PECOTA predicts Yankees winning AL East, 91.5% chance of securing playoff berth

Yankees stars Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres are celebrating during a win in the 2023 season.

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Baseball Prospectus’s annual PECOTA projections offer some sunshine for New York baseball fans, predicting both the Yankees and Mets to return to the playoffs after missing out in 2023.

The Yankees seem especially favored, with their blockbuster offseason acquisitions (Soto, Verdugo, Stroman) translating to a projected 94.5 wins in PECOTA’s eyes. This puts them right behind the Astros (94.6) for the top spot in the American League and comfortably ahead of the Blue Jays for the AL East title. The Orioles, despite adding Corbin Burnes, are expected to fall back with a projected 86.6 wins.

TeamsSimSimSimDCDCDivWCPlayoffPAdjWSD1D7
 WLW %RSRA%%%%%%%
New York94.567.50.58382768459.53291.576.611.700
Toronto88.173.90.54478169916.747.564.240.54.800
Baltimore86.875.20.53674067511.444.555.9302.800
Tampa Bay86.375.70.53374468210.343.854.130.33.200
Boston79.882.20.4937647582.115.117.29.30.600
PECOTA STANDINGS AS OF 02/07/2024

In the National League East, the Mets are projected to finish third with 83.6 wins, but that’s good enough for the final Wild Card spot. They have a 49.2% chance of making the playoffs, while the Yankees boast a whopping 92.1% likelihood.

A graphic rendering of Cole, Judge, and Soto looking down at Yankee Stadium.
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Yankees playoff projections pegged at 91.5%

TeamsPlayoffWS
 %%
Dodgers99.719.9
Braves99.419.3
Yankees91.511.7
Astros91.310.1
Twins74.76.7
PECOTA STANDINGS AS OF 02/07/2024

Beyond New York, PECOTA predicts dominant seasons for the Twins, Braves, Cardinals, and Dodgers. Only the Dodgers and Braves are expected to break the 100-win mark.

Will Rodon’s performance decide Cashman’s future?

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WFAN’s Sal Licata throws heat at Yankees GM Brian Cashman, suggesting one crucial 2022 free-agent signing will define his future: Carlos Rodón. Licata implies a disappointing season from Rodón could put Cashman’s tenure in jeopardy.

In 2022, the Yankees secured Rodón with a hefty six-year, $162 million deal, lured by his impressive track record, including Cy Young consideration during his two dominant seasons with the White Sox. However, 2023 saw a sharp decline in Rodón’s fortunes.

Despite his reputation as a strikeout machine, injuries limited him to just 14 starts. While his fastball velocity held strong, scouts noticed troubling signs of overexertion, leading to diminished control and effectiveness on the mound.

Rodón’s struggles manifested in a dismal performance with the Yankees, recording a meager 3-8 record and a staggering 6.85 ERA in his starts. His strikeout rate also dipped, casting doubt on his ability to recapture his past brilliance.

Licata remarked that these weren’t the “All in” Yankees but rather the same old Yankees. He noted that the fans of the team weren’t as young anymore, pointing out that the younger Yankee fans, who have been following the team for about 24 years, had only witnessed one World Series victory since 2000.

The Yankees’ failure to land ace Corbin Burnes in a trade adds fuel to the fire surrounding Cashman, as questions swirl about the team’s pitching strategy and whether they missed a golden opportunity to bolster their rotation.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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