FanGraphs Power Rankings – 9/19/11

The end of the season has been exciting times here in Power Rankings-land. This past week, five teams jumped two or more spots in the standings, with San Francisco’s jump from 17th to 13th the biggest. As a result, 14 teams slid backwards, the most of any week all season. Heading into the final two weeks of the season, the real pennant races may lack drama — outside of the Red Sox potential collapse that is — but there is some real juice in the Rankings’ races. Six sets of teams are separated by .002 or less — Tigers and Cardinals, Angels and Rays, Braves and White Sox, Rockies and Marlins, Indians and Padres and Pirates and Astros. We often hear that baseball is a game of inches, and the fact that these teams are grouped so closely both up and down the rankings really illustrates that point.

(As always click here to check out the methodology behind the Power Rankings.)

1. New York Yankees: Last week – 1, WAR% – .670 (1), FAN% – .580 (2), TOTAL% – .664
Back in January, Ivan Nova had a chance to be the Yankees’ fifth starter. Now, he has a chance to be their #2 starter in the playoffs. That’s what you call a good season.

2. Boston: Last week – 2, WAR% – .656 (2), FAN% – .605 (1), TOTAL% – .653
The Red Sox have only had a starting pitcher post a WPA of better than .100 twice this month — September 1st from Jon Lester and September 5th from Josh Beckett. Even Shemp turned in a quality performance more frequently than that.

3. Texas: Last week – 4, WAR% – .645 (3), FAN% – .525 (7), TOTAL% – .639
Adrian Beltre saw his 19-game hitting streak snapped on Friday, but he is still on fire nonetheless. Since (arbitrary end point alert!) July 1st, Beltre is hitting .356/.382/.750.

4. Philadelphia: Last week – 3, WAR% – .614 (4), FAN% – .556 (3), TOTAL% – .610
In its first 124 years, the Philadelphia Phillies finished first in their division/league eight times. In the last five years, they have done so all five times. That’s pretty cool.

5. Milwaukee: Last week – 5, WAR% – .595 (5), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .591
Note to National League Cy Young Award voters — Zack Greinke has the best xFIP (2.46) in the Majors this season.

6. Arizona: Last week – 6, WAR% – .576 (6), FAN% – .463 (25), TOTAL% – .570
Joe Saunders has posted a superficially-nice 3.41 ERA in the second half, but xFIP isn’t biting — Saunders has yet to post an xFIP under 4.00 in any month this season.

7. Detroit: Last week – 10, WAR% – .5702 (7), FAN% – .512 (12), TOTAL% – .5670
People once again bent over backwards this weekend reviving the Justin Verlander for MVP talk, but I just want to point out (with an assist from Mike Axisa) that while Verlander is having a nice season, it’s chump change compared to Pedro Martinez’s 1999 season — Pedro’s 2.07 ERA, 1.39 FIP, 12.1 WAR, 13.20 K/9, 0.38 HR/9 and 1.56 BB/9 that year don’t just trump Verlander’s stats, they outright murder them. If Verlander wins MVP, I demand that Pedro be retroactively credited with the ’99 MVP. In fact, Pedro should be retroactively credited with it either way. Who do I talk to about this?

8. St. Louis: Last week – 7, WAR% – .5701 (8), FAN% – .512 (12), TOTAL% – .5666
Rafael Furcal has played well enough in September that several milk manufacturers have recalled their cartons so that they can remove the picture of Furcal’s career from the side.

9. Los Angeles of Anaheim: Last week – 8, WAR% – .560 (9), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .555
Erick Aybar is swinging more than ever before, and that suits him just fine.

10. Tampa Bay: Last week – 9, WAR% – .554 (10), FAN% – .537 (5), TOTAL% – .553
Overheard in the visiting clubhouse in Fenway Park yesterday afternoon: “Your line drive couldn’t drop me, I took it and smiled / Now I’m back to set the record straight / With my fastball, I’m still the ace Boston loves to hate.”

11. Atlanta: Last week – 13, WAR% – .542 (12), FAN% – .506 (14), TOTAL% – .540
Fredi Gonzalez seems to have come to his senses, as Jose Constanza has not started over Jason Heyward since September 6th. Heyward’s power has yet to come back, but since September 7th, he has a .455 OBP. Step by step, day by day, the power will come back — the question is whether or not it comes back in time to matter in October.

12. Chicago White Sox: Last week – 11, WAR% – .543 (11), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .539
If you lump in Alejandro De Aza with the Edwin Jackson trade, as he was called up to Mark Teahan’s place on the roster following the deal, it becomes slightly more palatable for White Sox fans. De Aza — now Chicago’s fourth-best position player this season by WAR — has been a real bright spot for the Sox down the stretch.

13. San Francisco: Last week – 17, WAR% – .537 (13), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .536
Pablo Sandoval had quite the series in Colorado, with a historic cycle on Thursday, and then a two-homer inning yesterday. His career-high UZR may prove to be an aberration, but we have seen this kind of season from him offensively before. The trick will be seeing if he can hit this well in consecutive seasons.

14. Los Angeles Dodgers: Last week – 15, WAR% – .536 (14), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .533
Congrats to Jerry Sands, who tallied a .667 BABIP last week to become the BABIP’er of the Week.

15. Cincinnati: Last week – 12, WAR% – .534 (15), FAN% – .494 (17), TOTAL% – .531
A lot has gone wrong for the Reds this season, but one thing that has remained a strength is the team’s infield defense. They rank in the top five in team UZR at first, second and third, and they rank first in the game at shortstop.

16. Colorado: Last week – 14, WAR% – .515 (18), FAN% – .556 (3), TOTAL% – .517
The first two starts for Drew Pomeranz were a good news-bad news situation for the Rockies. He compiled a .304 WPA in the first and a .221 in the second, which is good, but they were also the Rockies’ two best starts in their last seven games, which isn’t so good.

17. Florida: Last week – 16, WAR% – .5160 (16), FAN% – .525 (7), TOTAL% – .516
Hanley Ramirez ended the worst season of his Major League career by undergoing shoulder surgery this past week, but you may not want to write him off for 2012.

18. Kansas City: Last week – 21, WAR% – .5158 (17), FAN% – .420 (29), TOTAL% – .511
The Royals, on the strength of a mini-resurgence from Mike Moustakas, broke into the Rankings’ top 20 for the first time this season.

19. Toronto: Last week – 18, WAR% – .502 (19), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .501
The Blue Jays seem to be specializing in comeback stories these days. Last week it was Dustin McGowan, this week it’s Adam Loewen.

20. New York Mets: Last week – 19, WAR% – .491 (20), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .493
In these complicated times, sometimes it’s the simple things that are the most comforting: things like apple pie, bacon and eggs, and a September swoon from the Metropolitans.

21. Chicago Cubs: Last week – 20, WAR% – .4866 (22), FAN% – .506 (14), TOTAL% – .488
Even though the Cubs are just nine games from not winning the World Series for the 103rd straight year, I don’t think Cubs fans should sit around waiting for this type of apology from Tom Ricketts.

22. Washington: Last week – 22, WAR% – .4873 (21), FAN% – .457 (26), TOTAL% – .485
Had he played in 1991, Danny Espinosa’s 19 home runs would have tied him for third among second basemen with Robby Thompson. Unfortunately, it’s 2011, and his 19 homers are tied for sixth place with Rickie Weeks.

23. Cleveland: Last week – 25, WAR% – .476 (23), FAN% – .451 (27), TOTAL% – .474
Last year at this time, Vinnie Pestano was a 25-year old getting his first cup of coffee in the bigs. This year, he is the proud owner of the sixth-best K/9 (12.10) among qualified relievers.

24. San Diego: Last week – 23, WAR% – .472 (24), FAN% – .494 (17), TOTAL% – .473
The Jason Bartlett trade looked like it might restock the Rays’ bullpen, and it did to an extent — Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell have thrown a combined 106 1/3 innings this season. But they haven’t exactly been high-quality innings, as the trio has combined for -0.3 WAR, which pales in comparison to the 1.8 WAR compiled by Bartlett in San Diego this season.

25. Oakland: Last week – 24, WAR% – .470 (25), FAN% – .481 (23), TOTAL% – .470
When Josh Willingham hit the disabled list in mid-June with a strained left Achilles, he was hitting .231/.307/.410, and it looked like 2011 might be a lost year for him. But since returning to action on July 7th, he has hit a much more vigorous .276/.369/.561, and in doing so has restored a lot of his value as he enters free agency.

26. Seattle: Last week – 26, WAR% – .433 (26), FAN% – .469 (24), TOTAL% – .436
Last week, the Texas Rangers scored 36 runs in winning five of six games. The only game they lost was at the hands of Blake Beavan, who turned in the best start of his young Major League career in shutting them down on Friday.

27. Baltimore: Last week – 28, WAR% – .419 (29), FAN% – .500 (16), TOTAL% – .425
It’s always nice to see someone become who they were meant to become — especially when to do so you bash lots of home runs the way Matt Wieters has done in the past month.

28. Pittsburgh: Last week – 27, WAR% – .421 (28), FAN% – .438 (28), TOTAL% – .4222
Just when you’re starting to think that Brad Lincoln might make it after all — he had thrown four straight quality starts heading into this past week — he gets tuned up for a 7.02 FIP in two starts against the Cardinals and Dodgers.

29. Houston: Last week – 29, WAR% – .425 (27), FAN% – .370 (30), TOTAL% – .4220
Jimmy Paredes might provide some good stolen base value out of the third base position next year for those in deep leagues, but color me skeptical on his overall batting profile — he hasn’t drawn very many walks, and his triple slash numbers are being propped up by an unsustainable .402 BABIP.

30. Minnesota: Last week – 30, WAR% – .402 (30), FAN% – .537 (5), TOTAL% – .412
To date, 341 players have compiled at least 200 plate appearances this season. Of them, three of the ten worst players by wRC+ are Twins — Drew Butera (9, and dead last), Matt Tolbert (40, 7th worst) and Tsuyoshi Nishioka (42, 8th worst).



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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Steve
Guest
Steve
4 years 8 months ago

Nothing like belittling what Verlander has accomplished by comparing to pedro’s all-world season and on par with Walter Johnson’s 1913.
What do you do other than love the redsox and use your soap box here to say another team or it’s player are good but the redsox player or team is better.
what are they 4 and 14 in september and still ranked #2 ??
yep they are # 2.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
4 years 8 months ago

It’s not belittling anything.

He simply points out that if Pedro couldn’t win an MVP throwing one of the top 3 most amazing seasons in history… what chance does Verlander have?

drewcorb
Member
drewcorb
4 years 8 months ago

I’d have to say that calling Verlander’s season “chump change”, even in comparison to Pedro’s, is belittling it at least a bit. I’m not sure everyone here is on a Red Sox soap box, but they might be on a Pedro soap box.

Sultan of Schwwingg
Guest
Sultan of Schwwingg
4 years 8 months ago

Pedro didn’t win the MVP that year because he went up against the best defensive catcher in the game who also hit .914 w/ 35 HR’s and stole 25 bases. The contention that pitchers can’t win – as proof we give you ’99 Pedro! – should end. It’s disrespectful to one of the finest catcher years in history.

Eric
Guest
Eric
4 years 8 months ago

Fortunately for Verlander, 1999 Pedro isn’t in consideration for this award. MVP awards are funny. Sometimes there are 2-3 very deserving candidates that have monster seasons at the same time. Other times you get really weak winners in seasons without a dominant candidate.

Verlander might not win it, but he’s easily one of the best candidates in the AL and has a good chance.

Matt C
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Matt C
4 years 8 months ago

I think it’s a ridiculous argument to say that Verlander shouldn’t win or doesn’t have a chance to win just because Pedro didn’t win in 99. So Pedro didn’t win in 99, what does that have to do with Verlander? I could see if no pitcher has ever won an MVP award before but they obviously have.

You be better off comparing his season to Clemens in 86(the last SP to win MVP). Clemens finished with 8WAR(Verlander’s currently at 7) so depending on how many starts Verlander has left and how he fares in it Clemens may only finish a half win or so more than Verlander. But if you look at it from a traditional standpoint, Verlander will likely finish with a better ERA, more wins, better WHIP, more K’s and if he gets 2 more starts more innings. So I’d say overall he stacks up pretty nicely with Clemens’ season.

Anyway basically what I’m getting at si If you want to say Verlander doesn’t deserve it because he hasn’t been as good as the other contenders this year than that’s fine, it’s hard to argue against that but to imply that he doesn’t deserve it because a guy who had the greatest pitching season ever didn’t win it is ridiculous. You shouldn’t penalize Verlander because Pedro was robbed.

GiantHusker
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GiantHusker
4 years 8 months ago

Chill out! Swydan was being facetious, dummies.

DavidCEisen
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DavidCEisen
4 years 8 months ago

It is amazing how poor American’s reading comprehension abilities have become.

Jeff
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Jeff
4 years 8 months ago

It’s amazing how many people just make snarky comments about reading comprehension instead of actually saying why they disagree.

PatsNats28
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PatsNats28
4 years 8 months ago

Americans’

might wanna work on your grammar there ;)

DavidCEisen
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DavidCEisen
4 years 8 months ago

@Jeff: Because everything he said was completely off base? Pedro struck out 13.2 per 9 while walking 1.5. His WAR was five full runs greater than Verlander’s. Yeah, his season is chump change compared to that. The point was obviously that pitchers rarely win the MVP and Verlander hasn’t really done anything out of the ordinary this year to deserve it.

Also somehow Steve thinks that Paul has some sort of control over where the Red Sox place in the Power Rankings. Acting as if Paul is some kind of Red Sox homer is a bit silly.

Eric Cioe
Guest
Eric Cioe
4 years 8 months ago

“Pedro struck out 13.2 per 9 while walking 1.5. His WAR was five full runs greater than Verlander’s. Yeah, his season is chump change compared to that.”

Should we totally discount Jose Bautista’s season just because it doesn’t compare to Barry 2002? If the standard you’re holding pitchers to is Pedro 1999-2002, then everyone is going to look like a loser. Those are the best pitching seasons we’ve seen, period. But you can’t go around watching a shutout and saying it was no big deal, Randy Johnson’s 14 strikeout perfect game puts Tim Lincecum’s 6 hit shutout to shame. Because then everything would suck.

The point is that Verlander is the best we have right now, and it’s very good, and he’s fun because he’s really good and he pitches tons of innings, more this year than Pedro ever had. We haven’t seen a pitcher of his skills (high strikeouts, high velocity, endless stamina and endurance, good command, no-hitters) since Randy Johnson. But because he’s not Pedro circa 1999, his accomplishments are chump change? That’s bull. Take WAR out of it for a second, and consider the following: Halladay, Lee, Santana, Haren, Hernandez, Lincecum, none of them have had a season with this many innings and this low of an ERA and this low of a FIP. The only one comparable was Sabathia in 2008, when he spent 1/3 of the year in the NL. And Verlander’s ERA is still more than half a run lower than that.

Welp
Guest
Welp
4 years 8 months ago

^Good argument for the Cy Young award, but not for the MVP.

Chris
Guest
Chris
4 years 8 months ago

Bart: Somebody ought to ruin Gabbo’s (Verlander’s) career the way he ruined Krusty’s. (Pedro’s)
Lisa: Two wrongs don’t make a right, Bart.
Bart: Yes they do.
Lisa: No they don’t.
Bart: Yes they do!
Lisa: No they don’t!
Bart: Yes they do!!
Lisa: Daaaad!
Homer: Two wrongs make a right, Lisa.

Honestly now, what Pedro did in 1999 has nothing to do with what Verlander is doing this year. Writers don’t have to be assholes now just because they were assholes in 1999.

And if Bautista wins the MVP this year, do you go back and give Giambi the 2001 MVP instead of Ichiro? His numbers were better than what Joey Bats is putting up this year.

Chris
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Chris
4 years 8 months ago

Pretty sure Justin Verlander having a shot at winning the MVP in 2011 has absolutely nothing to do with Pedro Martinez not winning the MVP in 1999. Pedro deserving it and not getting it is completely unrelated to another pitcher getting the award, regardless of how their stats stack up.

Should Roger Clemens’ 1986 MVP be taken away because Pedro’s 1999 blows that year away? Or should Clemens lose his MVP because his stats are far closer to Verlander’s in 2011 than they are Pedro’s in 1999?

Chris
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Chris
4 years 8 months ago

So…those are 2 different Chris’s by the way…awkward…

Chris
Guest
Chris
4 years 8 months ago

There are a lot of Chris’s around these parts.

Chris
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Chris
4 years 8 months ago

I’ll say.

Eric Cioe
Guest
Eric Cioe
4 years 8 months ago

If genocide broke out in Brazil tomorrow, would you say we ought not go stop it since we haven’t gone and stopped the genocide in Darfur?

This ridiculously over the top analogy might help you to see how borderline mentally handicapped the Pedro-didn’t-win-in-1999-therefore-no-pitcher-ever-should-win argument is.

But then you’ve got the Red Sox in second in the power rankings, so maybe not.

Chris
Guest
Chris
4 years 8 months ago

Well, that depends. If stopping either genocide would enable Pedro Martinez to be retroactively awarded the 1999 MVP, then, yes, we should intervene.

If that can’t happen, then we should try to tear apart every miniscule flaw in Justin Verlander’s season, career, and life, until it is clear to every human being on the planet that his 2011 not only does not favorably compare to Pedro Martinez’s 1999 season, but that Pedro’s season DESTROYS Verlanders. We could even say Pedro in 1999 would commit genocidal atrocities on JV in 2011, you know, to tie in the analogies.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle
4 years 8 months ago

Pedro deserved the MVP in 99 even if he ever caused the genocide of anyone. Verlander also deserves the MVP this season, cause he’s had the best season in the two years of “year of the pitcher” or whatever.

Pedro was the third best pitcher in the postseason that the Red Sox finally broke the curse. Yes, Schilling and Derek Lowe both pitched better.

And not saying he juiced or anything, but he did play on a team that was full of it much like many other teams. He’d often come to camp with an added 15 to 20 pounds of muscle so he’d be more durable, and if you knew baseball… you’d remember this.

Eric Cioe
Guest
Eric Cioe
4 years 8 months ago

“The Red Sox have only had a starting pitcher post a WPA of better than .100 twice this month — September 1st from Jon Lester and September 5th from Josh Beckett. Even Shemp turned in a quality performance more frequently than that.”

And yet they’re the second best team in the game right now.

The growing fangraphs obsession with basing everything on WAR is really starting to wear on me. Not to be that guy, but have you seen how the Red Sox have played this month? Yes, you must have, because you note how awful their pitching has been. But oh, WAR, second best team.

Between that and the constant need from a few writers to shit on Verlander, I’m going to have to develop a list of writers whose articles I ought to avoid.

Jeff
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Jeff
4 years 8 months ago

Also: no matter how lightly it’s weighted in the methodology, the presence of preseason predictions in mid-September is an absolute farce.

Tom B
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Tom B
4 years 8 months ago

And yet they’re the second best team in the game right now.

Are they?

Philly.
NYY.

Nope.

DavidCEisen
Guest
DavidCEisen
4 years 8 months ago

You stopped reading there, didn’t you?

Eric Cioe
Guest
Eric Cioe
4 years 8 months ago

… Perhaps I ought to have said “according to you, they’re the second best team in the game right now.” But then I thought that, you know, the entire paragraph after that would make my meaning clear.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
4 years 8 months ago

Yes.

I also understand the concept of WAR being cumulative. This being a WAR leaderboard, and nothing more…

Oh, and also not picking 2 week stretches of the season to determine how good a team is.

Welp
Guest
Welp
4 years 8 months ago

^What a novel concept, Tom.

I swear if you went by the comments on many of these posts you’d have to conclude the majority of the fangraphs readership does not understand anything read on fangraphs.

Eric Cioe
Guest
Eric Cioe
4 years 8 months ago

You’re right, I don’t understand why the WAR leaderboards are being masqueraded as power rankings.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle
4 years 8 months ago

Totally agreed. I’m becoming that guy, and it makes me think Joe Morgan who played the game(not these clowns)had a point even if he sounded stupid often times. I used to think fangraphs was on to something, but so did Billy Beane. Oddly enough, the A’s have gotten past the first round one time with his approach only to get swept by the Tigers in 2006.

Not since they had Hudson, Mulder and Zito have they been on to anything… and that included a team with both Giambi and Tejada back when they were on tons of roids and back to back MVPs. He chose to sign Eric Chavez like he was a superstar who sucked afterwards and never did much in the postseason. I don’t get why he’s known as a super genius that found the true art of winning baseball games. Cause his team sucks.

Tom B
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Tom B
4 years 8 months ago

How many other teams have adopted his philosophies and strategy for signing players to great success though? He changed the way teams are constructed everywhere in the league, not just in Oakland.

GiantHusker
Guest
GiantHusker
4 years 8 months ago

FanGraphs bases “everything on WAR” because it is meaningful and objective. WPA doesn’t mean anything. If you’re looking for subjective opinions, get off this website and go to almost any other one.

Vin
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Vin
4 years 8 months ago

Wow, a wRC+ of 9? Nine???

Not even Jeff Mathis can touch that!

Flip
Guest
Flip
4 years 8 months ago

Going forward the Red Sox aren’t even a top 10 team. The Titanic is sinking fast. EPIC Collapse.

Flip
Guest
Flip
4 years 8 months ago

Pedro didn’t win MVP because he played for a 2nd place team.

TylerTheCreator
Guest
TylerTheCreator
4 years 8 months ago

That second place team won the wild card. I don’t think MVP voters care about division titles vs. wild card titles…not to mention that Red Sox team, outside of him and Nomar, was a below average team. So the Verlander “he got his crappy team in the playoffs” people need to examine the 1999 Boston Red Sox. Mark Portugal, Pat Rapp, zombie Bret Saberhagen, and Brian Joba Chamberlain Rose. Awesome rotation.

Kyle
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Kyle
4 years 8 months ago

Until the Tigers got Fister, that rotation seriously seems very similar to Detroits’ this year. And you’re forgetting that Troy O’Leary had a career year while being a great power hitter, Jose Offerman also was an all-star while having a career year through 100 games, and Nomar did only hit .357 while being the best hitter in baseball back then.

Verlander deserves the MVP. I bet if you asked Pedro, he’d say that too.

GiantHusker
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GiantHusker
4 years 8 months ago

You pay too much attention to streaks.

Sultan of Schwwingg
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Sultan of Schwwingg
4 years 8 months ago

As a Red Sox fan I object to these rankings. Enough with the East Coast bias, thank you.

Wasabi
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Wasabi
4 years 8 months ago

Really? It seems that the most discussion over the last few weeks in the rankings is how terribly the Red Sox are playing while meanwhile accepting their perennial 2nd place ranking.

As we’re approaching the end of the season I’d like to hear people’s opinion on the usefulness of these particular metrics. I appreciate in general having a WAR-type metric for ranking teams, but I’m not sure exactly what this one is useful for.

Clearly, it is not flexible on a week to week basis, especially down the stretch when previous history completely dominates values. Am I wrong in the belief that the Yankees could essentially play blindfolded for the rest of the year and not drop from the top 5. It certainly seems like use of leading indicators to spot trending would be something desirable.

Second, even if there is only a cumulative valuation, is it good and useful? Is it balanced? Now, the methodology section does not say exactly how the WAR value is computed, but here are the raw numbers. Philadelphia: Top 9 hitters WAR: 24.9 Top 9 pitchers WAR: 27.5. Does that sound right? Do the Phillies attribute only 52.4% of their value to their pitching? To me, no way. The Yankees, on the other hand, see 62% of their value as a result of their batting. That seems closer to me.

Now, this is starting to sound like a rant about WAR values for pitchers vs. hitters which was not my intention. I think WAR does a good job in terms of evaluating value of players(due to long term inconsistency of pitching), but I don’t think it’s definitely telling me who the better team is.

I still take Philly in a seven game series against the Yankees that will feature a lot of Lee/Burnett and Garcia/Hamels(slumping though he is).

Sultan of Schwwingg
Guest
Sultan of Schwwingg
4 years 8 months ago

Even though I was being facetious, I did say earlier in the year that the problem with this system is that, for example, Philly could lose its top 4 and remain ranked high. Strangely enough that has happened, except to Boston’s starters instead of Philly’s.

Boston isn’t the 2nd best team in baseball anymore. Not while they continue to trot out Lackey, Wakefield, Miller and Weiland.

Timmy C
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Timmy C
4 years 8 months ago

I keep reading these power ranking articles and secretly hoping that it’s a power ranking of FanGraphs writers.

“Carson Cistulli slides 3 more places for his continued exclusion of If I Had My Druthers from One Night Only.”

Anyway, I’d read it.

Timmy C
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Timmy C
4 years 8 months ago

Which is not to say I don’t love Carson… I just miss this item. In case Carson is reading and feels hurt in any way.

Kyle
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Kyle
4 years 8 months ago

Another hilarious article from Fangraphs. How in God’s name could Arizona or Boston(really… have you paid attention to their collapse?)be ahead of Detroit.

And I’m sorry that this site is very inaccurate when it comes to WAR. Only in bizarro world should Sabathia be ahead of Verlander. I agree with the first guy to respond… do you guys really not want Verlander to win MVP so much that you’re proving the inept, borderline retarded Joe Morgan right?

His wins are more important than others’ wins considering he pitches into the 8th always it seems, doesn’t get the run support Sabathia does, and right now is leading every stat for the pitcher’s triple crown(and WHIP, quality starts, winning percentage, most wins in a row, innings pitched, batting average against, and being flat out impossible to hit.) Oh he also has the most wins coming after a loss for any other starter… Pedro deserved the MVP in 99, but Verlander deserves in now.

Fangraphs doesn’t understand why these things matter so much, and just rely on their precious WAR to say who’s the most valuable. Take Bautista off Toronto, and they’d still be the fourth best team in their division. Verlander can say his 23 wins account for more than 25 percent of his teams’ wins. They’re going to the playoffs(and he pitches into the 8th inning almost every time.) There’s also something called intangibles and they actually exist(if you ever played sports.) Jason Kidd is a perfect example of a player you can’t rate easily cause of this even if it is a diff sport. I wonder who any GM would choose among this group: Verlander, Bautista, Sabathia, Halladay, Granderson, and ANYONE else. Only Kershaw might get chosen once or twice over Verlander, cause he just turned 23 and is better than Halladay already.

Stunned
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Stunned
4 years 8 months ago

“Verlander can say his 23 wins account for more than 25 percent his teams’ wins.”

Was this a joke? Please tell me it was.

Most GMs would take Bautista from that list, by the way. And most would take Halladay over Verlander as well.

Jeff
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Jeff
4 years 8 months ago

A well-informed GM would probably not take Halladay over Verlander. Halladay is 6 years older, is more expensive, and his WAR over the past 3 years is essentially identical to Verlander’s (Doc had a tenth of a win more per season).

It’s astounding how many people reading this site don’t realize how good Verlander has been – not just over this season, but the two before it as well.

Eric Cioe
Guest
Eric Cioe
4 years 8 months ago

My private theory for this is that Verlander isn’t a groundball pitcher like Halladay, Felix, Lincecum, and Sabathia, so he doesn’t fit into the general narrative of what a good pitcher is made of these days.

I also think that lots of writers and especially readers on fangraphs undervalue innings pitched, which is where a lot of Verlander’s value comes from.

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