Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday pythagorean, 9/23/2013

On its face, there's nothing special about a 3-3 week. But when the three wins include the games that eliminate one division rival from contention, and then eliminate the last, clinching the division, well, that's as good a week as it needs to be...

  • The division race is over. Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, 2013 AL East champions!

  • For the week, the offense didn't do much, but the pitching covered a lot of the struggles.

  • It seems as if it were an article of faith between September of 2011 and March of 2013, that John Lackey would never pitch another game in a Red Sox uniform. All he's done this year is throw 183 1/3 inning of 3.44 ERA ball in 28 starts. Only 27 pitchers, fewer than one per team, pitched 180+ innings in 28+ starts with a lower ERA. He's been a big part of the success of the 2013 Red Sox.

  • Another poor week from Will Middlebrooks (.222/.263/.222/.485, 1.08 runs created, 1.93 RC/25 outs). I'd feel a lot better about his potential for helping in the post-season if I could see him take a few walks and hit a long ball this week, and the former is more important to me than the latter.

  • As much fun as the idea of Clay Buchholz finishing the season without a loss was, his outing this week was another positive. He reached 106 pitches with still one start to go before the post-season, and was effectie, albeit less so than in many of his earlier starts.

  • Jacoby Ellsbury has started baseball activity. It will be another positive sign if he can get 10 at-bats in 3-4 appearances this week without hurting himself again.

  • The Red Sox don't need help to clinch the best record in the AL, but it would be a little easier with some help. They sure didn't get any from the Twins this weekend, who went 0-4 while being outscored 39-14 over the weekend in Oakland.

  • At least the A's are going on the road this week. Of course, so are the Sox. And the A's are facing bad teams. Of course, so are the Sox. At least for a couple of days in Colorado. So, root, root, root for the Angels and Mariners this week. It would be nice to hold on to the best record in the AL, the best record in baseball, for another week.

  • 100 is still mathematically possible. They would have to finish 5-0 this week to get there, but they're the only team in baseball without a 63rd loss yet.

  • Unless Tampa, Cleveland and Texas all crash and burn this week - badly - the Yankees and Orioles are done. I don't know what Boston will need from the series in Baltimore next weekend, but the Orioles won't still be in contention for anything when the Sox arrive.

  • Well, the Uehara streak ended, as we knew it had to. It seemed like a catchable ball, and it led to a loss, but c'est la vie.

  • I already posted this on its own, but here's today's Magic Number report: Sunday's Games:
    Boston 5, Toronto 2
    Oakland 11, Minnesota 7
    Chicago WS 6, Detroit 3

    If Boston wins 2 of their remaining 5 games (2-3, .400, 97 wins):
    Detroit must go 6-0 to tie
    Oakland must go 4-2 to tie

    AL East:
    The Boston Red Sox are AL East Champions!

    Best Record in AL:
    Any combination of Boston wins and Detroit losses totaling 3 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of Detroit
    Any combination of Boston wins and Oakland losses totaling 5 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of Oakland

  • Red Sox Player of the Week - With arguably his best start in a Red Sox uniform, John Lackey gave up two hits and one run in the game that clinched a playoff berth for the Red Sox.

  • Red Sox Pitcher of the Week - A great week, in short at-bats, for Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.455/.455/.818/1.273, 3.38 runs created, 14.10 RC/25 outs). But the best combination of productivity and production came from Stephen Drew (.316/.435/.579/1.014, 4.76 runs created, 8.49 RC/25 outs).

AL Pythagorean Projection Report - 9/23/2013
Kansas City4.03(11)3.72(1)0.537(6)83728273-1
Tampa Bay4.25(9)3.99(5)0.529(7)827386694
LA Angels4.57(5)4.53(11)0.504(9)78777679-2
NY Yankees4.08(10)4.15(8)0.492(10)777982745
Chicago Sox3.74(15)4.46(10)0.42(12)65906194-4

Top 5 projections (using current winning %)
Tampa Bay9072

Top 5 projections (starting with today's record, using Pythagorean winning %)
Tampa Bay9072

Standings for the week
Kansas City4(5)2(1)0.78(1)5142-1
LA Angels4.83(4)2.83(3)0.727(2)42420
NY Yankees3(13)2.33(2)0.613(4)4233-1
Chicago Sox6(2)5(13)0.583(6)33330
Tampa Bay3.71(6)3.71(9)0.5(11)43521

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