The Yankees are in town tonight (I live in SF, so Oakland counts as “in town” when your favorite team comes to northern California once per year) and I had been looking at the Yankees team stats, for whatever reason. The Yankees currently sit at 37-26, only 2 games back of the Red Sox, and it seems as though the narrative is that they’ve played well and weathered the storm, and now that Mark Teixeira is back, hopefully Granderson, Jeter and perhaps ARod will follow-behind to keep the good times rolling. I don’t share this optimism. Here’s why:
(1) Their pitching has been good – 232 runs allowed is tied for the best in the AL (tied with whom? More on that later).
(2) Their offense has been bad – 252 runs scored is four more than the Houston Astros, one of the worst offensive teams ever assembled.
(3) Looking at BP’s 3rd Order Wins (which basically takes a teams performance, regresses their record according to expected wins and losses based on runs scored, runs allowed and opponents faced), NY is a .500 team, and currently outperforming its 3rd order win number by 5 Wins, currently the largest positive margin in the majors (Interestingly, the Tigers, playing nearly .600 baseball, are UNDERperforming their 3rd Order wins by the greatest margin – not a comforting thought for teams in the AL hoping to reach the World Series).
From the record, I pulled up the Yanks performance over the last 30 days. The two items that jumped out:
(1) The Yankees are the worst hitting team in the AL (by wRC+) over the last 30 days, significantly worse than the Astros, White Sox and Royals. Assume that I inserted here something witty about how terrible that sentence is.
(2) Unbelieveably, the Yanks are worse offensively than a team that has hit 6 HOME RUNS over that period (the aforementioned Royals). By reference, 25 players have hit at least 6 HRs over the past 30 days.
Were I a Game of Thrones watcher, I believe the phrase “Winter is Coming” might apply.