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BtB Power Rankings: Through Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

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Welcome to our weekly ranking of all the MLB teams!  In this ranking, we use aggregate team hitting, baserunning, 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.

Beyond The Boxscore Power Rankings

Rank Chg Team wOBA wRC BRR eRS tERA tRns Fld eRA eW%lg LgAdj eW%
1 0 NYA 0.363 847 -6 841 4.34 656 7.3 649 0.620 17.5 0.641
2 0 TB 0.348 734 5 739 4.42 656 38.3 617 0.589 17.4 0.613
3 0 BOS 0.345 721 2 723 3.94 585 -30.2 615 0.578 17.3 0.602
4 0 COL 0.334 658 6 664 3.57 532 1.4 530 0.608 -17.4 0.582
5 0 LAN 0.335 700 -7 693 3.84 591 25.5 565 0.588 -17.5 0.562
6 +2 TEX 0.334 656 -5 652 4.39 648 44.2 604 0.532 17.3 0.557
7 -1 LAA 0.350 745 -1 744 4.73 696 -9.1 705 0.525 17.2 0.549
8 -1 TOR 0.332 656 9 665 4.24 633 -10.1 643 0.522 17.3 0.548
9 0 CHA 0.323 620 -8 612 3.80 569 -22.4 591 0.510 17.5 0.537
10 0 MIN 0.336 673 4 678 4.42 655 -31.2 686 0.497 17.3 0.522
11 +6 STL 0.332 650 2 652 3.98 597 5.7 591 0.547 -17.5 0.521
12 -1 PHI 0.337 682 -4 678 4.28 633 20.2 613 0.544 -17.0 0.519
13 +1 OAK 0.323 596 12 607 4.20 625 -8.7 634 0.488 17.3 0.515
14 -1 DET 0.329 623 0 623 4.53 663 25.2 638 0.489 17.2 0.514
15 -3 CLE 0.338 692 1 694 4.71 696 -27.5 723 0.481 17.3 0.504
16 -1 ARI 0.320 617 -4 613 3.95 596 22.9 573 0.527 -17.5 0.500
17 -1 ATL 0.324 633 -12 621 3.82 570 -17.2 587 0.516 -17.3 0.490
18 0 FLA 0.337 684 1 685 4.33 644 -24.7 669 0.513 -17.3 0.488
19 0 CHN 0.318 606 -15 590 3.93 583 1.5 581 0.495 -17.2 0.469
20 0 SEA 0.317 574 -2 572 4.71 707 58.5 649 0.441 17.4 0.467
21 0 SF 0.307 515 8 523 3.96 593 39.6 554 0.481 -17.4 0.452
22 0 MIL 0.332 663 -8 655 4.85 713 11.4 702 0.462 -17.3 0.438
23 +1 KC 0.312 558 -12 546 4.13 604 -48.3 652 0.411 17.3 0.436
24 -1 BAL 0.324 634 -21 613 4.71 692 -33.3 725 0.409 17.3 0.433
25 0 NYN 0.322 596 5 601 4.41 647 -35.5 683 0.443 -17.3 0.417
26 0 HOU 0.320 582 1 582 4.41 651 -11.7 662 0.440 -17.3 0.415
27 0 WAS 0.330 657 -8 649 4.98 724 -25.0 749 0.426 -17.3 0.403
28 0 PIT 0.316 565 -7 558 4.62 670 10.5 660 0.419 -17.2 0.393
29 0 SD 0.321 609 -8 601 4.74 714 -9.9 724 0.409 -17.5 0.384
30 0 CIN 0.304 529 -9 519 4.58 687 32.9 655 0.390 -17.3 0.364

Offense
wOBA (park-adjusted, includes BPro's baserunning data)
wRC (wRC from FanGraphs, with baserunning removed, then park adjusted)
BRR (Equivalent Base Running Runs from
Baseball Prospectus)
eRS (estimated runs scored) = wRC + BRR

Defense
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

The Rest
eW%lg = estimated winning percentage within the specific league (AL or NL).  Compare this to true winning %!
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, Royals*
Fielding (Fld): Mariners, Rangers, Rays

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

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

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


This Week's Movers

Two stories this week in power ranking land.  First, St. Louis has been rolling, winning 25 of their last 31.  Even though only six of those games have been won by 4 runs or more, they've been shooting up our charts.  Last week, they took over the NL Central.  This week, they shot up six slots and are now ranked as the third-best team in the National league, behind only the Rockies and Dodgers.  In part due to the relative paucity of competition in the NL Central, they now have the largest actual-games division lead of any team in baseball.  The Cardinals are going to the playoffs!

On a personal note, I got a chance to see the Cardinals last Saturday at the Baseball Prospectus event at PNC park.  It was something of a disappointment at first--Pujols, Holliday, and Molina were all given the day off.  But a well-pitched game by Ross Ohlendorf and an equally competitive outing by Mitchell Boggs sent a 1-1 game into extra innings.  At that point, Pujols pinch hit in the top of the 10th.  That guy's really good at baseball.

Second, the Rangers rode an 8-2 stretch to edge in front of the Angels, at least on paper.  Texas currently faces a 4.5 game deficit, which will be hard to overcome with less than a month to play.  But I wouldn't count them out just yet.