February 07, 2006
Predicting The Yankees 2006 Win Total
I just noticed that "SG" over at Replacement Level Yankees Weblog has the Yankees pegged to get 85 wins this season. Yikes.
So, I decided to take a stab at this myself - albeit much less scientific.
Over the last 4 seasons, the guys in the Yankees pen have been good for registering 15-25 wins per year. So, I'll take the average and say that the Yankees pen will net 20 wins (combined) in 2006. How about the rotation?
Well, based on what I've said recently, I would say that Johnson is good (at best) for 16 wins. And, I've predicted that Mussina is probably only good for 13 wins this year. If Pavano is sound, he too should be around a 13-game winner.
This leaves Wang and Chacon. Let's be kind and assume that Wang avoids a long trip on the D.L. and that Chacon is better than some predict. And, somehow, between the two of them, they win a combined 25 games.
So, what do we have?
That's pretty close to 85. But, I'll throw in three extra wins to round out my number, and bump it up to 90 wins (in 2006) - as of now - for a Yankees prediction.
Considering that it takes about 95 wins to take the A.L. East, that puts the Yankees short of their immediate goal this year.
Pavano and Mussina need to step up or Sturtze, Small, Wright and Dotel need to take the Yankees pen to a level higher than what's been usual (and help New York get closer to 30 wins from the non-starters).
Otherwise, it's going to be a disappointing year in the Bronx.
Pitching. You can't live without it and it can kill you.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at February 7, 2006 10:56 PM
Ah, jeez...here comes the "doom and gloom" SL.
Need I remind anyone, I predicted on this very blog that the Yanks would win the AL East after the sweep in KC last year. (Of course my prediction had everything to do w/it...)
The Yanks will win the WS this year, because Dotel will come back nastier than ever and the bullpen will be better than expected. And:
Damon will repeat his '05 perf., where he was a legit MVP candidate for 100 games.
Matsui goes crazy.
Giambi is 85%-90% of his MVP year.
A-Rod, Jetes, Sheff, Cano all perform as predicted.
Bernie defies all expectations like an Ernest Hemingway character and is a fine DH.
Why? Because they must.
I think the Yanks will win more than 90 games, but what you should do is count how many games you think the Red Sox and Blue Jays will win (using the same system). I can almost guarantee you that -- with Beckett, Schilling and the entire Sox 'pen a question mark -- they won't come up with 95 wins. It's not just how good the Yankees are; it's also about how good they are compared to their divisional rivals.
SG's predictions at RLYW were based off of ZiPs predictions, which were absolutely terrible. Everybody on the team saw massive decline. Not to mention that he also used the pythagorean method to determine actual numbers of wins. The Yankees always outperformed their pythagorean record.
Oh, and ZiPs predicted 72 wins for us in 2004.
I have the Yankees pegged at 102 wins in 2006. I used win shares to figure that out. Steve, I do not think that you are doing this right. You are using wins to evaluate a pitcher's performance. "Carl Pavano is good for 13 wins". Pitching for the Marlins, your right. But if Carl Pavano pitches 200 innings for the Yankees with league average ERA or so, he'll win 15 or more games. Look at David Wells last year. He stunk up the place and won 15 games for the crazy offense Red Sox.
Ah, but, do we know that the Yankees will be offense crazy in 2006?
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at February 8, 2006 10:49 AM
I think so. The Yankee 2006 offense I think very much resembles the Yankee 2005 offense. Adding Damon was big, but there are more subtle differences that I think we should pay attention to:
1) No holes. Last year, we had games where John Flaherty was catching, Bubba Crosby was playing centerfield, Tino Martinez was playing first base, and Ruben Sierra was DHng, all at once. That is a bottom end of the lineup that would not put fear into the Kansas City Royals. We had that deadly bottom of the lineup - Jeter, Giambi, Rodriguez, Matsui, and Sheffield - but the end result usually was a lot of people left on base.
The Boston Red Sox had a lineup similar to this. Although in neutral parks the lineup did not have a better OBP/Slg/BA than the Yankees, they benefited from being able to load their line up with guys who did not make easy outs. They weren't all stars, but the bottom end of their lineup would keep getting those singles and walks, getting more at bats with men on base for the top of their lineup.
2) Two real hitters in the top two spots. Last season we bounced around Cano, Womack, Bernie, Arod, etc to try to fill that extra spot alongside Derek Jeter. I am not a big believer in the speedy leadoff guy, but we are now going to give a lot of at bats to Johnny Damon, who is going to be a significant upgrade over those guys. Every out that Damon does not make gives an extra at bat to Jeter, Arod, Giambi, etc.
3) Jason Giambi for the full year. He produced close to .270/.460/.600, MVP numbers, after his resurrgence. Adding a .460 OBP in the middle of a lineup will result in a lot more at bats with runners on base for those following Giambi - Sheffield and Matsui.
4) A better bench. The Yankees seem determined to give Andy Phillips the chance he deserves. He will sub in for all infielders. I will predict a .260/.340/.480 line out of him, which seems reasonable. If he produces like that, he'll be a big improvement over Sanchez, Escalona, Martinez, and the other Yankee reserves from last year. Stinnet is an upgrade over Flaherty, big time.
The question is, are the Yankees going to let Tampa beat them more than 1-2 times this year.
FWIW, I think the Yankees have holes, at the plate, at DH and C. And, if Giambi goes down, that's a hole at 1B too. I don't see one single bat on the bench who has shown he can hit big league pitching. Because of this, I can't call them an offsensive force.
A great 1 through 6, if sound, but, that's it.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at February 8, 2006 03:16 PM
Well, that just means Torre's gonna have to do some managin' this season to get the most out of his squad and...gulp...nevermind.