Because the power rankings aren't moving much at this point in the season, I thought I'd use the last week or so of the regular season focusing each of the component inputs into the power rankings: offense, pitching, and fielding. Today, I'm presenting a ranking of American League offenses. In future installments, we'll continue with NL Offense, NL & AL pitching, and fielding. I'm separating the leagues for offense and pitching because the DH makes it almost impossible to compare teams across leagues by offense or pitching alone. Once the season is done, I'll post the final power rankings of the year.
Here's a quick key for what you'll see presented below:
wOBA = The Book's statistic, but park adjusted, and using data from both offense and baserunning.
EqBRR = Dan Fox's composite baserunning statistics from Baseball Prospectus, minus stolen bases since they are included in wRC.
eRS = Estimated Runs Scored: park-adjusted base runs (offense) + EqBRR
RS = Actual runs allowed, after park adjustment.
American League Ranking of Offenses
14. Seattle Mariners: .292 wOBA, -4 runs EqBRR, 518 estimate runs scored, 491 park adjusted actual runs scored
Despite the DH, the Mariners have the lowest wOBA in baseball. They've scored an estimated 230 fewer runs than the #1 team. They have been impossibly bad. And given that we're estimating they should have scored more runs than they did, they might have actually gotten a little clutchy.
13. Baltimore Orioles: .312 wOBA, -1 runs EqBRR, 614 estimated runs scored, 581 park-adjusted actual runs scored
Matt Weiters and Adam Jones didn't become the monsters most expected this season, and Nick Markakis continued to be good but a bit disappointing. When Corey Patterson is one of your more productive hitters, you're in trouble.
10T. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: .315 wOBA, -8 runs EqBRR, 628 estimated runs scored, 655 park-adjusted actual runs scored.
What used to be one of the more dynamic offenses in the league just wasn't this year. Losing Kendry Morales didn't help, and the rest of the infield sort of imploded. You'd think they could at least run, but they tied for lowest EqBRR in the league.
10T. Cleveland Indians: .315 wOBA, +0 EqBRR, 627 eRS, 611 RS
The Indians had some hopes of improved offense this year, but outside of Shin-Soo Choo and a spectacular month by Carlos Santana, it never materialized.
10T. Oakland Athletics: .315 wOBA, +9 EqBRR, 629 eRS, 627 RS
They were the second-best baserunning team in the league, but also a team with the second-lowest SLG in the league (tied with the Indians, ahead of only the Mariners). Jack Cust and Coco Crisp have been the best hitters, and neither have been with the team full-time: Cust was demoted in a bizarre start to the season, while Crisp has missed time with injury.
9. Kansas City Royals: .316 wOBA, -8 EqBRR, 634 eRS, 617 RS
The Royals are at the lead of this group of teams that had better hitting than the Mariners, but were significantly behind the competent offensive teams. Billy Butler had himself a nice season, and Wilson Betemit has been amazing in replacement for the traded Alberto Castillo. Despite all of our clamoring for his promotion earlier this year, Alex Gordon hasn't hit a lick.
8. Chicago White Sox: .324 wOBA, -3 EqBRR, 673 eRS, 685 RS
The White Sox have a homer-friendly park, and have hit their share this year with the 5th-highest SLG in the league. But they posted only an average OBP, and as a result, after park adjustment, their offense only rates out as just average.
7. Texas Rangers: .330 wOBA, +6 EqBRR, 703 eRS, 716 RS
The Rangers have the most hitter-friendly park in the American League, and so the park-adjusted wOBA reported here might seem low. But really, this is a team that got a spectacular performance from Josh Hamilton, a very good performance from Nelson Cruz (when healthy), and solid hitting from three other regulars (if you consider David Murphy a regular). Beyond that, the hitting lines really aren't very impressive.
5T. Detroit Tigers: .332 wOBA, +4 EqBRR, 714 eRS, 700 RS
The Tigers would likely rank a bit higher if it weren't for getting hit by the injury bug, but they remind me a lot of Texas's team. They got an MVP-caliber offensive season from Miguel Cabrera (I vote Hamilton, FWIW), a fine performance from an outfielder who got hurt too soon (Magglio Ordonez), and a few other quality performances below that. Austin Jackson was perhaps the biggest surprise, and I'm still trying to figure out how much of that BABIP of his is real.
5T. Toronto Blue Jays: .332 wOBA, -3 EqBRR, 714 eRS, 698 RS
Jose Bautista has hit 50 homers and has a .426 wOBA in 640 PA's. I just don't understand!!!
4. Minnesota Twins: .335 wOBA, -3 EqBRR, 727 eRS, 745 RS
The Twins got an MVP first half from Justin Morneau, and a resurrected Jim Thome took over for him in the second half. Joe Mauer's not what he was last season, but a .376 wOBA from your catcher is still tops in baseball at that position.
3. Tampa Bay Rays: .336 wOBA, +14 EqBRR, 736 eRS, 780 RS
They get on base, they've got decent power, and they've got terrific speed. Probably the most dynamic offense in baseball, even if they're not the best.
2. Boston Red Sox: .339 wOBA, -5 EqBRR, 752 eRS, 742 RS
I honestly have no idea how the Red Sox did this despite all of their injury problems. When their guys were healthy, they generally were quite productive. And when they haven't been, they've gotten huge performances from their bench. I mean seriously: Darnell McDonald, Bill Hall, and Jed Lowrie. Also, Adrian Beltre really likes not hitting at Safeco.
1. New York Yankees: .348 wOBA, +2 EqBRR, 796 eRS, 821 RS
Honestly, it's not even that close. I might not be adjusting for their park enough as I only have a year of park data to work with and thus am heavily regressing it. But this team has the best OBP in the league and the 3rd-best slugging in the league. They can even run a little bit. ... And how about Robinson Cano, eh?