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PECOTA Prediction: Yankees to finish second to Red Sox

Direct your emails to Steven Goldman, the editor and chief of Baseball Prospectus. They have completed their formulas and the Yankees are the second-best team in the AL East, but do win the wild card. Below is what Goldman wrote about the Yanks. (It is behind the ESPN Insider wall, but I sneaked it out. Don't tell the bosses.) Here is the full link for Insiders.

<strong>Why they might win:With the exceptions of Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, several Yankees disappointed at the plate last year and yet they still led the league in runs scored. They should be potent again this year, with PECOTA calling for them to lead the division in runs scored. The bullpen, with its Rafael Soriano-to-Mariano Rivera endgame, should be a standout.

Why they might not win:Because the richest team in baseball has Bartolo Colon, Sergio Mitre and Freddy Garcia competing for rotation spots after the Yankees learned that money can't buy you happiness -- or Cliff Lee.

Player who could surprise:Curtis Granderson. After a late-season tutoring session with hitting coach Kevin Long, Granderson started hitting left-handed pitchers (.286/.375/.500 in a small sample) for the first time in his career. PECOTA expects Granderson to hit .257/.333/.460, but it doesn't know about Long's lessons.

Player who could disappoint:Derek Jeter. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez still have room to rebound, but Jeter couldn't get the ball off the ground last year. (His ground ball rate of 65.7 percent was the highest in baseball.) PECOTA's .281/.350/.389 projection offers faint hope for the 37-year-old shortstop.

PECOTA-PROJECTED STANDINGS

1. Boston (92-70)

2. NY Yankees (91-71)

3. Tampa Bay (84-78)

4. Baltimore (82-80)

5. Toronto (76-86)