Lots of Yankee fans were up in arms a few days ago when word got out that the nerds at Baseball Prospectus projected the Yankees to finish in third place in the AL East despite winning 93 games. How could that be possible with their lineup and increasingly deep rotation? Well, said nerds have gone back and adjusted their standings, correcting mistakes, tweaking the process, etcetera, etcetera.
This time around, they have the Yankees and Red Sox tied atop the AL East with identical 93-69 records and identical +122 run differentials. The Rays are knocked back to third place with 92 wins and a +114 run differential. I’m not going to post the full league standings because they’re behind a pay wall, but here’s the only division you probably care about…
Furthermore, they project the Yanks to have the best OBP in the game by almost ten points, and not coincidentally the most runs scored in the league by 28. Only three teams are projected to win 90+ games, and you’re looking at them in the chart above. Say what you will about the validity of the rankings, but they are very good at giving us a general idea of what is likely to happen. Despite laughter from the masses, PECOTA nailed the Rays’ breakout in 2008 the the ChiSox’s collapse in 2007, for example.
The Yankees and Red Sox might not tie atop the division with 93 wins, but chances are they’ll finish 1-2 in a tight race. The Yanks will probably push more than 855 runs across the plate, but the idea is that they have the best lineup in the league. The Mets … well they’re still expected to finish in fourth place. I’m not sure if that accounts for that huge Josh Fogg pickup, though.