Friday, August 17, 2012

Sewing Up The AL East

Let us pretend that the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays both will not have historic come backs and go from  cellar dwelling below .500 teams and win the division. Let us pretend that the only real threats to the Yankees and their division championship hopes and dreams are the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles, in that order. Do either team really have a shot at making up a 6 game differential between today and the beginning of October? Let us look...

Team Batting Average

Yankees .267 (5th in AL)
Orioles .244 (11th)
Rays .234 (12th)

Team On Base Percentage

Yankees .337 (3rd in AL)
Rays .313 (11th)
Orioles .307 (12th)

Team Slugging

Yankees .460 (1st in AL)
Orioles .408 (8th)
Rays .374 (13th)

Team OPS

Yankees .798 (1st in AL)
Orioles .715 (11th)
Rays .687 (13th)

Team Home Runs

Yankees 181  (1st in AL)
Orioles 147 (4th )
Rays 110 (10th)

Ok so no shockers here. No one is going to out hit the Yankees this season whether it be April, June, or October. Pitching wins championships though so let us look at some pitching statistics.

Team ERA

Rays 3.29 (1st in AL)
Yankees 3.81 (4th)
Orioles 4.06 (8th)

Team Saves

Orioles 39 (T-1st in AL)
Rays 39 (T-1st in AL)
Yankees 37 (3rd)

Batting Average Against

Rays .232 (1st in AL)
Yankees .257 (9th)
Orioles .259 (10th)


Rays 1.20(1st in AL)
Yankees 1.29 (6th)
Orioles 1.33 (10th)

Let the arguments begin. The Rays can make the case that their offensive numbers would look better had they had Evan Longoria int he lineup all season. We could make the argument that our pitching numbers would look better without Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia missing significant time. The fact of the matter is though that the Rays have Longoria back, regardless of being 100%, and we are not getting Mariano or Pineda back. The Rays scare me and they should scare you. 

Our lead is not as comfortable as you may think....

Team Run Differential

Orioles have scored 496 runs and allowed 540 runs
TRD = -44

Rays have scored 484 runs and allowed 435 runs
TRD= +49

Yankees have scored 586 runs and allowed 483 runs
TRD= +103

Or maybe it is....


  1. I have confidence that the Yankees are going to actually expand upon their lead in the division. They were only 13-13 in July, yet still had a 5.5 game lead, and today have a 6 game lead. Sure, that may be thanks to a 10-5 record so far in August, but at the same time the Rays actually have been a touch better at 10-4 during that same time.

    BTW, during their great August run, the Rays have played the Mariners, Jays, and Twins three times each. Oh, and they recently dropped a 3 game series to Seattle.

  2. I just hate being this close to the Rays. They are a good team regardless of record and very very streaky. That pitching is just too nasty to count out you know?

  3. Oh, I'm definitely not saying they are bad... not at all. Although their hitting leaves some to be desired, their pitching is incredible. It's that 6 game lead we currently have that makes me feel confident, though.

  4. Well do you think it has been a coincidence that they went on that tear, before the Seattle series, when Longo got back?

  5. I'm sure Longo helps, but he's still only 1/9 of the lineup. The Yankee offense isn't great because of one or two guys, it's great because you can't really pitch around anyone. And that's on top of having a pretty good pitching rotation, even with Nova sucking the life out of the team lately.

    1. I guess I look too much into structuring a lineup. Our offense has been good enough because of the things you mentioned, including the pitching, but is our lineup worse or better with ARod 4th and Teix hitting 5th or Cano batting 4th and guys like Ibanez hitting 5th.

      And you can throw out stats but I am sure you know Eric Chavez is playing out of his mind, much like Ibanez was at the beginning of the season, and will come down to earth eventually with an ample sample size.

  6. Oh, and Longoria returned to the Rays on the 7th, before the series with the Jays... not the Mariners. And that's when they started playing the Jays, Twins, and Mariners, who are 13th, 14th, and 8th respectively in pitching WAR in the AL this season.

    1. yes but the Yankees play those same teams. You have to beat the guys your supposed to beat to be a great team.


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