Graph: State of the AL East

I started asking myself this morning what would have to happen for the Yankees to win the AL East. In order to answer that question, I had to find a starting point. Here are the AL East hitters by fWAR: hitters

Here, we see a clear Blue Jays advantage.The Jays have no real weak spots, and are particularly strong at 1st, 3rd and DH. Their average position produced 4.6 fWAR, or 41.4 fWAR across all positions.

The Yankees, on the other hand, are pretty well balanced, but without any standouts. 2nd base is clearly weak, and 3rd base is close. Their average position produced 2.7 fWAR and 24.1 fWAR in total, essentially tied with the Rays and Red Sox. pitchers

The Yankees have a clear edge in pitching. At 18.2 fWAR, they clear the Blue Jays by 4 fWAR and the Red Sox by almost 8 fWAR. Even given the Red Sox acquisitions of David Price and Craig Kimbrel, the Yankees probably have an edge here on pitching over the division.

This leads to:

total

The Yankees start off 14 fWAR behind the Blue Jays, but are at least even with the rest of the division. This is good news in the sense that they only need one team to have a disaster season. Given the age of some of the top Jays hitters, this seems plausible. It's bad news in the sense that a lot has to go wrong for the team to make up 14 fWAR, and the Yankees have their own issues to worry about.