Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Pythagorean, 4/15/2013

Friday's rain prevented them from matching week one's record. Of course, it also prevented them from falling to .500 for the week.
  • Here's the thing - 3-2 doesn't seem like much - after all, it's only one game over .500. But over 162 games, that projects to 97 wins. The math of the baseball season rewards long torrid streaks or consistent end-to-end performance. But either way, every week that features more wins than losses is a good week. This was a good week.
  • They were one closer catastrophe from a 4-1 week. 4-1 wouldn't look like a so-so week.
  • The starting pitching has been not just good so far - it's been outstanding. In 11 starts, the starters are 5-2, with a 2.06 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and 10.19 K/9. They've had no starts in which the starter allowed more than three ER and only two in which they allowed as many as three.
  • The obvious goat of the week is Joel Hanrahan, whose disastrous outing on Wednesday cost them a game they were one strike away from winning. (Whether he actually threw that one necessary strike is a matter for some debate - I happen to think that he threw it not only once, but twice. The umpire disagreed. C'est la vie...) But they're saying, now, that he's dealing with a hamstring issue. Hopefully, that's a reason and not just an excuse.
  • There are other, less obvious goats. I was getting ready to talk disparagingly of Will Middlebrooks' first week when he went and hit three home runs in Toronto. But. That's it, so far. In his other 10 games, he's hitting .158/.195/.263/.458, 6-38 with no power (1 2B, 1 HR) or plate discipline (2 BB). Anyone can hit anything for 50 at-bats, and the game in Toronto certainly counts. But he's not yet shown enough to convince me he's going to be a great hitter, or even a very good one. It's possible to envision a 25-HR season with little net value. I hope that's not the case, but I'd sure like to start seeing some more plate discipline and non-HR production from him.
  • Of course, he's still 24, so improvement is not only possible, but likely.
  • I don't suppose that Stephen Drew (.077/.250/.077/.327) did anything to quiet the pro-Iglesias, anti-Drew crowd. But frankly, a lot of that crowd is a) blinded by what they've been told of Iglesias' defense, b) convinced that great defense is the end-all and be-all, and c) prejudiced against Drew to start with by his contract and, more importantly, his brother. Even a great week, even a great month isn't going to win them over. This was not, of course, a great week.
  • So, the potential downside of Bradley making the team was that they'd lose control over him for the 2019 season. That downside looks increasingly unlikely to occur. The likeliest scenario now is that Bradley spends a month, at least, playing every day in Pawtucket, as soon as Ortiz returns. Which could be this week.
  • Even before Ortiz comes back, it's looking as if Daniel Nava is a much better candidate to be getting at-bats than Bradley at the moment.
  • He apparently had some discipline issues during his first stint in "the show," but, for the most part, all Daniel Nava has done in baseball is hit. Typically players peak in the 25-27 age range, but, given his history, it would not be shocking to see a 30-year old Nava put together a run of 3-4 .300./400/.450 seasons.
  • The non-Hanrahan part of the relief staff excelled. The six men who pitched out of the bullpen whose initials are not JH allowed only 9 baserunners (five hits, four walks) and one run over 12 1/3 innings, while striking out 14. Add in the very good spot start from Aceves in place of Lackey (two runs in five innings), and that's about as good a week as you can expect from a relief corps.
  • With, you know, the one exception...
  • Red Sox Player of the Week - In a weak offensive week for the team, the aforementioned Daniel Nava (.333/.474/.733/1.207) was excellent and consistent, demonstrating some power in addition to his standard plate discipline.
  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - Talk about no-brainers. I'll be very surprised if any Red Sox pitcher has a better week at any point during the season than Clay Buchholz did this week. Two scoreless starts, of seven and eight innings, with five hits allowed and 19 strikeouts? I don't think it's going very far out on a limb to suggest that it's a week unlikely to be topped.

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 4/15/2013
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
Boston4.82(4)2.91(1)0.716(1)8374-1
Detroit5.67(2)3.92(4)0.663(2)8475-1
Oakland5.69(1)4.08(5)0.648(3)85941
NY Yankees5.45(3)4.27(8)0.61(4)7465-1
Kansas City4.33(6)3.42(3)0.607(5)75750
Texas3.77(11)3(2)0.603(6)85850
Baltimore4.67(5)4.25(7)0.543(7)7566-1
Houston4.25(7)5(11)0.426(8)5748-1
Chicago Sox3.5(14)4.17(6)0.421(9)57570
Cleveland4.18(8)5(11)0.419(10)56560
Seattle3.79(10)4.64(10)0.408(11)68680
Toronto3.92(9)5.58(15)0.343(12)48571
LA Angels3.67(12)5.25(13)0.341(13)48480
Minnesota3.64(13)5.27(14)0.336(14)47470
Tampa Bay3(15)4.64(9)0.311(15)38471


Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Oakland11250
Boston10359
Texas10062
Detroit9567
Kansas City9567


Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Boston11547
Detroit10656
Oakland10656
NY Yankees9864
Kansas City9864



Standings for the week
ProjectedActual
R/G(rank)RA/G(rank)Pythagorean(rank)WLWLLuck
NY Yankees7.2(2)2.8(3)0.849(1)41410
Detroit7.33(1)3.33(5)0.809(2)5142-1
Houston5.67(4)4(8)0.654(3)4233-1
Boston3.4(9)2.6(2)0.62(4)32320
Texas3.14(13)2.57(1)0.591(5)43430
Kansas City3.67(7)3(4)0.591(5)42420
Oakland6(3)5.17(10)0.568(7)33421
Baltimore3.17(12)3.5(6)0.454(8)33330
Toronto4.17(5)5.5(12)0.376(9)24331
Seattle3.71(6)5(9)0.367(10)34340
Chicago Sox3.33(10)5.17(10)0.31(11)2415-1
Cleveland3.6(8)6.4(14)0.259(12)14231
LA Angels3.33(10)6.33(13)0.236(13)15241
Tampa Bay1.6(15)3.6(7)0.185(14)14140
Minnesota2.4(14)6.6(15)0.136(15)1405-1

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