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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Yankees Are Keeping Pace With Their 1998 Powerhouse

The current Yankees may not have the top spot on either of those lists, but they’ve matched the 1998 Yankees to this point. Their .742 winning percentage puts them on pace to win 120 games, which would surpass the 2001 Mariners and 1906 Cubs for the single-season record. Some other hypotheticals:

If the Yankees go 48-48 (.500) the rest of the way, they would finish 97-65 (.599).

If they go 55-41 (.573) the rest of the way, they would finish 104-58 (.642), their best record since 1998. This is one win ahead of the record that we have them forecast for via our Projected Standings.

If they go 60-36 (.625) the rest of the way, they would finish 109-53 (.673), surpassing the 2018 Red Sox (108-54) for the best record for any team since the 2001 Mariners.

If they go 66-30 (.688) the rest of the way, they would finish 115-47 (.710), surpassing the 1998 Yankees for the highest win total in franchise history, while if they go 67-29 (.698), they would finish 116-46 (.716), surpassing the 1927 Yankees (110-44, .714) for the highest winning percentage in franchise history.

If they go 68-28 (.708) the rest of the way, they would finish 117-45 (.722), surpassing both the 2001 Mariners in wins and the AL record-holding 1954 Indians in winning percentage (.721, via a 111-43 record).

If they go 75-21 (.781) the rest of the way, they would finish with a .765 winning percentage (124-38), topping the 1906 Cubs’ .763 (116-36) for the all-time record.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 09:09 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 21, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6083050)
They're already ahead of their 1998 predecessors by one telling measurement: Their 122 OPS+ and 134 ERA+ are well ahead of the '98 team's 116 / 116. And they're on a pace to beat the '98ers run differential by over 40 runs. They're already 14-3 in blowouts compared to last year's 20-17.

But if they don't win 11 more games in the postseason, they'll be just another version of the 1906 Cubs or the 2001 Mariners. The pressure on them to win it all will be comparable to the 2016 Cubs, though for a different reason.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 21, 2022 at 12:56 PM (#6083062)
The biggest factor for the Yankees so far has been their health. If you look at the vaunted starting rotation, none of the pitchers are really that far above what they've been able to do in the past. It's just that all five starters have been able to take the ball every fifth game.

It seems unlikely that they'll be able to continue that good fortune throughout the entire season - they certainly don't have a great track record in terms of durability. But if they do stay healthy, there's no reason to expect a huge dropoff.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 21, 2022 at 01:07 PM (#6083065)
What's also helped is the depth of the bullpen, which has continued to perform at a high level in spite of Chapman, Green, Loaisiga, Germán and Britton all being on the IL. But if the starters weren't being able to go consistently into the 6th inning or later, the bullpen as it is now would be running on fumes.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 21, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6083074)
The 1998 Yankees trailed 2-1 in the ALCS before rallying to take the next 3 games. Somewhat enjoyably nerve-racking back then, with expectations so high, and this season looks to be similar.

Aaron Judge’s pursuit of 60+ HRs could give this season a major statistical milestone that 1998 lacked. Lots of reasons to keep an eye on this team.
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:12 PM (#6083093)
The 1998 Yankees trailed 2-1 in the ALCS before rallying to take the next 3 games. Somewhat enjoyably nerve-racking back then, with expectations so high, and this season looks to be similar.

The Indians had routed Andy Pettitte in game 3 of that series, and after O'Neill had homered in the top of the 1st of game 4, the Tribe had 2 on with 2 out, and Jim Thome backed O'Neill up to the RF wall for what the entire crowd (and me) thought was going to be a 3 run homer. I've always wondered how that series would've come out if Thome had only gotten a bit less lift on that warning track shot, but then El Duque threw 7 shutout innings and the Yankees never looked back.
   6. TomH Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:43 PM (#6083107)
If the Yankees go 48-48 (.500) the rest of the way, they would finish 97-65 (.599).

If they go 55-41 (.573) the rest of the way, they would finish 104-58 (.642), their best record since 1998. This is one win ahead of the record that we have them forecast for via our Projected Standings.
If they go 60-36 (.625)
If they go 66-30 (.688)
If they go 68-28 (.708)
If they go 75-21 (.781)
--
OK, I'll play.
If they go 48-48 (.500) as above, it would be about one chance in 3 they fail to get a bye, and thus another 1-in-3 or more they fall in the wild card round, and at least 50-50 they fail to advance past the ALDS.
If they go 32-64 the rest of the way, they would finish 81-81 (.500) and the sky would fall.
Which is unlikely, but more likely than they go 75-21. Take that.

The Yankees to date are allowing less than 3 runs per game. The last time their team allowed even fewer than FOUR runs per game was... well, a long time ago. I looked back to 1998, and they have given up >4 r/g the past 24 years in a row. So... yeah, regression cometh.

   7. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:57 PM (#6083114)
Y'know, it's almost as if Brian Cashman has a freaking clue.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:59 PM (#6083115)
He just buys good players like Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery and Nestor Cortes and Clay Holmes.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:59 PM (#6083116)
Matt Carpenter ... 1 single, 1 double, 5 walks, 6 HRs ... that is one freaky line.
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 21, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6083119)
Aaron Judge’s pursuit of 60+ HRs could give this season a major statistical milestone that 1998 lacked.


Let's see, Judge has hit 25 homers in 67 team games, so he's on pace for 60.4 homers. Hitting 60-plus homers, then, would require him to very slightly increase the rate at which he's hit homers this year (which is already the highest HR percentage of his career), while also avoiding injury, which isn't exactly in Judge's skill set. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say he's not going to get there.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2022 at 06:14 PM (#6083152)
I just noticed something interesting about Judge. From 2017-19, he had a 31% K rate and a whopping 16.5% BB-rate. Starting in 2020, he seems to have focused on reducing his K-rate (25%) while sacrificing some walks (11.5%). Consequently his in-play %age has gone from 45 to 55.

And it's made pretty much bugger all difference to his overall production:

2017-19: 279/401/572, 157 OPS+, 6.5% HR, 46 Rbat/650
2020-22: 288/371/573, 160 OPS+, 7.1% HR, 44 Rbat/650

The 30 point drop in OBP isn't good but lgOBP has dropped 12 points and increasing his BA while the league drops 13 points helps a bit too (replacing some walks with hits). Interestingly one thing that has changed is his BABIP from 361 to 324.

In 600 PAs, roughly:

2017-19: 99 BB, 180 K, 140 H, 39 HR
2020-22: 69 BB, 150 K, 154 H, 43 HR

30 BB vs 10 non-HR hits, 4 HR and 16 outs [EDIT: typo'd 19] ... seems like it should probably be more than 2 runs in Rbat but that might be due to context. Or 30 BB and 30 K (000/500/000) replaced by 233/233/467.
   12. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 22, 2022 at 06:38 PM (#6083322)
Let's say the Yanks are equal parts 2021, 2022, and regression to the mean (.500); that's a .601 average, which would put them at 107 wins, which is helluva lot more than my team is winning this year...
   13. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 22, 2022 at 06:56 PM (#6083329)
11 - I wonder if its made him more consistent. I’m sure someone somewhere has studied it but it’s always seemed to me that high K guys were streaky. Of course then the question becomes is streaky better or worse for a team. Certainly from a fan standpoint a guy who is steady is a bit less frustrating but those streaky guys do carry a team.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2022 at 08:54 AM (#6083391)
This might have something to do with Judge's improvement:

How Judge reached another level this season
Judge, who leads the Majors with 25 home runs, is covering both sides of the plate like never before. He's crushing inside pitches and outside pitches, better than any hitter in the league. It's a product of his preparation for the nastiest stuff today's pitchers will throw at him.

Highest OPS vs. pitches on inside/outside edge, 2022
Min. 50 PA decided on inside/outside edge pitches
1) Aaron Judge: 1.131
2) Yordan Alvarez: 1.110
3) Kolten Wong: .985
4) Paul Goldschmidt: .977
5) José Ramírez: .908
Edges: Within one baseball's width of strike zone borders

Judge is batting .366 and slugging .704 against pitches on the inside and outside edge of the plate this season -- that means within a baseball's width of the zone on either side, as tracked by Statcast. He's turning on pitches like sinkers in on his hands and driving them to left field. He's staying with pitches like sliders away and shooting them up the middle or to the opposite field.

"It's [using] pitching machines. Cranking that thing up. Getting it spinning the right way," Judge said. "I like overtraining. Basically, train the extremes. If you turn up the pitching machine and get this thing moving this much, all of a sudden in the game, if it's not moving that much, it's only moving this much, I'll see that and be like, 'Oh, that's it? I'm used to seeing this thing move the whole plate, and now it's only moving half the plate.' It just makes it easier to hit."

   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:39 PM (#6083659)
After 70 Games:

2022 Yankees 52-18
1998 Yankees 51-19
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: June 24, 2022 at 12:30 AM (#6083663)
Judge on the lead float in 2023, coming down the Canyon of Heroes in Manhattan before a million spectators as the Mets celebrate their first World Series title in 37 years off a 5-HR Judge World Series performance as he carried the Mets on his back in his first year with his new club....

would that be worse for Yankees fans than 2004?

I don't believe so - but it would be one helluva debate.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 24, 2022 at 12:48 AM (#6083665)
The only thing lamer than Red Sox fans attempting to troll Yankee fans, is Mets fans doing the same.
   18. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: June 24, 2022 at 02:03 AM (#6083666)
Oh, I can think of other things.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2022 at 07:25 AM (#6083674)
Trolling us Yankees fans is fair sport, but only when some actual wit is displayed. I'm not sure Howie's up to the task.

The one who set the anti-Yankees trolling standard was Gamingboy, who was over the top and hilarious. Whatever happened to him, anyway?
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: June 24, 2022 at 09:08 AM (#6083681)
I love the smell of fear + denial in the morning
   21. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 24, 2022 at 09:28 AM (#6083683)
Trolling us Yankees fans


I thought you were an Orioles fan.

   22. . . . . . . Posted: June 24, 2022 at 09:43 AM (#6083685)
I love the smell of fear + denial in the morning


The people who are most butthurt about not living on Park Avenue are always the ones who live on Lex.
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 24, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6083726)
FiveThirtyEight crunches some numbers, and suggests that the Yankees have a 19.8% chance of matching or beating the 114 win total of the illustrious 1998 squad:
Despite the similarities between the two teams’ starts to the year, there’s still only a 20 percent chance the 2022 Yankees will match the 1998 team’s final win total of 114. There’s also a 12 percent chance that they tie the 2001 Seattle Mariners — or, if you prefer, the 1906 Chicago Cubs — for the most wins ever in a regular season at 116, and an 8 percent chance they break that record. (There’s even a 3 percent chance the Yankees win an unbelievable 120 games — although essentially no chance to become the anti-Cleveland Spiders with 134 wins.)3 Those odds are somewhat remote, but having even an 8 percent chance to break the all-time wins record as we near the end of June is remarkable.
Like the 1998 team, this year’s Yankees were far from a consensus pick to even win their division, so their success is somewhat of a pleasant surprise (or Yankee-hater’s nightmare).

Hopefully, someone will recalculate the odds at the All-Star break, a traditional measuring point.
   24. TomH Posted: June 24, 2022 at 02:34 PM (#6083730)
Agree with the last point made.

Yes, their 52-18 record is indeed super impressive.

But a few points about their schedule:
- They have played the next-best team in the AL only once. 6 more games against Houston.
- Red Sox: 3 games done, SIXTEEN to go.
- Orioles: 13 games played (9 wins), only SIX left.
- they have played 4 more home games than road games.

All little stuff, but... my best guess is 105 wins.
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 24, 2022 at 04:26 PM (#6083742)
The Yankees & Aaron Judge Have Avoided Arbitration:
Judge and the Yankees have agreed to a $19MM guarantee, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. That’s the exact midpoint between the filing figures, although the deal contains additional possible incentives. Judge would make an additional $250K each were he to win the AL MVP and World Series MVP awards this season.
One big, happy family, although still a bargain at that price.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2022 at 05:13 PM (#6083746)
Trolling us Yankees fans

I thought you were an Orioles fan.


Which child should you love more, your first born or your second born?

---------------------

Like the 1998 team, this year’s Yankees were far from a consensus pick to even win their division,

Hell, when the '98 Yankees began their year at 1-4 and were annihilated by the Mariners in that 5th game, there were rumors that Torre's days were numbered. Steinbrenner was still fuming about that blown '97 DS against the Indians.

--------------------

Yes, their 52-18 record is indeed super impressive.

But a few points about their schedule:
- They have played the next-best team in the AL only once. 6 more games against Houston.
- Red Sox: 3 games done, SIXTEEN to go.
- Orioles: 13 games played (9 wins), only SIX left.
- they have played 4 more home games than road games.


OTOH their record against >.500 teams is now 23-9 / .719, which is still pretty damn good.

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