Thursday, April 7, 2011
The Implications of This Weekend’s Series with Boston
You may or may not have heard, but the best team in baseball history has gotten off to a rough start at 0-6. It’s important to understand what that means in the big picture. It’s too small of a sample size to meaningfully change our estimate of how good they are. However, those games do count, and they do need to be factored into whatever we forecast Boston to do going forward.
If Boston was a 94-95 win team over 162 games at the start of the year, they’re probably still a 94-95 win team. However, they only have 156 games left to play. At the same winning percentage, they’re more like a 91 win team now. Here’s a quick look at the average projections for the AL East at the start of the season according to the aggregate from the Diamond Mind Projection Blowout.
W: Projected 2011 wins
L: Projected 2011 losses
RS: Projected 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)
It’s certainly possible that some of these projections were wrong from the start, but we don’t have enough information to know that yet.
Re-running that exercise taking into account what’s actually happened to this point gives us these revised results.
So if everything played out as projected going forward (it won’t), the Yankees are now slight favorites in the AL East. That was easy enough.
Using that as our new baseline, here are how those would look depending on the various potential results of the Yankees’ three game series in Fenway this weekend.
This is basically how things looked in the preseason, with Boston about two games better than the Yankees.
Boston wins 2 of 3
For all intents and purposes that makes things a dead heat.
Yankees win 2 of 3
While not my ideal scenario, I would approve of this outcome.
This is my preferred result.
These odds can swing pretty wildly after just a few games, so don’t take them too seriously. This is particularly true in baseball where divisional rivals play each other so frequently.
Now obviously it’s really early in the season and we have no idea what will actually happen, but can you imagine the hysteria if the Yankees take all three games?
Looking at the pitching matchups, the Yankees are probably underdogs in the first two games.
Friday, April 8
Phil “88 mph” Hughes vs. John “World Series Hero” Lackey
Saturday, April 9
Ivan Nova vs. Clay Buchholz
The good news is they should probably be slight favorites in the finale
Sunday, April 10
CC “Future Red Sock” Sabathia vs. Josh “Guardian of playing the game right” Beckett
So the most likely scenario is that the Red Sox take two of three, and really that’s fine with me. I just don’t want to see the Yankees get swept.
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