Monday, October 03, 2005

Monday Pythagorean Report

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 10/3/2005







New York5.47(2)4.87(9)0.553(6)907295675







Tampa Bay4.63(8)5.78(14)0.4(13)659767952

Kansas City4.33(12)5.77(13)0.371(14)6010256106-4

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)



New York9567


Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)



New York9567


Standings for the week










New York6(1)6.29(14)0.479(9)34431


Kansas City4.14(7)5.43(12)0.379(11)34340


Tampa Bay2.83(12)4.5(9)0.3(13)24240


They enter the week tied, the Red Sox go 4-3, the Yankees go 4-3. A week ago, I'd have expected that to lead to a play-off in NY this afternoon. But the Indians tanked, losing 6 of their last 7 games, 3 of them to KC and Tampa Bay, 3 to a Chicago team that was resting starters. Not an inspiring finish out there in Cleveland.

So, this is how it ends - for the first time in 10 years, the Red Sox finish with record as good as New York's, but the Yankees get the AL East title again. Sort of. They get the higher play-off seed, the division winner's seed, while the Red Sox enter as the Wild Card, but had a play-off spot been on the line, they'd have had to play today. According to the Globe:
There's already plenty of debate about the Yankees claiming they were division champs after they beat the Sox Saturday. New York's record against the Sox gives them a higher playoff seed, but the Sox are contesting the Bronx Bombers' contention that they've now won eight straight AL East titles.

"We are co-champions," said Sox vice president Charles Steinberg. "The rule is in place only for playoff seeding."

Which is an interesting take. Certainly, the Red Sox and Yankees tied for first.

There is one thing that needs to be said, too. There's a template ("Boston chokes again!") into which some people seem to want to fit this failure of the Red Sox to win the division title (" the Red Sox were able to blow a four-game lead over the Yankees with 21 to play" - Jayson Stark). It doesn't work. Boston went 18-13 in September, a .600 winning percentage that was better than their record coming into September. They were 12-9 over those last 21, which was what their season winning percentage suggests that they should be over a 21 game stretch. Boston "blew" nothing - the New York Yankees went 16-5 over their last 21, a ridiculous .762 winning percentage, to catch the Sox.

And the Yankees had, in some ways, the most outrageously lucky season imaginable. I know people will scoff at that notion, but I think it's true. They had a bad off-season, spending big money on pitchers who had fluke seasons last year in Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano. Then they got lucky, when both of them, plus Kevin Brown, got hurt, and they replaced them with a non-prospect (Wang) and two journeymen (Small and Chacon), who were much better than the hurt pitchers could reasonably have been expected to be. The Red Sox were hammered by injuries that hurt them (Foulke and Schilling) while the Yankees were hammered by injuries that helped. (Wang, Small and Chacon started 38 games, with a 25-8 record, a 1.23 WHIP and a 3.43 ERA - that has "fluke" written all over it in big, bold, bright letters...)

And it's on to the play-offs...
  • Boston @ Chicago. New York @ Anaheim. Would anyone be surprised to see a Boston/New York ALCS for the 3rd straight year?

  • Clement vs. Contreras is apparently the game 1 match-up. Clement's been wildly inconsistent, but generally effective. He's had 4 or 5 disastrous starts, and the rest have been pretty good, on the whole. Contreras has faced the Red Sox 7 times in regular season games, and he's allowed 35 ER in 27 IP. Advantage, game 1: Boston.

  • Short series - anything can happen.

  • Talk about two teams who took different routes - Chicago allowed 160 fewer runs than Boston did. They scored 169 fewer.

  • For all the talk about Chicago being a "small ball" team (and they certainly have more sacrifice bunts and stolen bases than the Red Sox), they outhomered Boston 200-199. And still scored 169 fewer runs. The White Sox, with their small-ball reputation, was actually MORE dependent on HR than the Red Sox were, as Boston scored 38.2% of their runs on HR, and Chicago scored 42.4% of their runs on HR.

I'll have more season wrap-up stuff in the next couple of days...



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