Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Pythagorean, 5/16/2011

For the first time this year, we can say that the Red Sox have won as many as they've lost...

  • Here's one way to look at it - Boston is a big spending over-hyped "powerhouse" that's just a .500 team through 40 games.
  • Here's another way to look at - since April 15, the Red Sox are 18-10, a 104-win pace, with the second best record in the Major Leagues.
  • I don't know what the reason was, but they weren't ready to start the season. Maybe Crawford had to adjust, maybe Pedroia and Youkilis needed more than just the spring to get their timing back after missing the second half of last year, maybe Gonzalez was adjusting to the new parks and new pitchers and his repaired shoulder, maybe the pitchers and catchers and new pitching coach were all struggling to get on the same page, maybe all of the above. They weren't ready to start the season, and it showed, as they lost their first six and 10 of their first 12. But since that time, they've gotten ready. They enter the 3rd week of May only three games out in the AL East with 122 games to play, and really beginning to look like the team we expected them to be.
  • There's too much talent there, too much of it either near or at its peak, for the team to have continued the way the started. As far as I'm concerned, they're still the favorites to win the AL East and the AL.
  • It's tough to overpay a player as good as Adrian Gonzalez.
  • The Posada story baffles me. Since when is it headline news that a player asked for a day off? It happens every day. Would that have been a story at all if Fox hadn't been covering Saturday's game for a national audience? I'm skeptical.
  • It's far too early to count the Yankees out, everyone looks worse than they really are at the end of a two-week stretch of bad baseball, and, if they need to, they can always take on a bad contract to improve the team, but they don't look scary right now. At all. (OK, if I were a Yankee fan, I'd be scared [and the mere thought of being a Yankee fan is horrifying.]) Other than Granderson, Texeira, Cano and Sabathia, they look like a team of complementary pieces. Rodriguez and Jeter are not superstars any more, Gardner and Swisher and Martin never were, and Posada looks to be close to done. They don't have any black holes, necessarily, but that's not a scary lineup, it's not a great defensive team, and the pitching is very iffy.
  • I'm not going to run out and buy a New Era cap, but if I had one, I'd tip it to their ad guys - the Alec Baldwin-John Krasinski ads, the second of which debuted last night (at least, it was the first [and second and third and fourth] time that I've seen it), have been hilarious.
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - I take this seriously. Always. I may joke about it, but I gather all of the numbers, and try to take everything into account. OPS, Runs Created per out, Runs Created, special moments, everything. Before I even do any analysis today, I can state, with confidence, that this week's Player of the Week is Adrian Gonzalez. On the week, he hit .346/.400/.962/1.362 with five home runs, and continued to demonstrate why the Red Sox were willing to empty their minor league system to get him.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Another category in which there's no competition. Buchholz was excellent in New York on Friday night, but Josh Beckett started two games this week, and the team won both as he allowed only 13 base runners in 13 innings, while striking out 14 and allowing no runs. Absolutely dominant.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 4/18/2011
Tampa Bay4.3(8)3.6(2)0.581(2)231723170
New York5(1)4.37(9)0.561(3)21172018-1
Los Angeles4.07(9)3.73(3)0.54(4)221922190
Kansas City4.79(3)4.46(11)0.533(7)21182019-1

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Tampa Bay9369
Los Angeles8775
New York8577

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Tampa Bay9468
New York9072
Los Angeles8775

Standings for the week
Kansas City3.4(10)3.4(3)0.5(8)3223-1
Tampa Bay4.17(7)4.33(8)0.482(9)33330
Los Angeles3(13)4.5(10)0.323(12)24240
New York3.33(11)5.67(12)0.275(13)2415-1

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