BtB Power Rankings: Week 6

Toprank-051210_medium

Allrank-051210_medium

"On Paper" Leaders

American League: E=Yankees, C=Twins, W=Athletics, WC=Rays
National League: E=Phillies, C=Cardinals, W=Padres, WC=Giants*

This Week's Breakdown: The Boston Red Sox

Lots of movement this week in the rankings.  The Giants surged and secured the second-highest ranking of any NL club, behind only their division rival Padres.  My Reds had a nice week, rising up to the 19th slot and posting just shy of a 0.500 component winning percentage.  The Rangers have almost caught the Athletics, and the Brewers have almost caught the Cardinals...

This week, however, I think the biggest story is a team that doesn't yet figure in the "on paper" leaders: the Red Sox.  After a disappointing month of April, the Red Sox surged last week in the rankings, gaining 52 TPI points and eight spots in the power rankings.  While they are still 5.5 games back in reality, the power rankings show their team performance to be just a hair shy of the Rays to this point in the season, and fourth-best overall among all teams.

Here's the interesting thing about the Red Sox: their Pythagorean winning % is .484, and yet we have their component winning % at .580.  That's an enormous disparity. What's happening?  First, their expected runs scored, based on their underlying statistics, is 10 greater than their actual total.  The Red Sox rank second in the AL (behind the Rays) in park-adjusted wOBA, but this hasn't translated into quite the number of runs you would expect thus far.  

Second, and more significantly, the Red Sox have allowed 24 more runs than expected.  That's a large total this early in the season.  What's happening? Their ERA as a team is 4.95, compared to an FIP of 4.46 and an xFIP of 4.43.  We might expect to see this on a team with bad fielding, but that's not what the Red Sox are: they rate as +7 runs in fielding (note: just last week, their fielding rated -6 runs, so the latest UZR & DRS updates showed a large reversal here).  It could also be their quirky park having an effect, but last year in the same park, the power rankings had Boston allowing 23 fewer runs than expected.  The primary remaining explanation is bad "luck": bloop hits, bunched up walks & hits, etc.  A major victim of this appears to be Josh Beckett: his 4.36 xFIP is well below his standards, but it's a far cry better than his 7.46 ERA.  

Given these data, the indication is that the Red Sox have played better than their record would indicate.  Frankly, given how well they projected coming into the season, I think this has to be considered an unsurprising finding.  There is a lot of panic in Red Sox nation right now, and 5.5 games is a substantial deficit against teams with comparable talent levels...but it's May.  A lot can happen between now and then end of the season.  They're not out of this yet. 

Converting Runs to Wins

Team G RS eRS RA eRA W% pW% cW% LgAdj TPI
ARI 34 164 162 197 145 0.412 0.411 0.554 -4 0.527
ATL 33 141 133 139 149 0.455 0.507 0.448 -4 0.422
BAL 33 108 118 164 167 0.273 0.318 0.345 4 0.369
BOS 34 173 183 179 155 0.529 0.484 0.580 4 0.604
CHW 33 137 136 157 152 0.424 0.435 0.449 4 0.475
CHC 34 151 163 162 143 0.412 0.468 0.560 -4 0.534
CIN 33 152 143 163 146 0.545 0.468 0.490 -4 0.463
CLE 30 116 124 149 149 0.400 0.386 0.415 4 0.441
COL 32 145 147 119 148 0.469 0.589 0.495 -4 0.471
DET 32 152 169 149 143 0.563 0.513 0.577 4 0.601
FLA 33 153 141 147 146 0.485 0.516 0.481 -4 0.454
HOU 32 92 75 151 142 0.344 0.293 0.243 -4 0.217
KCR 33 130 142 177 185 0.333 0.359 0.379 4 0.402
LAD 33 180 181 182 179 0.485 0.494 0.504 -4 0.481
LAA 35 139 133 190 181 0.429 0.357 0.359 4 0.384
MIL 33 186 195 181 167 0.455 0.514 0.578 -4 0.556
MIN 33 166 178 121 135 0.636 0.643 0.627 4 0.650
NYY 31 184 189 117 128 0.677 0.704 0.680 4 0.701
NYM 33 150 152 132 159 0.545 0.560 0.479 -4 0.455
OAK 33 145 133 137 144 0.545 0.527 0.463 4 0.490
PHI 32 169 161 121 128 0.625 0.651 0.608 -4 0.583
PIT 33 115 117 208 177 0.424 0.243 0.310 -4 0.287
SDP 32 154 149 109 111 0.625 0.653 0.631 -4 0.604
SEA 32 109 105 128 138 0.406 0.431 0.380 4 0.408
SFG 31 142 151 100 118 0.581 0.653 0.612 -4 0.586
STL 33 148 155 110 125 0.606 0.631 0.596 -4 0.570
TBR 33 187 159 102 127 0.697 0.755 0.601 4 0.627
TEX 33 151 142 139 155 0.545 0.538 0.457 4 0.483
TOR 35 168 160 156 148 0.543 0.535 0.537 4 0.564
WSN 33 137 146 154 158 0.545 0.443 0.464 -4 0.439

G=Games
RS = Actual Runs Scored, after a park adjustment
eRS = Estimated Runs Scored, after park adjustment (see "Offense" table below)
RA = Actual Runs Allowed, after a park adjustment
eRA = Estimated Runs Allowed, after park adjustments (see "Defense" table below)
W% = Actual Winning Percentage
pW% = PythagenPat Winning Percentage, based on actual runs scored and run allowed totals
cW% = Component Winning Percentage, using estimated runs scored and estimated runs allowed totals.  If you don't like the league adjustment, click in the header and sort by this column.
LgAdj = League adjustment, based on differences in league quality (justification here and here).
TPI = Team Performance Index, a hypothetical winning % based on component estimates of runs scored and runs allowed after the league adjustment.


Team Offenses and Defenses

Team RS eRS wOBA OBP SLG wRC EqBRR Clutch RA eRA ERA FIP xFIP xFIPrns Field Catch BABIP
ARI 164 162 0.337 0.340 0.446 166 -4 -1 197 145 5.71 5.01 4.42 156 14 -1 0.323
ATL 141 133 0.315 0.336 0.353 134 -1 -8 139 149 4.02 4.10 4.25 143 -5 0 0.289
BAL 108 118 0.304 0.303 0.377 118 0 -5 164 167 4.55 4.56 4.71 159 -8 0 0.311
BOS 173 183 0.350 0.353 0.456 184 -2 -6 179 155 4.95 4.46 4.43 161 7 0 0.303
CHW 137 136 0.318 0.317 0.403 136 0 -2 157 152 4.64 4.04 4.20 146 -2 0 0.309
CHC 151 163 0.336 0.341 0.430 164 -2 -29 162 143 4.44 3.87 3.90 135 -18 1 0.315
CIN 152 143 0.321 0.325 0.412 141 2 20 163 146 4.99 4.26 4.19 146 6 -1 0.316
CLE 116 124 0.316 0.331 0.358 122 2 4 149 149 4.22 4.77 4.79 150 9 -1 0.294
COL 145 147 0.322 0.340 0.416 142 5 -11 119 148 3.78 3.91 4.38 148 7 -1 0.291
DET 152 169 0.348 0.358 0.431 170 -2 22 149 143 4.34 3.91 4.32 142 -6 -2 0.314
FLA 153 141 0.316 0.317 0.387 136 4 3 147 146 4.07 3.85 4.11 142 -6 1 0.300
HOU 92 75 0.269 0.270 0.320 74 2 10 151 142 4.11 3.69 4.06 135 -7 1 0.323
KCR 130 142 0.325 0.327 0.410 146 -3 -6 177 185 5.21 4.83 4.93 169 -21 0 0.314
LAD 180 181 0.348 0.350 0.433 178 2 4 182 179 4.76 4.05 4.40 152 -27 -1 0.317
LAA 139 133 0.314 0.312 0.389 136 -3 -2 190 181 5.08 4.86 4.50 163 -15 -2 0.323
MIL 186 195 0.358 0.355 0.449 196 -1 -14 181 167 4.95 4.68 4.29 148 -21 -1 0.327
MIN 166 178 0.350 0.358 0.431 179 -1 -8 121 135 3.56 3.66 4.10 143 4 2 0.303
NYY 184 189 0.369 0.370 0.461 188 1 1 117 128 3.61 4.17 4.29 135 9 0 0.273
NYM 150 152 0.325 0.326 0.391 147 5 -3 132 159 3.65 4.23 4.50 160 -4 0 0.301
OAK 145 133 0.315 0.320 0.370 133 0 12 137 144 3.79 4.07 4.22 145 2 0 0.278
PHI 169 161 0.344 0.344 0.455 163 -2 18 121 128 3.74 4.06 4.04 135 8 2 0.299
PIT 115 117 0.303 0.307 0.358 119 -3 14 208 177 5.83 4.89 4.67 160 -21 -1 0.326
SDP 154 149 0.331 0.327 0.372 149 0 2 109 111 2.77 3.64 3.80 130 15 2 0.272
SEA 109 105 0.298 0.311 0.330 108 -3 7 128 138 3.50 4.08 4.52 153 24 -1 0.278
SFG 142 151 0.335 0.341 0.418 149 2 -4 100 118 3.04 3.55 4.04 134 16 -1 0.272
STL 148 155 0.331 0.339 0.407 157 -2 4 110 125 2.66 3.42 3.86 135 7 2 0.280
TBR 187 159 0.332 0.334 0.407 157 2 8 102 127 2.80 3.79 4.06 143 15 1 0.265
TEX 151 142 0.317 0.326 0.383 136 5 21 139 155 3.76 4.52 4.66 165 7 0 0.282
TOR 168 160 0.331 0.308 0.450 162 -2 14 156 148 4.31 3.92 4.06 150 10 -3 0.296
WSN 137 146 0.331 0.335 0.418 150 -4 8 154 158 4.46 4.61 4.72 164 6 1 0.299

 

RS = Actual Runs Scored
eRS = Estimated Runs Scored: wRC + EqBRR
wOBA The Book's statistic, but park adjusted, and using data from both wRC and EqBRR
OBP = On Base Percentage (Times on Base / Plate Appearances)
SLG = Slugging Percentage (Total Bases / At Bats)
wRC = From FanGraphs, with baserunning removed, after park adjustments
EqBRR = Dan Fox's composite baserunning statistics from Baseball Prospectus, minus stolen bases since they are included in wRC.
Clutch = "Clutchiness" measure from fangraphs; difference between actual WPA and expected WPA based on component statistics.  We report this in runs.

RA = Actual Runs Allowed, after park adjustment
eRA = Estimated Runs Allowed: tRuns - Field - Catch
ERA = Straight-up Earned Run Average
FIP = Fielding-Independent Runs, based strictly on K-, BB-, and HR-rates.
xFIP = Experimental Fielding-Independent Runs from FanGraphs.  Like FIP, but with HR/Outfield Fly Ball rates regressed completely to league average.  xFIP is as predictive as any other DIPS-like stat.
xFIPrns = Pitching Runs Allowed, based on xFIP
Field = The average of team UZR and team DRS (minus rSB since I calculate catcher fielding separately).
Catch = Catcher Fielding Runs, based on SB's, CS's, WP's, PB's, E's, and this year catcher interference.  The methods are essentially those described here.  But I'm using B-Ref data this year, and so there are slight tweaks to the methodology, generally in ways that should lead to greater precision.
BABIP = Batting Average on Balls In Play.  Fluctuates at the team level with fielding, although chance events can have effects as well.

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