And the Winner Is Probably…

The Hardball Times presents its projections for the 2007 division standings today. We’re not crazy about the methodology (more buts than an Eddie Murphy film), and I’m guessing Sox fans will agree. Jays fans will certainly agree. Don’t even get the Rays fan started. He’s very upset.

Team: Win, Loss, % Chance of winning
New York: 95 67 53%
Boston: 91 71 32%
Baltimore: 82 80 8%
Toronto: 81 81 6%
Tampa Bay: 68 94 0%

23 comments… add one
  • seems about right

    Nick-YF March 19, 2007, 11:37 am
  • I can’t see Baltimore winning 80 games.

    Andrew March 19, 2007, 11:49 am
  • Heh…that’s exactly the season W-L I predicted for the Sox this past weekend on JoS. Second and about four or five back from the WC sounds about right.
    Of course, I’d love them to prove me wrong (and, you know, not in an even-more-losing way).

    Devine March 19, 2007, 11:59 am
  • Seems right. Except I think Toronto will win over Boston.

    Rocksteady March 19, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • For some reason, I just can’t picture the Jays a .500 team. Unless Halladay gets hurt and has to miss significant time. Heck, they beat up on the Sox so bad that they’re almost guaranteed a bunch of wins there.
    Baltimore could break .500 if their young pitchers take enough steps forward and Tejada has a monster year. Otherwise…I just don’t see it.

    mouse - SF March 19, 2007, 3:10 pm
  • The Jays have two starters and no one else, a great closer and no one else. A great middle of the lineup and no one else. The no one else far outnumbers the great role players. I see a pretty significant regression for Toronto.
    I also see the Sox and Yanks within 1-2 games of each other at tne end of the season, and both with more than 95 wins. Optimistic? Maybe so, but it’s spring.

    Paul SF March 19, 2007, 4:21 pm
  • Paul, a lineup that has Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus, Lyle Overbay, and Alexis Rios really cannot be discounted. No one is above the age of 33, and there are some up-and-comers in there too. I would venture to say that Toronto’s offensive production could match that of Boston’s, simply because it isn’t far behind to begin with, and Boston’s lineup is far more likely to sustain injuries. Factor in that Toronto, simply by having an elite closer, outmatches that of Boston’s (which doesn’t have much of anyone) and you can see why your discounting of a darn good team is a little disingenuous. Sure, their rotation isn’t much to look at, but Halladay is better than anyone the Yanks or Sox have, and Burnett can be as good as anyone on the Yanks or the Sox.
    I predicted a third place finish for the Sox last year, based on their house-of-cards lineup (didn’t predict it to fail that utterly down the stretch, though), rotation (even though I mistakenly thought Schilling was done, I didn’t expect Beckett to bomb), and bullpen (didn’t expect Paps, but everyone else performed predictably), and this year will be a little better for them, but they will still not crack 90 wins due to complete, utter lack of even a semblance of a bullpen. They’ll be in second, but Toronto will be hot on their heels. Baltimore will still be in 4th and the Devil Rays will still be far behind because they can only find pitchers worthy of the Nationals’ rotation past Scott Kazmir. Book it.

    Andrew March 19, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • Wow, that “house of cards” line from Pete is slowly obtaining saturation.

    SF March 19, 2007, 5:44 pm
  • “you can see why your discounting of a darn good team is a little disingenuous.”
    Says the man who then goes on to discount a darn good team. If you want to pin your hopes on the Red Sox repeating last year’s disaster, good luck. The chances of that happening, given the offensive upgrades, starting pitching upgrades and, yes, bullpen upgrades (closer excepted) are slim indeed.

    Paul SF March 19, 2007, 6:00 pm
  • “Halladay is better than anyone the Yanks or Sox have”
    Perhaps true, perhaps true..
    However I have a feeling about Jonathan Papelbon. I have a feeling the kid is goign to end up better than the Halladay, even if its not this year. I expect him to win a CY Young. Its a gut call, but there it is

    Dionysus SF March 19, 2007, 9:04 pm
  • be in second, but Toronto will be hot on their heels.
    good. That means that there are going to be three teams within five or so games of each other. If anyone thinks that any one team is just going to run away with this division, they’re not looking at it unbiased. I think all the teams are good, but none are so much better than the other that it’s going to be cut and dry in August. Things are going to be tight the whole year.

    Brad March 19, 2007, 9:52 pm
  • Book it.

    Brad March 19, 2007, 9:53 pm
  • Paul – bullpen upgrades? As I remember it, they ‘upgraded’ their bullpen last year with guys like Julian Tavarez and Rudy Seanez. I was actually expecting Tavarez to do pretty good, but seriously. The Sox moved sideways (actually down b/c of Paps) in the bullpen, at best. That’s not disingenuous at all.
    The other things, well, maybe they are. You’re right, haha.
    And Brad, that’s the way I like it. Last year was great, but it didn’t have the fun or sense of urgency of 2004 or 2005. The Yankee season peaked in late August. Makes September boring.

    Andrew March 20, 2007, 12:27 am
  • This seems somewhat consistent with all the other rankings I’ve seen people do using various methods (e.g. DiamondMine/other simulations using CHONE, PECOTA, etc.) I think the prediction of the Yankees winning 95-97 games is about right, and the Sox winning between 90-92 about right. But the Jays coming in 4th? That seems like a stretch.
    Oh, well, predictions shmedictions, there’s a reason they play the games.

    Nemecizer March 20, 2007, 9:35 am
  • ” bullpen upgrades”
    a little objectivity, please?

    Anonymous March 20, 2007, 10:33 am
  • Donnelly and Romero do constitute upgrades over Seanez and nobody at all. So, yes, bullpen upgrades. Sadly they also downgraded from Papelbon to nobody at all. Still, I think the middle relief will be better this year. It’s the closer thing, of course, that needs to be worked out. But considering that’s the only thing, it seems silly to act like the Sox will be a third place team.

    Paul SF March 20, 2007, 10:46 am
  • These predictions are nothing to get too bent out of shape about. This one shows a predicted four game difference between the Sox and Yanks. That’s a two-game swing in head-to-head action, basically nothing. In other words, the prediction says the Yankees are more likely to win the division, but not by a whole lot. This is highly plausible.

    SF March 20, 2007, 11:30 am
  • ” it seems silly to act like the Sox will be a third place team.”
    It is. It won’t happen, barring disaster.
    Donnelly was a good pickup IMO, but that will be offset by the probable decline of Timlin. I’m happy the Yanks aren’t pinning any hope on Romero – he stunk for the Angels.

    Anonymous March 20, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • It’s Andrews. I’m signed in, but typepad won’t post my name.

    Anonymous March 20, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • I dunno. Romero had a crappy season, but he was good before that. The Sox think they’ve found something he was doing wrong mechanically last year, and if they’ve fixed it, it seems to have worked thus far, for whatever his spring stats are worth. He’s been pretty good this spring…

    Paul SF March 20, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Between ’03 and ’05, Romero’s WHIP was 1.71, 1.34, and 1.56. Though this is somewhat offset by his fairly high SO rate, that’s a ton of baserunners…

    Anonymous March 20, 2007, 5:28 pm
  • I think 95-97 for the Yanks seems a bit optimistic. Wang is a very good pitcher, but he was lucky last year and is probably due to regress a bit. I’d be shocked if he wins 19 again. Mussina hasn’t thrown 200 innings since 2003. And which Pettite will we see, the guy who started 14 games three years ago, the one who had a 2.90 ERA two years ago, or the guy who had a 4.20 ERA in the NL Central last year. Igawa could be decent, but who knows? Pavano – blech. Hughes will be pretty good, but he won’t start more than 15-20 games this year, and if the Yanks are smart they’ll probably limit his innings, as he has totaled 230 innings over the last two years combined. Having him jump up to 200 innings this year would be a good way to hurt his arm.
    As for the pen, I’m not sold on anyone but Mo, and even he tired down last year. Proctor threw over 100 innings, and had his first season with an era under 5. Farnsworth was terrible. Vizcaino will probably be decent, lots of Ks, but he’s got a career era over 4. Bruney and Britton are relatively unknown. Myers is good for thirty innings.
    Of course, if Mr. Abrahams is right and Roger jumps into the fray in June, that could change things. But as it stands, I’m unimpressed.

    Tyrel SF March 20, 2007, 11:06 pm
  • Of course, I like the underdog role, so these rankings look good to me.

    Tyrel SF March 20, 2007, 11:10 pm

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