Headed into August: New York Yankees

The remaining New York Yankees Schedule is a very favorable one. If the Yankees keep on their current pace, they are projected to win 103.74 games this year, let’s use 104 for rounding. With a current 6-game lead in the AL East over the second place Baltimore Orioles, who is projected to win around 93 games, the AL East crown is the Yankees’ to lose. The biggest factor coming down in the Yankees favor is the fact that their schedule might be the easiest out of all of the remaining the AL East teams.

Out of the 19 series remaining in the New York Yankees schedule, only four of those series are against teams with winning records (as of July 29th). The downside is that 11 of those 19 series are against teams in the AL East, who might not have a winning record, but they are close to playing .500 ball. The Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Tampa Bay Rays are all within one game of second place in the AL East. The Yankees have plenty of opportunities to blow their current lead if they let some of these teams steal a few series from them.

But the fact that a huge part of the remaining New York Yankees schedule is against AL East teams could also be seen as an advantage. The Yankees currently have a .58 winning percentage in their own division, which is better than the Orioles and Blue Jays who each have a .52 winning percentage. That statistically projects the Yankees to win just about every series against AL East teams, making their margin in the standings even bigger.


Graphic via yankees.lhblogs

The AL Wild Card race is also crowded, with 8 teams in the running (4 games back or less). In fact, the last place team in the AL, the Boston Red Sox who are 44-58, are only 9 games back from the second wild card spot. What does this mean for the Yankees? Even if they manage to blow their AL East lead, they still have a very good chance of winning one of the wild card spots.

The fact that the Yankees are hot is not lost on Vegas either. The current odds on the Yankees winning the World Series this year is 12/1, the next best odds for a team out of the AL East is 35/1 for the Orioles and Blue Jays. On odds just to win the American League Pennant, the Yankees are 6/1, better than the 15/1 odds that the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Rays have. About the only Vegas line that the Yankees don’t beat the other AL East teams is in the MVP race. Mike Trout is going to win the MVP, so it doesn’t matter a whole lot, but it is worth noting that Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles has twice as better odds than the Yankees player Jacoby Ellsbury.

It’s hard to see a postseason that doesn’t have the Yankees dancing in it. According to Baseball Prospectus, who releases probability data on MLB.com, they are giving the Yankees a 95% probability of making the postseason as of July 29th. The next highest AL East team? Toronto Blue Jays, with a 37% probability. The Yankees 95% probability is the third highest in the MLB, behind only the St. Louis Cardinals (100%) and the Kansas City Royals (99%). Those probability numbers are just getting into the playoffs period, the probability of the Yankees winning the division alone is 85.3%. The next highest in the AL East? Toronto, with a heartwarming 7.8%.

The rest of the New York Yankees schedule is very favorable for a postseason run. Only four of their upcoming series are against teams with winning records, and the Yankees will have more than enough chances to get quality wins against AL East foes. Right now, looking over the 19 series left in the Yankees schedule, Baltimore might win a series 2-1, Houston might win 2-1, and Boston might split a series 2-2. Other than those three series, it’s hard to find reasons why the Yankees aren’t going to win out and happily have home field advantage in the postseason. Missing the last two postseasons, their last game was losing to Detroit in the 2012 ALCS. The Yankees are ready to be dominate again, and they are on the right path.

Graphic via fantasybaseballcrackerjacks

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