Thursday, November 19, 2015

Game 26 Power Rankings

It's still pretty early in the season, but some trends may be emerging in the long horse race that is an HBD season.  Ranked roughly by expected winning % and sorted vaguely into types of horses:

Top-Of-The-Line Thoroughbreds - these teams have broken fast from the gate and appear to be the class of the field, although it's still early:

Kansas City:  good pitching + 3rd in AL runs + .993 Fielding % = #1

Houston:  champs started slowly but are now riding a W7

 can't ignore the 19-7 start;  SP Sherry Gray - 3-1, 2.38 ERA

tops in NL in runs with a lineup full of pseudo-SS's

Montreal:  Jim Colin (3-2, 1.54), Matty James (3-1, 2.16) and Mel Durham (3-2, 2.36) have pitched 46% of their innings

Tampa Bay: expected winning % padded by recent 23-7 and 32-1 wins over Jays, but they're solid across the board

More Than A Touch Of Class - could still easily prove themselves among the elite as the season progresses:

Washington D.C.:  3-6 record in 1-runners looms overly large at the point; still the prohibitive favorite for their 7th straight Division crown

Sluggers Hawkins (10HR) and Sodowsky (9HR) powering the good start

San Francisco:  Breakthrough year?  3 straight seasons of 96+ wins plus a legit ace in Camacho

Chicago White Sox: best pitching staff in both leagues through 26 games

Detroit:  while the league ERA has been falling the last couple of years, Detroit's has crept up over 4.00

San Diego:  
Melvin Charleston still going strong at 34:  .304/.383/.441

Minnesota:  Who needs starting pitchers?  The Twins' top 3 starters (by games started) have pitched only 35% of their innings

Competent Runners - contending is not out of the question, but these horses will likely have some issues to resolve if that's going to happen

Cleveland: 2nd in ERA and 11th in runs scored; I sense a pitching-for-hitting trade at some point

Atlanta:  their hitters are better than they've been so far; expect a move up 

Pittsburgh:  the magic coach will turn back into a pumpkin soon, but next year's looking good

Florida:  looking like a return to form after only 1 down year

Colorado:  with 3B Fernandez OPSing .645, no promotion for Bacsik?

St. Louis:
  "except for giving up 14 runs in one loss, playing a lot of close games and winning more than I lose.  I'm hoping the bats wake up soon.  Wow.  Not good." (thanks jclarkbaker)

Oakland:  Another team with strong pitching (3.55 ERA) that could use an offense infusion (102 runs - 16th)

Anaheim:  OPS vs lefties .841; vs righties .704

Who Knows?

HOF?  Eswalin Camacho (at age 37) has 211 wins and a 2.91 ERA over 3254 IP

Chicago Cubs:  biggest gap between actual winning % (.308) and expected (.482).  Coincidentally, 0-7 in 1-run games.  This will improve.

Philadelphia:  Something wrong with the home cooking?  .631 OPS at home; .707 away

Los Angeles:  Maybe the West IS that tough - Dodgers are 0-10 versus the West, 9-7 against everybody else
Texas:  The rake: 1B Walter Brooks leading both leagues in OPS - 1.182

New York Yankees:  Biggest positive gap between actual (.538) and expected (.426)

New York Mets:  unexpected L8 has moved them down a lot, but watch for a big move up as Bonilla and Pena settle in

Better-Suited For A Plow

Baltimore:  What's up with Flip Harris?  Season 28 #1 overall is 1-5, 6.95 ERA in 44 ML innings so far.

Anybody home?  Zeroed-out staff just gave up 32 and 27 runs to Tampa.

Nashville:  Some young talent on the roster, but it's not coming together so far

Ready For The Soap Factory

Cincinnati:  this is no reflection on chinchilla, who only took over this mess on 11/11 (and just cobbled together his first winning streak, congrats), but we have to call it the way it is

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