Still Going

Posted by Baseball Bob at 09:03
May 092017

The Yankees won their 6th straight last night, scoring 10 runs and getting length from Tanaka, ameliorating the concern about a depleted bullpen. They scored 3 in the first to take the pressure off, and than added on throughout the game. It really never felt like Cincy was going to get in the game, and they didn’t (final 10-4). They had a TON of baserunners: 13 hits, 7 walks, 3 HBP (all in the same inning!), 1 by error, 1 by fielder’s choice. They left 11 on base, which is a high number, but normal-to-low when you score 10 runs. The Reds numbers were more typical: 12 baserunners, 4 runs and 6 LOB.

The Yankees, of course, continue to sport the best record in the game (hard to lose that distinction if you win) but the second best record is in their own division: the Orioles who have almost matched this streak (5 straight) are 21-10 to the Yankees 21-9, 1/2 game behind. Many pre-season prognosticators had these two teams 4-5 in the division. That could still be true, of course, as it is early days. But most projection systems now have the Yankees winning something like 93-95 games, due to their hot start and their run differential. The Yankees are +58, best in baseball, but the Orioles are only +13. Thus the projection systems see them as lucky, and are still only projecting them in the 84-86 win stage, despite the hot start. I would buy more into this were it not for the fact that Baltimore under Showalter has outperformed its run differential EVERY SINGLE YEAR since Buck arrived. That makes it hard for me to bet against them doing it again, though I know that it is likely that  SOME team will outperform its pythagorean projection five years running.

The Dodgers are on a tear (3 straight, 8 of 10) and seem in the process of reestablishing order in the NL West. They have passed the Diamondbacks and are within 2 of the Rockies, and seem destined to soon be ahead of both. And the Indians are back on top of the AL Central as the Twins and White Sox return to earth. As Houston and Washington, preseason favorites both, are well ahead in their own divisions, and the Cubs were back on top until they ran into the Yankee buzz saw, it now appears that the only division in which the original favorite is favorite no more is the famed AL East. The Red Sox are playing better, but hardly seem like the juggernaut that they projected to be.

FanGraphs is the only place that still projects the Red Sox to triumph over the Yankees (91 wins to 90) at this moment – most sites have NY ahead by 2-4 games. Everyone still projects the Indians, Astros, Nationals, Cubs and Dodgers though.

Tuesdays are busy for me. More tomorrow I hope.

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