BtB Power Rankings: Through Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Welcome to our weekly ranking of all the MLB teams!  In this ranking, we use aggregate team statistics--not team wins, losses, runs scored, or runs allowed--to evaluate the performance of teams to date.  You can think of the estimated winning percentage (eW%) below as how we'd expect teams to fall out if we threw teams with these aggregate statistics into one big league and let them battle it out for thousands of games.

The table is sortable if you click in the header.  All data are park-adjusted when possible.  A legend is below the table, followed commentary about five teams: Red Sox, Cubs, Rockies, Royals, and Cardinals.  I have also added a table this week comparing actual vs. expected run scored and run allowed totals, as well as actual vs. expected winning percentages.

BtB Power Rankings

Rank Chg Team wOBA eRS tRA tRns Fld eRA eW%lg LgAdj eW%
1 +1 TOR 0.346 322 4.53 275 12.1 263 0.595 8.5 0.622
2 -1 TB 0.356 338 4.97 291 12.8 278 0.594 8.3 0.619
3 +3 BOS 0.348 307 4.37 250 -14.2 264 0.571 8.1 0.598
4 0 NYA 0.364 343 5.25 305 5.8 299 0.568 8.1 0.593
5 -2 LAN 0.345 316 4.17 250 4.6 246 0.618 -8.3 0.590
6 -1 DET 0.327 256 4.70 265 17.7 247 0.517 7.9 0.546
7 0 TEX 0.343 291 5.31 304 23.3 280 0.518 8.1 0.545
8 +2 CLE 0.345 317 5.07 297 -16.5 313 0.506 8.3 0.532
9 +2 PHI 0.352 309 5.19 290 13.4 277 0.554 -7.8 0.528
10 -2 NYN 0.341 286 4.33 240 -16.4 256 0.552 -7.8 0.525
11 +1 MIN 0.340 301 5.11 300 -6.6 307 0.490 8.3 0.517
12 +2 LAA 0.330 261 4.86 267 -2.7 270 0.483 7.8 0.511
13 +5 CHN 0.320 240 4.14 226 5.6 220 0.541 -7.6 0.510
14 +8 COL 0.321 253 4.03 228 -6.7 235 0.535 -8.1 0.504
15 -6 KC 0.315 229 4.14 230 -18.5 248 0.463 7.9 0.494
16 +1 ATL 0.319 248 3.99 230 -5.8 236 0.523 -7.9 0.493
17 -1 MIL 0.328 264 4.78 271 18.8 252 0.521 -8.1 0.492
18 -3 CHA 0.310 226 4.20 239 -8.1 247 0.459 8.1 0.490
19 -6 STL 0.324 255 4.46 260 2.8 257 0.496 -8.2 0.467
20 +3 SEA 0.312 231 4.73 275 2.4 272 0.424 8.1 0.453
21 -1 BAL 0.326 256 5.04 284 -16.9 301 0.424 8.1 0.451
22 -3 PIT 0.324 255 5.05 285 16.9 268 0.477 -8.1 0.448
23 +4 OAK 0.306 221 4.58 264 -2.2 266 0.416 7.9 0.445
24 0 ARI 0.309 238 4.31 259 6.7 252 0.474 -8.2 0.443
25 -4 CIN 0.316 242 4.71 274 16.6 257 0.472 -7.9 0.443
26 +2 HOU 0.330 264 5.03 283 -7.4 291 0.453 -7.8 0.426
27 -1 WAS 0.337 284 5.37 299 -20.7 319 0.442 -7.8 0.417
28 -3 SD 0.322 254 5.05 295 -3.4 299 0.424 -8.1 0.397
29 0 FLA 0.317 257 4.89 296 -12.7 308 0.414 -8.3 0.387
30 0 SF 0.304 210 4.48 251 -1.4 252 0.417 -7.9 0.387

Offense = wOBA (park-corrected), eRS (estimated runs scored; wRC from FanGraphs, then park adjusted)
Pitching = tRA and tRns are a home-brew version of Graham MacAree's statistic.
Fielding = Fld: average of bUZR (from FanGraphs) and THT's batted balls statistic (converted to runs)
eRA (estimated runs allowed) = Pitching - Fielding
eW%lg = estimated winning percentage within the specific league (AL or NL)
LgAdj = league adjustment (bonus to AL teams, penalty to NL teams, because the AL has superior level of play)
eW% = estimated winning percentage if all teams were in one league (after league adjustment)
Methods provided in more detail in the first post in this series

Team Leaders (asterisks indicate teams improving in specific ranking):

American League
Offense (wOBA): Yankees, Rays, Red Sox*
Pitching (tRA): Royals, White Sox, Red Sox
Fielding (Fld): Rangers, Tigers, Rays*

National League
Offense (wOBA): Phillies, Dodgers, Mets*
Pitching (tRA): Braves, Rockies*, Cubs*
Fielding (Fld): Brewers*, Pirates, Reds

"On Paper" Playoff Leaders (asterisks indicate new leaders):

American League: E=Blue Jays*, C=Tigers, W=Rangers, WC = Rays
National League: E=Phillies*, C=Cubs*, W=Dodgers, WC =Mets

Commentary below the jump!

Some teams of note:

Boston Red Sox

Winning 6 of their last 8, the Red Sox surged up the power rankings this week thanks to the third-best pitching and now the third-best offense in the league.  The only thing they haven't done well thus far is field (rank 25th of 30 teams).  With the Red Sox' ascent, we now have the top four slots in our power rankings filled by AL East teams.  There's just no getting around the fact that these are all exceptionally good teams, and they play in an absurdly competitive division...which, if anything, means they are probably better than these rankings indicate.  As a Reds fan with deep-seeded prejudices against the rich teams of the AL East (I'm writing this while grudgingly watching yet another the Yankees/Red Sox game on ESPN), I can't tell you how upsetting this is to me.

 

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are distancing themselves from a disastrous 8-game losing streak, and now are on an 8 for 12 streak and are back in the pack with the other competitive NL Central teams.  Compared to last week, we see improvements in pitching and fielding,   Many had the Cubs favored to win the division again this year, and it may be that they're starting to find themselves.  Their hitting continues to be below-average, however, and they might need to find their offense before they can hope to take this division.  Or maybe not: they are now our on-paper leaders in their division.

 

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies have had a tough time of things, but this week surged by eight spots in the ranking while posting an 6-game winning streak.  The first three games in the streak were won by 7, 7, and 9 runs (in away games, no less!), which is a big part of the reason we saw improvements in offense, pitching, and fielding.  Was it really Clint Hurdle keeping them down, or are they just a good team that has been playing badly?  Well, their pitching, after park corrections, now rates as the second-best in the league, so there's that.  And they have the second-best Pythagorean record in the NL West, four games better than their actual record.  These rankings think they've underperformed as well, with an expected winning percentage in the NL of 0.535.  But is it too late to compete for the wild card this year?  The Dodgers don't appear catchable...

 

Kansas City Royals

On May 7th, the Royals were 18-11, leading their division by three games.  In the 27 games since then, they are 6-21.  This past week, despite a win to break the losing streak up, has been particularly brutal, with a pair of blowout losses and several other losses by at least four runs.  While we don't base these rankings on runs scored and allowed, teams that lose as much and as badly as the Royals have of late do not tend to have good aggregate statistics either.  The result is the Royals falling away from the leaders, where they previously had been holding strong despite their actual record.  I know they're having a nice blowout win tonight, but they will really have to turn things around to get back in the AL Central race.

 

St. Louis Cardinals

Remember the Rockies' win streak mentioned above?  Four of them (and two of the blow-outs) came at the expense of the Cardinals.  This past week, we've seen drops in both their offense (Pujols' wOBA this past week is 0.276) and especially in their pitching, and those games are a big part of the reason why.  The Cardinals always seem to be in the hunt, despite bleeding away talent every offseason.  Their piching has some depth, but the offense begins and ends with Pujols this year.  Pujols is a superstar among superstars, but is he good enough to carry an offense single-handedly?

 

Actual vs Expected Performances

Below are actual vs expected winning percentages, runs scored, and runs allowed.  When a team's ranking deviates substantially from their actual performance (e.g. the Giants), this table will hopefully help you see why.

Rank Team eW%lg TrueW% TrueRS ExpRS TrueRA ExpRA
1 TOR 0.595 0.557 306 322 266 263
2 TB 0.594 0.483 333 338 287 278
3 BOS 0.571 0.586 295 307 247 264
4 NYA 0.568 0.586 326 343 300 299
5 LAN 0.618 0.667 317 316 232 246
6 DET 0.517 0.544 284 256 252 247
7 TEX 0.518 0.569 290 291 275 280
8 CLE 0.506 0.433 316 317 321 313
9 PHI 0.554 0.589 301 309 264 277
10 NYN 0.552 0.554 263 286 243 256
11 MIN 0.490 0.483 295 301 286 307
12 LAA 0.483 0.518 267 261 274 270
13 CHN 0.541 0.527 235 240 221 220
14 COL 0.535 0.448 267 253 259 235
15 KC 0.463 0.421 226 229 272 248
16 ATL 0.523 0.509 247 248 255 236
17 MIL 0.521 0.569 270 264 249 252
18 CHA 0.459 0.466 231 226 258 247
19 STL 0.496 0.525 259 255 254 257
20 SEA 0.424 0.483 223 231 251 272
21 BAL 0.424 0.431 260 256 318 301
22 PIT 0.477 0.448 261 255 263 268
23 OAK 0.416 0.456 259 221 280 266
24 ARI 0.474 0.424 241 238 276 252
25 CIN 0.472 0.526 245 242 238 257
26 HOU 0.453 0.446 243 264 279 291
27 WAS 0.442 0.268 259 284 334 319
28 SD 0.424 0.466 251 254 304 299
29 FLA 0.414 0.483 280 257 303 308
30 SF 0.417 0.526 224 210 222 252
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