Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Pythagorean 7/21/2008

It feels like there hasn't been any baseball in a couple of weeks. Four days off for the All Star break followed by late night and weirdly timed afternoon games.

  • Obviously an unpleasant weekend. It still amazes me how many people are willing to look at a lost weekend and project it out as a long-term trend. Yes, it was frustrating. Yes, they're behind Tampa again. Yes, the Yankees played well against Oakland and picked up three games. A little bit of historical perspective suggests that these things happen, but they don't happen indefinitely.

  • In their last 12 road games, the Red Sox are 2-10. They've been outscored 56 to 36 in the 10 losses. They lost once by eight runs, three times by two runs and six times by one run. In four of those 10 losses, they led in the 7th inning or later. Their pythagorean for those 12 road games suggests that they should have been 5-7. Some of this is the bullpen struggling, some of it is the offense struggling, and some of it is just plain dumb bad luck, rockets hit directly at infielders with two outs and the bases loaded, double play balls that hit pitchers feet and don't end up as double plays.

  • I've mentioned this before, but the Red Sox have a remaining schedule advantage (which continues to grow this week as Tampa and New York are home while Boston finishes on the west coast.
    AL East:
    Road games remaining - Tampa - 37, New York - 35, Boston - 28
    Home games remaining - Boston - 34, New York - 29, Tampa - 28

  • Part of the problems on the road is this: .214/.288/.324/.611. Those are the combined road stats for the catchers and center fielders. Messrs. Ellsbury, Crisp, Varitek and Cash have combined for a .214 batting average and .288 OBP in 491 road at-bats this year. It's a good thing that they're running out of road games. When they take the field on Friday night, they'll only have 25 remaining on their schedule.

  • I understand why it happens. Honestly, I do. The writers need a narrative, a storyline, because otherwise, you spend the entire baseball season writing "it's only three games and that doesn't mean anything." But still, this bit from Gordon Edes irritates me greatly - "[the] three-game sweep of the Sox this weekend [sent] a strong message that the Angels have made great inroads in eradicating a Sox problem that tends to surface in October." No, it didn't. It sent a strong message that the Angels had a better weekend than the Red Sox. Period. The Angels took 2-3 from the Red Sox in Anaheim in August of last season, and followed it with a four-game split in Fenway a week and a half later. Boston swept them in the playoffs. Anaheim was 4-2 in Anaheim against the Red Sox in 2004. Boston swept them in the playoffs. What we saw this weekend was the continuation of a road slump by the bats, a bunch of balls hit hard right at fielders with runners on, and a couple of bad innings at bad times from Boston starters. And that's it. If these two teams meet again in October, the results from this weekend will have NO impact. The Red Sox might sweep again, the Angels might sweep, there's no way of knowing. But this past series will not be relevant.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 7/21/2008





Tampa Bay4.59(7)4.13(5)0.547(4)534457404

Los Angeles4.38(10)4.04(3)0.537(5)534560387

New York4.58(8)4.26(7)0.534(6)524653451







Kansas City4.23(12)4.8(12)0.443(13)445545541


Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Los Angeles9963

Tampa Bay9567




Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Los Angeles9468



Tampa Bay9369


Standings for the week



New York4.33(10)1.67(2)0.852(2)30300

Los Angeles6.67(2)2.67(3)0.842(3)30300

Kansas City7.33(1)5.67(8)0.616(4)21210






Tampa Bay4(11)4.67(6)0.43(10)12211





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