Postseason odds are becoming an obsession of mine. Quite obviously there are plenty of factors that could render these odds irrelevant. A team’s best player could go down with a season-ending injury, or a club could go on a hot streak like the Rockies in 2007, but generally speaking the odds provide a good way of managing epectation. Baseball Prospectus’ Poseason Odds simulates the remainder of the season one million times using, inter alia, PECOTA projection. Yesterday the Yankees were at 96% odds of making the postseason with a 71% of the winning the AL East.Today the odds are roughly identical. Boston’s window continues to close: their odds are at a measly 17%, worse than the White Sox. Every win by the Yankees, or loss by the Rays or Red Sox, eliminates the margin of error for opponents. The sooner the Yankees can lock down a playoff spot the better. There are plenty of players on this team, could use some rest to get fresh for October.
The Yankees will send Cy Young contender CC Sabathia to the mound this afternoon. Sabathia hasn’t been the best pitcher in the American League East this year, but he will no doubt get serious Cy Young Consideration due to his low ERA and high win total. As it stands, he looks like a strong candidate to win twenty games this year for the first time in his career. Opposing Sabathia is Luke French, and the only similarity he has with Sabathia is the fact that he throws the ball with his left hand. Luke French was acquired by the Mariners from Tigers last year in exchange for Jarrod Washburn, after the Mariners demanded Austin Jackson from the Yankees. His ceiling is a fourth or fifth starter, and he’s a soft-tosser with extreme fly ball tendencies who rarely strikes batters out. Currently, he has a 46% fly ball percentage and a 33.8% ground-ball percentage. Despite that, he only has a 2.3% HR/FB ratio. Low HR/FB ratios might be sustainable in Safeco, but it’s doubtful that Yankee Stadium will be so forgiving. French barely strikes anyone out, which ranks Curiously, he has a 2.3 % HR/FB ratio this year, despite a 33.8 GB%, and seems like a prime candidate for regression. On a hot and humid day, the ball will be traveling well. My hopes for a blowout, a dominant outing from the big man, and a step closer to a postseason birth, are high.
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