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Yankees’ 2020 outlook with new schedule

Baseball is back! Put aside all the animosity in the sport and get ready because players report for Spring Training 2.0 next week. Opening Day will be around a month from now (July 23-24) and teams will play a 60-game schedule. So the marathon becomes a sprint for 2020. 

To reduce travel, teams will play only within their division as well as the same geographical division in the other league. Here’s the breakdown of the schedule for the Yankees:

-10 games each against the Orioles, Red Sox, Rays, and Blue Jays

-6 games against the Mets

-14 games against the other NL East teams (3-4 games against each)

Right off the bat, good news for Gleyber Torres: instead of playing about 11.7 percent of the season against the Orioles, the Yankees are going to play them 16.7 percent of the season. 

But how will they do against all the other teams, especially those in the NL East? There are some tougher opponents, such as the Nationals and Braves, and then there are the Marlins. The last time the Yankees faced off against the NL East was back in 2018. Here’s how they did (not including the Mets):

Opponent

Record

Braves

2-1 (.667)

Marlins

2-2 (.500)

Phillies

2-1 (.667)

Nationals

2-2 (.500)

That’s good for a combined record of 8-6. 

For all the other teams I am going back to 2017, the year that could be considered the beginning of this Yankees era.

Opponent 2017 Record 2018 Record 2019 Record Combined Record

Mets

4-0

3-3

2-2

9-5 (.643)

Orioles

12-7

12-7

17-2

41-16 (.719)

Red Sox 11-8 9-10

14-5

34-23 (.596)

Rays

12-7

10-9

12-7

34-23 (.596)

Blue Jays

9-10

13-6

11-8

33-24 (.579)

That’s good for a combined record over the past three years of 151-91. If you add in the few games against the other NL East teams, it becomes 159-97 (.621). 

Of course, these numbers do not reflect the proportion of games that will be played against each opponent in 2020. So let’s take the winning percentage against each team and apply it to the number of games the Yankees will play against them in 2020 (utilizing simple rounding):

Opponent

# Games Against Estimated Record

Braves

3

2-1

Marlins

4

2-2

Mets

6

4-2

Philles

3

2-1

Nationals

4

2-2

Orioles

10

7-3

Red Sox

10

6-4

Rays

10

6-4

Blue Jays

10

6-4

This is assuming the schedule has the Yankees playing 4 games against the Marlins and Nationals and 3 against the Braves and Phillies. According to Joel Sherman, that is likely the case:

The total record becomes 37-23 (.617). Over a full 162-game season that would be 100-62. Seems about right. This also happened to be the Yankees’ record during their worst 60-game stretch last season. 

Of course, teams are different than they were two or three years ago. Some are a lot different. But this is just a very rough estimate. Based on 2019 records, the teams they play have a combined .480 winning percentage, which gives them one of the easier schedules. Surely, that is padded by the Orioles and Marlins, but let’s hope the team gets out of the gate strong and becomes the hare rather than the tortoise, even if it’s just for one season.