Every year we forget this, but it is still true. Looking at the rankings is just a snapshot of time. On this date a year ago, the Chicago Cubs were number one on NL Central. The top team in the NL West (the division where the Giants and Dodgers ultimately won more than 105 games) was San Diego. , and the final champion Braves was under .500. In two months you will forget where everything was on May 24th.
So the ranking itself can be deceiving. There are many reasons for this, but there are two main reasons.
These two concepts are one of my favorite quick and dirty stats. Baseball Reference’s Simple Rating System. Taking into account both goals scored/allowed and the intensity of the schedule, this figure attempts to calculate the number of goals a team can expect to beat the average team in an average game. 1927 Yankees Expected to beat the average team by 2.1 points. Historically Terrible 2003 Tigers You are expected to lose that exact amount. You can tell who’s better and who’s worse than the rankings.
And that can tell us a lot now. So, using a simple rating system (and a little common sense), there are 4 teams that look better and 4 that look worse than what you see in the standings.
Giants (0.8 SRS)
The Giants are third in the NL West, and they were exactly in that position at this point last year. (And they ended up with 107 wins.) So I’m assuming the Giants fans aren’t too nervous, but then they should stop. The Giants’ fight tag stats match the actual stats, but they’ve also won games against every other team in the National League (Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals, Mets, Brewers). They are 5 1/2 games behind Padres despite having a higher SRS than Padres (0.6). Worth it, the Dodgers have only half a game left at the Padres, despite having the best SRS in baseball at 1.9.
Cardinals (0.8 SRS)
Now, you should explain a little bit about the last two Sundays of St. Louis Cardinals baseball. The Cardinals dominated the Giants and Pirates 33-10 over those two days, but to be fair they would have been 33-2 if they had pitched anyone other than Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina in the ninth of the game. Still, this contributed to the Cardinals currently making the second-best gap in the National League, despite being 2.5 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. Another reason they are there? They played only 9 times with the Reds, Pirates and Cubs (7-2). Brewers played 18 times (13-5). The Cardinals have nine more fattening games than the Brewers.
Phillies (0.8 SRS)
Phyllis feel Like a team that should have a better record than that, SRS agrees very much. They are another team with an unbelievable scoring differential with a record under 0.500, but they also have a tight schedule. They’ve already played 7 games against the Dodgers (4-3, no less). They also played half of their 19 games against the top-ranked Mets. And they didn’t play in last-minute Washington.
Marlins (0.6 SRS)
The Marlins are in fourth place, but better than their record. The issue here is not the schedule. Execution deployment. The Marlins dominated their opponents by 17 points, averaging 22-18 instead of 18-22. They simply need their luck to keep their balance in the second half. I don’t mean that will do Of course it happens. That alone would be the case in a just world.
Brewer (0.2 SRS)
The Brewers have had their best start in their 40-year history and are on their way to 103 wins. But on the schedule many with that As mentioned, they have played more than half of their matches against the Reds, Cubs, Pirates, Nationals and Orioles. They will soon have to face the Dodgers, Mets, Cardinals and more. They have been split 2-2 with the Cardinals so far. There are 4 more this weekend. And divisions can all come down to one-on-one matches.
Blue Jays (0.0 SRS)
So far the Blue Jays have been sputtering, but I have a feeling they’re still keeping their heads above the water. …and it will run soon. That could happen quite well, but they claim their Pythag numbers aren’t actually as good as they played. They are two games over 0.500, but under three games by Pythag numbers. Played the Yankees 9 times, the Astros 6 times, and the Wraith and Red Sox 10 times. And they never played Orioles.
Ray (0.0 SRS)
It is a generally held assumption that all advanced metrics should break in the direction of Rays. After all, how are they doing it? However, according to SRS, the Rays have been an average team this year. Their problem was schedule. They played nearly two-thirds of their matches with teams under .500, including the Cubs, A (7 appearances), Mariners, and Orioles (6 times). Meanwhile, they played only three times with the Blue Jays and never played against the Yankees. They need to beat the Yankees to win this division. They will have ample opportunity to do so.
White Sox (-0.6 SRS)
Despite all the astonishment at Tony La Russa and his management style this year, you would think this is a strong team that is losing by a narrow margin. But SRS thinks the White Sox are a below-average team. It’s actually worse than the Mariners, the Red Sox, and the Panting Cubs. (They have the same SRS as the Orioles.) Considering that most of the White Sox’s most injured players will return relatively soon, the fact that they are still above .500 and remain in this race is very important. I see it. Maybe La Russa is doing what yes anyway.