Playoff Odds Report has Yanks sitting pretty


That’s the first iteration of Baseball Prospectus’s Playoff Odds Report, which is available to non-subscribers. Using a Monte Carlo simulator, they run simulations based on expected winning percentage. Even though the Red Sox come out two games ahead in this simulation, the Yankees still have a 70.8 percent playoff odds, thanks to weak competition around the rest of the league. In fact, the next closest team is Texas at 85.6 wins. In the NL, only the Phillies and the Giants come close to the Yanks.

Things might appear a bit bleak when we’re only looking inward. But when compared to the rest of the league, the Yanks still have plenty to be excited about.

Categories : Playoffs


  1. Jerome S. says:

    O’s > Jays?!?!

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Yeah, that caught me off guard as well.

      • bexarama says:

        They said that last year as well, IIRC.

      • Sayid J. says:

        They did add Vlad, Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, and Hardy and will get a full season from Roberts. Not to mention the rest of their core is young and should improve somewhat or at the very least not regress. (Jones, Reimold, Wieters, Markakis). The rotation is obviously still weak, but they are very young there as well and should see some improvement. I’m not sure I agree that they will end up being better than the Blue Jays, but they did make some pretty savvy moves and at the very least will have a pretty good offense this year.

        Also, Luke Scott is 32? Damn.

        • Sayid J. says:

          Nevermind on Reimold, I remembered him being good last year but it turns out that was 2 years ago. But still, point stands. Orioles should be a MUCH improved team. Rotation of Guthrie, Matusz, Arrietta, Duchscherer and Tillman is not good but Guthrie is line for a rebound and only time will tell how much Matusz, Arrietta and Tillman improve.

          • CS Yankee says:

            However, they only have 2 of the top 100 in prospects…

            WTF happened in all those picks, did they draft poor, develop poor, or trade them for poor talent?

            • bexarama says:

              A lot of them graduated, I think. Wieters was a stud and Matusz was also pretty highly ranked IIRC.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              1 of their top prospects is a LHSP in AAA, though… And if they don’t make any trades 1 (potential) impact starting pitcher is better for their 2011 prospects than 5 guys in the lower minors. Of course you can make trades with more depth, I’m just saying if Britton can give them another solid starter that would be huge for them.

          • Urban says:

            Matusz has strong break-out potential, and I’m a Tillman believer. I can see the O’s reaching/breaking .500 this year, which leave Toronto at the bottom.

            Playing an AL East team, even the last-place team, won’t be fun for the rest of the league.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I tend to agree, but the division seems to be predicted to get weaker vs. the rest of the league according to BP. They combined for 431 wins in 2010, and BP has them at 423 wins in 2011.

              I think Toronto will get a lot worse, and BP thinks Tampa will too.

    • Andrew says:

      Are you crazy?

      Orioles added Mark Reynolds, Justin Duchscherer, Derrick Lee AND Vladimir Guerrero.

      Matt Wieters and Adam Jones are both in line for a much improved season this year (Jones took a huge step back in 2010), and the likes of Nick Markakis and Luke Scott are always consistent.

      The pitching isn’t too great but all of their young pitchers will have another year of experience under their belt.

      Don’t tell me the O’s won’t be a much improved team this year.

      Prediction: 85 Wins.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        They’re not an 85 win team, those are not 20 wins worth of improvements. If they win 85, it’ll be because Brian Matusz and Adam Jones and Matt Wieters have superstar years, not because of Vlad Guerrero and Justin frickin’ Duchscherer.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Besides Orioles expected improvement… Jays also lost Vernon Wells (2nd best position player last season according to fangraphs’ WAR), Shawn Marcum (#3 starter), John Buck (3rd best position player last season according to fangraphs’ WAR), and traded Alex Gonzalez mid-season (4th highest WAR among position players despite only playing 85 games there). They’re replacing Wells with the great Rajai Davis and 2 of them with rookies. Sure they could be stud rookies, but odds are they don’t light the league on fire. Davis could regain 2009 form, but it’s sort of like the risk the Yankees are taking on Russell Martin… sort of like the Yankees replacing A-Rod or someone with Martin instead of their C/DH situation.

      They also just replaced Vernon Wells’ awful contract with one for Bautista. He’d never had a 2 WAR season before age 29 and now he’s a lock to maintain a 6.9 WAR pace every season in his 30s? Doubt it.

      And while their pitching is young and could/should continue to improve… they all had career seasons in 2010.

      It’s certainly not a given, but Jays could be a lot worse in 2011.

  2. RL says:

    Perhaps they can overperform this year as well. Seems the Yankees, in winning years, rack up some “meaningless” wins at the end of the season. The end of the season seems pretty tough this year though, with the last 8 games angainst TB & Boston. However, if TB is out of it already …. :-)

  3. bexarama says:

    That seems very low on Toronto (even though they’re not going to be a playoff team or even as good as they were last year) and Tampa. But, yeah, agreed with everything here.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Toronto had a lot of career-type years (and smartly moved some of those guys at likely peak value), and has a lot of question marks. Guys like Rajai Davis, Jose Bautista, Brandon Morrow and the whole rotation basically have exactly 1 good season. Could they all match or exceed their best season, sure. Is it likely, though? Some of their other guys have zero good seasons. They have the potential to have good seasons, but will they? Is Kyle Drabek going to shut down the AL as a 23 year old rookie? People here question how good Montero can be offensively as a rookie, so I think we have to question Arencibia.

      Jays lose their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best position players and their #3 starter. They haven’t added that much I don’t think. Certainly upside, but no really good bets to thrive.

      83 does seem pretty low for the Rays… would be great, though.

  4. CS Yankee says:

    What they didn’t say…
    1) Nova & Mitre…82 wins
    2) Garcia & Nova…84 wins
    3) Garcia & Colon/Nova…88 wins
    4) Ninja strikes in June & Garcia…91 wins
    5) As #4 but with Jesus promotion in June…93 wins
    6) If Lee was signed and Pettitte returned…111 wins
    7) If #6 happened and no mansions were built…120 wins

  5. Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

    California Angel of Orange County of the City of Los Angeles of the great territory of western United States will win their decision.

  6. Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

    I think the Giants won’t be 90 wins team this year. But don’t see a clear team in the west that can dethrone them either. Maybe LAD, don’t think Donnie will make a good manager.

  7. JGS says:

    91.4 wins, just two games behind Boston? Surely you jest. I was under the impression that the Yankees might as well punt the season and rebuild.

    • Urban says:

      …and that the Red Sox were going to win 120 games, at least according to the Mitch Williams’ masturbations on MLBN a couple times a week.

      • Mr. Sparkle says:

        I’ve had to stop watching MLBN because of their love of the Red Sox. Personally, I still think they have a lot of holes and players that everyone is overrating WAY too much. Drew, Scutaro, Saltalamacchia, Ortiz and Ellsbury…just to name a few. I also wonder why everyone assumes Beckett and Lackey are going to automatically have great seasons. They both have a lot to prove this season.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

          If they have a lot of holes then everyone on the Yankees is a black hole. None of them are true however.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Those aren’t big holes, probably, but we’re talking holes relative to the Yankees (who also have few holes). Certainly those are question marks for the Sox to some extent. If those guys generally have awful seasons Sox might “underachieve” while if they generally do well the Sox might “overachieve.” Same could be said about Yankees “holes” or question marks.

  8. Yankeescribe says:

    The Orioles went 34-23 under Buck Showalter last season and made some decent lineup improvements in the offseason. 80 to 85 wins looks possible for the Orioles this season.

    • bexarama says:

      The Orioles went 34-23 under Buck Showalter last season

      I think Showalter’s probably a fine manager but before he came in they were on track to be worse than the 1962 Mets. They were never that bad, so that was probably a lot of regression to the mean. Plus Matusz seemed to be figuring it out.

      and made some decent lineup improvements in the offseason.

      Yeah, but it’s not gonna be enough.

      • JGS says:

        I think it might be. Toronto is going to take a big step back.

        • bexarama says:

          I meant “not enough” for 85 wins. I can see them beating out Toronto even if I don’t think they will. (Then again, I’ve been saying “this is the year the Orioles finish at .500 and beat at least Toronto!” for like three years now so because I’m saying this before this year, they are actually gonna beat Toronto.)

      • Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

        I like Matusz and Gutherie, beyond that, Meh. I do think Buck has lot to do with teams winning more than regression to means. A lot had to do with Os stabilizing their BP in the latter part of season IMO.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        80-85 wins isn’t really that impressive/aggressive. Especially when you consider that Jays and Rays are both worse on paper.

        34-23 put them on a 97 win pace… now that’s unrealistic. A .500 pace with improvement from young guys and strong seasons from a couple of veterans… possible. I think they’ll be under .500, personally… but it’s possible. All Yankeescribe said was: “80 to 85 wins looks possible for the Orioles this season.”

        • bexarama says:

          85 is very, very aggressive to me. They won 66 games last year – that’s about a 20 win increase, obviously. I like their offseason moves, but unless guys like Wieters and Jones and Matusz have incredible years, it won’t be enough. A .500 season I can see, but that’s still like fifteen wins.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Yeah, but you also said they were probably unlucky/underachieving for 2/3 the season. And improvement from Weiters, Jones, and Matusz is certainly possible. They don’t have an obvious hole in their line-up on paper. Plus Zach Britton is a top (lefty) prospect in AAA which could help their weak rotation at some point, as could some miraculous health for old Duchscherer… Best case Matusz, Duch, and Britton make Guthrie their #4 starter mid-season and maybe a trade even makes him #5. Again, no one said they *will* win or *should* win 80-85, just that it’s possible.

            The difference between 80 and 85 wins is not THAT huge. A little bit of luck and a mid-season trade maybe can get you those 5 wins. It’s pretty hard to say a team could win 80, but 85 is just totally impossible.

    • Mr. Sparkle says:

      I can’t see them winning 85. Maybe 77-81 wins. Their bullpen doesn’t impress me. Nor do their starters. I also don’t know if the lineup improvements are that much of an improvement. Although, I do think they’ll be much better than last year and I think better than Toronto, who I think played way over their heads all of last year.

    • Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

      Mark Reynold can prolly hit 35 bombs in Camden this year.

  9. The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

    Fine with the Yanks but the Red Sox will do better than 93. The Yankees did better with a diminishing offense from 2009 and two useless starters. Though to be fair Burnett had a string of good starts before going into months of being horrible.

    But still, Sox are probably 3-4 games better. Yankees are pretty well projected right now.

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

      since you can’t win a portion of the game, they’ve got the Sox winning 94 and the Yanks winning 91.

      personally, i think we’re one tiny move away from 2 more wins, which, at a cost to the sox, could make it a much cheerier situation…

    • CS Yankee says:

      Don’t disagree.

      NYY has SP concerns, no pen concerns and could see 7 of 9 batting positions improve.

      BoSox are more proven in SP, no real pen concerns but I don’t see much improvement with the bats. Beltre & Vmart hit really well, if Agon & CC equal that and they stay healthy at 2B & 3B…well they still have holes with J-Els & Drew & Salty mixed with a older Ortiz and so-so at SS, I see less runs overall for them.

      95 for BoSox if all goes well, 91 for the NYY as of today, but this could be upwards of 95 if a quality #3 arrives.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It’s pretty damn hard to project how a team will do to the game. There are just way too many factors. Sure the Sox could win 97 games. They could win 110 games even. But they could also have some bad “luck” with injuries and off-years and suddenly they miss the playoffs by a wide margin.

  10. CapitalT says:

    I think teams are underestimating the Rays.

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