New York Yankees fans should be excited about FanGraphs’ projections — but wary of the Red Sox.
Yankees fans wished throughout 2020 for the chance to laugh at the Rays in the same way they were currently treating the Red Sox.
Well, here’s your chance, at the end of a long, drawn-out offseason that resulted in Tampa Bay shedding all salary from the rotation before relying on lottery tickets.
But be careful what you wish for. Because, according to FanGraphs, the Red Sox aren’t nearly far enough in the rearview.
Only one AL East rival in the garbage can, never both, right?
FanGraphs’ predictions for the Yankees are…prett-ay good.
We’re going to choose to observe and stay silent rather than laugh this time, considering last offseason, when we were forced to endure endless projections that claimed the Rays were “perfectly built” for a 60-game season and could swipe the AL East from the Yankees, that ended up being extremely true.
Entering 2021? The Yankees have phenomenal playoff odds, AL East odds, and the best World Series odds in the American League by a factor of three. But the Red Sox have reentered the realm of projections enjoying their roster, which is worrisome.
First of all, the Rays in fourth? We didn’t think there was a projection system on earth that would ever penalize Tampa Bay’s roster for losing top talent like Charlie Morton and Blake Snell and replacing them with Michael Wacha and Chris Archer. We thought the Rays had broken any and all projection systems to always receive the benefit of the doubt.
But here we are! FanGraphs gives the depleted team an 0.8 percent chance to win the World Series. Fairly funny!
Just behind the Blue Jays, though, are the Boston Red Sox once again. We’re not here to say the Sox will make a leap without Andrew Benintendi, Chris Sale to start the year, and Mookie Betts, who’s still in Los Angeles. But the last time Boston acquired a pile of spare veteran parts with the clutch gene, the year was 2013 and the Sox were inexplicably gold.
They’ve even signed a Japanese reliever this time, too — Koji Uehara, meet Hirokazu Sawamura.
We’re not saying lightning can strike twice, but FanGraphs is, and it’s possible the “Red Sox becoming the new Rays” has extended to adding a bunch of projection-system favorites, only for the whole pot to end up kind of meh in the face of the big boys.
Instead of worrying about Kiké Hernández and Marwin Gonzalez — yet — let’s bask in the Yankees’ projections here.
Fully healthy, FanGraphs gives them an 18.4% chance to win the World Series, by far the highest in the American League (Second place? The Astros at 6.6%.) and second only in baseball to (doy) the Dodgers, living large at 20.2%.
Those totals are fairly close, though!
If the Red Sox wind up at .500, that’d be ideal for Yankees fans — no top draft pick, no playoffs, no problem. But let’s accentuate the positive here. The Bombers look poised to ascend the mountain, and could wave goodbye to Tampa on the way down, fairly early in the season.