Up Next: New York Yankees

The Mets did the Yankees no favors by getting swept by the Red Sox. A sweep of the Yankees would be the perfect capper.

Record

AL EAST       W   L   PCT   GB   HOME   ROAD    RS   RA
Boston       48  28  .632   ---  27-10  21-18  428  364
NY Yankees   44  32  .579   4.0  24-16  20-16  423  353
Toronto      44  34  .564   5.0  27-16  17-18  423  374
Baltimore    37  43  .463  13.0  24-21  13-22  393  446
Tampa Bay    34  45  .430  15.5  18-17  16-28  338  415

 W    L     RS    RA     W1     L1     W2     L2     W3     L3
44   32    423    353   44.6   31.4   48.2   27.8   48.2   27.8
W1 and L1 are the expected wins and losses based on runs scored and runs allowed.
W2 and L2 are the expected wins and losses based on BP's equivalence runs scored and allowed.
W3 and L3 are similar to W2 and L2 but adjusted for strength of schedule.

The Yankees' expected record is actually about four wins better than their actual record, which means they have underperformed a bit; well, a lot really. Their straight pythagorean record is just a bit ahead (45-31), but when adjusted for strength of schedule and some other factors they would be expected to win a few more games.

Starting Rotation

                  W   L    ERA    IP       H/9   SO/9   BB/9   HR/9   VORP
Randy Johnson*    9   6   4.84   100.1    8.52   7.62   2.96   1.35    7.6
Mike Mussina*     9   3   3.28   112.1    7.93   8.01   1.76   1.12   29.9
Chien-Ming Wang   8   3   4.01   112.1    9.29   3.04   2.16   0.48   21.9
Shawn Chacon      4   2   5.68    52.1   10.32   4.99   4.82   1.03  (-3.8)
Jaret Wright*     4   5   4.18    64.2   10.30   4.73   3.34   0.56    8.5

*  asterisks denote probable starters vs Mets
() parentheses denote negative numbers
italics denote left-handed pitchers
Mussina has been very good this year, and Wang has been productive despite one of the worst strikeout rates I've ever seen. Shawn Chacon has done a fine job of regressing to the mean this season, and Jaret Wright is Jaret Wright. The Big Unit continues to pitch erratically and his strikeout rate is the lowest it's been since 1989.

WPA Top Two
Mike Mussina, 136.5% WPA
Chien-Ming Wang, 107.6% WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Randy Johnson, -91.2% WPA
Aaron Small, -61.5% WPA

Starting Lineup

                    Pos   PA    AVG    OBP    SLG   SB  CS   VORP   AL Rank
Jorge Posada#       C    260   .288   .400   .474    0   0   18.4     3/16
Jason Giambi*       1B   297   .266   .428   .620    1   0   32.3     1/19
Miguel Cairo        2B   121   .229   .288   .294    6   1  (-3.5)   14/18
Derek Jeter         SS   332   .331   .424   .458   15   2   34.6     2/16
Alex Rodriguez      3B   333   .279   .390   .496    8   3   21.7     1/17
Melky Cabrera#      LF   185   .255   .344   .335    3   2  (-2.8)   17/21
Johnny Damon*       CF   346   .295   .369   .477   16   4   24.3     5/18
Bernie Williams#    RF   254   .276   .316   .414    0   0    1.3    15/20
Andy Phillips       DH   136   .289   .316   .492    2   1    4.4    10/15

*  asterisks denote left-handed batters
#  pound signs denote switch-hitters
rankings are based on VORP for players with at least 100 PA
There are definitely some holes in this lineup as a result of all of the injuries. There are five terrific offensive players here (Posada, Giambi, Jeter, Rodriguez and Damon) and five other bats that range from passable (Williams) to inept (Cairo). If Sheff and Matsui were healthy this lineup would be a monster. As it is, 1-5 it's terrifying and 6-9 it's pretty shabby. Actually, Phillips can hit a bit, but his strikezone judgement is atrocious (31-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio!). WPA Top Two
Derek Jeter, 301.2% WPA
Jason Giambi, 212.9% WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Miguel Cairo, -111.3% WPA
Robinson Cano, -71.8% WPA

Bullpen

                     ERA     IP     H/9   SO/9   BB/9   HR/9   VORP
Mariano Rivera      1.88    43.0   6.91   6.70   1.67   0.00   19.2
Kyle Farnsworth     4.89    35.0   9.77  10.29   5.40   0.51    3.7
Ron Villone         2.45    33.0   6.00   6.82   5.18   0.27   10.3
Scott Proctor       4.22    49.0   7.90   7.16   3.86   1.29   10.2
Mike Myers          0.68    13.1   6.75   7.43   2.70   0.68    8.0
Matt Smith          0.00     8.0   3.38   6.75   6.75   0.00    5.4
Theodore Beam       4.91     3.2  12.27   7.36   2.45   2.45    0.4
Mariano Rivera is Mariano Rivera. His strikeout rate is down a bit, but even when guys make contact they rarely get the ball out of the infield. Rivera is the measuring stick for all closers past, present, and future. Ron Villone has been a nice surprise for the Yankees, but Kyle Farnsworth and his bloated contract has been a big disappointment.

WPA Top Two
Mariano Rivera, 175.8% WPA
Ron Villone, 53.9% WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Scott Proctor, -59.6% WPA
Tanyon Sturtze, -52.3% WPA

Bench

                    Pos   PA    AVG    OBP    SLG   SB  CS    VORP
Kelly Stinnett      C     74   .224   .278   .313    0   0   (-3.0)   
Bubba Crosby*       OF    61   .245   .310   .321    2   1   (-2.0)   
Kevin Reese         OF     8   .429   .500   .429    0   0     0.9   
Any strength that the Yankees bench had has been used to plug holes in the starting lineup left by their hobbled veterans. Stinnett and Crosby are useless with the bat and Kevin Reese's eight plate appearances aren't much to go on.

Manager

Joe Torre has been managing the Yankees forever; his tactical management can be spotty at times, but his command of his clubhouse and of the media is unrivaled (sound familiar?)

                         # Times    AL Rank
Pinch Hit                   32       10/14
Stolen Base Attempts        78        5/14
Sacrifice Bunts             17        7/14
Key Injuries
Gary Sheffield
Hideki Matsui
Robinson Cano
Tanyon Sturtze
Darrell Rasner
Carl Pavano
Octavio Dotel
Payroll
Team Payroll   MLB Rank
$198,662,180     1/30
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