Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Pythagorean Report - 5/24/2010

Finally, they put together a very good week of baseball. Not all 5-2 weeks are created equal, and what Boston did in going 5-2 is more impressive, in my opinion, than what Tampa did in going 6-1.

  • How is 5-2 better than 6-1? Each team played two in New York against the Yankees. The Rays played two at home against the .381 Cleveland Indians while the Sox played two at home against the .591 Minnesota Twins. The Rays played three in Houston against the .341 Astros - the team with the worst record in the NL - while the Sox played three in Philadelphia against the .605 Phillies - the team with the best record in the NL. The strength of schedule is not comparable.
  • One of the encouraging events of the week was actually the 1-1 trip to New York. It's certainly not encouraging to see them fall behind 5-0 on consecutive nights, nor to see Papelbon melt down, nor to see Beckett headed to the DL. But despite the fact that they came back from a 5-0 deficit only to lose when the closer melted down on Monday, they once again came back from a 5-0 deficit to win the game on Tuesday.
  • The Boston Red Sox are not technically in the middle of a thirteen-game road trip. In effect, though, they are. When your "home stand" consists of flying in for two games, with no off-day on either side, when the flight lands at 5:00 in the morning on the trip in, that's essentially a continuous road trip. Possibly even worse, as a visiting team under those circumstances gets a bus to a hotel and some time to sleep, as opposed to needing to get themselves home, and dealing with family and family obligations when getting there. Two game homestands are no better than road games.
  • As badly as this season has started, and as much as the standings look horrible because of the Rays' start, Boston is only 2 1/2 games behind the suddenly old and struggling Yankees, and a 1 1/2 behind Detroit and Toronto in the AL Wild Card race. And tonight, they're expected to have their starting outfield on the field for the first time since the first week. And Mike Cameron wasn't healthy even during that first week. In other words, there is still plenty of time for this to be the team that we thought it was going to be. It's early, yet.
  • Early though it is, if they want to continue harboring realistic dreams of winning the East, they cannot get swept in Tampa this week. They don't need to sweep, but two out of three is highly desirable, if not absolutely necessary.
  • Yes, they got swept by Tampa earlier in the season, at home. They were playing with two-thirds of their starting outfield still on the roster but either unable to play (Ellsbury) or physically unable to perform while playing (Cameron). It was a bad time to meet up with a hot team, and the final result did not accurately represent the relative quality of the two teams. Hopefully, this will be a better representation, and Boston will get that little bit of luck that makes the difference, as Tampa did back in April.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - Kevin Youkilis, who's been tearing it up all month, hit an eye-popping .409/.519/1.091/1.610 for the week, with four HR and five walks.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the week - There are lots of choices here, as Buchholz and Lester were both dominant against the Twins. Matsuzaka was outstanding on Saturday, but struggled badly on Monday. Daniel Bard was unscored-upon in four outings and Manny Delcarmen in two. But the prize goes to Tim Wakefield, who capped the week with an 8 scoreless inning start against the Phillies after throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief against the Yankees earlier in the week.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/24/2010


Tampa Bay5.45(2)3.14(1)0.734(1)321232120

New York5.59(1)4.11(3)0.637(2)28162618-2








Kansas City4.33(9)5.09(12)0.427(10)19261827-1

Los Angeles4.35(8)5.13(14)0.425(11)202621251




Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Tampa Bay11844

New York9666




Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Tampa Bay11943

New York10161




Standings for the week


Tampa Bay6.14(1)3.86(3)0.701(1)52611



Kansas City5.71(3)4.29(6)0.629(4)43430






Los Angeles5.57(5)5.86(12)0.477(10)34340


New York5.43(8)6.57(14)0.413(12)3425-1



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