• Why The Yankees Are Where They Are…

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2008 · Comments (8)

    Over at Baseball-Reference.com, one of the stats that they keep in their league standings breakdown is how a team has performed against winning and losing teams.

    Here, they show a team’s record against opponents who have a winning percentage “>= .500″ (meaning a winning team) and opponents who have a winning percentage “< .500" (meaning a losing team).

    Let's look at each split...with games through last night. First, A.L. team's records against teams with a winning percentage ">= .500″:

    Team	W	L	Pct
    LAA	36	23	.610
    TBR	42	28	.600
    NYY	34	31	.523
    TOR	28	30	.483
    MIN	25	27	.481
    CLE	29	33	.468
    BOS	31	37	.456
    CHW	22	28	.440
    BAL	33	44	.429
    TEX	29	39	.426
    DET	28	40	.412
    OAK	29	43	.403
    KCR	29	47	.382
    SEA	21	39	.350
    

    Clearly, in this situation, the Angels and Rays are the class of the league. But, the Yankees, while not “great” here, are “holding their own” (so to speak) against the “winning teams” that they’ve faced this season.

    Next, A.L. team’s records against teams with a winning percentage “< .500":

    Team	W	L	Pct
    BOS	43	17	.717
    CHW	51	26	.662
    MIN	49	27	.645
    TBR	36	21	.632
    LAA	41	27	.603
    DET	35	25	.583
    BAL	28	22	.560
    TEX	34	27	.557
    TOR	38	32	.543
    NYY	34	29	.540
    OAK	29	27	.518
    KCR	26	26	.500
    CLE	31	34	.477
    SEA	26	42	.382
    

    You see? Here’s the problem for the Yankees this season. Sure, they’ve won more than they have lost against “losing teams” – so far this season. But, compare their record to what the Red Sox have done in these situations. Boston has feasted against “losing teams” this year. In fact, all the teams that the Yankees looking up at, in terms of their overall record, meaning the Red Sox, White Sox, Twins, Rays and Angels, are playing .600 ball (or much better) when they face a “losing team.”

    If the Yankees do not make the post-season this year, when they look back at this season, they should lament about how they played teams like the Orioles, Indians, Tigers, Royals and Rangers. Throw in the Reds and Pirates too. To date, here’s how New York has done against these seven teams:

    Team	W	L
    BAL	6	7
    KCR	5	5
    CLE	3	4
    TEX	3	4
    DET	1	4
    CIN	1	2
    PIT	1	2
    		
    Total	20	28
    

    Wow. Twenty and twenty-eight against these seven “losing” teams. If New York had managed to just play .500 against these seven losing teams, and went 24-24 instead of 20-28, then the Yankees would be just two games back (in the loss column) of the Wildcard chase – and not six back, like they are now.

    That’s a huge difference.

    Bottom line, the Yankee are where they are now because of how they have played against “losing teams.” Their failure to go for the kill against weaker prey is the reason why New York will probably miss out on the post-season for the first time since 1993.

    Comments on Why The Yankees Are Where They Are…

    1. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 23rd, 2008 | 12:37 pm

      I’m completely shocked that you didn’t tell us their record against losing teams not named the Mariners.

    2. Raf
      August 23rd, 2008 | 12:48 pm

      I’m completely shocked that you didn’t tell us their record against losing teams not named the Mariners.
      ——
      :)

    3. August 23rd, 2008 | 1:17 pm

      ~~I’m completely shocked that you didn’t tell us their record against losing teams not named the Mariners.~~

      IIRC, the Yankees are two games over .500 this season, against all teams not called the Seattle Mariners. ;-)

    4. asdf
      August 23rd, 2008 | 2:27 pm

      At least we have 3 games left with Seattle!

    5. Don
      August 23rd, 2008 | 2:35 pm

      The offense has awful numbers against power pitchers, their OPS is way below what it is against finesse type pichers. And a much bigger difference than the AL average.

      As others have pointed out here, Giambi’s numbers against power pitchers, and releivers, are nothing short of dreadful. Bye Jason.

    6. August 23rd, 2008 | 3:39 pm

      [...] OF THE DAY: Steve Lombardi of Was Watching points out how poorly the Yankees have played against teams under .500 this [...]

    7. DJ21996
      August 24th, 2008 | 12:04 pm

      That is why it was annoying when people would say we are only above 500 because we beat Seattle and Houston etc.
      When in reality, we are not leading out division because we cant beat the crappy teams in Baseball.

    8. August 31st, 2008 | 1:20 pm

      [...] why the Yankees are so far behind the Red Sox at this point in the season, look no further than how they have played against the Tigers and Royals this season. There’s your answer. August 31, 2008 | Filed Under Math [...]

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