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It too PECOTA three tries to “fix” their projections. And it’s just projections at that. Today the CHONE projections are available, and they have the Yankees at the top of the division, winning 99 games. This was first seen on Sliding into Home.

Here’s what Sean said on the site:

But yet I’m projecting 99 wins for the defending world champions.  I think this is the highest projection I’ve ever had, for any team.  I had them at 97 last year and they beat it by 6.  I like the moves they have made in the last year.  Curtis Granderson is a tremendous player who helps on offense and defense (at least against righties).  Javier Vazquez was one of the best pitchers in baseball last year, and Nick Johnson is OBP Jesus.  The Yankees are insanely talented, even more so than usual.  The breaks of the season could mean that Boston wins the East, or even Tampa Bay, but the talent spread is so huge in this division that Baltimore and Toronto have basically no chance.

I’ve got to chuckle at the Johnson “OBP Jesus” comment.

I don’t take too much insight into the PECOTA or CHONE projections. They are just guesses, not actual performance ratings.

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When trying to find a ticket seller for baseball tickets, try VividSeats.com. They’re a leading seller of sports event tickets and have reasonable prices for some of the biggest games this year. They offer cheap Yankees tickets throughout the season and you can view the full schedule and seating charts.

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A lot of questions stand unanswered regarding the Yankees and the World Series, such as: who is pitching games 4 and 5; who is starting in right field in games 3-4-5 and what to do with Hideki Matsui in games 3,4 and 5.

Matsui is the Yankees full-time DH.  A former outfielder, Matsui has not played in the field since injuring his knee in 2008.  He has been either the DH or on the bench.  It seems as if Matsui will remain on the bench while the series is in Philly, despite his good bat.  Even though going with Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, Jerry Hairston, Jr, or Eric Hinske means a worse bat at the plate, it does mean a better defensive player in the field.

Which leads me to who starts in right.  Nick Swisher was the everyday starter in the regular season, but has struggled greatly at the plate this postseason.  He is hitting .114 (4-35) with 3 walks and 1 RBI.  He has struck out an amazing 12 times in 10 games before being pulled after Game 1 of the World Series.

I would want to choose Brett Gardner, but it seems as if skipper Joe Girardi wants Gardner’s speed off the bench.  I am torn.  I can appreciate how much his speed can make the difference as a pinch-runner, but couldn’t he impact the game more with his speed in center field (move Melky Cabrera to right) and his speed as a batter with 4+ chances to get on base?  Gardner is also 2-4 in his 4 AB this postseason

Hinske and Hairston provide some veteran experience in the field and at the plate AND both were acquired in trades from National League teams mid-season – so they both have experience against Philly and national league teams in general.  I want to resist Hinske as a starter because he was a beast as a pinch-hitter this season and with no DH in games 3-4-5, I would want him available to pinch-hit for the pitcher when needed.

Finally, what to do about the starting pitching.  With no day off between games 4 and 5 like there was in the ALCS, the Yankees can start CC Sabathia in Game 4 on 3 days rest and then Burnett and Pettitte in games 5 and 6, also on 3 days rest (which I am sure both can handle) and then CC again for game 7 (if needed) on 3 days rest.  This is probably the least likely scenario.  If a Game 7 is needed, you don’t want to have tired out CC as much.

The most likely scenarios are Game 4-Sabathia, Game 5- Chad Gaudin, Game 6 Burnett, Game 7 Pettitte with Sabathia in relief or Game 4 – Gaudin, Game 5- Sabathia, Game 6 – Burnett, and Game 7 Pettitte with no Sabathia available.

My predictions?  Hideki Matsui stays on the bench.  Gardner should start in CF, Cabrera in RF, with Hinske, Hairston and Swisher off the bench and the first pitching scenario (Sabathia, Gaudin, Burnett, Pettitte/Sabathia.)

With the Fall Classic slated to start tonight, here’s the preview from Generation Third.

The Bombers are coming off a thrilling 5-2 win in ALCS game 6 to eliminate the Angels and head to the World Series for the first time since 2003. Andy Pettitte pitched great, Mariano Rivera got a 6-out save.

And right down the Turnpike is Philadelphia, the defending champs, and after winning the NLCS almost a week ago, the Phillies were resting up to see who they would face in the Fall Classic. Last year the Phillies waited 6 days until playing the Rays in last year’s WS, and this year it will be 7 days until first pitch is thrown.

Let’s get to the comparisons.

First Base: Both Mark Teixeira and Ryan Howard had huge years, but as soon as the playoffs started, Howard jumped in front of Teixeira by driving in 14 runs combined in the NLDS and NLCS, while Tex struggled and drove in only 4 combined. But, while Howard may be a bit better offensively, Tex provides much better defense at first, and after hitting that big 3-run double in Game 5 and then after picking up a couple hits in Game 6, Tex may be on the verge of a huge World Series. But it isn’t the same as actually doing it.

Edge: Phillies

Second Base: Both Chase Utley and Robinson Cano are slick fielding, power hitting, RBI machines, and both of them proved that in the regular season as Cano knocked 25 out of the park and drove in 85, and Utley slammed 31 out and drove in 93. Defensively, Cano has a better arm, but other than that, they’re pretty much even.

Edge: EVEN

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez is having the postseason of his life, as the slugger has finally gotten out of his playoff slump. ALCS and ALDS stats combine show A-Rod is hitting .438 with 5 home runs and 12 RBIs. Hopefully he can continue his dominance in the World Series, and if he does that, the Yanks have a very good chance to bring home #27. Pedro Feliz is having the complete opposite of the postseason that A-Rod is having. He’s batting .161 with just 1 walk in all 9 playoff games.

Edge: Yankees

Shortstop: Derek Jeter had an MVP-caliber year for the Yanks during the regular season, and Jimmy Rollins didn’t do that much worse for the Phillies. They’re both pretty even, regular season stats wise. But in the playoffs, Rollins has failed to pick up an RBI, while the Captain has drove in 5 and hit 3 long balls. Even if Rollins played better than Jeter this postseason, Jeter would get the edge, because of his postseason experience.

Edge: Yankees

Catcher: Jorge has more experience and is having a good postseason, hitting a couple homers and driving in 3 RBIs. The only bad thing – 7 strikeouts and leaving 10 men on base in ALCS game 6. He needs to swing at more pitches, and needs to actually make contact when he does swing. Fixes that, and he’s golden. Carlos Ruiz is in his 4th year in the Bigs, and had a pretty nice year. He hit 9 homers, drove in over 30 RBIs, and is a pretty good defensive catcher. He also had a big NLCS. But like with the shortstop comparison, its the experience that plays a factor, and Jorge has much more experience and really, is a better player overall.

Edge: Yankees

Designated Hitter: Back in May, when in Yankee Stadium, the Phillies used a better fielding outfielder twice and used Ibanez as a DH (Mayberry Jr. as the outfielder). Their DH/OF, in this case Matt Stairs and John Mayberry Jr. went a combined 3/13, with 1 HR, 3 RBI, and 3 Ks. Matsui is the more experienced DH, and obviously has better numbers than Stairs/Mayberry.

Edge: Yankees

Outfielders: For the Yankees, Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, and Nick Swisher, is good – offensively, at least. Defensively, Damon, even though he’s one of my favorite players, plays a terrible outfield and Swish is right about average defensively if not a bit below average. Melky really is the only really good defender out in the outfield, but thanks to the power of Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher, putting them out there inning after inning isn’t a bad thing at all. For the Phillies, you got Raul Ibanez in left, Shane Victorino in center, and Jayson Werth in right. Ibanez has power and plays an average outfield, Shane Victorino “The Flying Hawaiian” has speed and plays a very good outfield, and Werth is a big home-run hitter and plays a good enough outfield to get by.

Edge: Phillies

Bench: The Yankees have Eric Hinske and Brett Gardner off the bench. Hinske went on a mini-offensive tear when he was acquired. Brett Gardner, if he had gotten more playing time, might have gotten ROY. For the Phillies, they removed former Yank Miguel Cairo in favor of pitcher Brett Myers. I think having Cario on your bench speaks volumes.

Edge: Yanks

Pitching Rotations: CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Andy Pettitte have all shined during the postseason, and rightfully so have been tabbed as the best rotation in the World Series. CC was the ALCS MVP, A.J. tossed a couple nice games before allowing 6 runs in Game 5, and Andy has been his normal postseason self. The Phillies’ have Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Pedro Martinez. Cliff Lee has been great as expected, Cole Hamels, has been okay, and Pedro, in his only playoff start, allowed a run against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS. Besides CC against Cliff Lee in Games 1, 4, and 7, it doesn’t look like the other matchups will be intriguing. The edge goes to the Yanks here.

Edge: Yankees

Bullpen: The Phillies have two reliable arms out of the ‘pen. Closer Brad Lidge and Scott Madson. Even though Lidge blew 11 saves this season, he’s regained his form. The Yanks have a potential unstoppable 7-8-9 bridge in Joba-Phil-Mo, along with Dave Robertson, Damaso Marte, Al Aceves, and Chad Gaudin. Lidge he does not compare to the best closer in baseball in Mariano Rivera.

Edge: Yankees

Managers: And last, but certainly not least, the managers. Charlie Manuel, coming off his first World Series Championship last year, has been the Phillies manager since 2006, and has lead the Phillies to three straight NL East titles. Joe Girardi has improved this year, and while I believe he handles the line-up better, he has made some questionable decisions regarding the bullpen. I’m hoping his bench coaches will help him make decisions.

Edge: Phillies

I don’t believe in making predictions ‘cuz I don’t want to jinx anything. It’s obvious, being a third generation fan, who I want to win.

I am very proud of Chris and my apparent abilities to predict the future – at least in baseball.  With the 2009 regular season drawn to a close, I wanted to look back to April and March and see what we had predicted would happen in 2009.  Much to my happiness, we were pretty close in determining most team’s final records.

Chris and I (assuming the Twins win Tuesday night) will have correctly determined the 4 playoff teams and their ALDS opponents – Yankees vs. Twins and Angels vs. Red Sox.  We also correctly determined six of the fourteen teams’ final standings within 5 games of their actual record.  Only two teams’ records were severely underestimated and only one team’s record was overestimated.

Pretty good job, if you ask me.

Chris and I picked the NY Yankees to win the AL East, the Boston Red Sox to capture the Wild Card, the Minnesota Twins to pick up the AL Central and the LA Angels to pick up the Al West.  Again, assuming the Twins win Tuesday night (which I do,) we hit the perfecto.

The AL East was our strong point.  We estimated the Yankees to win 100 games, they won 103.  We predicted the Red Sox to win 93 games, and they won 95.  We even said the Tampa Bay Rays would have a sophomore slump and decline to 86 wins and that the Toronto Blue Jays would hover just below .500 at 78 wins.  They won 84 games and 75 games, respectively.  We actually overestimated the Baltimore Orioles abilities, projecting a 74-88 finish, but the O’s mustered only a 64-98 record – the worst in the AL.

The AL Central was a mess, but we did correctly identify that the Twins would be on top of the division – but standing alone, not tied with Detroit.  This was where the ball was dropped the most.  We predicted the Twins would finish 92-70, but actually finished 86-76; that the Chicago White Sox would finish 86-76, but they ended up at 79-83; and that the Cleveland Indians would finish 82-80, but they finished a dismal 65-97.  We also saw the Royals riding their strong starting pitching to a 79-83 record, but they mustered up a 65-97 season and the Tigers were predicted to finish at the bottom of the AL with a 71-91 record, but they pulled out a 86-76 finish to be tied at the top of the division with Minnesota.

The AL West was decent as well, the Angels were predicted to win the division with a 93-69 record and they won the division with a 97-65 record.  The Texas Rangers we projected perfectly at 87-75 – I’ll call it right now – this Texas team makes the playoffs in 2010 – but that’s a different story for a different time.  Seattle had lost 100 games last season and I didn’t see much improvement in the offseason, so a 69-93 record was predicted, but the Mariners pulled out a 85-77 record.  We also figured that Oakland would finish within 6 games of .500 – and they did – but they finished at 75-87, instead of the 83-79 we had thought.

Maybe next year, we’ll sell our predictions to ESPN!  HA!

——————————————–
When trying to find a ticket seller for baseball tickets, try VividSeats.com. They’re a leading seller of sports event tickets and have reasonable prices for some of the biggest games this year. They offer cheap Yankees tickets throughout the season and you can view the full schedule and seating charts.

After opening up the season series 5-5 against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees have won the last 5, including Wednesday night 4-2.

On a historic night that saw Derek Jeter tie the iconic Lou Gehrig with 2,721 hits as a Yankee, the Bombers rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the eighth inning to win the game outright.  The Yankees have won 4 in a row, 12 of their last 14 and are 41-13 since the All-Star Break.

WOW.

For the first time since September 30, 2004 when the Yankees were 100-59, the team is now 41 games over .500.  Derek Jeter is fifth in the AL with a .330 BA, Mark Teixeira leads the league with 106 RBI and is second in homers with 35 and CC Sabathia is tied for the league-lead in wins, with 16.

The Yankees got ahead for good off a three-run homer from Jorge Posada.  Alex Rodriguez had started off the inning with a single, and later scored on an error that allowed Nick Swisher to get on base.

Joba pitched horrible and demonstrated he might not be ready for postseason play.  He pitched his customary 3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 1 walk.  He was pushed deep into counts, and threw a disappointing 55 pitches – too many for only throwing 3 innings.

Jonathan Albaladejo pitched the seventh and the eighth innings to earn the win.  His out-of-the-bullpen record is 5-1 now.

The Yankee continue their “tour of the AL East teams” with a three-game home series against Baltimore.  Then, they have a make-up game against the Angels on Monday and a quick, two game series against Toronto in the Bronx.

At 91-50, the Yankees are on pace for 108 wins or more.  What a finish to the season!

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