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Assorted Oddities

Phil Nevin rejected a trade to the Orioles yesterday, invoking his no-trade clause. I understand the guy wants to stay in San Diego, but he's been told he is no longer starting and will spend most of his time on the bench. I can't really say he's a team player, because the Padres need a 5th starter and his trade would've brought one. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise and the Padres will make a deal for someone better, maybe even to a team that Nevin would like to be traded to.

Check out this graph:

What I found interesting from this (besides seeing Tampa and Kansas City singlehandedly forcing me to extend the graphs range to compensate for their runs allowed) is that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the White Sox runs differentials do not appear to be that far off from each other at all. They have some other similarities as well. They have both beat up on the Central division (32-7 for Chicago; 24-16 for Anaheim), they both have roughly the same run differential (479/388 for Chicago; 459/391 for Anaheim) and they both have great records in one run games (23-10 for the Pale Hose; 21-13 for the Winged Ones). They are also much worse against lefthanders than righties (15-10 for Chicago as opposed to 50-23 against righties; 13-14 for Anaheim as opposed to 46-26 against righties). I have not really counted the run difference of 20 on offense against LAA, because they went a few weeks without Vlad Guerrero's services, and even though they played well I expect they may have scored more runs with him in the lineup over the course of those games. I would love to run his NRAA for you so we could see exactly how many runs he would be worth over the course of his DL stint, but alas, Baseball Prospectus is down at the time of this writing, and I cannot get the numbers I need to formulate it.

What strikes me about the Angels is that they have the same kind of offense as the White Sox. Low OBP with steals, except the White Sox also employ power (although for some reason their biggest media supporters won't admit it)

Chicago: .264/.324/.425
Anaheim: .270/.323/.407

Both teams have been able to hold their opponents to low offensive totals:

Chicago OPP: .250/.314/.396
Anaheim OPP: .250/.312/.397

I can't shake the feeling that both teams see the majority of this against their AL Central opponents though (they also both did well in interleague, but we've seen through the BtB Power 30 how weak the NL is this year, so that just gets thrown in with the Central in my mind.) Dan Scotto confirms my suspicions with yesterday's article where he pointed this out:

RS/Game v. AL Central: 4.76
RS/Game v. Others: 4.81

RA/Game v. AL Central: 3.24
RA/Game v. Others: 4.39

On another note, Oakland has only played the Central 13 times so far, and you think the Angels will panic when they realize they are done feasting on the Central and the A's have not begun yet? People seem to be conceding the Central division, and I think after we watch the Twins face the White Sox a few more times I'll make my decision. For all we know the Twins could spin off 6 wins in a row against the Sox and all of a sudden the lead is cut in half. Or the White Sox could win 6 in a row and really put a damper on things.Does anyone remember the AL East last wouldn't know it from what you read crowning the White Sox champs already.

When I figure out how to make the run distribution graph, I'll compare the Angels and White Sox to each other and against the league average to see if they are similar. Maybe if the Angels did not make the playoffs last year we'd be hearing more about them, but it is always more fun to talk about a new team right?