Monday, September 01, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 9/1/2014

As we've noted many times, winning two of three, four of six - that's good baseball. There's been far too little of that kind of performance for it to matter now, but for those of us still watching, it was a good week...
  • I don't know when Boston last won back-to-back extra inning road games (apparently, it was in May of 1986 in Oakland), but they did it on Monday and Tuesday in Toronto.


  • I also don't remember the last time I saw a team score three runs in extra innings and lose by four, but Boston scored seven in the 11th on Tuesday night, so when Toronto scored three in the bottom of the 11th, they were still four short.


  • Mike Napoli hit one of the longest home runs I've ever seen in that seven-run 11th inning. Into the 5th deck, it was nearly long enough to be two home runs.


  • Rusney Castillo made his US Professional debut, going 1-2 with a caught stealing down in a Gulf Coast League game. I expect that we'll see him in Boston for a week or so before the season ends, but he hasn't played in 13 months, so I don't expect to see much. Obviously, we've got 72 million convincing reasons to believe that the organization is high on him.


  • Xander Bogaerts finished his concussion DL stint and it looked on Sunday as if the reset might have done him good...


  • So the SS returned from his concussion DL stint on Saturday, and the 2nd baseman left the game with a head injury that same night. There's no particular reason that I'm aware of to suspect that Forsythe intentionally threw his elbow at Pedroia's head, but it sure looked bad to me. His left hand was already on the base, and there was no obvious reason for his right arm to come up - it looked like he intentionally threw his elbow at Pedroia's head.


  • One of the results of the poor season (and also one of the causes) is the number of at-bats which have gone to rookies. There have been 90+ plate appearances for four of them. The one that we did not expect to see in Boston this year has actually performed the best.
    Mookie Betts (.259/.344/.424/.767, 13.10 runs created, 4.96 RC/25 outs)
    Xander Bogaerts (.224/.293/.335/.628, 41.85 runs created, 2.91 RC/25 outs)
    Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.216/.288/.290/.578, 28.60 runs created, 2.51 RC/25 outs)
    Christian Vazquez (.218/.282/.264/.546, 8.30 runs created, 2.21 RC/25 outs)


  • This is scary. Here are Xander Bogaerts' first 221 AB and last 221 AB of the season:
    Xander Bogaerts (.299/.387/.452/.840, 38.59 runs created, 6.03 RC/25 outs)
    Xander Bogaerts (.149/.193/.217/.410, 3.83 runs created, .48 RC/25 outs)
    Did I say scary? I mean horrifying...


  • No, that does not coincide with switching him from SS to 3B. It's close, but the first week that he played 3rd was the best week of his season.


  • They weren't actually traded for each other, but Joe Kelly is clearly filling the Jake Peavy role on this team, veteran pitcher pitching fairly well and not getting any wins because the team doesn't score when he pitches. He's now made five starts, four of them excellent, in a Red Sox uniform without a win.


  • Will the real Clay Buchholz please stand up? If this one's going to hang around for a while, that's a good thing. If we get the one that we had earlier in the year back, it's not...


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - No one did this week what Ortiz did last week, but Dustin Pedroia (.263/.333/.579/.912, 3.88 runs created, 6.93 RC/25 outs) had a pretty good week before getting knocked out Saturday night, and Mookie Betts (.273/.360/.591/.951, 4.87 runs created, 7.61 RC/25 outs) is the Player of the Week as he continues to demonstrate more power than you'd expect to go along with his obvious speed and good plate discipline.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - As easy and clear-cut a decision as there's been all week, as Clay Buchholz threw 8+ scoreless innings in two of Boston's four wins on the week. He took the mound in the 9th inning with a 3-0 lead twice. On Monday, he left after 8 1/3 with the 3-0 lead intact, but left three base runners and Uehara allowed them all to score. On Sunday, he completed the shutout. Just dominant...
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 9/1/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.69(1)3.58(2)0.621(1)84527858-6
LA Angels4.69(1)3.82(5)0.592(2)815583532
Seattle3.98(11)3.27(1)0.589(3)80557362-7
Baltimore4.35(6)3.77(3)0.565(4)765979563
Detroit4.65(3)4.41(10)0.524(5)716574623
Cleveland4.3(7)4.12(7)0.519(6)706470640
Kansas City4.09(9)3.93(6)0.519(7)706574614
Tampa Bay3.9(14)3.79(4)0.513(8)70676671-4
Toronto4.4(4)4.41(10)0.498(9)686869671
NY Yankees3.96(12)4.16(8)0.477(10)647170656
Minnesota4.37(5)4.73(13)0.464(11)63735977-4
Chicago Sox4.2(8)4.77(14)0.443(12)617662751
Boston3.85(15)4.38(9)0.441(13)607660760
Houston3.96(13)4.64(12)0.428(14)597959790
Texas3.99(10)4.96(15)0.402(15)55815383-2
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9963
Baltimore9567
Oakland9369
Kansas City8973
Seattle8874
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
LA Angels9864
Oakland9468
Baltimore9468
Seattle8973
Detroit8874
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
LA Angels4.71(2)2(1)0.828(1)61610
Baltimore6.14(1)3(3)0.788(2)61610
Cleveland4.4(6)2.8(2)0.696(3)32411
NY Yankees4.14(7)3.14(4)0.624(4)4334-1
Texas4.43(5)3.43(5)0.615(5)4334-1
Detroit4.57(4)4.14(7)0.545(6)43430
Boston4.67(3)4.33(9)0.534(7)33421
Toronto4(8)4.33(9)0.463(8)33330
Chicago Sox4(8)4.71(13)0.425(9)34340
Houston3.57(11)4.57(11)0.389(10)34431
Tampa Bay3(12)4.29(8)0.342(11)25250
Oakland2.71(15)4(6)0.33(12)25250
Minnesota4(8)6.17(15)0.312(13)2415-1
Seattle3(12)4.67(12)0.308(14)24240
Kansas City2.83(14)5(14)0.261(15)24240

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Logan Mankins, former Patriot

I don't know enough about Pro Football Focus' statistics and tracking to say that this is entirely correct, but I think it's pretty clear that the Patriots agree with the basic premise of this piece, that there's a significant disconnect between Mankins' cost and Mankins' value.

2. Logan Mankins, Left Guard

Mankins signed a contract extension three seasons ago that made him the highest-paid guard at the time. His contract remains the second-highest in average per year, but his play has taken a dip over the last couple seasons largely as he plays through injuries. His performance has still been positive (+12.0 in 2013), but nowhere near elite status like he is being paid. He set to count over $10 million against the cap again in each of the next two years. Unless Mankins, who turns age 32 tomorrow, is able to regain some of his elite form, he will likely remain among the most overpaid on the Patriots’ roster for a third straight season.

2013 Cap Hit: $10m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $4.2m
Value Differential: -$5.8m
(Emphasis mine.)

I am definitely not of the "Bill can do no wrong camp." But I recognize that there are situations where I've got nowhere near enough information to make an informed criticism, and this is one of those cases. One of the reasons that the Patriots have been consistently good for the last 14 years is that Belichick is an economist. I don't see much, if any, evidence that he's any better at talent evaluation and prediction than anyone else, but he's very good and disciplined at allocating his resources.

This move may be a mistake, because it may be that Mankins was enough better than any of the replacement alternatives to justify the cost of keeping him on the roster. But it's not inconceivable that the replacement will weaken the run blocking slightly while improving the pass blocking, and on the whole, the offense won't suffer. Since I can imagine a scenario where this improves the team as a whole, and don't have enough information to argue convincingly against it, I am left without a good reason to condemn it. Not exactly, "in Bill we trust;" more like "Bill definitely knows more than I do and I hope he's right..."

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 8/25/2014

Well, there goes the "they're going to tease us by playing well the rest of the way" prediction...
  • Seven games, seven losses. Wow, did they treat us to some bad baseball this week. They lost games early, they lost games late, they lost games close, they lost games big - they just lost and lost and lost.


  • Pythagoras says they should have won twice. They didn't listen.


  • Koji Uehara has been a brilliant performer in a Boston uniform over the last two seasons. But he's a primary reason that the losing streak is now eight games. He allowed the winning run to score in the 9th inning of a tie game on Tuesday. Well, everyone will allow a run sometime. But then, on Friday, he entered the game with a 3-0 lead to start the 9th inning and promptly allowed five runs for a 5-3 loss.


  • On Wednesday and Saturday, the Red Sox scored a single run in each of the first three innings, then allowed the opposition to score more than three in a single inning while failing to score again themselves.


  • They were no-hit into the 7th on Thursday and managed only one hit for the game.


  • They failed to score more than three runs in any of the games before Sunday.


  • From Tuesday through Sunday, they averaged exactly three runs per game, as they scored three runs four times, were shut out once and scored six runs once.


  • As bad as the pitching was (5.429 runs allowed per game, 12th in the AL), the offense was worse (2.857 (14 in the AL).


  • I have no idea whatsoever whether Rusney Castillo is worth $72 thousand or $72 million. They, apparently, have a very good opinion of him. I hope that they are right. Let me just say this - they can afford a big payroll, and repeatedly have one. While there is an opportunity cost here (the dollars spent on Castillo cannot be spent on anyone or anything else), acquiring prime talent without giving up either current talent or draft picks is a good thing. You can overpay a little bit when the money is the sole cost.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - The team was 0-7, and I was, on principal, just not going to give out awards this week. But there were some good offensive performances from Markus (Mookie) Betts (.273/.429/.364/.792, 4.52 runs created, 7.06 RC/25 outs) and Yoenis Cespedes (.318/.346/.591/.937, 4.36 runs created, 6.06 RC/25 outs), and then there was this, almost unbelievable, week from David Ortiz (.647/.769/1.118/1.887, 11.32 runs created, 47.15 RC/25 outs). That's got to be recognized even if it didn't lead to a win.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Yeah, right. Ok, there were a couple of performances that weren't awful, as Kelly pitched five very strong innings and De la rosa was good again. And some members of the bullpen pitched well. But there were no award-worthy performances, so there's no award.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/25/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.8(1)3.56(2)0.634(1)82477653-6
Seattle4.02(10)3.2(1)0.603(2)78517158-7
LA Angels4.69(2)3.92(6)0.581(3)755477522
Baltimore4.25(7)3.81(4)0.55(4)705873553
Kansas City4.15(9)3.88(5)0.531(5)686172574
Detroit4.66(3)4.43(11)0.523(6)686170592
Tampa Bay3.95(14)3.76(3)0.522(7)68626466-4
Cleveland4.29(6)4.17(7)0.513(8)666366630
Toronto4.42(4)4.42(10)0.5(9)656566641
Minnesota4.38(5)4.66(13)0.472(10)61695872-3
NY Yankees3.95(13)4.22(8)0.47(11)606867617
Chicago Sox4.22(8)4.77(14)0.444(12)587259711
Boston3.81(15)4.38(9)0.437(13)57735674-1
Houston3.98(11)4.64(12)0.43(14)56755576-1
Texas3.96(12)5.04(15)0.392(15)51785079-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9765
Oakland9567
Baltimore9270
Kansas City9072
Seattle8973
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland9765
LA Angels9666
Baltimore9270
Seattle9171
Kansas City9072
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
LA Angels4.43(5)2.71(2)0.71(1)52520
Seattle4.83(3)3.67(6)0.624(2)42420
Kansas City4.67(4)3.67(6)0.609(3)42420
Houston3.33(11)2.67(1)0.601(4)4233-1
Cleveland3.33(11)2.83(3)0.574(5)33421
NY Yankees4.17(7)3.67(6)0.558(6)33421
Baltimore3.5(8)3.17(4)0.546(7)33330
Minnesota6.88(1)6.25(14)0.543(8)4435-1
Tampa Bay3.5(8)3.33(5)0.522(9)33330
Oakland4.4(6)4.6(10)0.48(10)23321
Detroit6.43(2)7(15)0.461(11)34431
Texas3.4(10)4.2(9)0.405(12)23230
Toronto3.2(13)5(11)0.306(13)23230
Boston2.86(14)5.43(12)0.236(14)2507-2
Chicago Sox2.67(15)5.5(13)0.21(15)1506-1

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 8/18/2014

4-2 on the week. "Too little, too late" is apparently the way the Red Sox are going to play the rest of the way...
  • Offensively, this was one of Boston's best week's of the year, as they were third in the AL with 5.167 runs scored per game.


  • That was offset somewhat by the weak pitching. De la Rosa and Kelly both had very tough starts against Houston over the weekend. The offense bailed Rubby out on Saturday, but they did nothing on Sunday in Kelly's first Boston start in an AL park, leading to a bad loss.


  • So, there's a theory that moving Bogaerts from 3B to SS "broke" him, screwed him up, that he went from a good hitter to a bad hitter because he moved 45 feet to the right on defense. It's pretty clear, at this point, that, if he was, in fact, "broken" by the move to 3rd, he wasn't "fixed" by moving back to SS. This is what his season looks like by defensive position in order:
  • Xander Bogaerts (SS) (.296/.389/.427/.816, 33.08 runs created, 5.70 RC/25 outs)
  • Xander Bogaerts (3B) (.182/.217/.300/.517, 8.26 runs created, 1.40 RC/25 outs)
  • Xander Bogaerts (SS) (.115/.172/.154/.326, -.06 runs created, -.03 RC/25 outs)
  • If he has to be a shortstop, and that's the issue, then he should be better now, and he isn't - he's worse. (It's also worth noting that his first week at third was outstanding - Xander Bogaerts [.318/.375/.682/1.057, 5.52 runs created, 9.20 RC/25 outs]). If he can't handle a defensive shift mentally, then he's not going to be the player that we all thought he was going to be. More likely, in my mind, is that the initial shift over to third roughly coincided with Major League scouting and pitching realizing that he can't hit a slider, and he's seen pretty much nothing but since.


  • Bogaerts' defense at short also figured prominently in both of the Sox' losses this week. On Friday night, they had a one-run lead with two outs and two on in the 8th. On a ground ball to SS, he shoveled the ball (late) to Pedroia, rather than taking the almost certain out at first, and the tying run scored in a game that Boston would lose in the 10th. On Sunday, he threw the ball to first before stepping on the bag at second, costing them the double play which should have ended the 2nd inning. Instead, the inning stayed alive, with two men on, and Kelly proceeded to allow a walk and a grand slam. Instead of 2-0, it was 6-0, and the game was effectively over. Now, it's certainly not Bogaerts' fault that Kelly was horrible, but giving teams extra outs results in bad things more often than not, and it was a bad mental mistake - there's no excuse for making the throw before touching the base in that situation.


  • One of the positives last week was the performance of Rubby de la Rosa and Joe Kelly in three excellent starts, combining to allow just three runs in 20 innings. In three starts this week, they combined to allow 15 runs in 14 innings.


  • In the 10 starts since coming off of the DL, Clay Buchholz has an ERA of 4.86. Better than before he went on the DL, of course, but not what they need from him if he's going to be the veteran presence in the rotation.


  • Yesterday's replay leaves me wondering what, exactly, is the definition of the "neighborhood play." Farrell certainly blew his top after replay confirmed that Bogaerts threw to first before stepping on second, and extended the inning. MLB has said that the "neighborhood play" is not reviewable, but I'm not aware of a specific definition of what qualifies. There's no question but that Bogaerts never touched second base with possession of the ball, but for player safety reasons, umpires don't always require that, and MLB doesn't want them to. So what, exactly, would qualify? Had the runner been closer to the bag, would that have done it? If Bogaerts had gotten his foot down beside the bag before releasing, would that have done it? What are the criteria? One understands Farrell's frustration, though it should mostly have been aimed at his pitcher.


  • Has any other manager garnered multiple ejections for arguing calls post-replay? Farrell's done it at least twice now.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Several good performances this week, from David Ortiz (.350/.409/.700/1.109, 5.29 runs created, 10.18 RC/25 outs) and Brock Holt (.333/.429/.417/.845, 4.66 runs created, 6.86 RC/25 outs) and Mike Napoli (.357/.500/.643/1.143, 3.99 runs created, 9.97 RC/25 outs). The best performance came from Daniel Nava (.500/.526/.778/1.304, 5.61 runs created, 14.02 RC/25 outs)


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Clay Buchholz had another good outing, allowing two runs in seven innings against the Astros. But that's not a special performance, just good. So I'm going to go with Burke Badenhop, who has been effective all year, and threw 3 2/3 perfect innings over four appearances this week.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/18/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.81(1)3.52(2)0.64(1)79457351-6
Seattle3.98(12)3.18(1)0.602(2)74496756-7
LA Angels4.7(2)3.99(6)0.575(3)705272502
Baltimore4.29(7)3.84(4)0.55(4)675570523
Detroit4.56(3)4.28(9)0.529(5)655766561
Kansas City4.12(9)3.89(5)0.527(6)655868553
Tampa Bay3.97(13)3.78(3)0.522(7)65596163-4
Cleveland4.34(5)4.24(7)0.511(8)63606261-1
Toronto4.46(4)4.39(11)0.507(9)636264611
NY Yankees3.94(14)4.25(8)0.466(10)576563596
Minnesota4.22(8)4.56(12)0.465(11)57655567-2
Chicago Sox4.29(6)4.73(13)0.455(12)566859653
Boston3.86(15)4.32(10)0.449(13)556856671
Houston4.01(10)4.74(14)0.424(14)53725273-1
Texas3.98(11)5.07(15)0.391(15)49754876-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
LA Angels9666
Oakland9567
Baltimore9369
Kansas City9072
Seattle8874
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland9765
LA Angels9567
Baltimore9270
Seattle9072
Kansas City8973
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Seattle6(1)1.83(2)0.897(1)51510
Tampa Bay4.86(6)2(3)0.835(2)6143-2
Cleveland2.4(15)1.6(1)0.677(3)32320
LA Angels4.6(7)3.2(5)0.66(4)32411
Baltimore4.2(9)3(4)0.649(5)32320
Kansas City5(4)4.43(6)0.555(6)43521
Houston5.29(2)4.86(8)0.539(7)4334-1
Boston5.17(3)5(9)0.515(8)33421
Chicago Sox5(4)5(9)0.5(9)32320
Minnesota4.33(8)5.33(13)0.406(10)24331
Oakland3.43(11)4.43(6)0.385(11)3416-2
Detroit4(10)5.43(14)0.364(12)34340
NY Yankees2.6(13)5(9)0.232(13)14231
Toronto3.33(12)6.67(15)0.22(14)15150
Texas2.57(14)5.29(12)0.211(15)16251

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 8/11/2014

The best week in over a month sees the Red Sox win a series, going 2-1 in LAnaheim, and split the week, going 3-3. This is the exact right situation for using the phrase, "too little, too late..."
  • The trades were supposed to weaken the pitching but strengthen the offense. We've seen a little of the former (just a little) and not much of the latter thus far.


  • The Red Sox scored and allowed 17 runs this week, 2.833 runs per game (12th) and 2.833 runs allowed/game (5th). That sounds like the pitching was pretty good and the offense was pretty bad. Which is accurate. In fact, the pitching was even better, and the offense even worse, than it sounds, because, with Saturday's 19-inning effort, they played seven games worth of innings, not just six.


  • How bad was the offense? The team hit (.173/.220/.248/.468, 10.23 runs created, 1.31 RC/25 outs) for the week. They were actually lucky to score 17 runs, as they "created" only 10.


  • There were only two Red Sox who managed to reach an OBP of .300 with more than that 2 at-bats this week, Dustin Pedroia (.296/.345/.333/.678, 3.29 runs created, 4.12 RC/25 outs) and Mike Napoli (.211/.375/.474/.849, 3.60 runs created, 6.00 RC/25 outs). There was only one who managed a SLG of .500 with more than 2 at-bats this week, Yoenis Cespedes (.296/.296/.519/.815, 4.12 runs created, 5.43 RC/25 outs).


  • Six position players - Daniel Butler, David Ortiz, Daniel Nava, Xander Bogaerts, Kelly Johnson and Jackie Bradley, Jr. - were negative in runs created this week, hitting a combined (.083/.127/.125/.252, -1.89 runs created, -.66 RC/25 outs) in 72 at-bats. Bogaerts was 2 for 23. Ortiz was 1 for 15. Bradley was 0 for 11.


  • From June 19 through July 26, Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit .304/.354/.380/.734 and there were hopes that he had the offense thing figured out. In the second inning of that July 26 game in Tampa, he singled. Since that single, he is 0 for 35 with 0 walks and 18 strike outs (.000/.000/.000/.000).


  • You don't see games that go 19 innings very often. The Red Sox, before Saturday night, hadn't gone more than 17 in eight years, since 2006. So it's kind of a funny quirk to see another 19 inning game the very next day, as Detroit's bullpen melts down late and the Tigers lose to the Blue Jays in 19 innings on Sunday.


  • The Red Sox starting pitching was outstanding this week, as the starters averaged 6 2/3 innings with an ERA of 2.70. Of course, if you're going to win three games while averaging 2 runs/game scored, you're going to need outstanding pitching. For the most part, they got it this week.


  • I'm not going to say that this is the reason they lost on Saturday, because you have no way of knowing what anyone out of the bullpen may have done in the 8th or 9th, but I was surprised that Buchholz went out for the 8th. And I thought it was a mistake. And this is not second-guessing - it's first-guessing, as I thought it was a mistake before events revealed it to be, if not a mistake, at the very least not the way to keep the Angels scoreless in the 8th.


  • That said, the way that game started, with two Angels' runs in the first, it looked like we were headed for another Buchholz disaster start. Instead, we got one of the very positive developments of the week, as he settled down immediately, and was very effective for the next seven-plus innings.


  • Tough week for Brandon Workman, with two losses in one start and one very brief relief appearance. He had the worst start (although at four runs over 5 1/3 innings, it wasn't horrible) and then allowed the Pujols HR in the 19th inning, facing just one batter and allowing the game-ending HR.

    He was still better than most of the offensive players.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - There's not a lot to choose from here. Yoenis Cespedes (.296/.296/.519/.815, 4.12 runs created, 5.43 RC/25 outs) led the team in runs created, but it took him a lot of outs to do it. Mike Napoli (.211/.375/.474/.849, 3.60 runs created, 6.00 RC/25 outs) took some walks and hit for some power, but there's that 4-19 (.211). In the end, there's just not a worthy candidate, so there's no Player of the Week for this week.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Joe Kelly allowed just one run over seven innings in his Red Sox debut. Allen Webster (2 runs, 6 1/3) and Clay Buchholz (3, 8) were both very good. But the best week came from Rubby De La Rosa, who made two starts, and they were both excellent, as he allowed just two runs over 15 innings of work.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/10/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.9(1)3.46(2)0.654(1)76417245-4
Seattle3.88(14)3.25(1)0.581(2)68496255-6
LA Angels4.71(2)4.03(6)0.571(3)675068491
Baltimore4.29(6)3.88(4)0.546(4)645367503
Detroit4.59(3)4.21(7)0.54(5)625363521
Toronto4.52(4)4.28(9)0.525(6)635663560
Kansas City4.07(9)3.85(3)0.525(7)615563532
Cleveland4.42(5)4.35(11)0.508(8)60585959-1
Tampa Bay3.91(13)3.89(5)0.503(9)59585760-2
NY Yankees4(11)4.21(8)0.476(10)566161565
Minnesota4.22(8)4.52(12)0.468(11)54625264-2
Chicago Sox4.26(7)4.72(13)0.453(12)546556632
Boston3.79(15)4.28(10)0.445(13)526552650
Houston3.93(12)4.73(14)0.416(14)496949690
Texas4.07(10)5.06(15)0.402(15)47704671-1
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland10062
LA Angels9468
Baltimore9369
Detroit8973
Kansas City8874
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland10161
LA Angels9468
Baltimore9270
Seattle8874
Detroit8874
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Kansas City6.33(1)2.17(1)0.877(1)51601
Seattle5.5(4)2.17(1)0.846(2)51510
Baltimore6.29(2)3.57(9)0.738(3)52520
Texas5.67(3)3.33(6)0.725(4)4233-1
Tampa Bay3.17(10)2.5(3)0.606(5)4233-1
Oakland4(5)3.43(7)0.57(6)43521
NY Yankees3.14(11)2.71(4)0.567(7)43430
Boston2.83(12)2.83(5)0.5(8)33330
Toronto3.67(7)4(11)0.46(9)33330
Minnesota3.67(7)4.17(12)0.442(10)3324-1
Houston3.83(6)5(14)0.381(11)24240
Cleveland3.57(9)4.71(13)0.376(12)34340
Detroit2.57(13)3.43(7)0.371(13)3425-1
LA Angels2.57(13)3.57(9)0.354(14)25250
Chicago Sox2(15)6.29(15)0.11(15)16251

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Monday pythagorean - 8/4/2014

So, the bad news is that the season wrapped up early for the 2014 Red Sox. The good news, of course, is that we're getting an early look at the 2015 Red Sox. Like a show opening on the road in Cleveland or Cincinnati or Schenectady before heading to Broadway...
  • I do not remember ever seeing a team as active on the trade deadline as the Red Sox were this year. I'm not going to say that no one's ever made more trades at the deadline, or moved more players, but I don't remember a situation in which it's happened.


  • Red Sox trades made this week (ok, a little more than a week, as I'll include Peavy):
    • Red Sox trade Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Athetics for Yoenis Cespedes and a compensation pick.
    • Red Sox trade John Lackey, Corey Littrell and cash to the Cardinals for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig.
    • Red Sox trade Stephen Drew to the Yankees for Kelly Johnson.
    • Red Sox trade Andrew Miller to the Orioles for Eduardo Rodriguez.
    • Red Sox trade Felix Doubront to the Cubs for a player to be named later.
    • Red Sox trade Jake Peavy and cash to the Giants for Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar.
    Whew... Wow... Whatever else you want to say about Ben Cherington, he's clearly willing to take risks.


  • So, let's consider the moves as a whole. The Red Sox offense has been stunningly, shockingly bad this season. Seriously, my projection of their offensive output is going to end up being close to 200 runs off. There was reason to expect the offense to be worse than it was last season; there was no reason to expect it to be anywhere near this much worse. So they needed to add offense, particularly in the outfield. And this is a team that's already got a loaded farm system. Rather than add more two-to-four-years-down-the-line high-ceiling prospects, they added Major League talent. These trades are, on the whole, positioning the team for 2015. They are not, as some deadline sellers do, aiming three years down the road; they are aiming to be a good team next year.


  • All things being equal, would I ever trade Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes? No. I would not. Lester is a front-line top-of-the-rotation starter, Cespedes is a powerful but undisciplined bat at a corner outfield spot. There are more Cespedes and Cespedes-equivalents in MLB than there are Lesters and Lester-equivalents.


  • But. It wasn't really Lester for Cespedes - it was two months of Jon Lester, two months that the Red Sox had, to be frank, no real use for, for two months and then one full season of Cespedes. Lester was going to be a free agent at the beginning of November; by sending him to Oakland, the Red Sox have essentially guaranteed that he will still be a free agent at the beginning of November. Do I expect the Red Sox to sign Jon Lester in the off-season? No, but that's not the right question. The right question is this - by trading Lester, have the Red Sox significantly changed the likelihood of being able to sign Jon Lester? I would suggest that all signs are no, they have not. As near as we can tell, from the public statements that have been made, the two sides parted on good terms. Lester has no reason to resent Boston trading him, because now he's going to get another playoff run, which he wouldn't have gotten without the trade. And he'll still be a free agent, free to test the market, and sign where he wants to sign. There's no reason to suppose that the odds of that place being Boston are any worse than they would be if he were to make 10 more starts in August and September for a cratering last place team.


  • I'm not enamored of Cespedes, who doesn't have the plate discipline that I like to see. The fact is, he represents an enormous upgrade over what they've been getting from their outfielders.


  • Doubront was someone over whom they still had control. It seems clear that they felt he wasn't going to be what they wanted him to be in Boston, and it looks as if they were just trying to get rid of him, taking what they could get in return.


  • Lackey is under contract for next year at the league minimum. While he's unlikely to pitch at that level, it does make him valuable, because he's got little to no leverage. And the Red Sox got two Major Leaguers back from St. Louis. Both Kelly and Craig are having down seasons, and we don't know what, they'll end up doing in Boston.


  • I hated to see Andrew Miller go, but, like Lester, we're talking about two months. And, like Lester, it's not clear that this makes him any more or less likely to sign with Boston in the off-season.


  • The Drew for Johnson trade was not about bringing in Kelly Johnson. It was about saving a few bucks while letting Bogaerts play SS again. Absent a bunch of injuries, there's no reason that I can see for Kelly Johnson ever to take the field in Boston.


  • Bottom line - like the trade with the Dodgers, like the Sizemore signing, I love what Ben Cherington has done here. Some or all of it may not work, but he took steps to improve his team, now, for next season. He got value, we hope, for players whose work was not going to provide any further effective value for the Red Sox, as the odds of Boston making the post-season are vanishingly small at this point. Rather than chase a mirage, he pulled the trigger on the rebuild and went about it in a way that makes sense, trading Major League talent that will be free agents in November for Major League talent that will be in Boston next year, and bringing in players that address the specific weaknesses that have killed the 2014 Red Sox. I think Cherington has done an outstanding job as the GM of the Red Sox, and this week was more evidence of it.


  • Opening day starting rotation, 2014 Boston Red Sox, defending World Series Champions:
    Jon Lester - Traded to Oakland
    John Lackey - Traded to St. Louis
    Clay Buchholz
    Jake Peavy - Traded to San Francisco
    Felix Doubront - Traded to Chicago Cubs
    Four of five starting pitchers gone before the end of July. I have never seen anything quite like it.


  • Of course, the one starter that didn't get traded was responsible for 14 earned runs in 10 innings pitched in two losses this week. Last night, the Red Sox gave him three-run leads twice, and he gave them right back. (To be fair [actually, more than fair, given the way he pitched], he should have been out of the 5th with the 7-4 lead intact, but Cespedes didn't get to an easily catchable fly ball to left which would have been the third out.)


  • OT: For about an hour and 40 minutes, I thought that the first 10 minutes of #Shardnado2 was the worst 10 minutes of filmmaking that I had ever seen.

    Then I saw the last 10 minutes of #Sharknado2.

    But I laughed as hard as I did last year for the first one, so, mission accomplished.


  • Nice debut for Anthony Ranaudo, allowing only two runs in six innings to the Yankees for the Red Sox one win on the week.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - He's been one of the key problems with the offense this year, but Dustin Pedroia (.400/.400/.600/1.000, 5.47 runs created, 9.12 RC/25 outs) had a great week.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - None. Ranaudo was good, but there were no special performances and no award will be given out.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 8/4/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland4.95(1)3.46(2)0.658(1)72386743-5
LA Angels4.85(2)4.05(6)0.581(2)644666442
Seattle3.79(15)3.31(1)0.562(3)62495754-5
Detroit4.72(3)4.26(7)0.547(4)594961472
Baltimore4.16(8)3.9(3)0.53(5)585262484
Toronto4.57(4)4.29(8)0.528(6)605360530
Cleveland4.48(5)4.32(10)0.516(7)57545655-1
Kansas City3.95(12)3.95(4)0.5(8)555557532
Tampa Bay3.95(11)3.96(5)0.499(9)55565457-1
Chicago Sox4.4(6)4.63(13)0.477(10)535954581
NY Yankees4.05(9)4.31(9)0.472(11)525857535
Minnesota4.25(7)4.54(12)0.47(12)52585060-2
Boston3.85(14)4.36(11)0.443(13)496249620
Houston3.94(13)4.71(14)0.418(14)476547650
Texas3.98(10)5.15(15)0.384(15)436843680
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland9963
LA Angels9765
Detroit9270
Baltimore9171
Toronto8676
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland10161
LA Angels9666
Detroit9171
Baltimore9072
Seattle8676
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Houston5.86(3)3(5)0.773(1)52520
Cleveland4.5(7)2.67(2)0.723(2)42420
Minnesota6.5(1)4.83(10)0.632(3)4233-1
Toronto4.86(6)3.71(7)0.62(4)43430
Detroit5.67(4)4.5(8)0.604(5)42420
Seattle3(13)2.5(1)0.583(6)33330
Tampa Bay4.17(8)3.67(6)0.558(7)33330
Kansas City3(13)2.83(3)0.526(8)33421
Baltimore2.83(15)2.83(3)0.5(9)33421
NY Yankees5.5(5)5.5(12)0.5(9)33330
LA Angels4.17(8)4.83(10)0.433(11)33330
Chicago Sox6.5(1)7.83(15)0.415(12)24331
Oakland3.5(11)4.5(8)0.387(13)24240
Texas3.83(10)5.67(13)0.328(14)24240
Boston3.17(12)6.83(14)0.197(15)15150

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday pythagorean, 7/28/2014

It's over. OK? Yeah, it's a lousy division this year, yeah, stranger things have happened, but none of that matters. It's over. Period. A legitimate team in the situation that this team was in on Tuesday morning does not go on to lose its next five. Over. Finished. Stick a fork in 'em, they're done...
  • Remember the old story about the guy with his feet in the freezer and his head in the oven, and how, on average, he was pretty comfortable? The Red Sox offense looks like it was so-so this week, at four runs per game. But half of their offensive output, 14 of the 28 runs they scored this week, came in the first game of the week - they scored only 14 more in their next six games. They were shut out twice, and were one David Ortiz swing away from being shut out three times in four games.


  • For the week, they hit .258/.308/.414/.722, 30.03 runs created, 3.99 RC/25 outs. For the six games starting Tuesday, they hit .226/.286/.337/.622, 17.77 runs created, 2.76 RC/25 outs.


  • Jake Peavy finishes his Boston career with a 5-10 record and a 4.48 ERA over 30 starts. I would argue that those numbers underrate his actual performance, as he was plagued by virtually non-existent run support during his entire tenure. In 17 of his 30 starts, he gave the team a quality start, pitching at least six innings and allowing no more than three runs, and yet he still only finished with five wins.


  • I am still a supporter of the trade that brought him in. As for the trade that sent him out, I've got no opinion. I believe that they have options that are better, or at least as good, for the starts that need to be made, so I've got no problem with moving him. I don't know anything whatsoever about the guys that are coming back. Essentially, I think that this move, at this time, doesn't hurt the team, and could conceivably help it down the line.


  • I know that Ortiz has hit more home runs than Yastrzemski, and that kicked off the flurry of comparisons between the two. I know that Ortiz has higher raw numbers than Yaz in many categories. But I also know that the league contexts in which the two have played are significantly different. David Ortiz never had a season even close to as good as Yastrzemski's 1967. He never had a season as good as Yastrzemski's 1968. And that's just offense. When you add in defense and base-running, there's just no comparison. Yastrzemski was a better hitter than David Ortiz and he was a much more valuable all-around player than David Ortiz. And anyone who says otherwise has either not looked at it closely, or is giving Ortiz too much credit for his teammates and management, who were better, on the whole, than Yastrzemski's.


  • Public contract negotiations result in lots of nonsense. Apparently, now Jon Lester has said that he'd be willing to sign with Boston, even if they trade him now. Obviously, if they trade Lester now, he's gone, and he won't be back. That would be a mistake. They need to sign him, or overpay someone else by more to replace him. He's never going to win a Cy Young, but he's a good enough pitcher to be the best pitcher on a World Series winning team, and they need someone of his caliber. Yeah, he's probably going to get overpaid. That's the way the market works. The team's underpay early and overpay late. Maybe they think that they can put together a good staff next year with just the pitcher's already under their control. I think that they're wrong. They need Lester, or someone like him. If they're going to overpay a veteran, it would be foolish not to just go ahead and overpay Lester.


  • I do not expect them to trade him. I do expect them to attempt to re-sign him after the season. I think the odds of his being in Boston next year are roughly 50-50.


  • I do think that we'll see the roster change some more this week. I would rather not trade Miller or Uehara, but I think that one or both could go. Mike Carp could go. Maybe Lackey. Maybe Drew has some value. But this is not a team with a lot of veteran's playing out the last years of their contracts. They're already well into the generational transition, and have already dumped the veteran most-likely-to-be-dumped.


  • Red Sox Player of the Week - He's no Yaz, but David Ortiz (.286/.310/.893/1.203, 7.57 runs created, 9.47 RC/25 outs) had a very good week.


  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - He was 1-1, as the team got shut out in his second start, but John Lackey went seven strong innings twice, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) over 14 innings.
AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/28/2014
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Oakland5.04(1)3.4(2)0.672(1)70346539-5
LA Angels4.88(2)4.01(5)0.589(2)614363412
Seattle3.84(14)3.35(1)0.562(3)59465451-5
Detroit4.67(3)4.25(9)0.543(4)554757452
Baltimore4.24(7)3.96(3)0.531(5)554958463
Toronto4.55(4)4.33(10)0.522(6)555156501
Cleveland4.48(5)4.42(11)0.506(7)53525253-1
Kansas City4(9)4.01(5)0.499(8)525253511
Tampa Bay3.94(12)3.98(4)0.496(9)52535154-1
Chicago Sox4.28(6)4.44(12)0.483(10)515551550
NY Yankees3.97(11)4.24(8)0.47(11)495554505
Boston3.89(13)4.22(7)0.462(12)49564857-1
Minnesota4.12(8)4.52(13)0.457(13)48564757-1
Houston3.81(15)4.83(14)0.393(14)416442631
Texas3.99(10)5.12(15)0.388(15)416441640
Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland10161
LA Angels9864
Detroit9171
Baltimore9072
Toronto8676
Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Oakland10458
LA Angels9765
Detroit9072
Baltimore8973
Seattle8676
Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Tampa Bay4.2(4)1.8(1)0.825(1)41410
Oakland6.5(1)3.17(6)0.789(2)5142-1
Baltimore3.14(10)2(2)0.696(3)52520
Chicago Sox4.14(5)3(5)0.644(4)5243-1
Cleveland4.57(3)3.86(11)0.577(5)4325-2
Kansas City4(6)3.57(8)0.552(6)43521
Detroit3.86(8)3.57(8)0.535(7)4334-1
Toronto5.29(2)5(13)0.525(8)43521
LA Angels2.71(12)2.57(3)0.525(9)43430
NY Yankees3.43(9)3.29(7)0.519(10)43430
Boston4(6)4.71(12)0.425(11)3425-1
Seattle2.14(15)2.86(4)0.371(12)3425-1
Texas2.29(14)3.57(8)0.306(13)25250
Minnesota2.86(11)5.14(14)0.254(14)25341
Houston2.67(13)6.17(15)0.177(15)15150

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