Why Baseball Reference projects Yankees for one of worst seasons in franchise history

Why Baseball Reference projects Yankees for one of worst seasons in franchise history

Baseball Reference has no love for the new-look New York Yankees.Baseball Reference has no love for the new-look New York Yankees. Getty Images

The stat analysts over at Baseball Reference absolutely loathe the Yankees‘ playoff chances in 2024.

Baseball-Reference projects the Yankees have only a 2.7 percent chance to make the postseason and win just 71.6 games, worse than the Pirates and Ohtani-less Angels.

The bizarre projections from Baseball Reference fall in comparison to Fangraphs, who project the Yankees to win 88 games, the fourth-most in all of baseball.

Meanwhile, BetRivers Sportsbook projects New York to win 91.5 games (-114) behind only the Dodgers, Braves and Astros.

The Yankees are also +650 to win the most games in baseball, according to BetRivers, the third-best odds.

BetRivers says the Yankees have a 77.01 percent chance to make the playoffs, which is 74.31 percent higher than Baseball Reference’s projection.

Baseball Reference’s projections, though, come with a major caveat.

Sports Reference tells The Post that this projection uses their Simple Rating System, which calculates run differential and the strength of the schedule from the previous years’ prior 100 games.

The equation has nothing to do with injuries, players, or variance.

Instead, it just takes your run differential from the prior 100 games and adjusts for changes in schedule difficulty.
Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees high-fives teammates.

Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees high-fives teammates. Getty Images
From there, they run a simulation 1,000 times to see how the team performs.

Being that the Yankees were missing multiple key pieces of their roster, New York struggled to find their footing in 2023 and did not play well down the stretch.

That roster may indeed be a 72-90 squad.

The model is purposely simple but feels pointless to do if you’re not going to take into account offseason acquisitions, as the offense should be substantially improved with Juan Soto in the mix.

And with any luck, New York will get a full season from Aaron Judge after he missed 56 games last year.

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