I got a great email from my friend Adam here in New York today, who's great with numbers as concerns the Red Sox. He put together some fascinating numbers regarding the Red Sox, and the supposedly "surging" Yankees. The Red Sox played their 108th game of the year yesterday, which means the first two-thirds of the 2007 season is now complete. Here is that email. Thanks, Adam.
The Red Sox are 66-42 (.611 WP). They have the best record in baseball and an 8-game lead on the MFY.
Here's how this year's team stacks up against previous teams through 108 games:
2007 66 W 42 L .611 WP 557 RS 428 RA +129 RD 8 games up
2006 65 W 43 L .602 WP 595 RS 532 RA +63 RD 1 game back
2005 62 W 46 L .574 WP 595 RS 532 RA +63 RD 3.5 games up
2004 59 W 49 L .522 WP 601 RS 517 RA +84 RD 10.5 games back
2003 63 W 45 L .563 WP 664 RS 556 RA +108 RD 3.5 games back
I know some Sox fans are waiting for the wheels to fall off. They're worried about the MFY, who are beating up on weak teams. Since the All-Star Break, the MFY are 15-7 (.682 WP). The Sox have played one less game. Boston has a 13-8 record since the Break (.619 WP). Each team has played 6 series. The MFY are 5-1. Boston is 4-1-1. New York has played 2 series against Tampa (8 games), 1 v. Toronto (4 games), 1 v. KC (4 games), 1. Chicago, and 1 v. Baltimore. The Sox have played 1 v. Toronto (4 games), 1 v. KC, 1 v. Chicago (4 games), 1 v. Cleveland (4 games), 1 v. Tampa, 1 v. Baltimore.
The MFY have beat up on weak teams. Since the Break, they are hitting .320 AVG/.391 OBP/.553 SLG in 23 games. Those are scary numbers, and the sky is falling crowd point to them when they talk about how worried they are. But the Sox have put up pretty good offensive numbers too: .290 AVG/.368 OBP/.446 SLG in 22 games. I'm not worried because the Sox' pitching has been significantly better.
MFY pitching: 4.34 ERA 1.54 WHIP Opp Hitting .292/.352/.453
Sox pitching: 3.60 ERA 1.18 WHIP Opp Hitting .244/.301/.386
Remember, New York's pitchers were facing awful teams and put up those numbers. Their schedule gets a lot tougher after Monday. They play 3 @ Toronto, 3 @ Cleveland, 3 v. Baltimore, 4 v. Detroit, 3 @ LA, 4 @ Detroit, 3 v. Boston. The MFY are .500 against Toronto and having a losing record v. Baltimore. I'd be shocked if the MFY finish that stretch over .500.
If the MFY continue to play at a .682 clip, which they won't, they'll finish with about 95 wins. If Boston continues to play .619 ball, they'll win 99 games. As I've said for a while, as long as the Sox are healthy, they'll win the East easily.
The Magic Number is 47 games.