2013 ZiPS Final Standings Projections


I’m a sucker for projections (which aren’t predictions!) mostly because they’re fun to look at and argue about in the typically slow winter months. They don’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things. Dan Szymbroski posted his ZiPS system’s projected AL final standings over at ESPN yesterday (Insider req’d), and he has the Blue Jays finishing with the best record in the league at 94-68. That’s one game better than the Angels.

ZiPS projects the Yankees to finish 83-79 this summer thanks to all of their injuries, good enough for a fourth place finish in the division. Only the Orioles are projected to be worse. “The Yankees exemplify why settling for ‘good enough’ in the offseason is dangerous,” wrote Szymborksi. “If the Bombers hadn’t played it safe — not picking up a true impact OF/DH and going with a Triple-A catcher as Plan A — the rash of injuries wouldn’t have hurt the lineup as hard as it has.”

The system gives New York a 29.7% chance of making the postseason and a 26.7% chance of finishing in last. I guess it’s good they’re more likely to play baseball in October than finish last, but I don’t find that very comforting. For what it’s worth, ZiPS had the Yankees as a 95-win team last season and that’s exactly how many games they won. I very much hope this year’s projection is wrong. Here are the individual player projections in case you missed them a few weeks ago.

Categories : Asides


  1. Matt DiBari says:

    I really think, if nothing else, they’re also better than Boston. Baltimore for sure though. I think the O’s are really gonna suck.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      “I think the O’s are really gonna suck.”

      Why? The last half of last year they were a legitimately good team. The large part of their lucky record was accrued in the first half.

      They have a lot more depth and health than us, and are much younger.

      I can see them being a .500 team, but I would be surprised if they were a 72 win team again.

    • Buck Foston says:

      Boston improved more than the Yankees. And they at least have impact bats ready to debut, on top of their very good pitching. Boston will be better this year. Buck them.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        “And they at least have impact bats ready to debut, on top of their very good pitching.”

        This is what gave you away. Have to be more subtle next time.

      • MannyGeee says:

        They improved more than the Yankees, but were far far worse to start off. Their pitching is good, but “very” is strong wording for ANY staff being anchored by Captain Awesome and Ryan Dempsters 5.09 ERA in the AL last summer.

        And by ‘impact bats’, who do you mean? *Author’s note: If you say “Why, Pedro Ciriaco and Mauro Gomez and Jackie Willie Mays Roberto Clemente Joe Dimaggio Ken Griffey JR Braley Jr, of course!” I may just find you and kick you in the nuts.

        Moral of the story, lets not suck off the Sawx Kool-Aid dispenser without taking a step back and looking at the big picture.

        • Steve says:

          Bear in mind that this is the blog where people were comparing Jesus Montero to Babe Ruth

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

            I never saw anyone compare Montero to Ruth.

            Miguel Cabrera on the other hand…..

            • Steve says:

              Fair enough. I remember Monteroisdinero doing it, but it appears it was only if he moved to RF. So he only did it to Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols. Much more realistic.

              Monteroisdinero says:
              December 29, 2011 at 7:21 am

              I have compared Montero to Miggy and Pujols offensively. I only compared him to Ruth defensively if he were to go to RF in 2013.

      • jsbrendog says:

        do fans of the red sox get enjoyment of coming here and trying to provoke an argument? man, being inbred must be real tough. or boring. or both?

      • trr says:

        “Buck” them? well, close to what I’m thinking…

      • Laz says:

        Boston is worse than the team they thought they had last winter, with Agon, CC, Beckett.

  2. Conor says:

    The pitching staff is too good to only win 83 games. Although it’s easy to imagine winning 88 and missing the playoffs by a couple of games.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      The current, healthy pitching staff, completely agree. A pitching staff that loses Pettitte or god forbid, CC? We’re looking at a rough season.

      • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

        Same could be said of any team. If they lose their ace, they’re screwed. While losing Pettitte or Kuroda would certainly hurt (that could lead to a 83-win season), losing CC would be horrible, but I don’t see anything, outside of a freak accident, pointing to that happening.

        With all the currently injured players and the fill-ins they have right now, I see a lot of change happening within this roster over the course of the season. I’m hopeful they’ll make a good move or 2 as the trade deadline approaches to fill in where they find gaps, leading them back to the playoffs. Then again, I am ever optomistic when it comes to the Yankees. The reality is, they could suck just as easily.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          I just think given the age and CC’s injury, it’s more likely than it has been in past years.

          Believe me, I’m optimistic too. I just see potential scenarios where we’re pretty unhappy midseason. I think it’s more likely that CC stays healthy, Pettitte probably only makes 15-18 starts, we hover between .500 and contention for most of the year, and who knows what happens in September. The happy part of me sees a WC berth.

    • Buck Foston says:

      The pitching staff could throw shut outs every game (except their 4,5, and 6 aren’t even league average) and they still need to score runs. Between the age and the terrible replacements, this team will be luck to average 4 runs a game. That’s a .500 team.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        Let me fix that for you.

        “Between the age and the terrible replacements, this team will be luck to average 4 runs a game in April and May. That’s a .500 team in April and May.”

        • Buck Foston says:

          Good luck with that. Teixeira is trending backwards. Granderson is K machine. Jeter gives up more runs on defense than he creates on offense. Gardner is Slappy McPopout. Suzuki is Slappy McGrounder. Then there’s the HUGE blackhole at catcher.

          But, nah, this team can contend! Heh.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            Your handle was a clever trick to keep us off your trail, Jon Lester.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            Just because I’m a glutton for punishment, even though you deserve no rational response after that:

            Jeter WAR last 3 years: 2.8, 2.3, 3.2
            Don’t care that Gardner pops out a lot, he also walks a lot, steals a lot of bases, and hits for a reasonable average.
            Granderson hits enough home runs and doubles to MORE than counter the K’s.

            Tex is accurate, but the difference between Cervelli/Stewart and Martin is more like, moon sized. Not black hole sized.

            Try again.

          • Jobu says:

            The Slappy McGrounder actually sounds like it might be a delicious burger.

          • jjyank says:

            Oooohhhh, the Boston fans are all antsy in their pantsy today, eh? Have fun missing the playoffs for the 5th year in a row.

    • Real Life says:

      What’s so great about this staff? Don’t get me wrong – I think they will be very good, but not good enought o mask how terrible the offense will be.


      CC is great, but not elite like he was. Kuroda was great last year, but he is getting up there, Pettitte is like 50, Nova and Hughes are average, and Phelps has promise but hasn’t shown anything yet.


      Mo- GOAT, but guy is 43 and coming off major surgery – huge ?
      Robertson- won’t fight you here – one of the best set up men in the league
      Joba – could be great, could be awful
      Aardsma – hasn’t pitched int he majors in like 2 years
      Logan – decent lefty – nothing spectacular

      If CC goes down for any reason this staff will crumble.

      • Jim Is Bored says:


        CC – True #1
        Pettite – So what that he’s 50? If he stays healthy, he’s a #2
        Kuroda – Also a #2, again, no injury history
        Nova and Hughes – Totally happy with average 4/5 starters

        • jsbrendog says:

          i love the ppl who go so and so was great last yr but man, despite a proven track record of success for multiple years withno sign of decline really whatsoever before now HE IS 1 YR OLDER SO HOLY SHIT FUCK HIM DOES HE SUCK ASS

          and by love i mean aw goddammit

        • Gonzo says:

          You really think Pettitte is capable of pitching like a #2? Honest question.

          • jjyank says:

            Absolutely. If he stays healthy and doesn’t tire down the stretch, but he’s definitely capable. He pretty much did exactly that last year. I’m not betting against Andy.

            • Gonzo says:

              Wow, I didn’t know people were that bullish on Andy. I certainly don’t think so, but maybe our definitions of #2 (no jokes!) are different.

              Look at his career and his most recent seasons where he’s pitched over 140 IP. If this was the 2010 preseason, I don’t think most people would think he would be a #2 starter.

              His K% was the highest last year since his age 32 seasons. I just don’t think that’s sustainable over a full year. I mean his last year just looks like an outlier.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            I mean “if healthy” is a freaking huge qualifier.

            I think he’ll give us 18-20 starts of #2 quality, yeah. By that I mean roughly a 3.00 era.

            • Gonzo says:

              I think that’s very optimistic. The ERA not the starts. He’s only had two years in his career where he’s had a sub-3.20 ERA with 18 or more starts.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                I know, but anecdotally it’s seemed like he’s had a light bulb turn on(relative to early career) regarding location and strategy. I mean I could be wrong, lord knows people have accused me of being a polyanna.

  3. Eddard says:

    And what did ZiPs project for the Os last year or the Angels or As? It’s bullshit is pretty much what it is. No more scientific than filling out March Madness brackets. It’s like what Morgan Freeman said about the parole board, all of these made up words like ZiPs are just so young fellas can wear a suit and have a job. They mean nothing. We’ll know nothing until they play the games.

  4. y says:

    yayyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! finally a good draft pick

  5. Jeff says:

    Great work, Trashman. What an absolute embarrassment.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      Look at this guy! He used a pun based on a name to insult someone! IVE NEVER SEEN THIS DONE BEFORE!

    • Buck Foston says:

      Nice one! Cashman is terrible and all of his flaws are now glaringly obvious. He’s never been especially creative with what he had. Now it shows. Suzuki, Wells, Stewart, Rivera, Boesch, Overbay – half this roster couldn’t play for Baltimore.

      Funny how folks here forget the seeming youth movement Trashman promised back in 2002. Save the Big Three! Andy Phillips! The Kevin Thompson! Heh.

    • Evan3457 says:

      Actually, there’s no evaluation of Cashman’s work here. This is called a PROJECTION for a reason.

      If anyone cares, Baseball Prospectus’ Depth Charts report still has the Yankees going 91-71, winning the division, tying the Rangers and Angels for best record in the AL, and scoring nearly 800 runs. Last update for the hitting side was…Monday.

    • jjyank says:

      Wow, what a clever comment. Are you gonna be here all week? I’ll be sure to tip my waiter.

  6. Steve says:

    “I guess it’s good they’re more likely to play baseball than golf in October, but I don’t find that very comforting.”

    I’m no math major but last I checked, 29.7% chance of making the playoffs means there is a 70.3% chance of not making the playoffs…so no, they are more likely to be playing golf in October.

    • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

      Read again. He was saying it’s more likely they’re in the playoffs (29.7% chance) than it is that they end up last in the division (26.7% chance).

  7. Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain) says:

    Unfortunately, 89-73 seems pretty realistic. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

      Agree, somewhere around 90 wins seems pretty realistic. I just hope that’s enough to make the playoffs. It’s possible that might even win the division (again, being my normal optimistic self).

    • jsbrendog says:

      this was my prediction in my yearly yankee record prediction bet with a buddy

    • Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain) says:

      Meant to say 83-79. Whoops.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        I can see anywhere between 82-90 wins. My bet would be 87-89, potentially good enough for a WC spot.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          That’s my thinking, but the pitching needs to hold up and be at least as good as last year for them to get to 87+, imo.
          Hopefully that happens, but I think 87-89 likely still leaves them out of the playoffs.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            Agreed. I’m hopeful that it will, that Nova and Phelps will improve and that Hughes pitches like he did last year, preferably with fewer HRs.

            I think if we get to 89 it will mean we were in the race till the end, and who knows which way the dominoes will fall.

  8. Jobu says:

    I completely understand that everyone is pissed the Yankees didn’t resign Martin and Swisher, but letting them go is the most selfless thing the team could have done. Let’s be honest here, the way things are going Martin would be injured and Swisher would be quarantined in a hospital in Tampa with some kind of rare disease that nobody has ever seen before. We would be reading very well written blog posts by Mike about human physiology and the WAR of Swisher’s immune system. Reporters would be peppering team officials with questions about how a baboon from inner Mongolia boarded a plane, cleared customs posing as a yak salesman, sweet talked his way into the stadium, and assaulted Swished in the bottom half of the 4th inning during a meaningless spring training game. For Christ sake Joe, the games don’t count! Was it really necessary to leave the regulars in and expose them to the possibility of assault from other members of the primate family?

  9. Joe says:

    When was the last time the Yankees finished in fourth place?

  10. jjyank says:

    Ehhh. Zero stock to put in this. Just because ZiPS got the record right last year doesn’t mean it will again. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is taking into account the Yankees’ injuries, yes? Does the system account for any injuries to a very injury prone Blue Jays team? I don’t see that team staying healthy all year and winning 94 games. I really don’t.

    Also, I think I would actually put money on the Yankees winning more than 83.

    • LK says:

      For what it’s worth, ZiPs does take injuries into account when estimating performance (as players who are injured a lot are likely to decline faster). Szymborski freely admits, however, that ZiPs is never going to do a good job estimating playing time (though humans aren’t very good at that either since many injuries are flukes).

  11. LK says:

    I think they’ll win more than 83, but line about settling for “good enough” during the offseason sums up how I feel better than just about everything I’ve read. The Yanks decided to leave themselves a razor-thin margin for error to get under 189, and it looks like they’re going to pay for it.

  12. hogsmog says:

    Say they are in fourth place at the deadline (and like a solid fourth, maybe 15 games back). Is it worth it to trade Cano to a contender? They’d have just as much chance of signing him in the offseason; I feel like Cano is going to go to the highest bidder, end of story. Is there some point where not ‘giving up’ on the postseason just hubris?

  13. trr says:

    IMO, 83 is the low end of the scale, with 88-89 the high end.
    I’m comfortable with 87, and that just might be enough in the AL East

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      The problem, as I see it is, that Texas, Oakland and Anaheim are pretty much guaranteed 15 wins each by playing the Astros, so it is very possible that neither WC comes from the AL East.

  14. Jon G says:

    Something else about this here if the Yankees are truly a barely-above 500 win team:
    1) Granted we’ve got Jeter, Tex, Arod and Granderson on the DL and 3 of those 4 returning by mid-May (hopefully – with a wrist you never know), but I’d be MUCH more excited to watch prospects get a shot than retread has-beens from non-playoff contending teams (e.g., Wells, Overbay – barf). I’d not want to miss watching a game if Heathcott were in left, but Wells – zzzzz… Maybe this situation would be MUCH different next year.

    2) What will Hank do if the Yankees truly are in fourth place come mid-July..? Buyers or sellers?

    3) We’ve got an exciting crop of prospects on the way, likely starting to contend for starting jobs at (at the very least) C and OF next year (or even later this year maybe, if Heathcott can stay healthy). Do we basically have to accept that this is a transition year? Some of the kids will be traded for our next Tino or O’Neil and others will become our next Bernie, Cano and Pettite… But my sense is that we’re at least 2 years from being a rising power again, longer if Cashman keeps GMing the way he has been…


    • Jon G says:

      On 2 (above) obviously the question is what will “Hal” do..? That said, we might very well hear from Hank if things are a mess…

  15. high heat says:

    Unfortunately, this year’s team will look like the ’98 Yanks compared to next year’s shitshow.

    • MB923 says:

      And that was 26 games to go. Not 162 games to go.

    • trashman jsbrendog says:


    • vicki says:

      well, we’re talking about an historic collapse here; that’s just not going to happen a lot.

      but speaking of the rays, i’m surprised by how many people are high on them. yes, they have great pitching depth but they were 2-3 hitters short last year and they lost upton.

      • MB923 says:

        Also lost their #2 pitcher. Great trade overall though for them.

        Back to my original post, who is to say there won’t be any collapses this year? Collapses usually happen more often than people think. This was a major collapose, but collapses happen often. It might very well happen in the AL East.

        • vicki says:

          if you’re saying you can’t predict baseball i agree with you. the o’s one-run/extras record was quirky, but the sox choke job was for the ages.

  16. Yankee Since 1957 says:

    The sox have done nothing to improve their pitching. Same starters as last year. They traded for Farrel, who the Jays were going to fire and added Napoli who has declined the last few years. Don’t see the sox going from 93 losses to force in the East. O’s won 16 extra inning games in a row and went something like 29-9 in one run games. Don’t see them duplicating that. Other than Dickey, the Jays traded for a bunch of underachieving/injury prone players. If the Yanks pitching stays healthy, we will still be tough to beat. Tampa and Yanks force the division.

    • Fugazi69 says:

      They added Dempster and Lackey didn’t pitch last year. That’s 40% of their rotation changing from last year. I’m not sure what to expect from either Lackey or Dempster but they surely will be better than the likes of Dice-K and Aaron Cook who both had horrific eras last year.

      • vicki says:

        and besides the yankees theyre the only team in the al east who will be able (willing) to add at the deadline.

  17. Gonzo says:

    Under this projection, the Yankees only have to win one extra game against the Red Sox and two games (+the tiebreaker) against the Rays to make the playoffs. Or just win three extra games against the Rays. it’s not like they have the Yankees out of it altogether.

    Just saying.

  18. dalelama says:

    Not surprised in the least to see other professionals come around to my way of thinking. I think the reality of the situation is starting to hit home with the low information fan as they progress through the five stages of grief. By my expert analysis we are entering the bargaining stage:

    EKR stage Interpretation

    1 – Denial Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality, etc., relating to the situation concerned. It’s a defense mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic change that can be ignored. Death of course is not particularly easy to avoid or evade indefinitely.

    2 – Anger Anger can manifest in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others, especially those close to them. Knowing this helps keep detached and non-judgemental when experiencing the anger of someone who is very upset.

    3 – Bargaining Traditionally the bargaining stage for people facing death can involve attempting to bargain with whatever God the person believes in. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example “Can we still be friends?..” when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it’s a matter of life or death.

    4 – Depression Also referred to as preparatory grieving. In a way it’s the dress rehearsal or the practice run for the ‘aftermath’ although this stage means different things depending on whom it involves. It’s a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness and regret, fear, uncertainty, etc. It shows that the person has at least begun to accept the reality.

    5 – Acceptance Again this stage definitely varies according to the person’s situation, although broadly it is an indication that there is some emotional detachment and objectivity. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must necessarily pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.

  19. Real Life says:

    To all the people saying 89 wins will be enough to win the AL East- do you know how many times since 1970(43 years) 89 wins was enough to win the AL East? 6. That’s less than 14% of the time.

    If you drop that number to 86 wins it becomes 0. WAKE UP.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      Do you know how many times all 5 AL East teams had a change to be over .500? Zero.

      This is a unique year, and to avoid looking at context is to be sleeping.


      • Real Life says:

        “Do you know how many times all 5 AL East teams had a change to be over .500? Zero.”

        Exactly – CUZ IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I completely disagree all 5 teams have a chance. That’s a dumb statement that ignores statistical reality.

        Know how many times all the teams in the AL East finished above .500? NEVER – in fact they have never even made it halfway through a season:

        “The latest all clubs in the AL East were above .500 in the standings was June 13, 2008, under the current divisional format.” – Elias

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          It’s not going to happen. At least one team will invariably fall below. The point is their is greater parity top to bottom in the division than there typically is. It’s extremely unlikely that 89 wins is enough to win the division, but given the parity that exists in the division this year, it would seem this year has a better chance to fall in the 14% you cited than most.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          What NP&H said.

          Of fucking course all 5 teams won’t be above .500

          But the depth in the division is ridiculous this year, and they’re going to shred each other up during the regular season.

          90 wins is going to take it this year.

          • Real Life says:

            Dude you said yourself it has a chance to happen then literally the next post say of fucking course it won’t lol. You make no sense. 90 wins will not win the AL East about 86% of the time. That’s fact.

    • jsbrendog says:

      WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!!!!!!

  20. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I’m so sorry I missed this wonderful exchange.

    I was:

    1) running meetings
    2) having Dan Zysmbroski lick my nuts

    83? Tell me 75. Whatever. I’ll enjoy this team proving him wrong.

  21. Craig says:

    Yeah…I don’t get the 83 wins at all. They won 95 last year with no Mo, no Gardner and a slew of other injuries. Barring any other significant injury (crosses fingers and closes eyes), I think they should be able to win 89-92 games.

    Their pitching is better than last year (assuming health of course) + a full season of Gardner. They lose 1 win at catcher, 1 win at 1B, 1 at SS, 1 at 3B, 4 in the OF, 1 at DH and 1 on the bench. But they pick up 2 with Gardner and another 2-3 with their pitching.

    95 win team…nope. 90 win team…maybe. Let’s play the games.

  22. Manny's BanWagon says:

    I always thought that the transition would begin in 2014 with the BS budget and having to resign Cano and replace Grandy, Pettitte, Kuroda and Rivera but more and more it’s looking like it’s beginning a year early.

    Hope I’m wrong but the starting pitching is gonna have to be lights out this year for them to stay in contention.

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