BtB Power Rankings: Through Tuesday, August 18th, 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 things 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.  They don't replace your actual standings, but they give you something different to consider when thinking about team performances.

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.

Beyond the Boxscore Power Rankings

Rank Chg Team wOBA eRS tERA tRns Fld eRA eW%lg LgAdj eW%
1 0 NYA 0.362 704 4.43 572 8.0 564 0.608 14.9 0.630
2 0 TB 0.352 644 4.41 553 30.5 522 0.600 14.7 0.623
3 0 BOS 0.340 599 3.96 501 -23.3 524 0.563 14.7 0.588
4 0 LAN 0.337 610 3.92 514 26.0 488 0.604 -14.9 0.579
5 +2 CHA 0.326 537 3.81 485 -8.7 494 0.538 14.9 0.565
6 0 COL 0.328 542 3.57 450 -1.5 451 0.584 -14.8 0.557
7 +1 TEX 0.334 556 4.40 555 32.2 522 0.530 14.7 0.555
8 -3 TOR 0.331 566 4.20 533 0.7 532 0.529 14.6 0.554
9 0 LAA 0.353 645 4.82 603 -5.0 608 0.529 14.6 0.552
10 +1 CLE 0.339 600 4.68 588 -21.9 609 0.492 14.7 0.516
11 +2 MIN 0.337 594 4.55 578 -26.7 605 0.491 14.8 0.515
12 +2 PHI 0.338 585 4.43 559 17.2 542 0.537 -14.4 0.512
13 -3 ARI 0.321 531 3.90 506 16.5 490 0.537 -14.9 0.510
14 -2 ATL 0.326 543 3.86 494 -10.0 504 0.535 -14.8 0.508
15 0 DET 0.326 528 4.54 569 19.5 549 0.481 14.7 0.507
16 0 OAK 0.318 506 4.16 531 -13.3 545 0.466 14.8 0.492
17 0 CHN 0.318 512 4.02 508 5.7 503 0.508 -14.6 0.481
18 +2 FLA 0.332 574 4.35 556 -12.1 568 0.505 -14.8 0.480
19 -1 STL 0.327 542 4.11 529 -8.2 537 0.504 -15.1 0.478
20 -1 SEA 0.316 495 4.74 606 44.1 562 0.441 14.8 0.467
21 0 BAL 0.327 544 4.69 593 -30.1 623 0.435 14.8 0.459
22 0 SF 0.304 440 3.90 495 41.4 454 0.486 -14.8 0.457
23 +1 MIL 0.336 579 4.90 614 10.1 604 0.479 -14.8 0.455
24 -1 KC 0.313 476 4.21 527 -43.5 570 0.417 14.8 0.443
25 +1 NYN 0.322 519 4.32 546 -27.0 573 0.453 -14.8 0.428
26 +1 WAS 0.332 566 4.96 619 -19.1 638 0.442 -14.8 0.418
27 -2 HOU 0.321 516 4.47 568 -21.6 590 0.437 -14.8 0.412
28 0 PIT 0.315 484 4.63 575 14.4 561 0.431 -14.7 0.406
29 0 SD 0.321 524 4.75 615 -16.6 632 0.411 -15.1 0.387
30 0 CIN 0.301 436 4.62 586 20.8 565 0.383 -14.7 0.357

Offense = wOBA (park-corrected), eRS (estimated runs scored; wRC from FanGraphs, then park adjusted)
Pitching = tERA 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, Angels, Rays
Pitching (tERA): White Sox, Red Sox, Athletics*
Fielding (Fld): Mariners, Rangers, Rays

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

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

American League: E=Yankees, C=White Sox, W=Rangers, WC=Rays
National League: E=Phillies*, C=Cubs, W=Dodgers, WC=Rockies


This Week's Movers

The only change this week in terms of our on-paper playof leaders is that the Phillies unseated the Braves from their one-week stint at the top of the NL East.  The Braves actually had the better week from the standpoint of wins, but the component statistics that are the basis of our rankings pushed the Phillies to the top.  In reality, it's effectively tied--they're only separated by a 0.003 winning percentage.  As mentioned in the comments last week, the Marlins may be closer to the Phillies in the actual standings, but both actual and estimated runs show that they've been outscored on the season.  So far, they're hanging in there, but my feeling is that if anyone is going to close the gap, it'll be the Braves.  They're going to have to make up some ground real quick, though...

Another mismatch occurs in the AL Central, where the White Sox are currently three games behind the Tigers in the actual standings.  The BtB Power Rankings, on the other hand, has the White Sox up to #5 (expected W% in the AL of 0.538), while the Tigers lag behind at #15 (eW%lg of 0.481).  If component statistics give you a better idea of a team's true talent level than their actual runs scored and allowed, the Tigers may be a bit of an overperformer thus far.  Their wRC is 17 runs shy of their actual runs scored total.  Similarly, their estimated runs allowed, based on tRA, is 20 runs higher than their actual total.  As a result, while their PythagoPat record is 0.514 (essentially the same as the White Sox'), their estimated W% in the AL is just 0.481.

I thought it was also worth mentioning that the Holliday-lacking Athletics have climbed all the way to #16 in our rankings, largely on the backs of their pitching staff.  I have their staff at a 4.16 tRA, and a 4.29 FIP.  At 20 games behind the Angels, they're not going anywhere this season.  But Beane has assembled a nice, young, cheap core of a pitching staff.  If only they could find some offense...

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