Welcome to our weekly ranking of all the MLB teams! In this ranking, we use aggregate team 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. Asterisks indicate park-adjusted data. A legend is below the table, followed by commentary about five teams: Blue Jays, Yankees, Phillies, Rockies, and the Mariners
Beyond the Box Score Power Rankings
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):
Offense (wOBA): Yankees, Rays, Rangers
Pitching (tRA): Royals, White Sox, Red Sox*
Fielding (Fld): Rangers, Tigers, Blue Jays
Offense (wOBA): Phillies*, Dodgers, Nationals
Pitching (tRA): Braves, Dodgers, Rockies*
Fielding (Fld): Pirates*, Brewers, Reds
"On Paper" Playoff Leaders (asterisks indicate new leaders):
American League: E=Rays*, C=Tigers, W=Rangers, WC = Blue Jays
National League: E=Mets, C=Cardinals, W=Dodgers, WC = Phillies*
Commentary below the jump!
A few teams of note:
The Blue Jays have had an amazing first two months. Their offense has been solid if not very good, driven so far by career performances from their middle infielders (Marco Scutaro? Seriously?) that has helped make up for the poor production by Wells and Rios. Their fielding is well above-average, and their pitching has been very deep behind the immortal Roy Halladay. Despite their hot start, they have to be considered the underdogs in the 4-team AL East race, and are up against some incredible teams. This week saw the Yankees push past them in the standings, and the Rays push past them in these rankings. Can they battle back?
The Yankees have been as hot as hot can be, with only four losses in their last 19 games, and have taken first place in their division. On top of that, they set a new MLB record for most consecutive innings without an error. While we unfortunately were not tracking prior to their errorless streak, we currently estimate their overall fielding as being worth +7 runs above average, up five runs from last week. Quality fielding hasn't been something the Yankees have been known for in recent years, but this year they're combining plus defense with the best offense in baseball. They're up four spots to 4th place in our rankings. If they could get some pitching, the rest of the East would be in real trouble...but as it is, they rank 3rd in their ridiculous division.
The Phillies have been almost as hot as the Yankees, winning 13 of their last 17. Compared to last week, the Phillies have had a major uptick in their offense--0.357 vs. 0.347 wOBA, best in the National League. They've averaged 5.8 runs per game in that time. In the process, they've bypassed the Braves as the "on paper" leader for the wild card, and have risen to 11th in our power ranking--that's the third best performance for an NL team.
It's been a tough week for the Rockies on the field, losing six of their last eight, and losing their manager in the process. The team didn't suffer any dramatic falloffs in their numbers this past week--it's more that other teams are just passing them by--down from 17 (using tRA, which I instituted after posting last week's ranking) to 22 this week. ... I still have lingering man-crush feelings toward Troy Tulowitski from 2007, but if he doesn't start hitting soon, we might be headed for an ugly breakup. At least get your UZR above average, Troy!
The Mariners haven't exactly been tearing it up, but after a long drought, they've finally been playing close to 0.500 ball over the past few weeks. We've seen their offense take a step forward (is Russell Branyon for real? I doubt it, but three true outcome players are fun), scoring 5 or more runs in four of their last six games and this is largely responsible for the surge in their ranking. We're not talking playoffs here, but perhaps they're on track for respectability.