Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo

Sox vs. the good AL teams


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
23 replies to this topic

#1 tims4wins


  • PN23's replacement


  • 7,297 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:33 AM

After last night, the Sox have dropped to 4-14 against the AL East + Texas and Detroit. They are 13-6 against everyone else. These 6 teams represent the only other teams in the AL with positive run differentials, aside from the Tigers, who are actually negative. But I think most here would agree that the Tigers are a playoff team.

In those 18 games, the Sox have scored 81 runs, exactly 4.5 per game. They have given up 120 runs, or exactly 6.67 per game.

Of the 18 games, the Sox have scored 3 runs or less 10 times, while they have given up 3 runs or less 6 times. The Sox have scored 5 or more runs 6 times, while they have given up 5 or more runs 11 times.

It's still a small sample size, but are the Sox simply not good enough to compete against the better teams in the AL? Do you expect this record to be close to .500 by the end of the year, or will it be sub-.400?

Also, the Sox are 12-25 in their last 37 at the Trop... yikes.

#2 jodyreeddudley78

  • 1,530 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:06 PM

This team -- as the roster currently stands -- is what their record says they are.

They are one of the better hitting teams in the league, while the pitching (despite the past 6 games) has been some of the worst in the AL. They are a .500 team. Their Pythag says it, and they perform like one. If one wants to be optimistic, the team should improve throughout the season as people return from injuries. If one wants to be pessimistic, those returns might be offset by certain over performing players returning to career norms. I think the season will be somewhere in between, and the Sox will end up with 85-88 wins.

As an aside, they are a streaky team, that is for sure.

Edited by jodyreeddudley78, 17 May 2012 - 12:07 PM.


#3 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:10 PM

After last night, the Sox have dropped to 4-14 against the AL East + Texas and Detroit. They are 13-6 against everyone else. These 6 teams represent the only other teams in the AL with positive run differentials, aside from the Tigers, who are actually negative. But I think most here would agree that the Tigers are a playoff team.


The Tigers are only a playoff team because someone in that division has to be.

What we have so far is a small sample. We're not going to end the season with the entire AL East at a positive run differential. The Sox are not going to get swept in the season series by Baltimore.

#4 Toe Nash

  • 3,208 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:19 PM

After last night, the Orioles are 14-10 against the AL East + Texas (They haven't yet played Detroit). They are 10-4 against everyone else.

In those 24 games, the Orioles have scored 113 runs, 4.71 per game. They have given up 114.

Are the Orioles good enough to compete at about an equal level (by run differential) against the better teams in the AL? Do you expect this record to be close to .500 by the end of the year, or will it be sub-.400?


It's early still. The Orioles have certainly improved and their hitting is what it is; we knew that. Their pitching will likely not stay this strong, particularly their bullpen.

Similarly, the Red Sox are probably better than this, particularly Buchholz (and a good portion of those numbers above came when the bullpen was pitching like crap, too).

Texas does appear to again be the class of the majors, though.

#5 trekfan55


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,618 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:19 PM

IMO we have to wait for the improved "rotation" and bullpen to face the good teams. What happened in the beginning of the season vs Detroit, Cleveland, the MFY, etc. is not necessarily the norm for this team.

I know they faced crappy lineups, but it's still encouraging to see the rotation and bullpen's improved performance.

#6 tims4wins


  • PN23's replacement


  • 7,297 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:22 PM

After last night, the Orioles are 14-10 against the AL East + Texas (They haven't yet played Detroit). They are 10-4 against everyone else.

In those 24 games, the Orioles have scored 113 runs, 4.71 per game. They have given up 114.

Are the Orioles good enough to compete at about an equal level (by run differential) against the better teams in the AL? Do you expect this record to be close to .500 by the end of the year, or will it be sub-.400?


The difference here is run differential. Based on the RS/RA, you'd expect the O's to be 12-12, not 14-10. On the flip side, the Sox pythag in the 18 games is 5.6 and 12.4. So the Sox have been a bit unlucky, but they are still getting crushed.

#7 Toe Nash

  • 3,208 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:27 PM

The difference here is run differential. Based on the RS/RA, you'd expect the O's to be 12-12, not 14-10. On the flip side, the Sox pythag in the 18 games is 5.6 and 12.4. So the Sox have been a bit unlucky, but they are still getting crushed.

But based on pre-season expectations, you'd expect the Orioles to be 8-16 or something. They are simply not that talented, particularly the pitching.

If you think the true talent level of the Red Sox pitching is a 4.70 ERA, then yes, their run differential explains their slow start. But going forward the talent of the staff is likely to pitch better than that.

I'm not saying they've been unlucky given how they've pitched. I'm saying they are very likely to simply pitch better going forward, while the Orioles are likely to pitch worse (though they have greatly outperformed their FIP, so they've been lucky as well).

#8 tims4wins


  • PN23's replacement


  • 7,297 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

What about the offense though? 3 runs or less in more than half the games is not a recipe for success. The 4.5 runs per game is decent overall against good teams but there is a huge standard deviation.

#9 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:30 PM

Texas does appear to again be the class of the majors, though.


That's what happens when there's only one other competent team in your division and they have a craptacular start. There's no question in my mind that whoever winds up winning the AL East will be better than Texas but it won't necessarily be reflected in won loss record.

#10 RingoOSU


  • okie misanthrope


  • 13,498 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:39 PM

How many pennants does Texas have to win before you're convinced they're better than the Sox, Yankees, and Rays?

#11 Toe Nash

  • 3,208 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

That's what happens when there's only one other competent team in your division and they have a craptacular start. There's no question in my mind that whoever winds up winning the AL East will be better than Texas but it won't necessarily be reflected in won loss record.

That's why the AL East winner has made the last two World Series then?

Certainly SSS applies in the playoffs, but Texas was 22-22 against the AL East last year, and this year Texas has actually played a lot of AL East games already: They're 9-6 with 102 RS and 66 RA. Add in Detroit and it's 12-7, 127 RS / 78 RA. They're only 2-1 against the Angels, so their slow start hasn't factored into their record much.

#12 mauidano


  • Mai Tais for everyone!


  • 13,827 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:53 PM

Parity is becoming the word throughout the AL for sure. Really at this point who had the O's in first place? They have played exceptionally well and their bullpen, solid. The Sox are right there talent wise. Along with MFY's we have had some bad breaks injury wise and it has affected us obviously. Everyone has injuries, we'll see how TB holds up. If we are going to strike on these guys, it needs to be done here, now and tonight. This is a very crucial important road trip. We can't fall any further behind.

#13 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

How many pennants does Texas have to win before you're convinced they're better than the Sox, Yankees, and Rays?



That's why the AL East winner has made the last two World Series then?


Texas has won two pennants in their history.

In 2011 they won 96 games with a pythag of 98. New York won the ALE with 97 wins and a pythag of 101. Who played the harder schedule?

In 2010 they won 90 games with a pythag of 91 and the Rays won the ALE with 96 wins and a pythag of 96. The Sox finished third with 89 wins and a pythag of 88. Who played the harder schedule?

To convince me they're better they have to actually do better. Maybe that will happen this year, maybe it won't.

#14 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,326 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:59 PM

This team -- as the roster currently stands -- is what their record says they are.

They are one of the better hitting teams in the league, while the pitching (despite the past 6 games) has been some of the worst in the AL. They are a .500 team. Their Pythag says it, and they perform like one. If one wants to be optimistic, the team should improve throughout the season as people return from injuries. If one wants to be pessimistic, those returns might be offset by certain over performing players returning to career norms. I think the season will be somewhere in between, and the Sox will end up with 85-88 wins.

As an aside, they are a streaky team, that is for sure.

There is a large difference between their record reflecting their performance to date and their performance to date reflecting the talent level of the roster. It seems like people are jumping from the former being true to assuming the latter and drawing the conclusion that the team's record is an accurate reflection of the talent level of the roster. It's simply not true. Below I've put a chart of the ZiPS rest of season projections for the rotation via FanGraphs alongside their to date performance.

Starting Rotation Projections for Remainder of the Season
Name ERA ZiPS RoS ERA FIP ZiPS RoS FIP
Jon Lester 3.71 3.55 3.52 3.56
Josh Beckett 4.97 4.09 5.04 4.1
Clay Buchholz 7.77 4.14 6.63 4.54
Felix Doubront 4.46 4.97 3.47 4.26
Daniel Bard 4.3 3.97 3.85 3.63


The only player currently outperforming his projection is Doubront. The average underperformance across the staff (not weighted for innings in either case) is 0.9 runs per game of ERA. The pitching has a huge capacity to get better simply via regression. We've been seeing the beginnings of that over the last week and there are good reasons to expect it to continue. This is a better baseball team than they have performed like so far, especially the rotation.

#15 Toe Nash

  • 3,208 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:14 PM

Texas has won two pennants in their history.

To convince me they're better they have to actually do better. Maybe that will happen this year, maybe it won't.


Well so far, they are beating up on the good (and bad) teams in the league, which was my first point that you objected to and ignored when I posted the numbers backing it up.

#16 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:24 PM

Well so far, they are beating up on the good (and bad) teams in the league, which was my first point that you objected to and ignored when I posted the numbers backing it up.


I didn't object to anything. There haven't been enough games played this year to draw any conclusions from, certainly not whether the 24-14 Rangers are better than the 24-14 Rays when you also have the 24-14 Orioles.

#17 Dogman2


  • Yukon Cornelius


  • 11,346 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:58 PM

I didn't object to anything. There haven't been enough games played this year to draw any conclusions from, certainly not whether the 24-14 Rangers are better than the 24-14 Rays when you also have the 24-14 Orioles.


Sure you did. You said 2 of those teams are playing exactly to their pythag, which means their respective pythags must be correct, while the other is outperforming theirs, so it must be wrong. Then you said there are not enough games played to draw any conclusions but, yet, you still drew a conclusion about the O's.

Which is it?

#18 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:09 PM

It's remarkably frustrating to continually have to explain common sense.

I didn't say Texas and Tampa matched their pythags and if you cared to look you'd find out they don't.

There haven't been enough games played yet to draw conclusions.

My assessment that the Orioles don't belong in the same discussion comes from the same place as everyone else's and you know that.

#19 Dogman2


  • Yukon Cornelius


  • 11,346 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:22 PM

It's remarkably frustrating to continually have to explain why you are a posting contradiction.

You used 2 teams who are playing exactly to their pythag which means they will play within a range of 2-3 wins based on projections. In order to support this data, you used past years from 3 teams whom played within 2-3 wins of that projected pythag to draw the conclusion that pythag is a good measure of how a team will perform. Then you used the O's to say that they are playing above their pythag. Not a single person disagrees with that assessment. But you cannot say the other 2 teams you used this year are playing very close to their true talent level based on pythag and then say the O's are not playing close to their talent level based on pythag and support it with the caveat of SSS, which you did. It's a contradiction.

You have been wrong all offseason, spring training and now the regular season. It's OK to admit it.

#20 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:51 PM

It's remarkably frustrating to continually have to explain why you are a posting contradiction.


It would help if I were actually doing so.

You used 2 teams who are playing exactly to their pythag which means they will play within a range of 2-3 wins based on projections.


So now "exactly" doesn't mean "exactly anymore? Baltimore's pythag is 21-18, Tampa 21-17, Texas 27-12 so the closest one of them to their actual record is 3 games.

In order to support this data, you used past years from 3 teams whom played within 2-3 wins of that projected pythag to draw the conclusion that pythag is a good measure of how a team will perform.


No, I used the pythags because they are a commonly accepted measure of how good a team is to double the number of data points to show that it's not clear that Texas has been better than the best of the AL East teams.

Then you used the O's to say that they are playing above their pythag.


I didn't say that. I didn't mean that. It's not a point that is relevant at all. The relevant point is that their performance to date is not reflective of their talent level because it's a small sample size aberration. The same is true, in the other direction, of the Red Sox and Angels.

But you cannot say the other 2 teams you used this year are playing very close to their true talent level based on pythag and then say the O's are not playing close to their talent level based on pythag and support it with the caveat of SSS, which you did. It's a contradiction.


I did not justify anything by using pythags. In the bit that was quoted that we're arguing over, I didn't even mention pythags. I don't know why you feel it necessary to pretend I did things so you can argue that I was wrong but you might want to look at that.

You have been wrong all offseason, spring training and now the regular season. It's OK to admit it.


I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong but I have to actually be wrong first. That means the facts actually have to be counter to what I thought would happen, not facts that are counter to what you think I thought would happen.

Let me put it this way. The Sox have already had more than the normal rash of injuries. If you disagree, show me 7-10 teams that lose two months each from two of their starting lineup at the same time every year. That's ignoring the Bailey injury because it happened before the season and ignoring the first month of the Crawford injury because it happened before the season.

Now, given that, if this team wins 92-93 games, are you going to admit that I was right?

If your initial reaction is that the team winning 92-93 games would prove me wrong then you have a grave misunderstanding of what I have been saying.

Also, I should point out that you have derailed this thread from it's original point to one in where the discussion is about whether I, personally, am right or wrong. You should try to figure out why.

#21 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:59 PM

By the way, Dogman, here's an example of me actually being wrong.

That's what happens when there's only one other competent team in your division and they have a craptacular start.


And this is how it's pointed out:


and this year Texas has actually played a lot of AL East games already: They're 9-6 with 102 RS and 66 RA. Add in Detroit and it's 12-7, 127 RS / 78 RA. They're only 2-1 against the Angels, so their slow start hasn't factored into their record much.



#22 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,326 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:22 PM

No, I used the pythags because they are a commonly accepted measure of how good a team is to double the number of data points to show that it's not clear that Texas has been better than the best of the AL East teams.

Pythags are a measure of how good a team has been. They do not tell us how good a team is unless that team has played to their talent level. Pythagorean records predict future records better than actual records, but this early in the season they are still worse than a projection that properly weights early season performance relative to the historical performances of the players involved.

Baltimore is worse than they have played and they have outperformed their Pythagorean record. This leads to them looking vastly better than they are. The Red Sox have played even with their Pythagorean record but they are better than they have played. Thus, while there is no regression needed relative to their actual record versus their run scoring/prevention, the expectation for their future run scoring/prevention needs to be regressed fully to the mean before one can reasonably attempt to predict their future performance.

#23 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:15 PM

Pythags are a measure of how good a team has been. They do not tell us how good a team is unless that team has played to their talent level. Pythagorean records predict future records better than actual records, but this early in the season they are still worse than a projection that properly weights early season performance relative to the historical performances of the players involved.

Baltimore is worse than they have played and they have outperformed their Pythagorean record. This leads to them looking vastly better than they are. The Red Sox have played even with their Pythagorean record but they are better than they have played. Thus, while there is no regression needed relative to their actual record versus their run scoring/prevention, the expectation for their future run scoring/prevention needs to be regressed fully to the mean before one can reasonably attempt to predict their future performance.


I obviously agree with all of this which is why I didn't use pythags from this season until someone else dragged their sorry carcass into the conversation.

Edited by Rasputin, 17 May 2012 - 09:19 PM.


#24 jodyreeddudley78

  • 1,530 posts

Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:31 AM

There is a large difference between their record reflecting their performance to date and their performance to date reflecting the talent level of the roster. It seems like people are jumping from the former being true to assuming the latter and drawing the conclusion that the team's record is an accurate reflection of the talent level of the roster. It's simply not true. Below I've put a chart of the ZiPS rest of season projections for the rotation via FanGraphs alongside their to date performance.

The only player currently outperforming his projection is Doubront. The average underperformance across the staff (not weighted for innings in either case) is 0.9 runs per game of ERA. The pitching has a huge capacity to get better simply via regression. We've been seeing the beginnings of that over the last week and there are good reasons to expect it to continue. This is a better baseball team than they have performed like so far, especially the rotation.


I agree that the rotation will be better. People returning from injuries should as well. But interestingly ZiPs isn't as bullish on our DH, OFs, Cs, and practically everyone in our bullpen.