Two over .700 teams meet in early May

terrynever

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Fasten your seat belts, Red Sox and Yankee fans. We are following two elite baseball teams that already have run off hot streaks of 17-2 (Sox) and 15-1 (Yankees). Neither team is perfect, and Houston remains the best club in baseball, but bottom line is, the summer of 2018 should launch a period of intense Yankee-Red Sox action that could rival 2003-09, 1975-1978, 1946-50 when both franchises were capable of winning everything.

Of course, we all know neither Boston nor the Yankees can sustain a .700 winning percentage. Right? Both teams cannot trust the depth of their starting pitching rotations over 162 games. That is really the key to winning over 100 games. How good are your 4 and 5 starters? Yanks are lining up Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery and Domingo German for 4-6 with rising prospect Justus Sheffield in reserve at Scranton.

Boston leads with ace lefty Chris Sale and revitalized Rock Porcello. The key guy here is David Price. Recent starts have been troubling. Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez round out the top five.

Yankees got hot around the time they finally promoted rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres from Scranton. The kid is a great fielder. Seems to hit well, too, but the league will get a book on him sooner or later.

Boston has Mookie Betts, who might be the best player in baseball not named Trout or Harper. JD Martinez has filled the void left by David Ortiz's retirement. Hanley Ramirez looks interested and healthy this season. But the bottom of the lineup must get better, especially JBJ.

It's too early to make any judgements. Let's just enjoy the greatness on both sides this week.
 

Ale Xander

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It's gonna be weird if the 2nd best team in baseball ends up as a WC

As a Red Sox fan, the Yankees SP depth scares me, even more than the Murderer's Row of Judge, Stanton, Didi, and Sanchez.

There's a certain 2004 feeling in terms of the ALCS maybe being the real Championship Series. Whether it's these 2, or Houston or Cleveland makes an appearance.

The bullpens of each team should determine how they do against each other in the regular season. The games will not be over until 27 outs have been made.
 

jon abbey

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It's gonna be weird if the 2nd best team in baseball ends up as a WC
In 2015, the three best records in baseball were all in the NL Central, meaning the 2nd and 3rd best teams played the coin flip wild card game to see who advanced to play the only team with a better record than them. PIT won 98 games and for the second straight year ran into an unhittable pitcher in the Wild Card game (Bumgarner, Arrieta), this is a major flaw in baseball's current postseason system (actually two flaws).

So it's not just that if the top two teams are in the same division, one has to play the wild card, it's that they then meet in the ALDS and not the ALCS (if they make it). Back in the days of one wild card, they changed the matchups to avoid DS meetings of division foes, but not any more.
 

jon abbey

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Yankee pitching has been great in recent weeks and their top guys are lined up for this series, but that top five for BOS is scary. Benintendi loves hitting in the Bronx and JDM is going to join him, the ballpark is a perfect fit for those two.
 

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The 1993 Giants won 103 games ... and didn't make the playoffs.

I've said this elsewhere ... it's my talking point for 2018 ... but I'm just not impressed with team records this year. By the end of the season we're going to have a handful of 95+ win teams and a handful of 100-loss teams. It's an outlier season as MLB adjusts to multiple teams following the Cubs and Astros examples of what has happened through sports.

The Yankees are a super-team and the Red Sox are having a super start ... but how historically "great" they are has to be viewed through the lens of the sport -- and I think that dilutes the achievements
 

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If there's anything I've learned about Yanks vs Sox it's that streaks and momentum do not matter. I'm confident this team will win the series but have no added comfort based on the matchups and current winning streak because when the two teams meet, anything can and always does happen.
 

terrynever

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The 1993 Giants won 103 games ... and didn't make the playoffs.

I've said this elsewhere ... it's my talking point for 2018 ... but I'm just not impressed with team records this year. By the end of the season we're going to have a handful of 95+ win teams and a handful of 100-loss teams. It's an outlier season as MLB adjusts to multiple teams following the Cubs and Astros examples of what has happened through sports.

The Yankees are a super-team and the Red Sox are having a super start ... but how historically "great" they are has to be viewed through the lens of the sport -- and I think that dilutes the achievements
Hasn't baseball always had at least one terrible team, like the old Washington Senators or St. Louis Browns, or the 1988 Orioles who went 0-21 to start the season. There was no tanking then. Teams just sucked. The 1960-62 Phillies! Ed Sawyer quit as manager on Opening Day in 1960, saying he was 49 and wanted to live to 50.
 

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It's gonna be weird if the 2nd best team in baseball ends up as a WC

As a Red Sox fan, the Yankees SP depth scares me, even more than the Murderer's Row of Judge, Stanton, Didi, and Sanchez.

There's a certain 2004 feeling in terms of the ALCS maybe being the real Championship Series. Whether it's these 2, or Houston or Cleveland makes an appearance.

The bullpens of each team should determine how they do against each other in the regular season. The games will not be over until 27 outs have been made.
Especially with the Dodgers, and until recently, the Nats underperforming this really feels like the case.
 

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Hasn't baseball always had at least one terrible team, like the old Washington Senators or St. Louis Browns, or the 1988 Orioles who went 0-21 to start the season. There was no tanking then. Teams just sucked. The 1960-62 Phillies! Ed Sawyer quit as manager on Opening Day in 1960, saying he was 49 and wanted to live to 50.
One terrible team, sure ... but I suggest that by season's end there will be 4-6 teams whose records will define them as terrible
 

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I still think Houston is the team to beat, that 1-5 rotation is ridiculous and they’ll figure out the bullpen by October. These two teams are going to push each other to win a lot of regular season games, though, as we’ve seen some of already.
 

trekfan55

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The 1993 Giants won 103 games ... and didn't make the playoffs.

I've said this elsewhere ... it's my talking point for 2018 ... but I'm just not impressed with team records this year. By the end of the season we're going to have a handful of 95+ win teams and a handful of 100-loss teams. It's an outlier season as MLB adjusts to multiple teams following the Cubs and Astros examples of what has happened through sports.

The Yankees are a super-team and the Red Sox are having a super start ... but how historically "great" they are has to be viewed through the lens of the sport -- and I think that dilutes the achievements
The problem with this model is it takes about 4 years for it to work, if it does.

In the NFL if you have the worst record you may get to draft the new QB of the future and start to improve right away (granted, it does not always work but you know that by the next year, like Ryan Leaf/Tim Couch).

-As for the series coming up, the Sox had their 17-2 start, and have won the last two series. The Yankees are coming off a very impressive 15-1 which included Cleveland and Houston. I'm already nervous.

The pitching matchups are not optimal, as the Sox get to face Severino, Tanaka, and Sabathia (what kind of magic is he pulling?) and they counter with Pomeranz, who struggles in the early innings (and against Severino it's not optimal), Price, who we have no idea what's going on and the light at the end of that tunnel Porcello.
 

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I still think Houston is the team to beat, that 1-5 rotation is ridiculous and they’ll figure out the bullpen by October. These two teams are going to push each other to win a lot of regular season games, though, as we’ve seen some of already.
Houston's lineup doesn't seem as ferocious as the Yanks and Sox though. Gattis has sucked, Bregman has struggled and Marwin Gonzalez, who was a huge boon to them last year out of nowhere, has been brutal. They have some issues in the lineup. Outside of the guys at the top, it isn't that deep or scary.
 

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I think it’ll be fine by October, they have Kyle Tucker waiting for his chance in AAA also.

NY has beaten the opposing team’s closer in four straight series, that has to be pretty rare. They’ve outscored the opposition 21-3 in the 9th inning so far, unsurprisingly that’s the best in baseball.
 

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The Red Sox window to win is now. Right now. The Yankees have the organizational depth and payroll flexibility to make the Red Sox permanent second place holders for the next 10 years.
 

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The Red Sox window to win is now. Right now. The Yankees have the organizational depth and payroll flexibility to make the Red Sox permanent second place holders for the next 10 years.
It’s baseball. 10 year planning sounds awesome, but it never really works out that way.
 

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I dont think the redsox are near as good as their record and the last month is closer to what they really are. bets is the real deal and JD/Sale are outstanding players but overall to me the sox are more of a wildcard contender then some AL crown contender
 

crow216

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I dont think the redsox are near as good as their record and the last month is closer to what they really are. bets is the real deal and JD/Sale are outstanding players but overall to me the sox are more of a wildcard contender then some AL crown contender
Neither are the Yankees, because neither team is likely to play 700 baseball and finish with 110+ wins. Let's wait til August or September to dethrone a team with an insanely good ace, closer, and boppers in a league with increasingly shitty teams.
 

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I dont think the redsox are near as good as their record and the last month is closer to what they really are. bets is the real deal and JD/Sale are outstanding players but overall to me the sox are more of a wildcard contender then some AL crown contender
They are 16-8 over the last month
 

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Joe Girardi on MLBN now talking about this series, pretty cool.
 

jon abbey

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Girardi predicting Stanton has his first “defining moment” as a Yankee this series, showing how he has been crushing lefties. Maybe he missed that Keuchel game last week...
 

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I moved this to the main board from the Yankee subforum because I think more people would like to participate in it and would be more likely to see it here.

Let's keep things civil. Should be a fun series.
 

chawson

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I'll admit tonight's matchup is hard to get excited about. Yankee regulars have hit Pom to a .312/.380/.495 line — and that's when he wasn't topping out at 89.
 

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BOS hit Severino well in Fenway, there was talk about him tipping pitches there. Severino had the best game of his career last time out, his first complete game shutout, in Houston. Benintendi has owned him so far in their careers, 8-16 with 2 HRs and a 1.681 OPS.
 

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BOS hit Severino well in Fenway, there was talk about him tipping pitches there. Severino had the best game of his career last time out, his first complete game shutout, in Houston. Benintendi has owned him so far in their careers, 8-16 with 2 HRs and a 1.681 OPS.
On MLBN this morning, they were comparing Severino to Bob Gibson. Well, maybe more about his intimidating look on the mound than anything, but still, give him a few more years before mentioning him with Gibson.
 

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On MLBN this morning, they were comparing Severino to Bob Gibson. Well, maybe more about his intimidating look on the mound than anything, but still, give him a few more years before mentioning him with Gibson.
Not really arguing that, but also worth noting that Severino is 24 and the dominant Gibson we remember is primarily his insane 1968 season, when he was 32. Gibson came up at 23 and didn't throw 100+ innings until his year 25 season.
 

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On MLBN this morning, they were comparing Severino to Bob Gibson. Well, maybe more about his intimidating look on the mound than anything, but still, give him a few more years before mentioning him with Gibson.
I agree it is premature to compare 24-year-old Severino to the Hall of Famer. But if you look at Gibson's age 24 season in 1960, he went 3-6 with a 5.31 ERA. Became a full-time starter the next year, turned into a monster in 1963 at age 27.
Tonight is a good test for Seve, coming off the Houston game. As Jon Abbey points out, Boston hits him pretty well.
 

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As Jon Abbey points out, Boston hits him pretty well.
Actually it's been all or nothing, he has faced them five times since the start of 2017.

In three of those he was dominant, a total of one run allowed in 20 innings and just nine hits combined. In the other two (including one in Fenway this year), Boston has crushed him, 13 earned runs between those two starrts.
 

terrynever

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Love this stat from BaseballSavant.com. Yanks lead AL in pitches called strikes that are out of the strike zone. Judge leads AL at nearly 28 percent. Gardner is second in league at 18.1 percent.

From Marc Carig's article in The Athletic:

So, who leads the American League in called strikes outside the zone with a whopping 27.94 percent? That would be Aaron Judge. It appears that the 6-foot-7 slugger suffers for his height. That’s because according to the data, umpires have consistently failed to adjust his strike zone from the likes of teammate Ronald Torreyes. Yet, Judge has shown razor-sharp discipline, refusing to expand his zon


For instance, Brett Gardner may want to consider hitting with a telephone pole. His .203/.322/.254 slash line been brutal. But it can be explained partly by what appears to be an abnormally large strike zone. He’s had 18.3 percent of pitches outside the zone called for strikes, the second highest rate in the American League. That’s a difficult development for somebody who must control the zone to be effective at the plate. Considering the expanded outer edge, it’s remarkable that Gardner has been able to still get on base at a respectable clip:

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/statcast_search?hfPT=&hfAB=&hfBBT=&hfPR=called\.\.strike|&hfZ=11|12|13|14|&stadium=&hfBBL=&hfNewZones=&hfGT=R|&hfC=&hfSea=2018|&hfSit=&player_type=batter&hfOuts=&opponent=&pitcher_throws=&batter_stands=&hfSA=&game_date_gt=&game_date_lt=&team=&position=&hfRO=&home_road=&hfFlag=&metric_1=&hfInn=&min_pitches=0&min_results=0&group_by=team&sort_col=pitches&player_event_sort=h_launch_speed&sort_order=desc&min_abs=0&chk_pitch_result=on#results
 
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crow216

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Love this stat from BaseballSavant.com. Yanks lead AL in pitches called strikes that are out of the strike zone. Judge leads AL at nearly 28 percent. Gardner is second in league at 18.1 percent.

From Marc Carig's article in The Athletic:

So, who leads the American League in called strikes outside the zone with a whopping 27.94 percent? That would be Aaron Judge. It appears that the 6-foot-7 slugger suffers for his height. That’s because according to the data, umpires have consistently failed to adjust his strike zone from the likes of teammate Ronald Torreyes. Yet, Judge has shown razor-sharp discipline, refusing to expand his zon


For instance, Brett Gardner may want to consider hitting with a telephone pole. His .203/.322/.254 slash line been brutal. But it can be explained partly by what appears to be an abnormally large strike zone. He’s had 18.3 percent of pitches outside the zone called for strikes, the second highest rate in the American League. That’s a difficult development for somebody who must control the zone to be effective at the plate. Considering the expanded outer edge, it’s remarkable that Gardner has been able to still get on base at a respectable clip:

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/statcast_search?hfPT=&hfAB=&hfBBT=&hfPR=called\.\.strike|&hfZ=11|12|13|14|&stadium=&hfBBL=&hfNewZones=&hfGT=R|&hfC=&hfSea=2018|&hfSit=&player_type=batter&hfOuts=&opponent=&pitcher_throws=&batter_stands=&hfSA=&game_date_gt=&game_date_lt=&team=&position=&hfRO=&home_road=&hfFlag=&metric_1=&hfInn=&min_pitches=0&min_results=0&group_by=team&sort_col=pitches&player_event_sort=h_launch_speed&sort_order=desc&min_abs=0&chk_pitch_result=on#results
It is so obvious that umpires struggle with the zone on Judge and I have a feeling he will have to deal with this his entire career. Gardner, however, is a surprise.

Anecdotal comment: Against Houston, it feels like there is a constant umpire issue. Their pitchers have either learned how to deceive umpires well or they are all incredibly lucky.
 

Al Zarilla

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Another thing Jim Kaat mentioned (I think it was Kaat comparing Seve/Gibson), was about Gleyber Torres being 6' 200 (actually BBREF has him 6'1 200) and that Mantle was 5'11 195. You know, wink wink. I mean, I like Jim Kaat but there have been thousands of ballplayers around Mantle's dimensions, but only one Mantle. And, I didn't know Gibson started so pedestrian-like. Since we're doing comps, I looked for a Red Sox comp to Pomeranz back in the 50s and 60s, and was reminded again of the dearth of lefty pitchers for the Red Sox over the years. Mel Parnell always comes to mind for an effective one (40s and 50s) and that's it until Bill Lee in the 70s. Slow right handed power hitters and right handed pitchers for Fenway Park. That'll do it!
 
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terrynever

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Mantle's power came from his forearms and hands, which he built up working in the mines with his father as a teenager. One of his Yankee teammates said Mantle's handshake was a killer.
He weighed 175 at age 19 and gradually got heavier. His workouts in the winter were hunting and partying.
 

Al Zarilla

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Mantle's power came from his forearms and hands, which he built up working in the mines with his father as a teenager. One of his Yankee teammates said Mantle's handshake was a killer.
He weighed 175 at age 19 and gradually got heavier. His workouts in the winter were hunting and partying.
And a similar sized Yaz built himself up working on the family potato farm in Long Island.

Mantle said in older life if he knew he wasn't going to inherit the Hodgkins, he would have taken better care of himself.
 

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Love this stat from BaseballSavant.com. Yanks lead AL in pitches called strikes that are out of the strike zone. Judge leads AL at nearly 28 percent. Gardner is second in league at 18.1 percent.

From Marc Carig's article in The Athletic:

So, who leads the American League in called strikes outside the zone with a whopping 27.94 percent? That would be Aaron Judge. It appears that the 6-foot-7 slugger suffers for his height. That’s because according to the data, umpires have consistently failed to adjust his strike zone from the likes of teammate Ronald Torreyes. Yet, Judge has shown razor-sharp discipline, refusing to expand his zon


For instance, Brett Gardner may want to consider hitting with a telephone pole. His .203/.322/.254 slash line been brutal. But it can be explained partly by what appears to be an abnormally large strike zone. He’s had 18.3 percent of pitches outside the zone called for strikes, the second highest rate in the American League. That’s a difficult development for somebody who must control the zone to be effective at the plate. Considering the expanded outer edge, it’s remarkable that Gardner has been able to still get on base at a respectable clip:Gar

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/statcast_search?hfPT=&hfAB=&hfBBT=&hfPR=called\.\.strike|&hfZ=11|12|13|14|&stadium=&hfBBL=&hfNewZones=&hfGT=R|&hfC=&hfSea=2018|&hfSit=&player_type=batter&hfOuts=&opponent=&pitcher_throws=&batter_stands=&hfSA=&game_date_gt=&game_date_lt=&team=&position=&hfRO=&home_road=&hfFlag=&metric_1=&hfInn=&min_pitches=0&min_results=0&group_by=team&sort_col=pitches&player_event_sort=h_launch_speed&sort_order=desc&min_abs=0&chk_pitchche_result=on#results
The chart sorts by the total number of pitches outside the strikezone. Other guys have a higher percentage including JD Martinez. Judge and Gardner are at the top because they have seen a lot of pitches. Gardner percentage is actually pretty low.
 

terrynever

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And a similar sized Yaz built himself up working on the family potato farm in Long Island.

Mantle said in older life if he knew he wasn't going to inherit the Hodgkins, he would have taken better care of himself.
Yaz is a great comp for Mantle. Better outfielder, stronger arm. Same size. Mick blew him away on speed and power. And charisma!
 

terrynever

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The chart sorts by the total number of pitches outside the strikezone. Other guys have a higher percentage including JD Martinez. Judge and Gardner are at the top because they have seen a lot of pitches. Gardner percentage is actually pretty low.
Thanks. The writer probably spent less time figuring out the chart than I did.
 

crow216

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The chart sorts by the total number of pitches outside the strikezone. Other guys have a higher percentage including JD Martinez. Judge and Gardner are at the top because they have seen a lot of pitches. Gardner percentage is actually pretty low.
Edit: I'm sure you'd have to go down the rabbit hole but you'd have to look at total pitches per ab, foul%, contact rate, and missed balls (called strikes outside the zone) to probably get a full picture of who is treated the worst by umpires.

In any scenario, it sucks to have players at the top of those lists.
 

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Bob Gibson got a later start than some guys because he went to Creighton out of high school instead of playing pro baseball right away. He was a basketball star there, and played for the Harlem Globetrotters in part of 1957 and 1958, at ages when Severino was already in the majors. Gibson wasn't completely focused on baseball until after finishing with the Globetrotters in 1958.

Gibson had a bad partial year in the majors in 86 innings in 1960 at age 24, but the year before he had a good partial year in the majors in 75 innings at age 23, with a 3.33 ERA and a 127 ERA+. His first full year in the majors was in 1961, when at age 25 he threw 211 innings and had a 3.27 ERA and a 136 ERA+.

As for this series, it will be a Yankees sweep, because the Yankees will never ever lose another game, and Severino has been declared to already be The Ace Of All Aces.
 

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I'll admit tonight's matchup is hard to get excited about. Yankee regulars have hit Pom to a .312/.380/.495 line — and that's when he wasn't topping out at 89.
I would think the same too. Earlier in the day I was going to come in here and post that the Yankees have pummeled lefties this year, and that Pom seems like I guy they would smash up, because the Yankees have such a gauntlet of powerful right handed hitters. But I went to check and see how many runs they have scored against lefties as a team and they are towards the bottom of the league. So maybe Pom has a fighting chance tonight.
 

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I would think the same too. Earlier in the day I was going to come in here and post that the Yankees have pummeled lefties this year, and that Pom seems like I guy they would smash up, because the Yankees have such a gauntlet of powerful right handed hitters. But I went to check and see how many runs they have scored against lefties as a team and they are towards the bottom of the league. So maybe Pom has a fighting chance tonight.
The Yankees are near the bottom of the league in PAs against LHPs.
 

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One terrible team, sure ... but I suggest that by season's end there will be 4-6 teams whose records will define them as terrible
But how is that different, on average, from how it used to be when in the NL (pre 1960)? The Phillies always sucked. The Cubs were terrible and the Braves were usually last in the NL. That's three out of eight teams. And the Pirates and Reds weren't always great shakes either. It was a league dominated by the Giants, Dodgers and Cards.

The AL was even a little more top heavy with the Yankees usually winning the league and a rotating cast to see who finishes in second place.
 

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The Yankees are near the bottom of the league in PAs against LHPs.
That's kind of telling. Is there a paucity of lefty starters in the league this year? Or are opposing managers reluctant to start lefties.
Boston with its four lefty starters ... how will that play out over the season? Sale is in his own league but Price, Pom and Eduardo may hold the key.
 

chawson

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I would think the same too. Earlier in the day I was going to come in here and post that the Yankees have pummeled lefties this year, and that Pom seems like I guy they would smash up, because the Yankees have such a gauntlet of powerful right handed hitters. But I went to check and see how many runs they have scored against lefties as a team and they are towards the bottom of the league. So maybe Pom has a fighting chance tonight.
I was surprised to learn of Judge’s comparatively so-so numbers against lefties last year — .230/.439/.496 — but once you tease out his 0 for 12 (with two BB) against Sale they’re just as fearsome.

It can be done. Andrew Heaney shut them down a couple weeks ago with a diet of two-seamers, change-ups and curves. Don’t think Pom’s got that stuff in the cupboard, though.
 
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E5 Yaz

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But how is that different, on average, from how it used to be when in the NL (pre 1960)? The Phillies always sucked. The Cubs were terrible and the Braves were usually last in the NL. That's three out of eight teams. And the Pirates and Reds weren't always great shakes either. It was a league dominated by the Giants, Dodgers and Cards.

The AL was even a little more top heavy with the Yankees usually winning the league and a rotating cast to see who finishes in second place.
Okay, so I see what the sticking point is ... eras. Let's put it this way: I think we'll have an outlier season in comparison to the post-playoff time frame ... 49 seasons from 1969 forward. We'll have to wait until season's end, obviously, to make the comparison ... but when you look at the Marlins, Reds, Padres, Orioles, Royals, White Sox -- and, potentially, the Tigers, Pirates and A's -- you're looking at the potential of more 95+ loss teams in one year than in any year in recent memory
 

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That's kind of telling. Is there a paucity of lefty starters in the league this year? Or are opposing managers reluctant to start lefties.
Boston with its four lefty starters ... how will that play out over the season? Sale is in his own league but Price, Pom and Eduardo may hold the key.
Could just be a fluke this early, it looks like they're scheduled to face 7 LHSPs in their next 14 games. It could also partly be that teams avoid using their LHRPs against a team with so many great RHHs, except a loogy against their best LHHs when the situation calls for it.
 

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Jul 15, 2005
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Could just be a fluke this early, it looks like they're scheduled to face 7 LHSPs in their next 14 games. It could also partly be that teams avoid using their LHRPs against a team with so many great RHHs, except a loogy against their best LHHs when the situation calls for it.
Definitely a fluke, I don't remember any teams juggling their rotations to face NY so far.