BtB Power Rankings: Through Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

We're back!  The Rankings spent their all-star break in sunny Ocean City, MD, but are back with a splendid tan.

Anyhow, 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 by commentary. 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, July 21st, 2009

Rank Chg Team wOBA eRS tRA tRns Fld eRA eW%lg LgAdj eW%
1 0 TB 0.356 525 4.63 426 18.4 407 0.620 11.7 0.643
2 0 NYA 0.360 539 4.87 450 1.2 449 0.589 11.6 0.612
3 0 BOS 0.339 465 4.07 373 -20.1 393 0.579 11.6 0.604
4 0 LAN 0.339 481 4.19 397 14.5 382 0.607 -11.7 0.582
5 +1 CHA 0.327 416 4.14 377 -7.6 384 0.537 11.6 0.564
6 -1 TOR 0.332 455 4.55 429 7.7 422 0.536 11.7 0.561
7 +3 COL 0.328 432 3.89 359 -2.4 362 0.581 -11.7 0.555
8 -1 LAA 0.346 479 5.10 462 -1.1 463 0.516 11.4 0.540
9 0 MIN 0.336 464 4.68 437 -18.6 455 0.509 11.7 0.533
10 -2 TEX 0.331 426 4.85 444 24.5 419 0.508 11.4 0.533
11 0 DET 0.330 414 4.83 430 15.4 415 0.499 11.3 0.525
12 0 PHI 0.343 476 4.83 444 13.1 431 0.548 -11.3 0.524
13 +2 ATL 0.325 427 4.08 382 -11.5 394 0.538 -11.7 0.511
14 0 SEA 0.320 397 4.82 445 27.3 418 0.476 11.6 0.503
15 -2 CLE 0.335 462 5.17 477 -19.2 496 0.466 11.7 0.490
16 +2 ARI 0.313 394 4.17 394 3.3 391 0.504 -11.7 0.476
17 +6 OAK 0.312 372 4.49 412 -5.7 418 0.447 11.4 0.474
18 +2 BAL 0.327 419 4.85 442 -24.5 466 0.449 11.6 0.474
19 -2 MIL 0.332 445 5.05 464 13.8 450 0.494 -11.7 0.469
20 -1 STL 0.322 414 4.51 425 6.4 419 0.495 -11.9 0.468
21 -5 KC 0.312 369 4.36 396 -24.6 421 0.440 11.6 0.467
22 -1 CHN 0.309 373 4.25 392 7.0 385 0.485 -11.4 0.457
23 +1 PIT 0.318 391 4.81 437 26.9 410 0.478 -11.6 0.451
24 +3 HOU 0.322 410 4.72 440 -2.9 443 0.464 -11.7 0.438
25 0 SF 0.302 340 4.24 390 22.0 368 0.465 -11.6 0.436
26 0 FLA 0.321 415 4.71 446 -11.5 457 0.455 -11.8 0.429
27 -5 NYN 0.321 406 4.72 433 -23.4 456 0.445 -11.6 0.420
28 +1 WAS 0.327 432 5.24 475 -28.4 504 0.425 -11.6 0.402
29 -1 CIN 0.308 370 4.89 455 15.2 440 0.420 -11.6 0.394
30 0 SD 0.311 375 5.00 469 -14.7 483 0.383 -11.7 0.358

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, Angels
Pitching (tRA): Red Sox*, White Sox, Royals
Fielding (Fld): Mariners*, Rangers, Rays

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

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

American League: E=Rays, C=White Sox, W=Angels, WC=Yankees
National League: E=Phillies, C=Brewers, W=Dodgers, WC=Rockies


This Week's Movers:

Despite the rankings' week off during the week of the all-star break, we had no changes in the on-paper division leaders, and no changes in our top 4 teams in the rankings--things may be starting to stabilize as we enter the second half of the season.

Nevertheless, a few teams moved substantially up or down in our rankings.  The largest ascent was by the Oakland Athletics, who surged upwards to 17th in our rankings, overtaking Baltimore as the worst-ranked AL team.  I know, I know, the league adjustment seem over-the-top (despite appearances, we may actually be conservative!).  Still, this A's team is showing signs of life after being surprisingly weak all season long.  The offense is up 6 points in wOBA, helped by the dramatic comeback Monday night.  Pitching is also up 7 points of tRA (despite Monday's game), and even the fielding is improved by four runs compared to two weeks ago.  They've only been a 0.500 team over the last 8 games, but that's better than they've been able to say most of the year.

Other improvements were by the Rockies and the Astros.  The Rockies continue to be our on-paper leaders for the wild card, and they're playing like it, just overtaking the Giants for second in the NL West (and the wild card lead).  On June 3rd, this team was 20-32, and have since gone 31-11 as they launched themselves onto the scene.  My version of tRA still ranks the Rockies pitching staff as best in the National League, and we're seeing some of that manifested in their success over the past month and a half.

The Astros were in the basement, but have been playing better over the past several weeks and have pushed themselves over the 0.500 mark.  I don't know if they'll continue this success (still not sure I believe in Wandy Rodriguez, among others), and I find it hard to believe that they can outlast the Brewers (among other teams), but it's hard to count a team with Oswalt and Berkman out.

Falling in this weeks' update are the Royals and the Mets.  The Royals' slide has been frequent conservation in these rankings, so I'm not going to talk about them further--it's just losing streak after losing streak these days.  The Mets just are imploding.  Injuries hurt them, but I personally think it's all Carlos Beltran's fault.  The guy just has no edge. 

I also wanted to take a moment to mourn what's happening with my Reds, who have slipped to second-to-last in the rankings behind the...Nationals.  At least Jim Bowden isn't employed over there anymore, though I'm sure that a) he reads this and b) he's gloating.  Bastard.

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 the cause.

Rank Team eW%lg PythW% TrueW% TrueRS ExpRS TrueRA ExpRA
1 TB 0.620 0.584 0.553 503 525 422 407
2 NYA 0.589 0.568 0.602 512 539 445 449
3 BOS 0.579 0.582 0.591 459 465 385 393
4 LAN 0.607 0.622 0.638 482 481 369 382
5 CHA 0.537 0.499 0.516 414 416 415 384
6 TOR 0.536 0.536 0.489 439 455 407 422
7 COL 0.581 0.556 0.543 439 432 390 362
8 LAA 0.516 0.550 0.587 505 479 456 463
9 MIN 0.509 0.534 0.511 460 464 428 455
10 TEX 0.508 0.539 0.554 436 426 401 419
11 DET 0.499 0.534 0.538 432 414 402 415
12 PHI 0.548 0.574 0.582 479 476 411 431
13 ATL 0.538 0.528 0.511 416 427 392 394
14 SEA 0.476 0.482 0.527 381 397 397 418
15 CLE 0.466 0.449 0.394 463 462 514 496
16 ARI 0.504 0.451 0.426 393 394 437 391
17 OAK 0.447 0.448 0.424 400 372 447 418
18 BAL 0.449 0.440 0.441 430 419 487 466
19 MIL 0.494 0.495 0.511 435 445 440 450
20 STL 0.495 0.530 0.531 430 414 403 419
21 KC 0.440 0.395 0.398 365 369 458 421
22 CHN 0.485 0.506 0.511 368 373 363 385
23 PIT 0.478 0.491 0.441 397 391 405 410
24 HOU 0.464 0.479 0.511 402 410 420 443
25 SF 0.465 0.533 0.538 373 340 347 368
26 FLA 0.455 0.477 0.505 435 415 456 457
27 NYN 0.445 0.446 0.473 390 406 438 456
28 WAS 0.425 0.373 0.290 394 432 516 504
29 CIN 0.420 0.431 0.473 373 370 432 440
30 SD 0.383 0.356 0.394 376 375 513 483

 

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