Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Your Pythagorean Standings - AL
By Zach

Since we're now 1.5 months into the regular season, I figured it was time to take a look at the standings around baseball, not just through the W/L columns, but through pythagorian wins as well. Today, the American League. Thanks to Hardball Times for the data.

AL East
Tampa Bay15-2313-25

For all the moaning and groaning, the Yankees are actually playing even better than their record indicates. To no one's surprise, they've got an AL-high .370 OBP, and are hitting .283 with runners in scoring position. Furthermore, they're 6-7 in one- and two-run games, which should improve. On the other end of the spectrum are the Devil Rays, who are one of the worst teams in baseball record-wise and should be even worse. Tampa's problems are mostly pitching, as they're allowing 4.0 BB/9, third-worst in the AL, and they're also third-worst in FIP. Oh, and they're 7-5 in close games despite throwing Dan Micili and Tyler Walker out there as closer.

AL Central

Kansas City10-2513-25

The AL Central is a very, very strong division. Or at least, it might be. No one's sure just how good the Tigers are. Right now, their pitching has been far better than expected, but there are a few areas for concern. They're only giving up home runs on 9% of fly balls, something that should level off in the 12-13% range. They and the Indians are the only two teams in the AL allowing fewer than one home run per game. While playing at Comerica may help some, expect that number to jump. Detroit also leads the AL in slugging percentage. While a healthy Magglio Ordonez will make them better, Chris Shelton's fast start is also propping up their stats. In the end, I'd be suprised to see them higher than third. Similarly, the Indians' W/L record doesn't reflect the fact that they've been playing fairly well. While the White Sox are also a good club, Cleveland should be on top come October.

AL West


One of the biggest questions in baseball is "How are the Angels playing so poorly." The answer is a tough one. It's not as if they're vastly underperforming in light of their PWins, so they really have played this poorly. One reason might be a 6-13 record in close games, worst in the AL. Their offense has been atrocious, posting a team OPS of .686, again good for last in the AL (yes, even worse than the Royals). Vlad's numbers remain strong, but no one on the team is hitting besides part-timer Tim Salmon. While we might expect some players to improve, I'm not sure how much is reasonable to anticipate. Chone Figgins maybe have an OPS of .704, but his career mark is .745, and his career high is .769. Garret Anderson's mark of .743 is exactly what he posted last season, and at age 33 his ceiling is probably his 2004 year (.789). Orlando Cabrera is actually out-performing his career average (.757 this year, .719 career). This division is looking exceedingly mediocre, which gives teams like the Angels and Mariners hope, but has to scare all the folks who picked the A's to win the World Series.

Check back tomorrow for the NL Standings.


Blogger Joseph P. said...

You can get rid of the white space above the tables by deleting all hard returns within the table code, i.e. make it all one line.

It's stupid, and I've e-mailed blogger multiple times to see if they could rectify this stupid, stupid situation. But, they're run by old farts who fear change.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Matt Brown said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the A's, given both their amazing recent history and the fact that none of the other three AL West clubs looks capable of running away with the division (Rangers, as always, dont have the pitching, Angels don't seem to have the hitting, and Mariners have neither). Somebody really needs to do a study on why the A's usually seem to start out so poorly, except for the fact that this probably has no logical answer...


Thru 38 GP Finish
2000 20-18 91-70
2001 16-22 102-60
2002 18-20 103-59
2003 24-14 96-66
2004 20-18 91-71
2005 16-24 88-74
2006 19-19 ??-??

1:30 PM  
Blogger Bryan Koch said...


Maybe it has something to do with the fact that A's teams are perennially young, and tend to improve over the course of the season? Even if that's true to some extent, it hardly accounts for their annual ridiculous second-half run. Anyhow, the A's projected to be the best team in the league this year, and it wasn't even very close. I'd be shocked if any other team were to win that division.

1:40 PM  

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