The “Are the Yankees still contenders?” Report

by Bill Chuck on August 23, 2013

Andy Pettitte had a Quality Start and Curtis Granderson homered as the surging Yankees finished off a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 5-3 win.

It was the Yankees 10th straight victory over the Jays and they have now won 13 home games in a row against Toronto, their longest streak against one team since a 14-game streak against the Royals from August 2002 to April 2006.

The Yanks have won five straight and have 10 wins in their last 12 games.

So..

Are the Yankees still contenders?

Amazingly, absolutely.

They are actually still in contention in the AL East and the AL Wild Card race.

The AL East Standings

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk R RA Rdiff
1 BOS 75 54 .581 W 1 649 534 +115
2 TBR 72 53 .576 1.0 L 1 560 504 +56
3 BAL 68 58 .540 5.5 W 1 600 558 +42
4 NYY 68 59 .535 6.0 W 5 511 509 +2
5 TOR 57 71 .445 17.5 L 5 573 619 -46
Avg 68 59 .535
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/23/2013.

Start by looking at the standings in the AL East and see how this absurd set of circumstances exists:

  • The Yankees have 35 games to play and are six behind the Rays in the loss column, five behind the Red Sox, and one behind Baltimore.
  • While their run differential is just two, they’ve allowed the second fewest runs in the division and their hitting has improved with the additions of Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, and yes, Alex Rodriguez.
  • Derek Jeter has started playing rehab games. His return will help the offense, help the bench, and help the psyche of the club.

Look at the AL Wild Card Standings

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB
1 DET 74 53 .583
2 TEX 74 53 .583
3 BOS 75 54 .581
4  TBR 72 53 .576
5  OAK 71 55 .564
6  CLE 69 58 .543 2.5
7  BAL 68 58 .540 3.0
8  NYY 68 59 .535 3.5
9  KCR 64 62 .508 7.0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/23/2013.

Six AL teams have played over .500 in their last 10 games

It feels even crazier to discuss the Yankees as a postseason possibility until you see how close the Bronxers are to a Wild Card berth

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB last10 ▾
1  NYY 68 59 .535 3.5 8-2
2  CHW 52 74 .413 19.0 8-2
3 TEX 74 53 .583 7-3
4  CLE 69 58 .543 2.5 7-3
5  TBR 72 53 .576 6-4
6  SEA 59 67 .468 12.0 6-4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/23/2013.

Four of the six teams are wishing and hoping for the postseason: Joe Girardi‘s Yanks, Ron Washington‘s Rangers,  Terry Francona‘s Indians and Joe Maddon‘s Rays. Four dynamic managers, all of whom are renown for being “players’ managers,” an imperative for success in tough races.

As we contemplate the future, don’t forget that this team was 11.5 back as recently as August 7. We have seen hot streaks from the Jays, Mariners, and most recently the Royals and then watch them stumble as if they were flying with the wings of Icarus.  The difference with this Yankee ballclub, is that they have added players with perceived value. The other teams had those magical moments of players simultaneously getting hot.

Quite honestly, the promised land is still a long shot, which is why these veterans are playing each game with the sense of urgency of the final days of the season.

The folks at coolstandings.com still calculate the Yankees chances of reaching the post-season at just 15.6%, but earlier this week it was 6.3%.

It remains to be seen what will happen, but there is certainly a reason to pay attention to this team…at least for the next week or so.

The Yankee Road Ahead

Gm# Date Tm Opp
128 Friday, Aug 23 NYY @ TBR 7:10pm
129 Saturday, Aug 24 NYY @ TBR 7:10 pm
130 Sunday, Aug 25 NYY @ TBR 1:40 pm
131 Monday, Aug 26 NYY @ TOR 7:07 pm
132 Tuesday, Aug 27 NYY @ TOR 7:07 pm
133 Wednesday, Aug 28 NYY @ TOR 7:07 pm
134 Friday, Aug 30 NYY BAL 7:05 pm
135 Saturday, Aug 31 NYY BAL 1:05 pm
136 Sunday, Sep 1 NYY BAL 1:05 pm
137 Monday, Sep 2 NYY CHW 1:05 pm
138 Tuesday, Sep 3 NYY CHW 7:05 pm
139 Wednesday, Sep 4 NYY CHW 7:05 pm
140 Thursday, Sep 5 NYY BOS 7:05 pm
141 Friday, Sep 6 NYY BOS 7:05 pm
142 Saturday, Sep 7 NYY BOS 1:05 pm
143 Sunday, Sep 8 NYY BOS 1:05 pm
144 Monday, Sep 9 NYY @ BAL 7:05 pm
145 Tuesday, Sep 10 NYY @ BAL 7:05 pm
146 Wednesday, Sep 11 NYY @ BAL 7:05 pm
147 Thursday, Sep 12 NYY @ BAL 7:05 pm
148 Friday, Sep 13 NYY @ BOS 7:10 pm
149 Saturday, Sep 14 NYY @ BOS 1:05 pm
150 Sunday, Sep 15 NYY @ BOS 8:05 pm
151 Tuesday, Sep 17 NYY @ TOR 7:07 pm
152 Wednesday, Sep 18 NYY @ TOR 7:07 pm
153 Thursday, Sep 19 NYY @ TOR 7:07 pm
154 Friday, Sep 20 NYY SFG 7:05 pm
155 Saturday, Sep 21 NYY SFG
156 Sunday, Sep 22 NYY SFG 1:05 pm
157 Tuesday, Sep 24 NYY TBR 7:05 pm
158 Wednesday, Sep 25 NYY TBR 7:05 pm
159 Thursday, Sep 26 NYY TBR 7:05 pm
160 Friday, Sep 27 NYY @ HOU 8:10 pm
161 Saturday, Sep 28 NYY @ HOU 7:10 pm
162 Sunday, Sep 29 NYY @ HOU 2:10 pm
Gm# Date Tm Opp
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/23/2013.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: