• Are The Yankees Great, Or, Very Good & Their Opponents Stink?

    Posted by on April 25th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    Via Joel Sherman -

    The Yankees, for example, are very good. But a big reason they have won is because the other teams have lost. It is as if the Yankees just play competently and wait for walks and mistakes to mount by their opponent.

    Well, one way to measure this is Sports-Reference.com’ s Simple Rating System (SRS):

    Rk Tm W L W-L% R RA SOS SRS 6 pythWL Luck
    1  NYY 12 5 .706 5.4 3.5 0.4 2.3 12-5 0
    2 TBR 13 5 .722 5.9 3.5 -0.3 2.1 13-5 -0
    3 OAK 11 8 .579 4.3 3.4 0.0 0.9 12-7 -1
    4 MIN 13 5 .722 5.4 3.7 -0.9 0.9 12-6 1
    5  SEA 9 9 .500 3.9 3.7 -0.1 0.2 9-9 -0
      Avg 8 8 .500 4.4 4.4     8-8  
    6  TEX 7 10 .412 4.2 4.3 0.0 -0.1 8-9 -1
    7  LAA 9 10 .474 3.9 4.9 0.7 -0.3 8-11 1
    8  BOS 8 10 .444 4.2 5.2 0.6 -0.4 7-11 1
    9  TOR 10 8 .556 4.5 4.4 -0.5 -0.4 9-9 1
    10  DET 10 8 .556 4.7 4.7 -0.7 -0.7 9-9 1
    11  CHW 7 11 .389 3.9 4.9 0.1 -1.0 7-11 -0
    12  CLE 8 9 .471 3.5 4.3 -0.2 -1.0 7-10 1
    13  BAL 2 16 .111 3.1 5.1 0.8 -1.2 5-13 -3
    14  KCR 6 11 .353 4.8 6.1 -0.1 -1.4 7-10 -1
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 4/25/2010.

    .

    Well, this does suggest that there are only 5 good teams, right now, in the league – including the Yankees. So, maybe this is one of those seasons where one-third of the circuit is going to feast off the rest of the weak squads in it? But, to be sure, we’ll have to wait for more games to be played. It’s so early in the season now…too early to make a “yes” or “no” call on this one.

    Comments on Are The Yankees Great, Or, Very Good & Their Opponents Stink?

    1. YankCrank
      April 25th, 2010 | 10:47 am

      That’s a pretty dumb comment by Joel, to be honest. Part of what makes a good team so good is capitalizing on other team’s mistakes. One of the things that people always said about the 98-01 teams is “don’t give them extra outs to work with, or they’ll make it hurt.” That’s what good teams do.

    2. Raf
      April 25th, 2010 | 11:22 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      That’s a pretty dumb comment by Joel, to be honest.

      Wouldn’t expect anything less from the NY Post :)

    3. 77yankees
      April 25th, 2010 | 11:28 am

      That’s like saying, “The boxer’s opponent stood still and didn’t keep his gloves up when he got knocked out.”

      Joel is auditioning for a spot on BSPN I presume.

    4. BOHAN
      April 25th, 2010 | 1:26 pm

      “But a big reason they have won is because the other teams have lost.”

      stupid stupid statement. isnt that the point of the game one team wins one team looses?

    5. Evan3457
      April 25th, 2010 | 2:27 pm

      Here we go again…just like last year, the Yanks aren’t good, they’re just beating up on the weak teams.

      1. Right now, the Red Sox are 9-9. They’re a weak team? Really? Did anyone think that before this season? Does anyone really believe they won’t have at least 90 wins by season’s end?

      2. Same rant about the Angels. (Well, actually, I thought that the Angels were overrated. Their starting staff lacks an ace, their closers don’t scare me in the slightest, and their attack is weaker than last year by a little.)

      3. Same rant about the Rangers, albeit at a lower level. They’re supposed to be reasonable contenders in the West, right?

      The two teams on the list of “real” teams that the Yanks have played…the Yanks have won BOTH series, ON THE ROAD. Does that mean nothing, either. (Well, I have to admit, it means little at this point.)

      For whatever reason(s), Yanks have scored 92 runs in 17 games, and allowed 59. Their record is 12-5 and it’s supposed to be 12-5 (according to the Pythagoran W/L formula).

      They’re where they’re supposed to be. Will they stay there? I dunno for sure, I suspect they’ll continue to be one of the best teams in baseball. Will they beat out the Rays? I dunno that either. We’ll see.

      But they’re 12-5 because they deserve to be. They ain’t played the Royals or the Orioles or the Indians or the Jays or the White Sox yet, either. (White Sox are supposed to be a contender this year; we’ll see.)

    6. Evan3457
      April 25th, 2010 | 2:34 pm

      Oh, by the way, the Yanks are 11.7-5.3 in 3rd order adjusted wins (Baseball Prospectus, wins adjusted for runs scored vs. runs allowed, ballpark factors, and strength of opponent.) Their record is accurate, as far as 3rd order adjusted wins is concerned.

      Oh, and just so you know, that 11.7-5.3 is a game and a half better than anyone else in baseball, including the Rays…

      …except the Padres! And they play in the NL. (And I’m sure everyone had the Padres in their pre-season picks to win the NL West.)

      =========================
      The Baseball Prospectus Post-Season Odds’ Report has 3 versions; the 3rd is called ELO (the system by which chess players are rated via head-to-head results). Yanks are tied with the Rays at an ELO Rating of 1549, the best in MLB.

      The Rays are where they should be. So are the Yanks.

    7. April 25th, 2010 | 3:29 pm

      This is what Joel Sherman does – make snap judgments on small sample sizes. Like how he fretted about Curtis Granderson’s future as a Yankee because he did nothing against Jonathan Papelbon in the season opener.

      He writes today, “And another issue that worries me feeds directly into attendance: Lack of competition. Three weeks does not a season make, but does anybody think the Twins and Cardinals are not going to run away in the two Central divisions?”

      Maybe they should just end the season now, because Oracle Sherman has spoken. There’s no way Detroit or Milwaukee or any other team can compete in the Central Divisions, not after a whole 18 games have been played.

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