PECOTA is Baseball Prospectus’ formula for predicting stuff, including standings (which is of course based on runs scored and runs allowed). The Yankees are predicted to have the best record in baseball. Oddly enough, people are surprised by this:
Taz (San Jose, CA): Rob, are you aware of Nate Silver’s PECOTA? How in the world has it with Yanks tied for most wins in Majors?
Rob Neyer: I suspect because the Yankees’ young pitchers all project to make significant contributions. Which is dicey, but you have to go with where the numbers take you. Anyway, don’t the Yankees win 95 games ever year? Is this really so far-fetched?
Neyer’s answer is a good one. But also, how can it be that surprising that the team that finished the season with 94 wins would be projected to win 96 the following year? Neyer mentions the development of the Yankees young talent, which certainly should help, but also consider this: everyone may remember the 2007 Yankees as the team that fell short against the Indians (and perhaps rightfully so) but what you might easily forget is that the Yankees in the second half of the year were easily the best team in baseball (if memory serves, didn’t they gain something like 12 1/2 games on the Red Sox?).
I realize you need to consider the whole season, but the Yankees quite literally weren’t even the same team in the beginning of the season. They didn’t have any of “The Big 3.” Also, Damon, Abreu, and Cano all horribly underperformed in the first half. Do you think those 3 will have seasons closer to their second halves of 2007 or their first? I’d be willing to bet money on the former.
And while Posada and even A-Rod are probably due for a regression, Mussina and Giambi amongst others should post better seasons.
So why are they projected to be the best team? Well simple: during the time the current Yankee team played together last year, they were the best team.