill the massive hole left by trading Jeff Mathis.

--Posted at 11:03 am by SG / 119 Comments | - (0)




Monday, November 21, 2011

TGS NY: Bobby V. to Boston?: Be afraid, Yankees fans—be very afraid

I think that even if the Red Sox don’t do another thing this off-season, if they give Bobby Valentine the keys to the manager’s office, they immediately become a lot more dangerous.

Yeah, I’m quivering in my boots here.  Looks like the 1927 Yankees are in jeopardy once again.

--Posted at 11:53 am by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, November 10, 2011

TGS NY: Jorge Posada: Return won’t happen

“It’s not gonna happen,” Posada said Wednesday night at a Manhattan function for The Jorge Posada Foundation. “I don’t think there is even a percentage of a chance that I can come back.”

The free agent says he’s not bitter with the organization he has played for his entire career. He said five or six teams have shown interest in his services.

The more I think about it, the less I’d mind if Posada tried to play another year and got a job somewhere.  It won’t take away what he did in pinstripes, and it allows him a chance to go out on his terms.  I think he’s still got something left, and if circumstances allowed it, it’d be great to see him get one more game at the Stadium, even if it came in a visitor’s uniform.  Perhaps there will be real fans in attendance instead of the stuffed suits that attended ALDS Game 5 and ignored the fact that it was likely Posada’s last game in pinstripes.

On an unrelated note, scary news out of Venezuela, where Nationals’ catcher Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped.  There have been a few kidnapping related incidents involving MLB players’ families including Henry Blanco’s brother, Yorvit Torrealba’s son and Victor Zambrano’s mother.  Let’s hope for a happy ending here.

--Posted at 3:26 am by SG / 74 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NYDailyNews: Yankees’ interest quickly cools on Texas Rangers’ C.J. Wilson

There had been plenty of talk about the Yankees’ interest in [C.J. Wilson], but most of that centered on the Bombers’ nightmare scenario that had Sabathia trading in his pinstripes for a new uniform.

Now that Sabathia is signed up for five more years, Wilson doesn’t seem to be of much interest to the Yankees.

“They don’t think he’s worth the money he’ll get,” one baseball insider said last week. “He just doesn’t have the track record.”

And the games begin.

More than likely, the Yankees are interested in Wilson.  But with CC locked up, the pressure to land a top starter isn’t as great.  I actually expect C.J. to stay in Texas, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Yankee swoop in with a better offer.

Also, Yankees talk extension with Russell Martin.

--Posted at 9:52 am by Jonathan / 88 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, October 27, 2011

ESPN: Yanks meet in Tampa, talk CC Sabathia

TAMPA, Fla.—The New York Yankees held their annual organization meeting on Wednesday, and the main topic of discussion was figuring out a way to keep CC Sabathia in pinstripes.

“We’re close to formulating a plan that we think is fair to everyone involved,” said a high-ranking team official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The idea is to get this done before he goes out on the open market.’‘

Sabathia, who just completed the third year of his seven-year, $161 million contract, has an opt-out clause that allows him to declare himself a free agent four days after the completion of the World Series.

Ideally, the weather in St. Louis keeps the World Series from ever being completed.

--Posted at 10:14 am by Jonathan / 108 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yankees.com: With no late magic, Yanks’ season ends

NEW YORK—From the first morning the Yankees unzip their bags and begin preparing for the regular season, there is one common goal they can all agree upon. For the second time in as many years, they have fallen short of it.

The Yankees’ dreams of a 28th World Series championship were packed into winter hibernation on Thursday, as the Tigers defeated New York, 3-2, in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

Detroit became the first visiting club to celebrate clinching a postseason series on the field at the new Yankee Stadium, moving on to face the Texas Rangers in the AL Championship Series opening on Saturday.

Congratulations to the Tigers.  Have fun getting swept by the Rangers.

--Posted at 10:46 pm by SG / 147 Comments | - (0)




Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 ALDS Preview: Tigers vs. Yankees

The first obstacle in the quest to end the dreaded curse of The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske is the Detroit Tigers.

Seriously, it has been 694 days, 11 hours, 15 minutes, and 45 seconds since the New York Yankees have won a World Series.  We have suffered long enough, haven’t we?  When will this infernal madness end?

So how big of an obstacle are the Tigers?  Let’s take a look.

First, I’ll acknowledge the obvious fact that the Tigers played in and won the AL Central which is probably the weakest division in the AL.

I’ll then say that it doesn’t matter.  This is a very good team, and it’s not a stretch to envision them representing the AL in the World Series.

If you read the Rays/Rangers preview you can skip the next paragraph.

I don’t particularly find any series previews that focus on what a team did in the preceding full season of much use.  It doesn’t really matter if a team scored 5.2 runs per game and allowed 4.2 runs per game over the preceding six months.  Rosters change, injuries happen, players come and go, talent changes, and player and team performance is often subject to fluctuations that are not predictive.  What I want to know is how many runs will the team and roster as currently configured score and allow.  Because of that, for these previews I’ll be using projections in lieu of 2011 stats.  Despite having my own system in CAIRO, I’m going to use the Hardball Times’s Oliver forecasts since I haven’t had the time to re-run CAIRO for this year.  Oliver is updated weekly during the season and includes 2011 MLEs for players who saw time in the minors. 

The biggest consideration in trying to see how any series may shape up is allocating playing time.  So here are depth charts for the two teams, based on the assumption that each team will make 25 outs at the plate over 5 games and that pitchers will combine for 45 innings.  Since I didn’t have official postseason rosters while writing parts of these, some of it is guesswork and is subject to change.

Here are the Oliver projections for the Tigers’ postseason position players.

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Jackson, Austin CF 21 .263/.315/.374 14 2.24 .303 .311 .300
Kelly, Don 3B 21 .268/.312/.413 14 2.34 .314 .286 .317
Young, Delmon LF 21 .283/.314/.446 14 2.52 .327 .344 .320
Cabrera, Miguel 1B 21 .334/.422/.602 12 4.11 .435 .455 .429
Martinez, Victor C 21 .312/.365/.480 13 3.08 .367 .372 .364
Peralta, Jhonny SS 21 .270/.324/.426 14 2.50 .326 .339 .321
Avila, Alex C 21 .270/.351/.456 14 2.89 .350 .327 .356
Dirks, Andy RF 21 .265/.311/.415 14 2.45 .315 .294 .318
Santiago, Ramon 2B 21 .276/.319/.394 14 2.30 .307 .304 .308
Starter Total 189 .282/.337/.444 125 24.42 .338 .338 .338
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Betemit, Wilson IF 0 .259/.323/.424 0 0.00 .325 .298 .334
Ordonez, Magglio OF 0 .282/.344/.412 0 0.00 .334 .352 .329
Raburn, Ryan OF 0 .268/.317/.465 0 0.00 .334 .349 .323
Rhymes, Will 2B 0 .272/.326/.361 0 0.00 .303 .283 .307
Inge, Brandon 3B 0 .230/.304/.384 0 0.00 .303 .328 .294
Worth, Danny IF 0 .229/.284/.328 0 0.00 .272 .283 .263
Kelly, Don UT 0 .268/.312/.413 0 0.00 .314 .286 .317
Santos, Omir C 0 .228/.255/.333 0 0.00 .255 .264 .250
Bench Total
Team Total 189 .282/.337/.444 125 24.42 .338 .338 .338

Outs: Outs at the plate (assumes 25 outs per 9 innings, calculated as (1 - OBP) times PA + GDP per PA
BR: Linear weights batting runs
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
vs. L/R: Projected wOBA splits vs. LHP/RHP using regressed platoon splits

Rather than guess about how the Tigers may allocate playing time, I just gave the expected starting lineup all 125 outs. 

The biggest problem here is Miguel Cabrera.  Cabrera’s pretty much the best hitter in the AL.  In fact, only one player has been a better hitter than him over the last three years, and that’s Albert Pujols.  That projected wOBA of .455 vs. LHP is terrifying for Game 1.  The Yankees probably don’t have much room for error facing Verlander, so the Cabrera/Sabathia matchup is probably going to be the one to watch.  You can see by the OBP of the rest of the team that keeping people like Austin Jackson, Don Kelly and Delmon Young off the bases in front of Cabrera is going to be imperative.

The Tigers overall don’t have much of a projected platoon split, so the Yankees’ lack of left-handed pitching shouldn’t be a big deal.

I don’t think any Tigers fans would disagree that the Yankees’ lineup is better.  Their hopes are going to lay on their pitching staff, and that’s not a bad position to be in.

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Verlander, Justin SP1 14 4.8 3.11 2.89 3.05
Fister, Doug SP2 6 2.6 3.94 3.67 3.49
Scherzer, Max SP3 6 3.1 4.61 4.10 3.98
Porcello, Rick SP4 5 2.7 4.88 4.51 4.35
Penny, Brad SP5 0 0.0 5.43 4.85 4.65
Starter Total 31 13.3 3.85 3.54 3.52
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Valverde, Jose CL 3 1.3 3.90 3.61 3.72
Benoit, Joaquin SU 3 1.1 3.25 3.01 3.10
Alburquerque, Al SU 2 0.9 4.20 3.89 3.71
Coke, Phil SU 2 1.0 4.40 4.07 3.68
Pauley, David MR 2 1.1 4.76 4.41 4.44
Perry, Ryan MR 1 0.5 4.61 4.27 4.12
Schlereth, Daniel MR 1 0.5 4.85 4.49 4.31
Marte, Luis LR 0 0.0 5.26 4.87 4.97
Below, Duane LR 0 0.0 5.49 5.08 5.33
LR 0 0.0
Reliever Total 14 6.4 4.12 3.81 3.75
Team Total 45 19.7 3.93 3.62 3.59

RA: Runs allowed per 9, calculated as 1.08*ERA
ERA: Earned runs allowed per 9
FIP: Fielding independent pitching

Justin Verlander’s obviously the man here.  He’s been the best pitcher in baseball this year and is a worthy MVP candidate.  He’s backed up by mid-season acquisition Doug Fister, who’s been sublime for the Tigers.  The Tigers are 9-2 in his 11 starts, and he’s pitched 70.1 innings and allowed just 19 runs.  He’s faced 273 batters and walked 5 of them.  Seriously.  He’s probably not quite that good, but he’d project as the second-best starter on the Yankees.

Jim Leyland has said that he will not pitch Verlander on three days rest, so I’m giving Rick Porcello five innings.  I don’t know if things would change if the Tigers go down 2-1.  If they did that, they could throw Fister in Game 5 and not use Porcello in the rotation at all.

The Tigers’ defense has been about average overall, not much different than the Yankees.  So I’m not going to bother with talking about that.

So, how about the Yankees’ projections?

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Jeter, Derek SS 22 .306/.363/.416 14 2.83 .345 .369 .337
Granderson, Curtis CF 22 .259/.342/.496 14 3.24 .358 .314 .374
Cano, Robinson 2B 22 .312/.359/.511 14 3.38 .374 .358 .381
Rodriguez, Alex 3B 18 .289/.367/.527 11 2.89 .382 .389 .380
Teixeira, Mark 1B 22 .265/.357/.498 14 3.29 .369 .380 .364
Swisher, Nick RF 21 .271/.364/.475 13 3.03 .364 .375 .359
Posada, Jorge DH 16 .259/.345/.448 10 2.12 .347 .347 .347
Martin, Russell C 21 .252/.345/.380 14 2.39 .326 .344 .320
Gardner, Brett LF 19 .269/.353/.376 12 2.34 .326 .306 .332
Starter Total 183 .277/.355/.460 118 25.50 .355 .354 .355
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Montero, Jesus DH 4 .278/.329/.483 3 0.54 .348 .361 .340
Jones, Andruw OF 2 .251/.344/.502 1 0.30 .363 .381 .357
Nunez, Eduardo IF 0 .278/.308/.381 0 0.00 .301 .302 .300
Chavez, Eric 3B 4 .245/.296/.355 3 0.38 .288 .257 .300
Romine, Austin C 0 .246/.289/.364 0 0.00 .287 .300 .283
Dickerson, Chris OF 0 .239/.315/.341 0 0.00 .295 .272 .299
Pena, Ramiro IF 0 .239/.283/.327 0 0.00 .269 .256 .273
Cervelli, Francisco C 0 .263/.314/.365 0 0.00 .298 .310 .293
Bench Total 10 .260/.319/.435 7 1.22 .327 .323 .327
Team Total 193 .276/.353/.458 125 26.72 .353 .352 .354

I’ve relegated Jesus Montero to pinch-hitting status, since DH vs. LHP is effectively a non-position vs. Detroit.  I suppose we may see him pinch-hit for Posada if a one of Phil Coke/Daniel Schlereth is on the mound.  Or he could get a start if Posada doesn’t look so good.  Statistically, Posada’s projection vs. RHP is better than Montero’s so I suppose it’s the logical approach. I’m also not sanguine on A-Rod playing every inning so I’ve given Chavez four PA, and I’m assuming we may see Andruw Jones pinch-hit for TSBG in a late situation vs. a LHP where an XBH would be of additional benefit.

Oliver thinks the Yankees have the best offense in the postseason, and I’d agree with that.  Unfortunately, the Yankees have to pitch too.

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Sabathia, CC SP1 14 5.8 3.70 3.43 3.28
Nova, Ivan SP2 12 6.4 4.77 4.36 4.33
Garcia, Freddy SP3 5 2.6 4.60 4.36 4.33
Colon, Bartolo SP4 0 0.0 4.82 4.04 3.97
Burnett, A.J. SP5 0 0.0 5.21 4.82 4.49
Hughes, Phil SP6 0 0.0 4.45 4.12 4.17
Betances, Dellin SP7 0 0.0 5.36 4.96 4.83
Brackman, Andrew SP8 0 0.0 6.80 6.30 5.88
Starter Total 31 14.7 4.26 3.94 3.86
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Rivera, Mariano CL 3 1.0 3.03 2.81 2.89
Robertson, David SU 3 1.2 3.75 3.47 3.05
Soriano, Rafael SU 2 0.8 3.61 3.34 3.64
Logan, Boone SU 2 1.0 4.32 4.00 3.77
Wade, Cory MR 2 1.0 4.38 4.06 4.09
Ayala, Luis MR 2 1.0 4.50 4.17 3.92
Noesi, Hector MR 0 0.0 4.59 4.25 4.03
Proctor, Scott LR 0 0.0 5.78 5.35 5.21
Laffey, Aaron LR 0 0.0 5.56 5.15 4.59
Kontos, George LR 0 0.0 5.38 4.98 5.02
Reliever Total 14 6.0 3.86 3.57 3.48
Team Total 45 20.7 4.14 3.82 3.74

The assumption here is CC on three days rest.  I’m assuming that Burnett and Hughes won’t pitch even though they’re on the roster, but if they do pitch their innings would probably just replace Ayala or Wade’s and it shouldn’t make a big difference.

The Yankees probably have the worst projected rotation in the postseason.  CC’s as good as anyone, but after that there’s some concern about Nova and Garcia.  I do think that projection is a little bearish on Nova since we have evidence that his new slider has made a meaningful improvement that wouldn’t be captured in a projection system.

Nova pre-slider: 226 BF, 9.3% BB/BF, 11.5% K/BF, 5.19 RA, 4.29 ERA, 4.32 FIP, 4.92 xFIP
Nova post-slider: 278 BF, 7.5% BB/BF, 15.1% K/BF, 3.52 RA, 3.44 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 4.03 xFIP

The Yankee bullpen has been one of the best in baseball this year, and although the projections think most of them pitched above their head they’re probably still better than Detroit’s from top to bottom.  So the Yankees should be able to mitigate their slight disadvantage in the rotation by using the relievers aggressively.  I can imagine that any David Robertson/Miguel Cabrera battles are going to be must-see baseball.

These depth charts say this.

Team Gms RS RA wpct p162
DET 5 24.4 19.7 .600 97
NYA 5 26.7 20.7 .620 100

If I play the series out 10,000 times in my Monte Carlo simulator I get these odds.

Yankees: 53.9%
Tigers: 46.1%

If the Tigers do decide to use Verlander in Game 4 and Fister in Game 5 they improve to about a .612 wpct/99 win team.  Basically, those two teams are equivalent.  The Yankees get the slight edge of one extra home game if necessary.  In that case the odds look like this.

Yankees: 51.9%
Tigers: 48.1%

--Posted at 10:58 am by SG / 60 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 ALDS Preview: Rays vs. Rangers

Who will be facing the Tigers in the ALCS this year?  Let’s see what the numbers say.

I don’t particularly find any series previews that focus on what a team did in the preceding full season of much use.  It doesn’t really matter if a team scored 5.2 runs per game and allowed 4.2 runs per game over the preceding six months.  Rosters change, injuries happen, players come and go, talent changes, and player and team performance is often subject to fluctuations that are not predictive.  What I want to know is how many runs will the team and roster as currently configured score and allow?

Because of that, for these previews I’ll be using projections in lieu of 2011 stats.  Despite having my own system in CAIRO, I’m going to use the Hardball Times’s Oliver forecasts since I haven’t had the time to re-run CAIRO for this year.  Oliver is updated weekly during the season and includes 2011 MLEs for players who saw time in the minors.

The biggest consideration in trying to see how any series may shape up is allocating playing time.  So here are depth charts for the two teams, based on the assumption that each team will make 25 outs at the plate over 5 games.  Since we don’t have finalized postseason rosters, these are guess-timates and are subject to change.

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Jennings, Desmond LF 21 .266/.334/.415 14 2.66 .328
Upton, B.J. CF 21 .235/.328/.402 14 2.57 .323
Longoria, Evan 3B 21 .268/.365/.510 13 3.30 .376
Zobrist, Ben 2B 21 .261/.358/.437 13 2.87 .349
Damon, Johnny DH 21 .272/.343/.430 14 2.76 .339
Joyce, Matt RF 21 .263/.349/.463 14 2.94 .352
Kotchman, Casey 1B 20 .271/.335/.395 13 2.29 .324
Jaso, John C 15 .247/.329/.357 10 1.53 .309
Rodriguez, Sean SS 18 .237/.315/.402 12 2.04 .314
Starter Total 179 .259/.340/.426 118 22.96 .336
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Ruggiano, Justin OF 0 .250/.301/.395 0 0.00 .304
Shoppach, Kelly C 3 .208/.303/.379 2 0.30 .302
Johnson, Elliot IF 0 .247/.286/.384 0 0.00 .286
Fuld, Sam OF 2 .250/.322/.357 1 0.21 .304
Guyer, Brandon OF 0 .281/.325/.444 0 0.00 .330
Canzler, Russ IF 0 .263/.328/.450 0 0.00 .337
Lobaton, Jose C 0 .241/.316/.365 0 0.00 .303
Brignac, Reid SS 5 .235/.276/.336 4 0.39 .269
Bench Total 10 .230/.293/.352 7 0.91 .286
Team Total 189 .257/.338/.422 125 23.86 .334

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Kinsler, Ian 2B 20 .262/.342/.458 13 2.78 .346
Andrus, Elvis SS 20 .271/.322/.344 14 1.99 .296
Hamilton, Josh LF 20 .313/.358/.544 13 3.30 .383
Cruz, Nelson RF 20 .282/.334/.543 13 3.15 .370
Young, Michael DH 20 .312/.356/.471 13 2.82 .358
Beltre, Adrian 3B 20 .295/.333/.513 13 2.93 .360
Napoli, Mike C 20 .286/.362/.559 13 3.34 .390
Moreland, Mitch 1B 20 .274/.334/.444 13 2.55 .337
Chavez, Endy CF 17 .282/.312/.392 12 1.80 .304
Starter Total 177 .287/.340/.477 117 24.65 .350
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA
Murphy, David OF 4 .279/.334/.428 3 0.50 .333
Martin, Leonys OF 2 .265/.313/.374 1 0.21 .302
Gentry, Craig OF 2 .265/.322/.360 1 0.21 .303
German, Esteban IF 1 .271/.343/.366 1 0.12 .318
Torrealba, Yorvit C 3 .271/.320/.385 2 0.32 .310
Blanco, Andres C 0 .263/.295/.362 0 0.00 .285
Treanor, Matt C 0 .223/.307/.321 0 0.00 .284
Bench Total 12 .272/.326/.392 8 1.36 .316
Team Total 189 .286/.339/.471 125 26.01 .348

Outs: Outs at the plate (assumes 25 outs per 9 innings, calculated as (1 - OBP) times PA + GDP per PA
BR: Linear weights batting runs
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
vs. L/R: Projected wOBA splits vs. LHP/RHP using regressed platoon splits

These tables just show the primary lineup and potential bench players, with a PA estimate.  That PA estimate is used to calculate how outs the players will make and how many runs they will provide (BR).  PA are added to get the team to 125 outs for a five game series, and then we have an estimate for how many runs the team would project to score.

We can do the same thing with the pitching staffs, allocating 45 innings to see how many runs they’d project to give up. 

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Niemann, Jeff SP1 6 2.7 4.11 3.95 4.11
Shields, James SP2 7 3.1 4.03 3.70 3.68
Price, David SP3 7 3.0 3.84 3.41 3.50
Hellickson, Jeremy SP4 6 2.6 3.85 3.55 3.97
Davis, Wade SP5 2 1.0 4.61 4.34 4.51
Moore, Matt SP6 2 1.0 4.57 4.23 4.10
SP7 0 0.0
SP8 0 0.0
Starter Total 30 13.5 4.04 3.73 3.87
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Farnsworth, Kyle CL 3 1.2 3.53 3.27 3.23
Peralta, Joel SU 3 1.1 3.35 3.10 3.50
Cruz, Juan SU 2 1.1 4.75 4.40 4.40
McGee, Jake SU 2 1.0 4.56 4.22 4.03
Gomes, Brandon MR 2 0.9 4.21 3.90 3.71
Ramos, Cesar MR 2 1.2 5.18 4.80 4.43
Howell, J.P. MR 1 0.5 4.64 4.30 4.08
De La Rosa, Dane LR 0 0.0 5.03 4.66 4.40
Sonnanstine, Andy LR 0 0.0 5.43 5.03 4.88
0.0
Reliever Total 15 7.0 4.18 3.87 3.83
Team Total 45 20.4 4.09 3.78 3.85
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Wilson, C.J. SP1 14 5.7 3.67 3.33 3.27
Holland, Derek SP2 11 5.5 4.51 4.24 4.26
Harrison, Matt SP3 6 2.8 4.25 3.97 4.04
Lewis, Colby SP4 1 0.4 3.82 3.51 3.74
Ogando, Alexi SP5 2 0.8 3.77 3.35 3.44
Feldman, Scott SP6 0 0.0 4.82 4.40 4.47
Hamburger, Mark SP7 0 0.0 5.17 4.79 4.97
SP8 0 0.0
Starter Total 34 15.3 4.06 3.74 3.75
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Feliz, Neftali CL 3 1.2 3.51 3.25 3.27
Adams, Mike SU 2 0.7 3.06 2.83 2.95
Uehara, Koji SU 2 0.7 3.07 2.84 2.98
Gonzalez, Michael SU 1 0.5 4.36 4.04 4.00
Oliver, Darren MR 2 0.8 3.42 3.17 3.12
Lowe, Mark MR 1 0.5 4.45 4.12 4.01
Tateyama, Yoshinori MR 0 0.0 3.80 3.52 3.35
Valdez, Merkin LR 0 0.0 5.43 5.03 4.36
Kirkman, Michael LR 0 0.0 5.36 4.96 4.53
0.0
Reliever Total 11 4.3 3.49 3.24 3.27
Team Total 45 19.6 3.92 3.62 3.63


RA: Runs allowed per 9, calculated as 1.08*ERA
ERA: Earned runs allowed per 9
FIP: Fielding independent pitching

We don’t have etched in stone rotations for this series.  All I know for certain is that C.J. Wilson will start Game 1 for Texas, and that it’s likely Jeff Niemann gets the ball in Game 1 for the Rays.  The Rangers may use Alexi Ogando as a starter but I’ve got him as a reliever for now.

Given these assumptions for playing time, we can then use the runs scored and runs allowed projections to get a Pythagenpat winning percentage which gives us an idea of how strong a team is in the context of this series.

Team Gms RS RA wpct p162
TB 5 23.9 20.4 .572 93
TEX 5 26.0 19.6 .631 102

RS: Projected runs scored
RA: Projected runs allowed
wpct: Pythagenpat winning percentage
p162: # of wins per 162 games using wpct

Oliver LOOOVES Texas.  I don’t know if they’re better than Philly in Oliver, but they’re better than everyone in the AL.  So, running this matchup through a Monte Carlo simulator gives me these odds.

Texas: 59.1%
Rays: 40.9%

I’ll look at Yankees/Tigers tomorrow.

--Posted at 7:15 pm by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yankees.com: FINAL: Rays 8, Yankees 7

Minutes after the Red Sox fell to the Orioles in Baltimore, Evan Longoria lined a walk-off homer down the left-field line to clinch the Wild Card for the Rays.

What a bizarre night of conflicted emotions.

--Posted at 11:08 pm by SG / 102 Comments | - (0)



Sportsday DFW: With home-field advantage on line, Rangers plan on bringing “A” game for season final

With one game left, the Rangers could still end up playing any of three teams:

• If the Rangers win, they will return home to play the wild card winner, which may not be determined until Thursday. Boston and Tampa Bay enter the final game tied. If both teams have the same result on Wednesday, they will play a tiebreaker game Thursday in Tampa.

• If the Rangers lose and Detroit loses, Texas will still hold home field advantage. The Tigers start their game with Cleveland at 6 p.m. CT, an hour before the first pitch of the Rangers-Angels game.

•If the Rangers lose and Detroit wins, the Rangers will head to New York to face the New York Yankees on Friday.

I think Texas is a better team than Detroit, even though the Yankees handled them pretty well this year.  Detroit is probably a more difficult team in a five game series than they’d be in a seven game series, but I don’t think that pushes them past Texas.. 

I suppose I really don’t care who the Yankees face.  I can see them beating anyone and losing to anyone.  Both Detroit and Texas are good teams that pose a potential obstacle.

The only thing I care about is that whichever of the teams isn’t facing the Yankees is facing Tampa Bay.

--Posted at 9:02 am by SG / 98 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What are the AL Wild Card Odds as of Today

According to Baseball Prospectus, the Red Sox are still favored to win the wild card over the Rays, 55.1% to 44.9%.  This is based on assumed team strengths of .600 for the Yankees, .562 for the Red Sox, .528 for the Rays and .434 for the Orioles.

The first and most obvious problem here is assuming that a Yankee team that’s not playing for anything is going to be the equivalent of a 97 win team, particularly with them already announcing they won’t be pitching any pitchers that are going to be on the postseason roster in tomorrow’s game.  Similarly, we have enough information to look at all four teams and see how strong they really may be over the next two games to see if the odds change appreciably.

I’m going to use the format below when I start my postseason previews.  I’m using The Hardball Times’s Oliver forecasts, since I haven’t had time to re-run CAIRO for 2011.  These projections are the most up-to-date ones (updated weekly) and include 2011 MLEs, so I think they’re solid.  These were last updated on Monday.

First, here’s a rough stab at the teams I’d expect the Yankees and Rays to field over the next two days.

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Jeter, Derek SS 5 .306/.363/.416 3 0.64 .345 .369 .337
Granderson, Curtis CF 5 .259/.342/.496 3 0.74 .358 .314 .374
Teixeira, Mark 1B 5 .265/.357/.498 3 0.75 .369 .380 .364
Rodriguez, Alex 3B 5 .289/.367/.527 3 0.80 .382 .389 .380
Cano, Robinson 2B 5 .312/.359/.511 3 0.77 .374 .358 .381
Swisher, Nick RF 5 .271/.364/.475 3 0.72 .364 .375 .359
Montero, Jesus DH 5 .278/.329/.483 3 0.67 .348 .361 .340
Martin, Russell C 5 .252/.345/.380 3 0.57 .326 .344 .320
Gardner, Brett LF 5 .269/.353/.376 3 0.62 .326 .306 .332
Starter Total 45 .278/.353/.463 29 6.28 .355 .355 .354
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Posada, Jorge DH 5 .259/.345/.448 3 0.66 .347 .347 .347
Jones, Andruw OF 4 .251/.344/.502 3 0.60 .363 .381 .357
Nunez, Eduardo IF 5 .278/.308/.381 3 0.51 .301 .302 .300
Chavez, Eric 3B 4 .245/.296/.355 3 0.38 .288 .257 .300
Romine, Austin C 4 .246/.289/.364 3 0.38 .287 .300 .283
Dickerson, Chris OF 4 .239/.315/.341 3 0.40 .295 .272 .299
Pena, Ramiro IF 4 .239/.283/.327 3 0.32 .269 .256 .273
Cervelli, Francisco C 0 .263/.314/.365 0 0.00 .298 .310 .293
Bench Total 30 .252/.312/.389 21 3.24 .308 .304 .309
Team Total 75 .268/.337/.433 50 9.52 .336 .335 .336


Outs: Outs at the plate (assumes 25 outs per 9 innings, calculated as (1 - OBP) times PA + GDP per PA
BR: Linear weights batting runs
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
vs. L/R: Projected wOBA splits vs. LHP/RHP using regressed platoon splits

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Jennings, Desmond LF 8 .266/.334/.415 5 1.01 .328 .340 .321
Upton, B.J. CF 8 .235/.328/.402 5 0.98 .323 .339 .316
Longoria, Evan 3B 8 .268/.365/.510 5 1.26 .376 .393 .369
Zobrist, Ben 2B 8 .261/.358/.437 5 1.09 .349 .357 .345
Damon, Johnny DH 8 .272/.343/.430 5 1.05 .339 .322 .346
Joyce, Matt RF 8 .263/.349/.463 5 1.12 .352 .319 .357
Kotchman, Casey 1B 8 .271/.335/.395 5 0.91 .324 .300 .331
Jaso, John C 4 .247/.329/.357 3 0.41 .309 .286 .313
Rodriguez, Sean SS 4 .237/.315/.402 3 0.45 .314 .332 .304
Starter Total 64 .260/.342/.429 42 8.29 .338 .335 .337
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Ruggiano, Justin OF 1 .250/.301/.395 1 0.11 .304 .312 .297
Shoppach, Kelly C 4 .208/.303/.379 3 0.41 .302 .323 .292
Johnson, Elliot IF 0 .247/.286/.384 0 0.00 .286 .292 .280
Fuld, Sam OF 1 .250/.322/.357 1 0.10 .304 .284 .310
Guyer, Brandon OF 1 .281/.325/.444 1 0.13 .330 .338 .315
Canzler, Russ IF 0 .263/.328/.450 0 0.00 .337 .371 .303
Lobaton, Jose C 0 .241/.316/.365 0 0.00 .303 .301 .304
Brignac, Reid SS 4 .235/.276/.336 3 0.31 .269 .246 .274
Bench Total 11 .233/.297/.368 8 1.06 .293 .292 .289
Team Total 75 .256/.335/.420 50 9.35 .331 .329 .330


Even at less than full strength, the Yankees probably have the better offense on the field.

For the pitching, it’s a bit trickier but I’ll take a shot anyway.

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Sabathia, CC SP1 0 0 3.70 3.43 3.28
Colon, Bartolo SP2 5 3 4.82 4.04 3.97
Nova, Ivan SP3 0 0 4.77 4.36 4.33
Garcia, Freddy SP4 0 0 4.60 4.36 4.33
Burnett, A.J. SP5 0 0 5.21 4.82 4.49
Hughes, Phil SP6 0 0 4.45 4.12 4.17
Betances, Dellin SP7 4 2 5.36 4.96 4.83
Brackman, Andrew SP8 0 0 6.80 6.30 5.88
Starter Total 9 5 5.06 4.45 4.35
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Rivera, Mariano CL 1 0 3.03 2.81 2.89
Robertson, David SU 1 0 3.75 3.47 3.05
Soriano, Rafael SU 1 0 3.61 3.34 3.64
Logan, Boone SU 1 0 4.32 4.00 3.77
Wade, Cory MR 1 0 4.38 4.06 4.09
Ayala, Luis MR 1 1 4.50 4.17 3.92
Noesi, Hector MR 0 0 4.59 4.25 4.03
Proctor, Scott LR 1 1 5.78 5.35 5.21
Laffey, Aaron LR 1 1 5.56 5.15 4.59
Kontos, George LR 1 1 5.38 4.98 5.02
Reliever Total 9 4 4.48 4.15 4.02
Team Total 18 10 4.77 4.30 4.19


RA: Runs allowed per 9, calculated as 1.08*ERA
ERA: Earned runs allowed per 9
FIP: Fielding independent pitching

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Price, David SP1 7 3 3.84 3.41 3.50
Shields, James SP2 0 0 4.03 3.70 3.68
Hellickson, Jeremy SP3 7 3 3.85 3.55 3.97
Niemann, Jeff SP4 0 0 4.11 3.95 4.11
Davis, Wade SP5 0 0 4.61 4.34 4.51
Moore, Matt SP6 0 0 4.57 4.23 4.10
SP7 0
SP8 0
Starter Total 14 6 3.84 3.48 3.74
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Farnsworth, Kyle CL 1 0 3.53 3.27 3.23
Peralta, Joel SU 1 0 3.35 3.10 3.50
Howell, J.P. SU 1 1 4.64 4.30 4.08
Cruz, Juan SU 1 1 4.75 4.40 4.40
McGee, Jake MR 0 0 4.56 4.22 4.03
Gomes, Brandon MR 0 0 4.21 3.90 3.71
Ramos, Cesar MR 0 0 5.18 4.80 4.43
De La Rosa, Dane LR 0 0 5.03 4.66 4.40
Sonnanstine, Andy LR 0 0 5.43 5.03 4.88
Reliever Total 4 2 4.07 3.77 3.80
Team Total 18 8 3.89 3.54 3.75


Obviously the assumption here is 18 innings over two games.  I don’t know if the Yankees would actually start Dellin Betances tomorrow, but I’m not sure who else they’d consider and the difference over four projected innings is minimal.

I am not going to bother with defense here, since it’s mostly covered in the pitching projections and trying to tease out two games of defense is more likely to be counter-productive than tell us anything useful.

How about the Red Sox and Orioles?

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Ellsbury, Jacoby CF 8 .306/.349/.482 5 1.20 .357 .341 .363
Crawford, Carl LF 8 .286/.327/.443 5 1.05 .333 .304 .345
Pedroia, Dustin 2B 8 .290/.362/.454 5 1.13 .355 .370 .349
Ortiz, David DH 8 .286/.367/.548 5 1.32 .390 .354 .405
Gonzalez, Adrian 1B 8 .327/.412/.588 5 1.51 .426 .389 .443
Lowrie, Jed 3B 8 .259/.316/.409 5 0.91 .316 .341 .303
Drew, J.D. RF 8 .263/.346/.454 5 1.06 .349 .319 .359
Saltalamacchia, Jarrod C 8 .235/.290/.416 6 0.86 .305 .285 .316
Scutaro, Marco SS 8 .281/.347/.394 5 0.96 .328 .361 .295
Starter Total 72 .281/.346/.465 47 10.00 .351 .340 .353
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Aviles, Mike IF 0 .268/.296/.413 0 0.00 .305 .319 .298
Varitek, Jason C 0 .234/.303/.434 0 0.00 .317 .332 .311
Jackson, Conor OF 2 .250/.324/.364 1 0.21 .309 .325 .302
Aviles, Mike IF 0 .268/.296/.413 0 0.00 .305 .319 .298
McDonald, Darnell OF 0 .269/.316/.449 0 0.00 .326 .339 .310
Gathright, Joey OF 0 .239/.291/.311 0 0.00 .269 .255 .272
Lavarnway, Ryan C 2 .255/.332/.467 1 0.27 .345 .358 .338
Drew, J.D. OF 0 .263/.346/.454 0 0.00 .349 .319 .359
Bench Total 4 .252/.328/.415 3 0.48 .327 .342 .320
Team Total 76 .280/.345/.462 50 10.48 .350 .340 .351

Name Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Angle, Matt LF 8 .250/.309/.313 6 0.72 .280 .224 .336
Hardy, J.J. SS 8 .260/.305/.430 6 0.93 .317 .335 .311
Markakis, Nick RF 8 .288/.352/.419 5 1.02 .341 .318 .351
Guerrero, Vladimir DH 8 .295/.329/.460 5 1.03 .341 .356 .336
Wieters, Matt C 8 .261/.324/.414 5 0.93 .324 .327 .323
Jones, Adam CF 8 .282/.318/.457 5 1.00 .333 .336 .332
Reynolds, Mark 1B 8 .236/.332/.521 5 1.21 .362 .383 .355
Davis, Chris 3B 8 .271/.321/.476 5 1.08 .341 .318 .350
Andino, Robert 2B 8 .254/.297/.361 6 0.75 .289 .303 .283
Starter Total 72 .267/.321/.428 49 8.67 .325 .322 .331
Bench Pos PA AVG/OBP/SLG Outs BR wOBA vs. L vs. R
Tatum, Craig C 0 .219/.276/.292 0 0.00 .256 .268 .252
Fox, Jake C 0 .265/.323/.476 0 0.00 .343 .349 .339
Adams, Ryan 3B 0 .258/.307/.385 0 0.00 .305 .336 .275
Bell, Josh IF 0 .239/.290/.407 0 0.00 .303 .308 .301
Hudson, Kyle IF 0 .226/.282/.263 0 0.00 .250 .230 .252
Reimold, Nolan OF 1 .255/.334/.437 1 0.13 .337 .349 .330
Florimon Jr., Pedro OF 0 .224/.278/.329 0 0.00 .268 .268 .268
Bench Total 1 #N/A 1 0.13 .337 .349 .330
Team Total 73 #N/A 50 8.80 .325 .323 .331

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Beckett, Josh SP1 0 0 3.76 3.51 3.85
Lester, Jon SP2 7 3 3.63 3.43 3.45
Bedard, Erik SP3 5 2 4.02 3.62 3.59
Lackey, John SP4 0 0 4.89 4.51 4.14
Wakefield, Tim SP5 0 0 4.93 4.61 5.27
Miller, Andrew SP6 0 0 6.40 5.58 5.01
Weiland, Kyle SP7 0 0 5.56 5.15 4.97
Buchholz, Clay SP8 0 0 4.02 3.59 4.14
Starter Total 12 5 3.79 3.51 3.51
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Papelbon, Jonathan CL 2 1 3.29 3.05 2.93
Bard, Daniel SU 2 1 3.37 3.12 3.51
Wheeler, Dan SU 1 0 3.96 3.67 4.11
Albers, Matt SU 0 0 4.59 4.25 3.97
Morales, Franklin MR 0 0 4.88 4.52 4.75
Atchison, Scott MR 0 0 3.81 3.53 3.57
Doubront, Felix MR 0 0 5.35 4.95 4.67
Aceves, Alfredo LR 1 0 4.00 3.70 4.02
Bowden, Michael LR 0 0 4.97 4.60 4.79
Buchholz, Clay LR 0 0 3.88 3.59 4.14
Tazawa, Junichi LR 6 2 3.55 3.29 3.50
Team Total 18 7 3.71 3.43 3.51

Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Britton, Zach SP1 5 2 4.44 4.11 4.04
Simon, Alfredo SP2 5 3 5.13 4.60 4.48
Matusz, Brian SP3 0 0 4.96 4.69 4.59
Hunter, Tommy SP4 0 0 4.60 4.38 4.48
Vandenhurk, Rick SP5 0 0 5.64 5.09 5.38
Guthrie, Jeremy SP6 0 0 4.39 4.14 4.41
SP7 0
SP8 0
Starter Total 10 5 4.78 4.36 4.26
Name Role IP R RA ERA FIP
Johnson, Jim CL 1 0 3.93 3.64 3.65
Gregg, Kevin SU 1 1 4.76 4.41 4.35
Patton, Troy SU 1 1 5.18 4.80 4.72
Bergesen, Brad SU 1 1 4.91 4.55 4.57
Accardo, Jeremy MR 1 1 4.78 4.43 4.18
Berken, Jason MR 1 1 5.28 4.89 4.40
Eyre, Willie MR 1 1 4.70 4.35 4.25
Rapada, Clay LR 1 0 4.44 4.11 3.76
Reyes, Jo-Jo LR 0 0 5.72 5.30 4.92
Strop, Pedro LR 0 0 4.59 4.25 3.90
Reliever Total 8 4 4.75 4.40 4.23
Team Total 18 10 4.77 4.37 4.25


Yeah, yeah, yeah, so what does all this nerdy crap mean?

It means this.

Team Gms RS RA wpct
NYA 2 9.5 9.5 .499
BOS 2 10.5 7.4 .656
TB 2 9.4 7.8 .584
BAL 2 8.8 9.5 .471

And if we use those numbers adjusted for home-field advantage to play out the last two games of the season, here’s what I get for the wild card odds.

Rays: 50.9%
Red Sox: 49.1%

Should be interesting.

--Posted at 4:50 pm by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)




Monday, September 26, 2011

Yankees.com: Cano’s bat can’t carry Yanks alone in St. Pete

As the Yankees attempt to balance resting their regulars with serving their roles as spoilers in the American League Wild Card race, manager Joe Girardi fielded a lineup that produced mixed results.

Robinson Cano homered and notched a run-scoring single against Tampa Bay starter James Shields, who otherwise gave the Rays everything they needed. Pending the result of Boston’s game at Baltimore, the Rays’ win pulled them within a half-game of the Red Sox with two games remaining.

Best loss ever.

Pending the result of this?

Red Sox fall into WC tie as O’s barrel back

BALTIMORE—Two games left, and it’s all tied up. That is the reality the Red Sox now face as their once secure grip in the American League Wild Card standings has slipped away entirely.

This, after an 6-3 loss on Monday at Camden Yards to the 68-92 Orioles, a team that has beaten the Red Sox in four out of five meetings over the last week.

If the Red Sox don’t reverse that in the next two games, they could be going home earlier than anyone thought. The resilient Rays have come all the way back and have the same 89-71 record as Boston after beating the Yankees, 5-2, at Tropicana Field on Monday.

It was the continuation an almost surreal turn of events over the last few weeks for the Red Sox, who have gone 6-19 in September, losing nine games in the standings over that time.

Back on Aug. 17, Boston had a lead of 10 games in the AL Wild Card. Now, the Sox have two games—and perhaps a one-game playoff on Thursday—to avoid being the first team to blow a double-digit Wild Card lead since that format started in 1994.

--Posted at 9:30 pm by SG / 58 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yankees.com: Burnett helps Yanks burn Red Sox in Game 1

NEW YORK—Nearly three years have passed, but A.J. Burnett has finally done what the Yankees asked when they chased him so passionately as a free agent: Beat the Boston Red Sox.

The right-hander hurled 7 2/3 strong innings on Sunday, defeating the skidding Red Sox, 6-2, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

Burnett’s effort ended a string of 10 overall starts against the Red Sox—including nine as a Yankee—dating back to Sept. 19, 2008, taking advantage of a Boston club that continues to fret about their postseason chances.

While Burnett may not have a place in the first-round postseason rotation, where Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia could follow CC Sabathia in the American League Division Series, he offered some optimism for his inclusion in some form.

Burnett’s final line looks pretty good, but he was shaky early.  Through four innings he’d thrown 32 strikes and 29 balls.  Over the rest of the game he threw 32 strikes and just 12 balls, and ended his day by striking out the last two batters he faced.  It’s only natural to wonder how much of his performance can be attributed to pitching against a Boston team that’s probably pressing versus him battling through adversity.  I suppose we can say that we’ve seen that when A.J.‘s bad enough, he can make the worst team in MLB look good (the Twins), so this outing has to be viewed positively, although I’m sure it won’t be by some.

If I had to guess, he’s probably earned a shot at the postseason rotation, maybe as the #4 in the ALDS should the Yankees by some miracle be up 2-1.  I’m fine with that, provided he’s got a short leash with someone like Bartolo Colon or Phil Hughes shadowing him.  There’s no reason to think he’d be appreciably worse than either of them in a single start.

Tampabayrays.com: Four homers help Rays gain ground

ST. PETERSBURG—A home-run barrage coupled with an inspired pitching performance led the Rays to a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

By winning, the Rays moved to within a half-game of the American League Wild Card-leading Red Sox, who lost to the Yankees in the first game of a day-night double-header on Sunday.

We’re about two hours away from a game that has the potential to be an absolute smorgasbord of schadenfreude.

--Posted at 3:14 pm by SG / 25 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, September 24, 2011

NY Post: MLB will add wild-card teams, hold one-game playoff: sources

Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement for Major League Baseball are moving at a fast pace and one issue the sides have all but agreed upon is adding two wild-card teams and holding one-game playoffs in each league to determine which of the wild cards advances, The Post has learned.

One person involved in the talks described that scenario as a done deal and another hedged a little by saying it is likely to play out that way, but nothing will be finalized until an entire CBA is inked.

Both sources said because there would be just a one-game playoff added, the second wild-card team could be installed as early as next year, but the new system will go into effect no later than 2013.

Why wait?  Implement it now and let Boston and Tampa Bay play each other to determine who gets into the ALDS.

--Posted at 9:48 am by SG / 18 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Can The Yankees Get Swept By Tampa Bay and Still Win the AL East?

Here are the shedules for the rest of the season for the teams that are still relevant in the AL wild card/East race.

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w Rangers w Angels w
9/20/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0 @Athletics 0 @Blue Jays 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0 @Athletics 0 @Blue Jays 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/22/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0 @Athletics 0 @Blue Jays 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 0 Mariners 0 Athletics 0
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 0 Mariners 0 Athletics 0
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 0 Mariners 0 Athletics 0
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0 @Angels 0 Rangers 0
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0 @Angels 0 Rangers 0
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0 @Angels 0 Rangers 0
current final current final current final current final current final
W 92 92 88 88 85 85 88 88 83 83
L 60 70 66 74 67 77 65 74 70 79


The good news is that the Yankees’ magic number over LAAA of AA is one.  The next Yankee win or Angels loss makes it a three way dance, as Paul Heyman would call it.  I am going to guarantee that the Angels lose one of their last nine games, so let’s play around with the three way dance scenarios.

Here’s where we are now.

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w
9/20/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 0 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/22/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 0 Yankees 0
current final current final current final
W 92 92 88 88 85 85
L 60 70 66 74 67 77

Here’s where we are assuming Boston and Tampa Bay win all their non-Yankee games.

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w
9/20/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 1 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 1 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/22/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 0
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 0
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 0
current final current final current final
W 92 92 88 93 85 88
L 60 70 66 69 67 74

A 1 in the ‘w’ column to the right of each team’s name is a win.  I guess that means you can put it on the right side.  So what this table shows is Boston winning all five of their games against the Orioles, which means 93 wins before considering whatever they may do against the Yankees and Tampa Bay sweeping Toronto.

The Rays have to win at least five games against the Yankees if they want to get to the 93 wins Boston would have if/when they win all their games against Baltimore.  If that were to happen, we’d be looking at this:

Date Yankees w Red Sox w Rays w
9/20/2011 Rays 1 Orioles 1 @Yankees 0
9/21/2011 Rays 0 Orioles 1 @Yankees 1
9/21/2011 Rays 0 @Yankees 1
9/22/2011 Rays 1 @Yankees 0
9/23/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/24/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/25/2011 Red Sox 0 @Yankees 0 Blue Jays 1
9/26/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 1
9/27/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 1
9/28/2011 @Rays 0 @Orioles 1 Yankees 1
current final current final current final
W 92 94 88 93 85 93
L 60 68 66 69 67 69

In this scenario, the Yankees would have to sweep Boston to beat them out for the division and to give Tampa Bay the wild card.  Any loss by Boston vs. the Orioles means the Yankees can take 2-3 against them and still go 2-5 vs. Tampa Bay.

Of course, it’s all moot if Tampa Bay doesn’t sweep the Blue Jays.

If the Yankees win two of their next four games vs. Tampa Bay and Boston wins their two games vs. Baltimore, the Yankees can clinch a tie for the AL East by winning one of the three games vs. Boston.  If Boston loses one of their next two against Baltimore the Yankees can clinch the East against them at home.  That would be fun.

So I’m hoping for a 2-2 split with Tampa Bay over the next four games with Boston losing one of the next two to the O’s which gives the Yankees three shots to clinch against Boston.

--Posted at 10:36 am by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)



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