August 24, 2009

So, About That Wild Card*

The AL East standings:
            W   L   PCT   GB  LEFT
Yankees 78 46 .629 --- 38
Red Sox 70 53 .569 7.5 39
If the Yankees go 19-19, the Red Sox will need a 28-11 record (.718) to top them.

If the Yankees can go 21-17 -- which, at .553, is worse than Boston's overall percentage this year -- the Red Sox will need a 30-9 (.769) finish.

(I'm not thinking about a division tie, though if Boston wins at least one of the three games in late September they will win the season series, so perhaps I should. If New York sweeps, the teams will be even at 9-9. The next criteria would be which team has the higher winning percentage in intra-division games; Boston is currently 32-20 and New York is 30-20).

Baseball Propsectus' three sets of Playoff Odds put the Yankees as 95.7%, 94.8% and 95.9% bets to win the East. Cool Standings has New York at 91.5%.

It's a steep hill to climb. But if good luck stings the Red Sox and they sweep four from the White Sox this week while New York (off today) gets swept at home by the Rangers (who are 1 GB Boston in the wild card), these numbers will change tremendously.

*: If winning the division is still possible -- and it clearly is -- then that's what I'm on board for. The Yankees have never blown this big a lead this late in the season? Pfft. They had never blown a 3-0 lead in a best-of-7 series before, either.


allan said...

Rasputin: "Keep the faith, or fuck off."

allan said...

Michael Silverman (Herald):

Forget about the Yankees. It's all AL wild card, all the time, from here on out for the Red Sox. ...

Don't waste your breath on the Yankees anymore. They are in a different class - the upper class. ... There is no jury left to be persuaded about the Yankees' superiority at the moment.


Vasile Andreica said...

Rasputin - best comment ever.

allan said...

I assume that the FO will not, at this point, make a big push to win the division. It simply is not the most important thing. Making the playoffs is. So don't expect Tito to morph into P.A. Tito any time soon.

Amy said...

The immediate issue for me (and I would assume most fans) is who do we root for in the Yankee-Rangers series? Hate to admit this, but I am sort of inclined to root against the Rangers (not FOR the Yankees) because, given the odds, I am hoping for the wild card. Does that make me a traitor? It sort of feels that way, but I am also trying to be realistic.

laura k said...

Amy, you should do whatever you like, because who you root for has absolutely no effect on the outcome.

Our chances of winning the wild card are obviously better than our chances of winning the division. That's a simple fact.

Division races always make for strange cheering bedfellows. It won't be the first time we need the team playing the Yankees to lose.

But no matter what, it doesn't matter. What will be, will be. So do whatever you want.

Rob said...

What we should be rooting for is the Red Sox winning. Because if they win the worst that happens is no ground is gained or lost.

allan said...

As long as we win, Texas can keep winning. The card will stay the same and we creep closer in the East.

Of course, on the off chance we lose, then (until Thursday anyway) we lose ground in one of the races automatically.

Whatever helps our division chances seems best. That keeps the Rays at Bay and Texas isn't going to get any kind of card lead anyway.

So for now let's treat the White Sox like the Blue Jays and root for the Arlington boys.

Iridescence said...

"is who do we root for in the Yankee-Rangers series?"

I'm with you Amy, I can't root for the Yankees but I will be rooting against the Rangers in this series.

The Rangers scare me a bit more than the Rays as a wild card race opponent because they play a lot of games against the relatively weak AL west.

Amy said...

I realize (being, after all, a rational person!) who we root for doesn't matter in terms of results. :) But it does matter in terms of how I watch the scoreboard. Being the cautious type, I would rather win something (the wild card) than nothing. So I guess I will root against the Rangers.

Ish and Allan had a good point: root for the Red Sox to win (which we do anyway) since that way they lose no ground to either team.