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.