Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Pythagorean 5/19/2008

Three up, three down. But not in that order...

  • The week started with three 3-0 leads that led to losses. The week finished with a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.

  • The easy assumption looking at the numbers is that the offense did its work, and the pitching failed. Well, the latter part of that is largely true - the pitching was, on the whole, bad. Beckett gave up 11 runs in 12 2/3 innings. Hansen gave up 5 runs in 2 innings. Buchholz gave up 7 in 4 1/3, then headed to the DL. Okajima allowed only one in 1 1/3, but also gave up a grand slam, allowing all three inherited runners to score, which cost them a game in Baltimore.

  • The offense, on the other, concentrated its work in the weekend series. On Monday, they scored three in the first and never scored again in a 7-3 loss. On Tuesday, they scored three in the first, and only scored once more in a 5-4 loss. And on Wednesday, they scored only three again in a 6-3 loss. Of course, after scoring only 10 runs in the first three games of the week, they scored 23 in the last three to make the runs number look good for the week. (And, frankly, the pitching performances were such that they needed those 23 runs - the sweep of the Brewers featured no blowouts.)

  • If it seems to you that the Red Sox have been streakier this year than last, well, you're correct. They have. In 2007, they followed a win with a win or a loss with a loss about 47% of the time. This year, it has been about 54% of the time. That's not a huge difference, obviously, and it's only been 43 games so far, but there's more to it than that. In 2008, the longest winning streak they had was 5 games and they had three of them. The longest losing streak they had was four games and they had three of them. This season, through just over 1/4 as many games, they've already got a six game winning streak and another five game winning streak. They already have a five game losing streak and another four game losing streak. They have had more frequent, and longer, streaks already in 2008 than they did in 2007, both winning and losing.

  • The losses of Rodriguez and Posada have been crippling to the Yankees. The question is, how good are they when those players get back? I'm starting to wonder whether this is the year that they get old. I'm not writing them off at this point, not at all. But I will say that I'm starting to pay less attention to them in the standings. It is conceivable, though by no means certain, that their playoff string ends this year.

  • I saw some of the improvement in Tampa and projected the Rays to finish over .500 this year, just behind the Blue Jays. I now believe that I overestimated Toronto and underestimated Tampa Bay. The team that I'm reminded of when I look at the Tampa Bay Rays in the 1967 Boston Red Sox. They've got a tremendous amount of young, maturing talent. I did not think much of their pitching staff beyond Kazmir. But if Shields and Jackson are real and Kazmir's healthy, if Percival and Wheeler and Howell continue to shine, this is a good team, and a threat to not only make the playoffs, but win the division. I would not be at all surprised if we saw a division race in the AL East this season with the Red Sox but without the Yankees (or Orioles or Blue Jays.)

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/19/2008






Tampa Bay4.57(5)4(5)0.56(5)251925190

Los Angeles4.59(4)4.46(9)0.513(6)242226202





New York4.07(10)4.48(10)0.456(11)202420240

Kansas City3.84(14)4.3(7)0.448(12)192421222



Top 5 projections (using current winning %)

Tampa Bay9270

Los Angeles9270



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



Tampa Bay9171


Standings for the week


Kansas City5.33(3)3.67(5)0.665(1)42511

Tampa Bay4.29(8)3(2)0.658(2)5243-1




Los Angeles4.71(6)3.86(8)0.591(6)43430








New York2(12)5.5(12)0.136(14)15150

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