10 July 2017

Ratings and Projections through 7/9: Astros, Dodgers on Fire at the Halfway* Mark

The .002 that separates the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers in RPScore heading into the All-Star Break is only slightly less significant than the one-win gap that separates their blistering end-of-season projections.

Projected End-of-Season Win Totals with 80% Prediction Intervals

Top Teams through 7/9:
  1. Houston Astros (.637)
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers (.635)
  3. Cleveland Indians (.573)

Projected AL Seeds:*
  1. Houston (107 - 55)
  2. Cleveland (91 - 71)
  3. Boston Red Sox (89 - 73)
  4. New York Yankees (87 - 75; 1st WC)
  5. Tampa Bay Rays (84 - 78; 2nd WC)
  6. Kansas City Royals & Texas Rangers (81 - 81; 1st out)

Projected NL Seeds:*
  1. Los Angeles (108 - 54)
  2. Washington Nationals (95 - 67)
  3. Milwaukee Brewers (85 - 77)
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks (92 - 70; 1st WC)
  5. Colorado Rockies (88 - 74; 2nd WC)
  6. Chicago Cubs (83 - 79; 1st out)
*Margin of error (80% prediction interval): +/- 7.5 wins

Comments and Observations:

The story of the season through the midway ~54.5679% point has clearly been the red hot play of the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams have won 60 games already. Both teams lead baseball in RPScore, not to mention Pythagorean win rate, Base Runs-adjusted Pythagorean win rate, and park-adjusted, schedule-adjusted, Base Runs-adjusted Pythagorean win rate (1º Win, 2º Win and 3º Win on the RPScore leaderboard, respectively). Both teams project to win their divisions by a combined 42 (!) games, posting 107+ wins. I estimate that there's a ~10% chance that one of these teams tops 114 wins; I estimate a ~1% chance that both teams do.

There are, however, 28 other teams (fact) and they have done some interesting things as well (opinion, but I stand by it).

  • RPScore Numbers
    • The Philadelphia Phillies held on to last place in the RPScore rankings, fending off the San Diego Padres by .0001.
    • The Phillies are still devastatingly unlucky, a true .418 team playing .333 ball (a bad-luck gap of .085).
    • The Rockies remain the luckiest squad, a .495 team playing .571 ball, their 77 points of good luck largely responsible for their holding on to the second wild card spot.
    • The San Francisco Giants take home the mid-season trophy in RPScore volatility, with a standard deviation of their daily scores of .034.
    • Their AL counterparts across the bay, the Oakland Athletics, have been the steadiest at .008.
    • The New York Yankees have the biggest gap between minimum and maximum RPScores at .145. The aforementioned A's difference is only .040.
    • The Arizona Diamondbacks have outperformed their day-one RPScore by .084, while the Giants have underperformed theirs by .120.
  • Projections Trivia
    • The Cleveland Indians have taken third place on the RPScore leaderboard, their strong play contributing to their projected 10-game victory in the NL Central and a second place finish in the American League standings.
    • "The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs" is a weird phrase to type, but it's also an apt description of a team that's going to finish two games back in their division to the streaking Milwaukee Brewers and five games out of the wild card.
    • The Texas Rangers project to finish a respectable 81-81, which is just good enough to be one of the first teams to miss the playoffs and finish 26 games behind their division rival Astros.
    • The only thing slowing down the Los Angeles Dodgers (sorry, yes, them again) is a lopsided schedule that has them playing 57% of their games on the road after the break.
  • Run Distribution Stats
    • The Atlanta Braves shut-out the Washington Nationals 13-0 Saturday afternoon.
    • That was the Nationals' first time being shut out this season.
    • The lone remaining team yet to plate bupkis in a single game this season is the New York Yankees.
    • The Nationals' offense has carried them lately, scoring double digit runs an MLB-high 15 times this season.
    • The Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres have only managed the feat once each.
    • Those Padres have allowed 10+ runs more often than anyone else this year: 13 times.
    • Every team has shut someone out this year, but the Giants and Detroit Tigers have only done so once.
    • Yesterday's (the July 9) slate of games posted the largest spread of the season, with the winning team scoring on average 5.4 more runs than their opponent.
  • Individual Game Minutiae
    • That's thanks largely to the Astros squashing the Blue Jays by a margin of 18 runs, tying the Nats' 23-5 thrashing of the Mets on April 30 for the mid-season high.
    • The 23 runs the Nationals scored in that game set the high water mark thus far.
    • The 28 total runs scored in that contest remain the mid-season high, tied with a Detroit 19-9 win over the Seattle Mariners on April 25.
    • The 28 hits that the Minnesota Twins produced against the Mariners on June 13 are a mid-season high, with the minimum being Arizona's nil courtesy of the Miami Marlins' Edinson Volquez.
    • No team has walked as many times as the Boston Red Sox did against Toronto on June 30, tallying 14 bases on balls.
    • Nor has anyone yet matched the Mets' tally of nine doubles against Atlanta on May 3.
    • Six teams have hit three triples in a game, most recently the Chicago White Sox on Saturday against Colorado.
    • The Rockies also allowed three triples last week against the Diamondbacks.
    • The Nats and Mets are tied for most dingers in a game in 2017.
    • The Mets did it on April 11 against the Phillies.
    • The Nationals did it... April 30 against the Mets.
    • Those Nats again, they tied those Dodgers again, with 7 stolen bases in a single contest, the former on June 27 against the Cubs, the latter on June 3 versus the Brewers.
    • Two teams tie in being caught stealing thrice in one game: Milwaukee vs. Boston on May 9 and Cleveland versus Cinci on May 24.
  • The Home Team
    • The home team thus far has plated 6,282 runs and allowed 6,094.
    • That's a run differential of +188, good for a Pythagorean record of .514.
    • The home team's win rate so far is .541.
    • That's down from .556 just one month ago.
Enjoy the All-Star Game. This time, it counts it doesn't count but maybe it'll be fun to watch anyhow. When baseball comes back I'll be updating the ratings and projections more-or-less daily through the end of the season and right on through October.

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