Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 3, 2006
BASEBALL: AL Predicted Standings

Having done my EWSL previews of the AL's three divisions here, here and here, let's see what the final records of the AL teams should be if they adhere to EWSL, assuming (big assumptions) (1) no adjustment for schedule strength*, (2) the AL having a .500 record in inter-league play, and (3) each team gaining an equal amount from non-listed players (but see here):

Yankees10260--White Sox8676--A's9765--
Red Sox98644Twins82804Angels867611
Blue Jays828020Indians77859Rangers828015
Devil Rays669636Royals5910327

Now, as I've said before, EWSL does have its blind spots; I do think the Indians, in particular, will do better than 77 wins, the Royals will lose closer to 110, and I do think the AL will do better than .500 against the NL. I also think the A's aren't quite this much better than the Angels, although the more I look at their team the more I think they could be the stronger team. We shall see.

* - This is a somewhat reasonable assumption, as most of the players on the Indians, for example, compiled the stats they have by playing the same number of games vs the Royals they will play this year.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:51 PM | Baseball 2006 • | Baseball Studies | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

AL Central
White Sox

Posted by: maddirishman at April 4, 2006 10:47 AM

102 wins for the Yankees, Sox in 2nd in the AL East? You might want to re-check your figures. The Yankee rotation is NOT impressive at all, Mussina is over-rated, Chacon and Wang overachieved, Wright and Pavano will probably be hurt more often than not. RJ is getting REAL OLD. Yeah, they'll hit a ton, but their pitching and defense will hurt more often than help, as could injuries - and with a shoddy minor leagues, they won't find much help unless they BUY it.

The Sox, on the other hand, have an excellent rotation, a deep bullpen, outstanding defense and a minor leagues that is filled with possible replacements should injury happen. They have a deep bench as well. Lot's of talent, and a much younger team than the Yankees.

Cracks me up that everyone blindly projects the Yanks as favorites. They can be had!

Posted by: uncasquig at April 4, 2006 12:18 PM


Wouldn't be a Sox fan, now would you?

Posted by: Mike at April 4, 2006 12:20 PM

While I think the order is accurate I don't see either team winning that many games. The Yankees are a team built for the regular season (will score tons of runs, will absolutely destroy less than stellar pitching, have a couple of decent if on the downside of their careers starters and a great closer) but I still don't see them getting to more than 96 or 97 wins. The Sox are a better post-season team (more effective starters, deeper bullpen, great clutch hitting) but they are relying on unknowns (Loretta, Gonzalez, Lowell, Youkalis, Foulke) to produce. I think they are 94-96 wins. The Blue Jays are better than 82 wins, the Orioles are worse than 77 wins and TB might not win 55 games.

Posted by: jim at April 4, 2006 1:24 PM

If it's only going to take about 90 wins to lock up the Wild Card, I doubt the Yanks and Red Sox will push themselves hard enough to win 102 and 98 games, respectively. They might be capable of winning that many if they need to, though.

Posted by: Jerry at April 4, 2006 5:37 PM

An 18 game swing between the A's and the Angels. That Esteban Loaiza signing sure was a difference maker.

Posted by: TheRedMenace at April 4, 2006 6:01 PM

Mike, while I am a Red Sox fan, I am also not delusional. The Sox made some excellent off season moves to bolster their starting pitching, bullpen, and defense. The Yanks added Johnny Damon. Many say that the Sox did too much during the off-season, and added many unprovens. I disagree, the players they added have proven track records. Sure, Lowell is a gamble, but he was damn good prior to last year, and is still great defensively. A-Gon is a Gold Glove caliber SS who's glove will make up (somewhat) for his bat. Coco Crisp is a younger Johnny Damon with a better arm. And if Beckett can avoid blisters, he adds a huge upside to the starting rotation.

Cracks me up that the Yankees ALWAYS get a free pass, regardless of what they do on the off season. If it weren't for Wright and Pavano going down last year with injuries, the NY pitching would have been a disaster. Classic case of addition by subtraction, because Chacon, Small and Wang WAY over achieved. Does this mean they won't equal last years performance? Certainly not, but one good year does not make a superstar - as one bad year (Lowell) does not make a failure.

Ah well, 2 games down, 160 to go. It will be an interesting season. ANYTHING can happen - up to and including all AL East teams fighting numerous season critical injuries and the Devil Rays winning the pennant! :O)

Posted by: uncasquig at April 5, 2006 6:18 AM

The Yankees rotation was devastated by injuries last season. Wright, Pavano, Johnson -- it felt like every starter was on the DL for a good chunk of time. We saw the likes of Leiter, Chacon, Small, May, et. al. The rotation, while not stellar, will earn more wins than last season.

Pavano is probably good for about a 4 ERA when (if?) he returns to the rotation.

Wang, though he doesn't strike out a bunch of guys, keeps the ball in the park and men off the bases (for the most part). He's probably good for a mid-4 ERA.

Mussina, while on the decline, is still a decent starter. Certainly not a number 2, but not as awful as some people would like to point out.

Johnson showed flashes of returning to his old form at the end of last season (with the exception of his awful postseason start). I expect him to rebound more towards his career numbers (something he's already shown). There is no reason to assume that his skill has fallen off so drastically (i.e. due to major injury), though it's been known to happen suddenly for pitchers.

Wang, Small, and Chacon are thus likely to regress, but they will be balanced out by the other underperforming starters.

Meanwhile, the lineup has improved with the addition of Damon in CF. Giambi has also returned to form after his whole "ordeal."

The Sox, on the other hand, have the exact opposite problem(s):

Great rotation, terrible offense. Coco Crisp's return should bolster the offense (and defense), as will Trot Nixon. Mike Lowell can't help but have a better year than 2005. But Gonzo, Pena, Loretta, Youk, Mohr, Stern -- that's a black hole of sub-800 OPS hitters.

It will fall on Manny (who, if 2005 is any indication, is aging -- first season to hit sub-300 with the Sox), Ortiz, and (to a much lesser extent) Crisp, Varitek, and Lowell to power the offense.

However, the rotation (as we've seen so far) is stellar. Can't complain about much in the way of pitching when your closer hasn't yielded a run and two of the three starters in the league at 3-0 are on your team.

That said, the Sox will probably finish the season in 2nd place. If you look at runs scored versus runs allowed, the Sox's record is well above the predicted value. While a good closer and great starters will keep you in the game (more so than a certain New York team), a lot of those close one-run games won't go your way.

But hey -- the old Yankees teams (the ones with good pitching and such in the 90s and early 2000s) always outperformed their runs scored/allowed predictions. A lot of people attributed it to Rivera and his ability to shut the door in tight games. Perhaps Papelbon can do the same.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: nadnerb at April 17, 2006 12:07 AM
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