2012 MLB Update #2

Last time we did this was at the end of May – where the surprising start of the Los Angeles Dodgers had seemed to be lording over the league – of course after four straight shutout losses, and Matt Kemp’s prolonged absence – their hideous offense has seemed to catch up with them.  (Seriously, James Loney as a a first basemen for a team with any aspirations – .236/.303/.323).  Saint Louis has seemed to be the best in the NL – at least thinking about them entering the season, and it has largely stood up – although their close game record has been peculiar.   But as we hurtle towards the halfway point of the season, suddenly the cream is starting to rise:

Rank Team W L Pythag SOS Recent RecRank Total
1 Texas Rangers 49 29 0.629 (1) 0.501 (16) 0.579 5 0.569
2 Boston Red Sox 41 36 0.573 (6) 0.499 (19) 0.623 1 0.565
3 Anaheim Angels 43 34 0.578 (5) 0.498 (20) 0.616 2 0.564
4 Chicago White Sox 42 35 0.57 (7) 0.508 (6) 0.56 7 0.546
5 Washington Nationals 44 31 0.582 (3) 0.504 (12) 0.551 8 0.546
6 New York Mets 42 36 0.532 (11) 0.498 (21) 0.593 3 0.541
7 Saint Louis Cardinals 40 37 0.583 (2) 0.512 (3) 0.504 14 0.533
8 New York Yankees 46 30 0.581 (4) 0.487 (26) 0.526 11 0.531
9 Pittsburgh Pirates 41 35 0.505 (16) 0.504 (11) 0.584 4 0.531
10 Arizona Diamondbacks 39 37 0.533 (10) 0.506 (9) 0.546 9 0.528
11 Oakland Athletics 37 41 0.502 (17) 0.49 (24) 0.56 6 0.517
12 San Francisco Giants 44 34 0.526 (14) 0.511 (5) 0.504 15 0.514
13 Cincinnati Reds 42 35 0.527 (13) 0.504 (10) 0.506 13 0.512
14 Toronto Blue Jays 39 38 0.535 (8) 0.487 (27) 0.497 17 0.507
15 Milwaukee Brewers 34 42 0.471 (21) 0.519 (1) 0.503 16 0.498
16 Philadelphia Phillies 36 43 0.484 (18) 0.511 (4) 0.497 18 0.497
17 Tampa Bay Rays 41 36 0.508 (15) 0.483 (29) 0.495 19 0.495
18 Kansas City Royals 35 39 0.458 (23) 0.499 (18) 0.526 10 0.494
19 Detroit Tigers 37 40 0.481 (19) 0.492 (23) 0.508 12 0.494
20 Atlanta Braves 40 36 0.534 (9) 0.487 (28) 0.43 27 0.484
21 Los Angeles Dodgers 43 35 0.53 (12) 0.513 (2) 0.381 30 0.475
22 Seattle Mariners 34 46 0.467 (22) 0.488 (25) 0.44 24 0.465
23 Baltimore Orioles 42 34 0.476 (20) 0.473 (30) 0.445 23 0.464
24 Houston Astros 32 45 0.429 (26) 0.507 (7) 0.447 22 0.461
25 Cleveland Indians 38 38 0.433 (24) 0.499 (17) 0.438 26 0.457
26 Chicago Cubs 27 48 0.405 (27) 0.504 (13) 0.454 21 0.454
27 San Diego Padres 28 50 0.365 (30) 0.506 (8) 0.482 20 0.451
28 Colorado Rockies 29 46 0.429 (25) 0.504 (14) 0.394 29 0.442
29 Miami Marlins 36 40 0.404 (28) 0.501 (15) 0.4 28 0.435
30 Minnesota Twins 30 45 0.366 (29) 0.497 (22) 0.44 25 0.434

We have been waiting for the Rangers to really start to assert themselves. Indeed Texas and Anaheim on paper looked like the best teams in baseball entering the season – Anaheim with its terrific pitching and Texas with its overall balance.  I don’t buy Boston as the #2 team either, but they have been very good lately with a 12-7 record and the top run differential during that time.  Bobby Valentine is a weird, oily guy – and Terry Francona did a magnificent job in his time – but Bobby has done an outstanding job with a patchwork outfield and figuring out a bullpen which looked like a human powder keg.

Clearly – the paper tiger so far has been Baltimore, with a negative run differential but still a 42-34 record.  On the other hand, with the second wild card position – that is 42 wins they don’t have to get, so while the rankings project Baltimore to finish 82-80, 85-77 might be good enough to make the playoffs.  What is particularly notable this season is how close the entire field actually is.  You look at the rankings themselves – the difference between #4 and #10 works out to 2 wins over a 162 game slate.  Indeed, the rankings only see four 90 win teams right now (Rangers, Angels, Yankees, Nationals) let alone any 100 win team.  This season has been a particular display of parity and it will be interesting to see if this holds.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s