2012 MLB Power Rankings #1

Wow, the first baseball post of the year!  Frankly, I have not been following too too much.  With the respendent NBA and NHL playoffs, it has been easy to ignore.  Also, small sample sizes abound anyway.  It’s hard to make any real statement about your team before Memorial Day anyway.  For what it’s worth, we have decided to try a quantitative ranking this season.  The method is detailed boringly here.  But here is the rankings through today:

Rank Team W L Pythag SOS PythRecent SOSRecent RecRank
1 Los Angeles Dodgers 30 14 0.621 (3) 0.516 (6) 0.52 0.574 3
2 Texas Rangers 27 18 0.688 (1) 0.489 (24) 0.466 0.564 12
3 Toronto Blue Jays 24 21 0.588 (4) 0.499 (18) 0.511 0.551 4
4 Saint Louis Cardinals 25 20 0.65 (2) 0.511 (9) 0.507 0.549 18
5 San Francisco Giants 24 21 0.508 (15) 0.525 (2) 0.568 0.539 2
6 Cleveland Indians 26 18 0.503 (16) 0.502 (15) 0.478 0.537 1
7 Washington Nationals 26 18 0.562 (6) 0.513 (8) 0.508 0.528 13
8 Houston Astros 21 23 0.534 (9) 0.497 (21) 0.528 0.526 6
9 Atlanta Braves 26 20 0.576 (5) 0.509 (10) 0.47 0.525 15
10 Philadelphia Phillies 23 23 0.511 (14) 0.527 (1) 0.476 0.524 10
11 Chicago White Sox 23 22 0.529 (11) 0.504 (11) 0.528 0.521 11
12 Boston Red Sox 22 22 0.533 (10) 0.488 (25) 0.414 0.574 9
13 Anaheim Angels 21 25 0.494 (17) 0.518 (3) 0.537 0.574 7
14 Cincinnati Reds 25 19 0.524 (12) 0.492 (23) 0.503 0.574 8
15 Kansas City Royals 17 26 0.44 (22) 0.5 (17) 0.504 0.574 5
16 Tampa Bay Rays 27 18 0.537 (7) 0.475 (29) 0.383 0.574 19
17 Miami Marlins 24 21 0.483 (18) 0.518 (4) 0.505 0.492 21
18 Baltimore Orioles 28 17 0.535 (8) 0.475 (30) 0.447 0.491 23
19 Detroit Tigers 20 24 0.474 (20) 0.502 (16) 0.498 0.488 17
20 Seattle Mariners 21 26 0.478 (19) 0.487 (26) 0.448 0.487 14
21 Milwaukee Brewers 18 26 0.43 (25) 0.514 (7) 0.534 0.478 16
22 New York Yankees 23 21 0.518 (13) 0.494 (22) 0.457 0.47 30
23 Arizona Diamondbacks 20 25 0.464 (21) 0.503 (14) 0.421 0.469 25
24 Colorado Rockies 16 27 0.44 (23) 0.516 (5) 0.515 0.465 26
25 New York Mets 24 21 0.415 (26) 0.503 (13) 0.551 0.452 27
26 Oakland Athletics 22 23 0.439 (24) 0.497 (20) 0.498 0.451 29
27 San Diego Padres 17 29 0.392 (27) 0.498 (19) 0.512 0.45 24
28 Pittsburgh Pirates 20 24 0.383 (28) 0.486 (27) 0.573 0.444 22
29 Minnesota Twins 15 29 0.332 (30) 0.503 (12) 0.488 0.436 20
30 Chicago Cubs 15 29 0.373 (29) 0.483 (28) 0.531 0.426 28

Obviously it is hard – and probably silly – to dive too big into surprises. What I can say is that the ranked teams with good records tend to suffer from the scoring margin associated with a not so good team. Luck in close games is good for the standings – beats having to win the games again – but it is not something you can predict future success with. Also now with 40 games or so in the book, the last 25% of the schedule (the recent stats) are included – so how a team is playing now matters a bit more. In any case, from early evidence we can derive some overrated/underrated:

Overrated: (22) Yankees, (25) Mets.  Two above .500 teams who are playing like a far inferior side.  Somewhat expected with the Mets, but less so with the Yankees, but the pitching has not gotten better.

Underrated: (8) Astros, (10) Phillies.  Phillies makes sense – the pitching and past performance are worth it.  The Astros have played like a better team than their record.  This is particularly funny since on paper, this looked like the worst non-expansion team in many a moon.  Brad Mills obvious 1st quarter Manager of the Year in the NL.

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