BtB Power Rankings: Through Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Welcome to our weekly ranking of all the MLB teams!  In this ranking, we use aggregate team hitting, pitching, and fielding 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. There is also a table comparing actual vs. expected run scored and run allowed totals, as well as actual vs. expected winning percentages.

 

BtB Power Rankings: Through Tuesday, June 23

Rank Chg Team wOBA eRS tRA tRns Fld eRA eW%lg LgAdj eW%
1 0 TB 0.362 418 4.85 340 17.6 323 0.623 10.0 0.648
2 +1 TOR 0.343 377 4.47 322 8.0 314 0.587 10.0 0.614
3 -1 BOS 0.348 372 4.32 299 -15.4 314 0.581 9.7 0.608
4 0 NYA 0.359 400 5.00 347 -0.3 347 0.569 9.7 0.595
5 0 LAN 0.342 366 4.14 294 7.2 287 0.614 -9.9 0.587
6 0 DET 0.330 316 4.79 327 20.1 307 0.513 9.7 0.542
7 +6 COL 0.330 328 4.03 280 -4.4 284 0.567 -9.9 0.537
8 +2 MIN 0.340 356 4.85 343 -6.2 349 0.510 10.0 0.537
9 -1 TEX 0.333 322 5.14 350 22.8 328 0.492 9.6 0.520
10 +1 CLE 0.341 374 5.17 368 -16.2 384 0.486 10.0 0.512
11 -4 LAA 0.337 334 4.99 338 -7.7 346 0.484 9.6 0.511
12 0 NYN 0.337 342 4.47 306 -10.9 317 0.537 -9.6 0.509
13 +1 CHA 0.311 275 4.15 284 -8.5 293 0.472 9.7 0.503
14 -5 KC 0.317 282 4.18 282 -19.6 302 0.469 9.6 0.499
15 +2 BAL 0.331 325 4.85 333 -16.6 349 0.465 9.7 0.493
16 -1 PHI 0.343 357 5.09 350 2.9 347 0.514 -9.4 0.487
17 -1 MIL 0.331 328 4.92 337 15.8 321 0.510 -9.7 0.481
18 +5 SEA 0.314 282 4.69 327 13.1 314 0.451 9.7 0.481
19 +3 STL 0.328 323 4.56 324 5.8 318 0.508 -10.0 0.479
20 -1 CHN 0.311 275 4.18 281 9.0 272 0.505 -9.3 0.474
21 0 ATL 0.316 295 4.05 284 -10.9 295 0.501 -9.7 0.470
22 -4 ARI 0.312 294 4.21 302 5.3 297 0.496 -9.9 0.466
23 -3 PIT 0.325 312 4.98 338 15.1 323 0.484 -9.7 0.456
24 0 OAK 0.302 259 4.45 312 -4.1 316 0.410 9.7 0.441
25 0 CIN 0.308 275 4.75 332 18.8 314 0.439 -9.6 0.409
26 0 FLA 0.320 314 4.77 344 -15.5 360 0.436 -10.0 0.408
27 0 HOU 0.323 303 5.01 343 -4.2 347 0.435 -9.4 0.408
28 +1 SF 0.302 253 4.28 296 2.3 293 0.435 -9.7 0.404
29 -1 WAS 0.329 327 5.32 362 -16.2 378 0.429 -9.4 0.403
30 0 SD 0.319 293 5.03 348 -7.5 355 0.410 -9.6 0.383

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

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

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

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

Commentary below the jump!

Team Comments

Colorado Rockies

How hot are the Rockies?!?  They've won 17 of their last 19, and are now just 1.5 games behind the Giants in the wild card race.  Check out their sparkline!  Last week, they ascended to be our on-paper wild card leaders, and they solidified that position this past week with continued dominance.  In my June 3rd posting, I wrote that Troy Tulowitski needed to pick up his game or I might have to end the last vestiges of my man-crush on him.  That's precisely what has happened this month, and he's a big part of why the Rockies have been so awesome.  But having the best pitching in the National League isn't hurting matters either.  They'll cool off eventually, but I like them to be in the wild card hunt come September.

 

Kansas City Royals

After a brief 4-game winning streak courtesy of the Reds, the Royals are back to losing, continuing to slip back in the rankings as they have most of the month.  Their greatest strength is their pitching, but even there, for the first time, we're ranking the White Sox above the Royals' staff.  It has to be frustrating to be a KC pitcher.  The Royals rank 11th in the AL in offense and dead last in fielding (dropping 4 fielding runs in the past week!).  At least my Reds can catch the ball (while simultaneously generating lots of outs on offense)! :)

 

Seattle Mariners

When we began these rankings at the end of May, the Mariners ranked 26th of 30 teams--despite the adjustment bonus for playing in the American League!  In fact, once I switched over to tRA instead of FIP as my pitching statistic, they were ranked 28th!  As of today, though, they've climbed up to 18th overall, with substantial improvements in all aspects of their game: offense, pitching, and fielding.  They're not exactly dominating, but this is another case where the sparkline shows a lot--they've gone from mostly winning one and losing a few to winning a few and losing one.  The offense is still essentially Ichiro and Branyan(!), but they're a competent team that might be starting to find themselves.  The west is still a dogfight between the Rangers and Angels, however.

 

Washington Nationals

Giants fans will be glad to see that the hapless Nationals have finally fallen almost to the bottom of the National League (and, more to the point, below the Giants).  Even so, the Nationals still represent the second largest discrepancy (behind the Giants) between Pythagorean records and the expected league winning percentage calculated in our rankings.  The Nationals are almost certainly better than their 0.294 winning percentage shows.  Nevertheless, their offense has really sputtered, falling from a 0.349 wOBA on May 26th all the way to 0.329 in today's ranking.  They still have their powerhouse trio of Dunn, Johnson, and Zimmerman, and the ever-surprising Guzman, but the supporting cast--especially Dukes, Kearns, and Hernandez--is pulling them down.  Offense is all this team has, and if it can't be above-average, then they have little hope of any level of respectability.

 

San Diego Padres

What has happened to this organization?  Even before park adjustments, they've given up runs at the fourth-highest rate in the National League.  Accounting for the park, we rate their pitching as the 3rd-worst in the league, and their fielding checks in below average.  Offensively, the team has the lowest uncorrected run scoring rate in the league, and even after park adjustments, they rank only 10th in the 16 team league in wOBA.  What do you say, Padres fans?  What is it going to take to get this team back on track?

 

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 PythW% TrueW% TrueRS ExpRS TrueRA ExpRA
1 TB 0.623 0.588 0.514 406 418 338 323
2 TOR 0.587 0.559 0.542 359 377 317 314
3 BOS 0.581 0.598 0.614 362 372 293 314
4 NYA 0.569 0.543 0.543 378 400 346 347
5 LAN 0.614 0.631 0.662 360 366 270 287
6 DET 0.513 0.545 0.557 342 316 311 307
7 COL 0.567 0.544 0.521 336 328 306 284
8 MIN 0.510 0.531 0.500 348 356 326 349
9 TEX 0.492 0.517 0.536 323 322 312 328
10 CLE 0.486 0.477 0.417 375 374 393 384
11 LAA 0.484 0.494 0.536 337 334 341 346
12 NYN 0.537 0.497 0.507 316 342 318 317
13 CHA 0.472 0.464 0.471 281 275 304 293
14 KC 0.469 0.422 0.435 284 282 336 302
15 BAL 0.465 0.433 0.457 321 325 369 349
16 PHI 0.514 0.540 0.544 359 357 330 347
17 MIL 0.510 0.509 0.529 332 328 326 321
18 SEA 0.451 0.464 0.500 275 282 298 314
19 STL 0.508 0.553 0.556 340 323 303 318
20 CHN 0.505 0.515 0.507 273 275 264 272
21 ATL 0.501 0.485 0.486 294 295 304 295
22 ARI 0.496 0.459 0.423 299 294 327 297
23 PIT 0.484 0.494 0.443 313 312 317 323
24 OAK 0.410 0.452 0.443 301 259 334 316
25 CIN 0.439 0.483 0.493 285 275 296 314
26 FLA 0.436 0.457 0.500 335 314 366 360
27 HOU 0.435 0.443 0.471 286 303 323 347
28 SF 0.435 0.513 0.543 272 253 264 293
29 WAS 0.429 0.374 0.294 297 327 387 378
30 SD 0.410 0.390 0.449 292 293 370 355
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