Baseball Prospectus' 2019 PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections are out. For the Yankees, they see a big year on the horizon..
PECOTA is a system that "takes a player's past performance and tries to project the most likely outcome for the following season. It looks at all of the numbers, and all the numbers that make up the numbers, to see which players are more likely to repeat their success and which ones benefited from good fortune."
When it comes to how Luis Severino will rebound from the putrid second half he had in 2018 and James Paxton potentially becoming an ace during his first season in pinstripes, PECOTA -- a projection system that is notoriously conservative -- sees things shaking out like this:
The above would be a nice bounceback from Severino and a very strong first season for Paxton -- if not quite ace level.
PECOTA sees a solid season for Masahiro Tanaka (3.87 ERA and 1.20 WHIP) but is less bullish on the re-signed J.A. Happ (projected to have a 4.17 ERA and 1.31 WHIP and CC Sabathia (4.67 ERA and 1.43 WHIP).
When it comes to the bullpen, PECOTA projects dominant seasons from Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, but a big step back for Adam Ottavino (3.67 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) from where he was in 2018 with the Rockies.
PECOTA also projects somewhat of a comeback season from Gary Sanchez (rebounding to hit .254/.333/.474), and big years from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Overall, Baseball Prospectus projects the Yankees to finish 95-67, which would be six games clear of the Red Sox and good for the third-best record in the American League, behind the Astros (98 wins) and Indians (97 wins).