Always best to make a prediction before the season starts, right? O.K., here goes…
I’ve looked at many of the various “scientific” projection models performed to date for this season. And, I’ve done some ‘back of the envelope’ calculations on my own. Between what I’ve seen and how I feel…
[insert drum roll]
I’m predicting that the Yankees will win 92 games this season.
Of course, they could win a few more than that – if some things break their way. But, even if things are just close to “normal” for them, in terms of reasonable expectations, they should win at least 92 games (in 2008).
Now, I expect 37% of those wins to be credited to the pitching records of Andy Pettitte and Worm Killer Wang. So, if something should happen to one or both of them, well, then all bets are off.
If one of the two goes down for half the season, then the Yankees only win about 87 games this season. (If they both miss about 7 starts each, then the team probably wins about 87 games this season too.)
If one of the two goes down for most of the season, then the Yankees only win about 83 to 85 games this season. (And, if they both miss half of the season, then the team wins about 83 to 85 games too.)
If both Pettitte and Wang miss most of the season, then it gets real ugly in Yankeeland. In that case, I could see the team struggling to finish at .500 in 2008.
But, for now, I’m assuming that Pettitte and Wang can make 60 starts combined and the Yankees (as a team) will win around 92 games this season.
Will 92 wins be enough to get into the post-season? Man, that’s a close call. There are probably a half-dozen teams in the A.L. this season capable of winning 90 games (including New York). And, 92 is so close to 90…
I feel pretty comfortable predicting the Yankees to win 92 games in 2008. But, I don’t feel comfortable at all predicting them to reach the post-season this year – because 92 wins just may not be enough.