03 October 2007

Yankees vs Indians Statistical Breakdown

by Joshua Worley

This is the last of the four series to begin, and the last to be previewed, using the same method as the previous four. One thing that will surprise no one is that the worst AL team is better than the best NL team. The Red Sox appear to to be the best team overall, though if momentum and quality of play in August and September are important then the Yankees might be the best team. This is an intruiguing series because both teams would benifit greatly from a 3-man rotation, but since the Red Sox plucked away the choice first round series both the Indians and Yankees are right now going with a 4-man rotation.

Yankees Hitter Weights

1.0 -- Rodriguez
1.0 -- Cano
1.0 -- Posada
1.0 -- Jeter
1.0 -- Abreu
1.0 -- Cabrera
1.0 -- Damon
0.8 -- Mientkiewicz
0.6 -- Matsui
0.4 -- Duncan
0.2 -- Giambi

It appears that after a strong September Mientkiewicz will get most of the starts at first over Giambi. Matsui is hurting and may be limited to DH duty, with Shelley Duncan going if he can't.

Yankees Pitcher Weights

12 -- Wang
6 -- Pettitte
6 -- Clemens
6 -- Mussina
3 -- Chamberlain
3 -- Rivera
3 -- Farnsworth
3 -- Hughes
3 -- Villone

I don't know. It's really hard to figure out the Yankees 'pen. The bullpen numbers are probably where my weights are off by the most for every team, and that's especially true of the Yankees. Beyond Joba and Mariano who knows? As for the starters, I really have a tough time seeing them going with Mussina if they go into game 4 down 2-1 in thew series. Mussina did bounce back with a good September, but could they really go with him if the season is on the line? Isn't Wang on 3-days rest better than Mussina anytime? I think that if Torre goes with Mussina in a do-or-die game 4 it's the last major decision he'll ever make as Yankees manager.

Yankees Weighted Stats

Yankees --- OBP -- SLG
Offense -- 0.371 -- 0.480
Defense -- 0.318 -- 0.383
Difference -- (+53) -- (+97)

The Yankees would have a winning percentage of about 0.681 with this post-season constructed team. I should point out that this would be against standard regular season major league competition. Obviously all of these playoff teams ( with the exception of the Cubs ) are going up against a very good team that's also getting to leave off the back end of the bench and pitching staff, so on average no one will hit as well or pitch as well as their numbers. The win percentage of the Yanks if they go with Wang on short rest instead of Mussina is 0.690. It's funny, these seem like such abstract, unattainable win percentages, and yet the Yanks pretty much had to go 0.700 the second half of the year to make the playoffs.

Indians Hitter Weights

1.0 -- Hafner
1.0 -- Sizemore
1.0 -- Martinez
1.0 -- Garko
1.0 -- Blake
1.0 -- Peralta
1.0 -- Gutierrez
1.0 -- Cabrera
1.0 -- Lofton

Another good offense.

Indians Pitcher Weights

12 -- Sabathia
6 -- Carmona
6 -- Westbrook
6 -- Byrd
3 -- Borowski
3 -- Betancourt
3 -- Perez
3 -- Fultz
3 -- Lewis

The 'pen is pretty good with the exception of the closer Borowski, who is pretty awful. With the starters, same situation as the Yanks: if they go into game 4 down 2-1 in the series, will they really go with Byrd instead of Sabathia on short rest?

Indians Weighted Stats

Indians --- OBP -- SLG
Offense -- 0.356 -- 0.448
Defense -- 0.300 -- 0.377
Difference -- (+56) -- (+71)

Their pitching is better than New York's, but their offense is far enough behind to give the overall edge to the Yankees. Their win percentage based on these numbers would be 0.665. If they went with Sabathia on 3 days of rest and took Byrd out of the rotation, that would go up to 0.688. Even more than the Yankees the Indians had to be annoyed when Boston chose to play in the longest first round series. The gap between the top two starters and the rest is just so big.


Yankees in five games. This is going to be a tough series, with the Yankees just a little bit better.

I like Boston and Colorado to advance to the World Series. These are the two best team in each league by my method and I'm sticking with them. However I think Colorado is the team of destiny so I pick them in an upset over the Red Sox to win it all.

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