Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Pythagorean Report - 5/31/2010

I don't want to be over-critical and greedy, and objectively, 5-2 is always a productive week, and when it starts with a 3-game sweep, on the road, of a division rival who happens to have the best record in baseball, well, that's a good thing. But it could so easily have been even better...

  • For the first time, the Red Sox have moved into the AL top five in projected record, both on current winning percentage, and pythagorean winning percentage. They remain in fourth place in the Eastern division of a very unbalanced AL.
  • Friday's loss was "just-one-of-those-games" that you get, particularly from a Wakefield, where everything gets hit, and everything that gets hit falls in. Thursday was probably more frustrating. But that, and the fact that Matsuzaka's aesthetics are so bad when he isn't on, doesn't mean that he lost them that game. He certainly didn't contribute to a win, but the fact is, they were only down 3-1 after five innings. The offense didn't produce, the bullpen gave them another run and they lost, and the very poor start certainly contributed to the loss. But the start wasn't actually as ineffective as it was just ugly. Again, you never want to see your starter pulled without getting through five. And when Matsuzaka loses the plate, it's horrible to watch. But there was, I think, some overstatement of the horrendousness of the effectiveness of the start. That was a very winnable game when the sixth inning started.
  • It's important to not overstate good and bad stretches. Obviously, Tampa's 2-5 is not representative of their ability or their talent level. I remain convinced, however, that their overall record and pythagorean percentage don't, either. They are a very talented team, and they've played well, but their overperformance in "clutch" situations has led to a run differential that is a) better than the underlying fundamental performance and b) extremely unlikely to be sustainable. I thought Boston had a better team before the season started, and nothing that I've seen has changed my mind. That doesn't mean that the Sox will catch them, of course. That 5 1/2 game lead is real, and Boston will have to outplay them by that much to catch them. It still looks like a great race in the east down the stretch.
  • In his first three starts, Jon Lester allowed 15 earned runs in 16 innings, for an ERA of 8.44. His 8.44 was 109th out of the 115 ML pitchers with 3+ starts. In his last eight, he's allowed 9 earned runs in 56 2/3 innings, for an ERA of 1.43. His 2.97 overall ERA is now 23rd among the 97 pitchers with 11+ starts, and 9th among the 32 with 11+.
  • More on David Ortiz later, but his turnaround from April to May was as dramatic as Jon Lester's. For all of the early season drama, he's currently 2nd in VORP among all AL DHs.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - David Ortiz, who hit .391/.483/.870/1.353 for the week with three HR. At the end of April, he was hitting .143/.238/.286/.524 with 1 HR. At the end of May 2010, he's up to .272/.348/.581/.929 with 11 HR, thanks to a .362/.424/.787/1.201 month with 10 HR.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Daniel Bard through three clean scoreless (he allowed 1 hit) innings of relief in three outings, but was overshadowed by two of the starters. Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester each allowed one run over thirteen innings, for an ERA of .69, as the Sox won all four games that the two started.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 5/31/2010


Tampa Bay5.18(3)3.43(1)0.68(1)35163417-1

New York5.56(1)4.18(4)0.628(2)31193020-1








Kansas City4.39(9)5.02(12)0.439(10)22292130-1


Los Angeles4.44(8)5.12(13)0.436(12)232925272



Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Tampa Bay10854

New York9765




Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Tampa Bay10953

New York10062




Standings for the week





New York5.33(1)4.67(7)0.561(4)33421



Kansas City4.83(7)4.5(5)0.533(7)33330

Los Angeles5.17(3)5(10)0.515(8)33421




Tampa Bay3.43(12)5.29(12)0.312(12)25250



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