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January 22, 2007

Projecting The Yanks & Sox Wins

Yanksfan vs. Soxfan has an interesting look at predicting the win totals for Boston and New York this season.

I'll take a shot at it without using any heavy math.

I'm going to assume that each team's bullpen will win around 35 games, as a group. That's about 5 wins per relief pitcher, probably a tad less considering that a team may end up using 8 or 9 pitchers, or more, (at some point and time) out of the pen.

I think the "Big Three" in the Yankees starting rotation should be good for 42 wins in 2007. And, I think the Red Sox "Big Three" from their rotation should be good for 42 wins in 2007.

So, that's 77 wins for each team - leaving just the 4th and 5th starters on each squad to determine the final win tally/projection for each team.

Jonathan Papelbon and Kei Igawa - who will win more games? Tim Wakefield/Jon Lester and Carl Pavano/Jeff Karstens/Darrell Rasner - who will win more games? What about Roger Clemens? Until Clemens signs somewhere, I can't factor him into the equation.

I think the Papelbon & Igawa win totals are the key here - since both teams will be lucky to get about 10 wins from their 5th man-combo in the rotation. Let's assume those 10 wins - which puts both teams at 87 wins each, with Papelbon & Igawa deciding the final numbers.

Papelbon & Igawa could both win 13 games (each) - giving both Boston and New York near 100 wins for this year. Or, one of them could win 15 games and the other could win just 10 games - meaning a 5-game gap in the standings for New York and Boston.

We have no idea how Papelbon will react from his conversion this season. We have no idea how Igawa will pitch in America this year. Nonetheless, right now, sans Clemens signing with New York or Boston, assuming all other pitchers remain healthy and produce to normal levels this year, Jonathan Papelbon and Kei Igawa may just be the keys to determining who finishes on top between the Yanks and Sox.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at January 22, 2007 10:03 PM

Comments

Steve, I think that you made a major cop out with the bullpens. The Yankees project to have a top-3 bullpen and the Redsox a bottom-5 one. That's a lot of high-leveraged innings right there.

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 22, 2007 11:18 PM

There's also the factor in how Proctor's arm will be this year. But I would rather have a questionable arm be on a setup guy in the bullpen than on someone who's projecting to be the #4 starter.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2007 08:37 AM

sorry steve, but that was a real half assed effort at win projections. there is a reason people use stats to do this, because your way is way too subjective.

if the "big 3" only win 42 games, i think i will kill myself.

Posted by: adam [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2007 09:31 AM

~~~if the "big 3" only win 42 games, i think i will kill myself.~~~

Expecting anything more from them, based on stats, age, etc., is not reasonable.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2007 09:55 AM

~~~The Yankees project to have a top-3 bullpen and the Redsox a bottom-5 one.~~~

How so?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2007 09:56 AM

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=alfocusrankingthebullpen&prov=tsn&type=lgns

Posted by: Bizast1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2007 10:45 AM

Thanks for the link.

That report is soley based on opinion 'tho, no?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2007 11:51 AM

Steve, with a 950 run offense, any idiot can win 14 games. All it takes is the ability to pitch innings. Randy Johnson won 17 games with a near 5.00 ERA.

Wang, Mussina and Pettitte all pitched 197+ innings last season. Igawa is a healthy speciman and should be good for at least 180 innings barring some real bad luck on our part.

You've done this before and considering your stellar body of work, it always knocks me off my seat. Wins are such a useless statistic. They come in weird ways. Darrell Rasner and TJ Beam combined for 5 wins last season. Chacon had 5. Cory Lidle was 4.

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 23, 2007 10:58 PM