The Baseball Prospectus staff made quite a few pre-season predictions on the main site last week. Here at BP Bronx, our staff of writers made a whole slew of predictions that all relate to the Yankees, of course. Some guessed on the season win total, but most of them had something to say about A-Rod, which is really terrific news.
A-Rod will be thoroughly mediocre rather than poor to the tabloids’ chagrin, playing in 97 games and hitting 13 homers. Gardner will be entertaining in the field but again a little disappointing on the bases with 26 steals, while Ellsbury swipes 42. Pineda will somewhat surprisingly outpitch Tanaka with a 2.87 ERA to the Japanese ace’s 3.14. Dellin and Miller will combine for 180 strikeouts, and it will be glorious. Perhaps most importantly, they’ll squeak into the play-in game, lose, and most of the off-season will be the media debating whether 2015 actually counted as a playoff berth or not. As they debate, my eyes will roll into the back of my head.
Alex Rodriguez will be the only Yankee to hit 20 or more home runs. As far as predictions go, this is bold bordering on unreasonable. Although Rodriguez has looked great in the spring, it’s hard to know how his layoff has affected him, and he remains an injury waiting to happen at his age. This prediction also requires the rest of the team to underperform fairly significantly. It should be noted that the only men who clubbed 20 or more round trippers for the Yankees last year were Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann, and both are firmly in decline. Don’t bet anything you aren’t willing to part with on this one, but it’s not as insane as it sounds.
Win total: 80 games. Tears shed by me (a Giants fan) when A-Rod passes Willie Mays’ home run total: 6. Most innings pitched: Nathan Eovaldi. Team MVP: Chase Headley. Joe Girardi will get (or deserve) Manager of the Year consideration. Alex Rodriguez will be traded to the Miami Marlins at the deadline for 10 actual marlins. All five teams in the AL East will finish with between 80-90 wins. World Series: St. Louis Cardinals over Seattle Mariners.
Well, PECOTA projects the Yankees for a record of 79-83, and who am I to argue with that? The computer knows more than me; it knows more than all of us. However, teams that beat their projections seem to share some common traits. Chief among them is a good bullpen (see: Orioles in 2014 and 2012, Royals in 2013 and 2014), which the Yankees appear to have. Dellin Betances is good. Andrew Miller is good. David Carpenter is good. So I’ll turn my nose up at PECOTA and say 88 wins for the Yankees in 2015!
Fresh off his suspension and not without controversy, Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees for the 2015 season. He appears to be healthy and the results have not been disappointing. His home run off Brian Matusz a week ago prompted my mind to wander toward memories of vintage A-Rod. With his surgically repaired hip, I believe that Mr. Rodriguez has enough left in the tank to gracefully surprise us this season. I’ll chalk him up for 22 home runs.
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