Posted by Steve
I decided the All-Star Break was a good time to look at pythagorean records and see who’s had lady luck on their side. Pythagorean records are adjusted to reflect runs scored vs. runs allowed totals. For instance, the Arizona Diamondbacks have scored 371 runs and allowed 401, yet their record stands at 47-43. On the other hand, the New York Yankees have scored 462 runs and allowed 392, but they sit at an unlucky 42-43 (simultaneous aw in 3…2…1… AWWWW).
Because this is my post and I am allowed to plaster my opinion throughout whenever I please, I’ll also be including my updated post-season picks. Without further ado (it’s good to limit ado whenever possible), here you go. I’ll start with the AL East, because it’s mandated by law to begin with the AL East in any league-wide discussion.
|AL East||Actual Record||Pythagorean Record||PECOTA’s Pre-season prediction|
|Boston Red Sox||53-34||52-35||92-70|
|Toronto Blue Jays||43-44||45-42||80-82|
|New York Yankees||42-43||49-36||93-69|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||34-53||33-54||75-87|
The most notable thing about the AL East is how much better than Yankees expected record is than their actual record. While they’re likely to make a run, they’ve probably dug themselves too deep a hole.
On the otherhand, can you imagine how unbearable it would be if the Yankees came back to make the playoffs? I couldn’t handle all the coverage.
|AL Central||Actual Record||Pythagorean Record||PECOTA’s Pre-season prediction|
|Chicago White Sox||39-47||36-50||73-89|
|Kansas City Royals||38-50||41-47||66-96|
This is going to be an exciting race. I expect the Twins to heat up and get in the thick of things as the summer progresses. Very tough division to call.
|AL West||Actual Record||Pythagorean Record||PECOTA’s Pre-season prediction|
|LA Angels of A||53-35||49-39||86-76|
I have a lot of thoughts on this division. First, I’m fairly certain that Seattle is a fluke. They’ve come out of nowhere, and they’ve done it mostly without Felix Hernandez pitching well. There are other reasons for my thinking this: They’ve been lucky, their PECOTA record is horrible and their GM is Bill Bavasi. He’s bound to do something stupid.
I think the Angels are worse than their record indicates, and I think the A’s are better than their record indicates. LA doesn’t have the offense to sustain their current pace, and Oakland has weathered a crapton of injuries. Pythagorean Oakland is only three games behind Pythagorean Anaheim. Oakland is historically a second-half team (Billy Beane always gets what he needs at the deadline) and they’re getting Harden, Street and Piazza back. I really think the A’s will make a run at this thing.
|NL East||Actual Record||Pythagorean Record||PECOTA’s Pre-season prediction|
|New York Mets||48-39||45-42||86-76|
Boy, the Mets have really cooled off. For all the talk about how great this division was, it suddenly looks mediocre. Philly has gone through a ton of pitchers, but they have a couple MVP caliber hitters that will keep them in it. I expect the Mets to get another starter and the Braves to get bullpen help. This should be a three-team race.
|NL Central||Actual Record||Pythagorean Record||PECOTA’s Pre-season prediction|
|St. Louis Cardinals||40-45||36-49||81-81|
A quick glance shows us the Brewers are fortunate to even have a 4.5 game lead over the Cubs. The Cubbies have been a bit “unlucky,” mainly because they lost their first six one-run games of the season. After a slow start, the Cubs are the hottest team in baseball. I’m pretty sure the days of 8.5 game leads on the division are over; this could come down to the last week of the season.
I still like the Brewers though. Both teams have a good offense(Brewers have scored 34 more runs) and decent starting pitching (Cubs have been better so far). The Brewers have a better bullpen.
One comforting fact is that with the Cubs ownership change in limbo they probably won’t be able to go out and add a big piece at the deadline, whereas I expect the Brewers to make a move or two.
By the way, if the rumored trade of Tony Gwynn Jr. for Akinori Otsuka was in fact nixed at the last minute by The Brewers because of Bill Hall’s injury, I might break my keyboard.
|NL West||Actual Record||Pythagorean Record||PECOTA’s Pre-season prediction|
|San Diego Padres||49-38||53-34||86-76|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||49-40||48-41||80-82|
|San Francisco Giants||38-48||43-43||79-83|
The division of terrible offense. San Diego is one injury to Jake Peavy or Chris Young from just about being a .500 team. They have two aces and a great bullpen… and not much else. Adrian Gonzales and Mike Cameron are good but San Diego has a poor offense overall.
The same story goes for every team basically. The Dodgers have an amazing bullpen and solid starting pitching but a pretty crappy offense (With Juan Pierre in the leadoff spot? Shocking!)
I know this is what you’ve all been waiting for (rather than the interesting comparisons to pythag. and pecota). I’m finding that most of my picks are pretty similar to my pre-season predictions for The Racquet.
Pretty safe bet saying Boston here. Sticking with my pre-season pick.
Even though I think the Twins will make things interesting, I’m switching off them and taking Detroit (with Cleveland for the wild card). Detroit’s offense is scary-good.
This is probably my biggest stretch. I’m sticking with the A’s despite their nine-ish game deficit to Anaheim. The A’s have been ravaged by injuries and still sit at .500. They have great pitching and they’re getting players back. Beane will make moves, and Anaheim will come back down to Earth.
Also sticking with my pick here. The Phillies have hung around .500 and are well within striking distance. The Mets are faltering, and the Braves just don’t seem that great in any area… More or less decent at everything. I just think Philly has the best team.
The Cubs make me nervous, but if I picked the Brewers before the season, I sure have no reason to change that when they have a 4.5 game lead, right? …Right?
I’ve decided to switch off the Dodgers to the Padres, mainly because I don’t like Juan Pierre.
Ok, that’s not why. I just think the Padres have great starting pitching, and Peavy and Young have out-performed their already lofty expectations. Those two will be enough to carry the Pads.