Playoffs? You Kidding Me? Playoffs?

So Bryan Hoch told me (in his blog) that the Yankees have never lost a division lead of more than six games.  Exciting, but everyone remembers the impossible-to-lose 3-0 lead in the ’04 ALCS.  This smells a lot like that to me.  Yankees fans as happy as pigs in slop with their team on a roll and the Sox left reeling after a streak of poor play.  Is it really too early to be talking about a shoo-in for the playoffs?

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The Yankees have their largest division lead since the end of the ’06 season.  Sure, it’s only August 10, but with 50 or so games left to be played, the Yankees have a 96.6 % chance of making the playoffs (reference: Baseball Prospectus).  Statistically speaking, this is significant.  If this were a science experiment, the results would be reported in journals.  But this is baseball.  Anything can happen (and just about everything crazy has happened at least once). 

Just look at the Mets the past couple of years.  In ’07 they had a 6 game lead on Sept. 10.  That would be a month from now.  I couldn’t find the data, but I’m sure they’re playoff odds at that point were somewhere around 99%.  Not trying to be the pessimist here, but the only definite in baseball is that nothing is definite until the games are played.  Once the Yankees make it to game 162 with the AL East Division Title in hand, I’ll be staying leery.  OK, maybe if they have a 6 game lead with 5 to play I’ll celebrate…

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