Rangers or Cardinals: Which Team is Better?

As the Rangers lit up Jered Weaver and the Angels last night to extend their lead over their supposed rivals to eight games, Buster Olney asked a legitimate question on Twitter – when was the last time we saw a team that was as good as the Rangers are across the board? Below are the respective ranks in the WAR components (these are all runs above average) for the Rangers in the American League over the first six weeks of the season:

Batting: +46.3 (1st)
Fielding: +16.3 (1st)
Baserunning: -0.2 (7th)
Starting Pitching: +33.5 (3rd)
Bullpen: +15.2 (2nd)

Baseball has had its fair share of dominant teams before, but to be a top three team nearly across the board is pretty remarkable, even in a sample of just a month and a half. Josh Hamilton‘s getting the attention (and deservedly so), but his teammates are pretty good themselves, and there’s a reason why the Rangers are the two time defending AL Champs, and right now, a pretty clear favorite to win the league title once again.

However, there’s an argument to be made that not only are the Rangers not the best team we’ve seen in a while, they might not even be the team playing the best baseball in 2012. Somehow, the defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals are flying under the radar despite dominating their league in a very similar fashion.

Here’s that same chart as above, just for St. Louis compared to the rest of the NL this time.

Batting: +54.0 (1st)
Fielding: +6.9 (4th)
Baserunning: +3.0 (3rd)
Starting Pitching: +34.3 (4th)
Bullpen: +4.5 (9th)

The ordinal rankings aren’t quite as impressive, with St. Louis’ bullpen coming in as the least impressive unit of any between the two teams to date. However, ordinal ranking often hides the magnitude of the differences in many cases, as a bunching of teams together can make a minimal difference look bigger than it actually is. So, let’s just put the Cardinals and Rangers side by side:

Batting: +54 to +46, advantage STL
Fielding: +16 to +7, advantage TEX
Baserunning: +3 to 0, advantage STL
Starting Pitching: +34 to +34, tie
Bullpen: +15 to +5, advantage TEX

While Rangers overall batting line is slightly better, they have the advantage of using a designated hitter and playing in one of the best hitter’s parks in all of baseball, so it’s actually the Cardinals offense that has been the game’s best to this point. They have seven position players with at least 95 plate appearances, and the lowest wRC+ any of them has posted is Matt Holliday‘s 118. While much is made of the Rangers depth, the Cardinals line-up is so good that Allan Craig and his career 143 wRC+ is the super-sub, as there just isn’t an open spot on the field to play him every day.

St. Louis’ run total has been driven down by a .208 BABIP with runners in scoring position – the lowest mark in baseball by a pretty good distance – so their offensive prowess hasn’t translated perfectly to runs and wins, but the Cardinals have outhit every other team in baseball this year, even the Rangers. Certainly, they can’t expect guys like Rafael Furcal (.429 wOBA) or Jon Jay (.376 wOBA) to keep this up, but they’ve also spent almost the entire year without Lance Berkman, who just came off the Disabled List yesterday, and his presence should help offset some of the coming regression from guys playing over their heads. And, as noted, Craig and Matt Carpenter give the team two fantastic reserves who allow the team to sustain success even through injuries.

But, we suspected that the Carindals were going to have a good offense heading into the year. What we didn’t suspect is how well their pitching would perform minus #1 starter Chris Carpenter and with pitching coach Dave Duncan on an extended leave of absence. Even with Adam Wainwright‘s results not lining up with his underlying performance (6.16 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 2.96 xFIP), the rotation has been rock solid thanks to the surprising performances of Lance Lynn, Jake Westbrook, and Kyle Lohse. Between the three of them, they’ve given up just 31 runs in 129 innings, and while there’s no chance that they can continue to pitch this well, I’m sure most teams in baseball would be thrilled with three back-end starters who combined for a 3.42 xFIP. To put it another way, the 93 xFIP- put up by Lynn/Westbrook/Lohse is better than the mark posted by the entire Rangers rotation.

With Wainwright and Jaime Garcia also taking the hill regularly, and Carpenter potentially due back this summer, the Cardinals rotation is certainly in the discussion for the title of best in baseball. This is not intended as any kind of slight to Texas’ rotation, which is also quite good, but it’s hard to make a claim that the Rangers starting five is significantly better than what St. Louis can run out there, especially if Carpenter gets healthy over the next month or two.

Finally, we come to the bullpen, which is where the Rangers largest advantage lies, at least if you go strictly by 2012 performance. Texas’ bullpen has been absurd, posting a 71 xFIP- as a group. Yes, you read that right, the Rangers bullpen as a whole has essentially performed at a level just slightly better than Roy Halladay‘s career averages. 4.2% BB%, 23.9% K%, 46.0% GB% – these are the totals of the entire bullpen, not just one ridiculous relief ace.

So, yeah, St. Louis can’t keep up here. No team can. But, let’s not sell the Cardinals bullpen short either. Jason Motte is establishing himself as an elite closer, and the combination of Mitchell Boggs, Fernando Salas, and Mark Rzepczynski give the team three quality setup arms to bridge the gap in the seventh and eighth innings. Toss in a surprisingly strong start from 31-year-old Victor Marte, and the Cardinals bullpen can go five deep with effective relief options.

Does the Rangers advantage in the bullpen offset the slight advantage that you’d probably have to give the Cardinals position players*? Maybe, depending on just how far you expect guys like Jay, Craig, Carpenter, Freese, and Furcal to regress. But, we should keep in mind that St. Louis has played at a very similar level to the Rangers thus far without Berkman and Carpenter. Would Texas have looked this good had we taken away two of their best players for most of the season?

The Rangers are a fantastic team, there’s no doubt about that. None of this is meant to take away from how excellent they are. However, when it comes to talk about the best team in baseball, we shouldn’t forget the defending World Champs, who look even better this year than they did in 2011.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


136 Responses to “Rangers or Cardinals: Which Team is Better?”

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  1. Dave Cameron says:

    If you’re wondering why we didn’t talk too much about defense, the Rangers fielding advantage is likely offset to some degree by catcher metrics not capturing all of Yadier Molina’s total value, and they’re the most prone to small sample size fluctuations. The Rangers defense is very good, but is it drastically better than St. Louis’? I don’t know.

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    • FlimtotheFlam says:

      The Cardinals have just looked good on defense. With really only Jon Jay and Molina looking like potential gold glovers. 2B though has been terrible regardless who is playing.

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    • Daniel says:

      I think there’s a similar thing going on with the BsR. Do the rangers really have a negative baseruning team? that’s part of their game. Kinsler has always been an excellent base stealer, as far as stealing percentages go, and we know andrus can really run. Hamilton is a great runner, and the rest don’t try to steal.

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      • Anon21 says:

        It’s about more than stealing–it’s about going first to third, second to home, and of course not making outs on the basepaths on non-steal plays.

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  2. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Well, I’m excited for the World Series rematch.

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    • CindyJNC says:

      You might have to go through Atlanta to get to another World Series. As this past weekend proved, that might be so easy.

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      • CindyJNC says:

        “might NOT be so easy”.

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      • NPM says:

        Provided Atlanta can get into the playoffs.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        True, the Cards playing in the roody poo NL Central is going to help out their win total.

        I don’t see how this is even a question. Hmmm, Furcal, Jay, Lohse, Lynn, an Westbrook are all playing out of their minds. Their key offensive players, Berkman, Furcal, Beltran, and Freese have a history of injuries and/or are old.

        The Rangers have more consistently great players, and are deeper and better. I don’t even see how this got made into an article. Like asking “which do you prefer, eating ice cream or grass?”

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      • mikesavino85 says:

        Roody poo? 4chan leaks.

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      • Michael the Magic says:

        You might have to go through random small sample size playoff series too.

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      • bstar says:

        St. Louis??? The Cardinals are , what, the fourth best team record-wise in the National League. They just got easily spanked and swept by Atlanta in three easy wins for the Braves. How ’bout some love for those other teams that are actually winning more in the National League than the Cardinals?

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        I wouldn’t say game 1 was easy. They should have lost it due to Freddi Gonzalez’ moronic idea to put in Hernandez to face the top of the order. I believe he stranded 6 in 2 innings. Most of the time that doesn’t work out. I get the sentiment though and agree that it’s a joke to act like it’s common knowledge that the best NL team is the Cards.

        Run differential this early is likely skewed from a few big games/pitchers outperfroming.

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  3. Cardsfan says:

    Rangers D is a little better. Replacing Berkman, Theriot, and Schumaker with Beltran, Furcal, and Descalso/Greene has brought the Cards’ defense up to respectable.

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    • I am a Red Sux Fan says:

      The Ranges infield defense really wins out as Beltre, Andrus, and Young are super effective. Going forward I’m interested to see how defensive metrics for catchers change going forward. Especially with the exciting new evidence on framing pitches.

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      • Brandon says:

        You meant Kinsler instead of Young, right?

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      • I am a Red Sux Fan says:

        I did mean Kinsler you are right. Young is obviously seen as an offensive infielder as his defensive stats are kind of Jeterish. I actually think Young is one of the most overated players going. He hits so much better at home, it’s weird. Over his career he is 139.2 wRAA at home and 0.8 wRAA on the road. His wOBA is .374 at home and .327 on the road. Arlington is nice to all hitters but it’s especialy nice to Michael Young.

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  4. Adam says:

    A bit disingenuous to mention the DH-effect in reference to the Texas offense, but not the Cardinal pitching, no?

    Even still, they’re pretty close.

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    • Buddhasillegitimatechild38 says:

      I think he is just explaining the difference in wRC+ due to positional adjustment

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    • vivaelpujols says:

      DH effect is factored into WAR. Dave is saying that even the Rangers have a higher wOBA than the Cardinals their offensive WAR is lower. Opposite is true with pitching.

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  5. FlimtotheFlam says:

    I think a big part of the Cardinals offense is the NL leader in HR’s Matt Kemp Carlos Beltran. He probably would have a gotten a lot more attention if Hamilton didn’t have such amazing week. Between him and Furcal both at 2.2 WAR each for the season are looking like the 2 best free agent signings in baseball.

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  6. mysterui says:

    Both teams have a Top-5ish farm system, too

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    • Buddhasillegitimatechild38 says:

      Which is just a scary thought for other franchises

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Atlanta? If you figure that Atlanta is starting three 22 year olds in their everyday lineup and their rotation is full of guys like Beachy, Minor, and Delgado who are young, and their pen has Kimbrel and Venters, shouldn’t Atlanta be in the conversation?

        Nobody in the Braves lineup is hitting way over their expectations like Jay and Furcal are, yet the Braves have scored more runs/9. Boggels me. Atlanta’s pitching looks to be under performing too and is young (so they have a higher likelihood of getting better).

        Maybe I’m just a bias Braves fan who watched the Bravos sweep the Cards despite Freddi Gonzalez’s moronic decisions but it seems odd to act like the Cards are the class of the NL.

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        Cards are playing far better than the Braves in terms of run differential and WAR. And their farm system is ranked higher.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Okay, like I said though, the Braves have three 22 year olds in their everyday lineup. That’s not normal. Farm system rankings are good for future projections. Having three 22 year olds starting, and 2 of them being pretty good is better than having 1 proven hitting and pitching prospect and then 2 hitting and 2 pitching prospects without significant upper level time. So as far as “young guys” go, Atlanta beats STL IMO.

        Second, nobody is denying that the Cards have a huge run differential or more WAR. The point is, the Cards have been picking up most of that differential and WAR against bad NL Central teams. It’s also fueled by having virtually their entire roster over perform.

        The TRUE talent level of the Cardinals isn’t as good as their differential because they beat up on bad teams and are playing above their ability level.

        Here’s what’s true:
        The Cardinals have better young players in the minor leagues than the Braves. However, Atlanta has better young players overall in their organization (Kimbrel, Delgado, Pastornicky, Heyward, Freeman, etc already on the MLB roster).

        Also, the Cardinals have better statics in large part due to a lot of players outperforming their ability and beating up on bad teams.

        The statistics aren’t what I’m arguing, it’s the analysis of the statistics. If 100 games in Furcal, Jay, Westbrook, Lohse, and Lynn are still putting up ridiculous numbers and they still have a huge run differential after playing more teams, then sure, call them the best. Until then they’re just a team with high risk (injury, old)/high reward players who are performing well and are beating up on bad teams.

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  7. Douglas says:

    The difference in leagues and caliber of competition doesn’t mean anything? Let’s see the Cardinals go toe to toe with the AL East and the Detroit Tigers the way the Rangers have.

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    • Hot Tub Time Machine says:

      The Tigers aren’t looking that great so far.

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      • I am a Red Sux Fan says:

        The Tigers have some studs but if you look at roster construction, redundant skill sets, pitching depth, lack of 1 and 2 hitters they really have some issues.

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      • Jumpsuit says:

        @ Im a Red Sux Fan. Actually the starting rotation for the Tigers has been their stength and is one of the most underrated in the league, as well as their 1 hitter, as Austin Jackson is a completely different hitter this year since he tweaked his swing in the offseason, right now he’s putting up all star numbers as well as the 2 hitter Andy Dirks, although at an admittingly smaller sample size. The true source of their struggles comes in the absoulutely zero production they are getting from the bottom half of their batting order. That is likely to change, and as it does, Tigers will become on the premier teams as expected.

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      • I am a Red Sux Fan says:

        Jackson and Dirks have been much better this year i’ll grant you that and their starting pitching has been fine. Back to the poorly constructed roster and redundant skill sets. They put two good defensive players maybe three if you count second base along with center field and catcher. At third, first , Shortstop, left field and right field the defense is horrible which is gonna make stats like pitcher ERA worse. Your Young, Fielder, Young, Dirks, Raburn are DH’s playing the field and Peralta has no buisness playing shortstop. That was my real point. poor roster construction.

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  8. Joe says:

    Cards gave up 23 runs while being swept by the Braves this past weekend. It seems like they’re enjoying beating up on the lowly NL Central a bit too much.

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  9. Chris P. says:

    I enjoy reading this as a Braves fan after a sweep of St. Louis in Busch Stadium. I’m just shocked that they’re able to put up these types of #’s without Pujols (obviously not Pujols this year).

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    • stan says:

      I think I probably told about 1000 people over the winter about how Pujols was done and they wouldn’t miss him. I understand why people might think that Pujols was carrying the Cardinals because he really was for a few years there. However, his degradation the last two years in particular was really obvious for those who were really watching.

      Having said that, I think the Bravos and Rangers are better at the moment, with the Cards and Dodgers a step behind.

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  10. Hot Tub Time Machine says:

    There is no way the Cards can continue to play at this level. It is unrealistic to think Lynn, Westbrook, and Lohse can combine for a 3.42 xFIP. Lohse has never had a xFIP under 4 in his career and Westbrook hasn’t had a xFIP under 3.87 in 5 years. Theyre both over 30. Lynn is a wild card, but he was not predicted to have this success as a starter ever in his career.
    Even if they have a very good offense, the only position player not performing well above their established norm is Holliday.
    The Cards shouldn’t be considered nearly as good as the Rangers. This many players over 30 playing well above the expected would be unheard of.

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  11. Preston says:

    I just don’t get why Carlos Beltran signed the sweetheart deal that he did with St. Louis. Albert was leaving, no more HOF manager and yet he took less than he probably would have gotten on other contenders to come to the Cardinals. Obviously it’s working out well for him. But there are 29 other teams who wish he would have signed that deal to play with them.

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    • CindyJNC says:

      Most teams did not want to give up a multi-year deal due to his extensive recent history of injuries.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      Until Beltran misses 6 weeks in July and August. It’s May. Soooooo many Cardinal players are over performing. Atlanta is a good team that is also healthy and they handled the Cards. St. Louis hasn’t proven anything to me yet except that they got really lucky to have all their old guys perform extremely well the first 6 weeks of the season. They NEEDED this to happen for them to make the playoffs because I doubt we see this many guys performing so well in August and September. There was an article on here not too long ago showing how lucky Furcal is getting.

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  12. crimsonqueen9 says:

    While I can’t really argue that the Rangers seem to be the best team in the AL at this point, it seems oddly presumptive to seemingly give the Cardinals the same title, let alone call them “perhaps the best team in all of baseball”; the Dodgers, owners of the NL’s best record, might protest. And you might catch a little protest from Braves fans like myself that just watched a Cardinal team getting fat off the weak NL Central suddenly get swept at home by an Atlanta team (who are now also a 1st place club and lead the NL in runs scored) that outscored them 23 to 13 during the series. Maybe this got written on Friday before the sweep, but I’m going to play the homer card here and say “really?”.

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    • NPM says:

      Getting fat off the Central? Atlanta had 8 of 19 wins from the Central prior to playing the Cards.

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      • Brandon says:

        St Louis 16 out of 20 wins vs central. So where’s the argument to that statement?

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      • NickH says:

        Also – excluding the Cards, NL Central teams are 16 games below .500; excluding the Braves, the NL East teams are 11 games over .500.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        I agree, the Cards have beaten up on the pretty awful NL Central. The East has 4 teams above .500 and the one team that isn’t probably won’t finish below .500 (yea yea, the Mets probably won’t finish above .500).

        As for the Dodgers, they aren’t in the conversation because they’ve had 6, yes SIX total games against teams above .500 this year (based on their record now I believe, off b-r).

        I’d probably take a healthy Washington team over STL in a 7 game series. Their pitching is miles ahead of the Cards and they’re winning without an offense. Washington with Zim and Harps playing beats STL who is currently overperforming everywhere.

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        Lol, Cards are playing of their heads, but Washington is not.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Washington has a pretty amazing rotation. Strasburg and Gonzalez dominating isn’t really a surprise to anyone. Plus they aren’t old so it’s possible they are getting better. Detwiler and Zimmermann performing well also isn’t a surprise.

        Maybe the degree to which they’re dominating isn’t sustainable but they shouldn’t regress as much as Lohse, Westbrook, and Lynn. The Nats have suffered injury that will probably mean their w/l pace is going to slow down, but they have the pitching to keep them in games.

        Furcal and Jon Jay are outperforming their ability more than any Nats offensive player. If anything, the Nats offense is underperforming expectations due to injury. Which brings up the other point of injury risk. When all 5 of your key offensive players are injury risks, that should be a big negative too.

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        You can’t say that Detwiller is going to keep pitching well but Lynn is going to regress. You also didn’t account for Chris Carpenter returning. Either way, the Cards were projected to be much better than the Nationals and have been playing better than them so far. So you’re going to have to do some mental gymnastics to get Nats > Cards at this point. You’re just being contrary.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Carpenter is in his late 30s coming off a year in which he pitched about 275 innings and is also coming off of an injury.

        Detwiler will regress, so will Lynn. Nats rotation is still much better than the Cards rotation. Stras and Gio are better than anyone the Cards have.

        I said I’d take a HEALTHY Nats in a 7 game series over the Cards. So like a playoff series with Stras, Gio, Zim, Detwiler, Stras, Gio, Zim, I don’t think the Cards win because their pitching isn’t good enough. Especially not against, like I said, a healthy Nats team. Maybe if the Cards have .500 BABIP Furcal and 30% HR/FB Beltran.

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    • Terence says:

      If you’re using W-L record or total runs scored as your metric of choice to determine the best team in the NL, you’re on the wrong website. The Braves have so far accumulated 12.0 Wins Above Replacement. The Dodgers have accumulated 12.2. The Cardinals have accumulated 17.4. You can argue that their schedule has been soft, but the Cardinals have been the best NL team so far this year and it isn’t close.

      To put that in perspective, the Dodgers production has been closer to the Brewers (8.7), Cubs (7.6), and Mets (7.5) than the Cardinals. The Braves have been closer to the Astros (7.0) than the Cardinals.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        and the quality of competition to obtain these WAR doesn’t come into play? Or how virtually everyone is playing better than they really are?

        Sure, if you mean “the St. Louis Cardinals who beat up on a weak division and who’s players are pretty much all playing above their ability and are due to regress were statistically the best team the first 6 weeks of the season” then yes.

        However, if you mean to say “the Cardinals, despite obviously beating up on a weak division and playing above their ability level has a true talent level of being the best in the NL”…..no. I don’t even see how that thought comes into someone’s mind. At the very least it’s not a hands-down decision.

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      • bstar says:

        All this noise about a team that is three games over .500? I could see this article being written maybe last Thursday, before the Braves blew into town and easily outpitched and outhit the Cardinals over the weekend. But here on the Monday after?

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      • DaleT says:

        @Antonio Bananas – Just as you can’t discredit risk of “injury potential”; you can’t ASSUME injury EITHER. How about waiting to see if injuries actually occur and for how long before you start factoring in phantom injuries to every Cardinal player to have a DL past or whom is over 30?

        Also, how about waiting to see how SIGNIFICANT an injury of a player relates to the performance of said player’s’s replacement? You seem to assume that any Cardinal whom is injured will be replaced by a talentless scrub whom won’t perform when called upon to do so.

        And, last- you blow any and ALL credibility to your arguments with your repeated mantra of players “playing above their abilities.” LOL!!! It’s IMPOSSIBLE. Either a player HAS an ability to produce certain stats or they DON’T. Perhaps you mean: how long will certain players SUSTAIN their CURRENT stats? THAT would be a valid question.

        All of your arguments are nothing more than homer rants of conjecture and assumption. Post that slop on a Braves forum – NOT a FACT-based site like Fangraphs, please. And, wait – let me guess your retort to me (based on your seeming pattern of “logic” here:) “DaleT, this is your FIRST post at Fangraph’s, you know NOTHING.” Right? Because in YOUR mind: number of posts = quality of knowledge? LOL. See, I can “assume” also!

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        You’re right, Furcal and Jay will hit over .350 for the year and Beltran is going to hit 50 home runs and none of the guys who are on the wrong side of 30 and have a recent history of injuries will get injured. Also, Lynn, Westbrook, and Lohse will continue to put up elite numbers despite not ever really being elite.

        And you call ME the idiot?

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        You can’t assume injury, but you can’t assume they’ll be healthy either. Think of it like stocks. If a stock is risky, you have to factor that into your portfolio. If you have a lot of high risk/high reward and it pans out, awesome, if it doesn’t, you’re screwed. With the injury history/age of Freese, Furcal, Beltran, and Berkman, I’d say it’s high risk/high reward.

        This is a facts-based site. I enjoy it. There was an article with statistics and video showing how lucky Furcal is playing and also cited that it was in part due to how poorly NL Central teams are playing. Funny how that’s a running thread here with people who don’t buy the Cards as being as good as their numbers have shown up until now. I mean, Hamilton hit 4 home runs in a game, is he the best home run hitter ever? Is that what you should expect him to do every game? No, the 4 home runs DID actually happen and on that night he was absolutely elite. However, he’s not going to do that every night. Just like the Cards won’t sustain this ridiculous level of play.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Here are some more “FACTS”
        The cardinals have a guy who has a line drive % about 6% lower than usual, and a HR/FB of 32.5%, more than double his career average. Another guy with an 11.1 infield hit % and .415 BABIP that’s much higher than his career average. Another guy with a 15% IFH % who was recently batting over .400 and it’s now dropped.

        A pitcher who’s FIP is a full run higher than his ERA and who is sporting a nice 4.5% HR/FB % (about less than half his career average) and a 13.6% IFF, about double his career. Also, he’s in his mid 30s so it’s not like he just figured something out. Another pitcher outperforming his FIP by over a run and his SIERA by almost 2. Yet another who is outperforming his FIP by a run and an 87% LOB.

        Sounds like a quite a bit of regression is in store to me. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe they’ll defy the odds again. Just seems crazy to think this is their true talent level.

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        St. Louis WAR is 43% better than the next closest NL team. The difference in quality of competition is not nearly that large.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        what about how lucky they’ve gotten or the small sample size? a lot of teams are playing poorly, which widens the gap even more. The Reds and Brewers have been under performing. I’ve already posted the stats about Beltrans HR/FB, Furcal’s BABIP, Jay’s IFH, etc. Their WAR is a mix of people over performing and playing bad teams. 35 games is about 20% of the season. It’s impressive to be this good through 35 games but when you only have about 11 series completed it’s not a good idea to assume things.

        A perfect storm of events have happened for the huge gap. Cards over performing, other teams’ offenses under performing, and a pretty easy Cards schedule thus far. Maybe I’m bias, I try not to be. Seems pretty logical though given how much better than expected about 8 Cardinals have played and how poorly other teams that were expected to be good have played.

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      • DaleT says:

        @Antonio I didn’t quote those stats – YOU are. I never SAID Furcal and Jay would CONTINUE to hit as they are. But, they MAY. The “fact” is – I don’t KNOW, and neither do YOU. Is it LIKELY? No. But, JUST as with high risk stocks – it IS possible. Just as you don’t ignore the high reward possibility when you purchase high risk stocks (otherwise – why buy?), why are you stubbornly REFUSING to acknowledge the high reward possibilty of several Cardinals this year? It’s VERY likely that MANY MLB players WILL have “career years” this season. Why can’t the Cardinals field one or several of those players? On the morning of August 25, 2011 – did you have the Cardinals penciled in for the Post Season as they sat 10.5 games out from the Braves? Did you have the Braves picked as the Wild Card on that date? In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 2011 WS with two outs and two strikes on David Freese – did you figure it likely he would triple tying the game? Did you have the Cards coming back to win after Hamilton hit a two-run bomb in the tenth, with two out and Lance Berkman with two strikes in the bottom of that same inning? Another FACT: only GOD had THAT scenario penciled. (Ok, so not a “fact.” But, you get it.). In May of 1996 – did you have Brady Anderson continuing his HR pace to end up with 50 based on HIS past slash lines? In the beginning of April of this year, did you have Pujols at HIS current slash lines based on his mean? Of COURSE you’re being bias, but – that’s GREAT. You wouldn’t be much of a fan if you weren’t. But for such an otherwise seemingly reasonable person, why are you so steadfastly dismissing ALL positive possible factors for the Cardinals and pronouncing ALL negative possible factors to have already occured? Yet, you acknowledge ONLY all positive possible factors of the Brave’s young SP staff and acknowledge ZERO negative possibilities? That’s the EPITOME of BIAS. This is why we wait until AFTER a career is OVER to fully assess that player’s ABILITY.

        And, btw – it offers me ZERO consolation as a Card’s fan to read an article using FACT to pronounce the Cardinals a better team on paper than your Braves – when I JUST witnessed your Braves manhandle my Cardinals for three VERY LONG days. But, hey! It’s only mid-May! Anything CAN still happen – even if it hasn’t happened BEFORE. Another “fact!” Thank you for being a good sport, Antonio – I apologize for being crass and condescending my previous post. (Although, I AM correct! lol…)

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Dale, the only problem I have is how the article assumes it’s common knowledge that the Cards are the class of the NL. Seems like you’re basically ripping my argument because I’m saying “this isn’t likely to continue”….which it’s not. If it does, that’s amazing. The Astros performance isn’t likely to continue but who knows, maybe Bud Norris turns into a Cy Young winner and they win 100 games. That IS in the realm of what’s possible, just not very likely.

        I have a lot more teams Iike than just the Braves, the Braves are just the best example. I also like the Giants, Cardinals (believe it or not), Nationals, Rays, Royals, and Rangers. I like having a team to follow in each division.

        Seems to me that the Cards were playing way above their heads and that’s why we have seen such enormous stats from them so far.

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      • DaleT says:

        @Antonio Gosh, I wish you had told me that BEFORE I replied a second time, lol!! Ok, well then, THAT makes PERFECT sense. I thought you were attempting to argue the FACTS of this INCREDIBLY SMALL sample size and it’s givens of the specific stats at the specific hour of the specific date the article was written. It’s revealing for me to discover why my perception of your original comments led me to such a defensive stance. Intrinsically, I must have been AGREEING with you and was fighting my denial with this little journalistic “victory” touting definitive stats as it’s concrete foundation. Wow….. send me a bill for this session, Dr! LOL!!

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  13. Ivdown says:

    Before I even read: Dodgers! :P

    Before I read, I’d say Rangers. I’m surprised at how good their pitching has been after losing CJ.

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  14. wes says:

    Don’t they play a 162 game schedule? (Although given much of the national commentary so far this year it really does seem like MLB has switched to a 40 or 50 game season.)

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  15. Jamie says:

    Disclaimer: I’m a Cards fan. Put them right back in the World Series today, and all you, “1) No way the Cards can keep this up, 2) the Dodgers are better, 3) Play against real teams and see who is better” believers are telling me that there is no way the Cardinals give the Rangers a run for the money???

    The Cards have been clobbered by injury this year, and they’re still arguably the best team in baseball. Not the best team now that Berkman is back, not the best team if and when Carp comes back, rather they are possibly the best team through the first 20% of the season.

    I usually try to avoid being a homer, but let’s face it, this team is good, really good. Let’s wait to see where the Dodgers are in about six more weeks. Talk about not being able to keep up the pace…Chris Capuano fo NL Cy Young?? I’m not saying the Cardinals are better than the Rangers. I am saying, I wouldn’t bet against it. Oh, and Mike Matheny, enough with the sacrifice bunts.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      the Dodgers have had by far the weakest schedule of anyone this year. 6 games against teams above .500 and are only .500 (last I checked, might not have counted yesterday’s game) on the road.

      How do the Dodgers come into play?

      The Brewers have been hurt by injury. I’d say when it’s all over, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Washington, and St. Louis are all obviously better than the Dodgers. If I go undefeated 1 on 1 against 4 year olds am I good? No, my competition sucked.

      You can say “despite Berkman’s injury” but the reality is, all of their key offensive players have a history of injury. You can’t discredit the injury risk when assessing a team. You can’t say “well if Beltran, Freese, Furcal, and Berkman all stay healthy” because that’s not likely given their past. Plus they’re all (except Freese) on the wrong side of 30.

      I’m baffled by this article and how many people agree with it. Adjust for how much they’ve beaten up on the NL Central and how much a huge percent of their players are over performing and you’ll see that this definately isn’t their true talent level. Lucky for the Cards fans, the NL Central probably will suck all year.

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      • Ivdown says:

        The funny thing about the Dodgers facing an “easy” schedule, is that when you beat the teams you play their combined records are worse.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Ivdown: Really? So the theory is that the Padres are actually an awesome team being held down by their games against the Dodgers? Give me a break.

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    • Pguim says:

      All credit to you, you won the world series in 7 games. thats a small sample size, The rangers have played the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels, Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Twins, this year. Thats a tough schedule with alot of talent. Its a bit tougher than pirates, cubs, brewers. Some teams may not be playing well at the time, or some other excuse, those are talented teams. Comparing the angels last year to the rangers last year is quite different as the rangers are a much better team. Mainly because josh hamilton isnt playing with a torn ab muscle which required surgery after the series. You had a pretty easy time pitching to him.

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      • The Mighty Tim says:

        BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA

        The Twins are a tough opponent? The White Sux? The Indians? Get the F out of here.

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      • Daniel says:

        did he say that they were? He was talking about overall. And the white sox and indians have looked pretty good this year.

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  16. david h says:

    Seriously. This site should just go dark until October.

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  17. Mike says:

    At what point do we start to talk about how good of a hitting coach Mark McGwire is? The Cardinals seem to keep having players hit better than their projections. Is there a way we can look at this?

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    • Anon says:

      This. The Cardinals had a 111 wRC+ in 2011 (130 so far in 2012).

      The 1927 Yankees had a wRC+ of 127. The Cardinals aren’t going to be the best offense of all time. They will regress, but playing 20% of the season at all time levels is significant.

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  18. Mrman says:

    Hate to state the obvious, but…..small sample size!

    I think it’s unlikely either team has those numbers at the end of the year. The Cardinals have a bunch of old players playing above their normal numbers. Sure, one or two might have career years, but most will get back to their normal numbers.

    The Rangers have had unbelievably good health, with the same 25 man roster since breaking spring training. Josh Hamilton isn’t going to hit .400, and probably won’t play more than 135 games. Harrison, Holland and Feliz are all being asked to put up major innings and have only the thinnest track record of doing so.

    I just think 35 games doesn’t a season make…so let’s revisit this in August and see what those metrics look like.

    And for the record, I’m a lifelong Rangers fan who pinches himself every day simply because I never knew following baseball could be so enjoyable.

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    • Pguim says:

      he may not hit 400 but he may hit 360. Lets not pretend like he is a 280 hitter. He hit 400 for the last 4 months of his MVP year til he got hurt in Sept.

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    • Ajax says:

      You realize that both Hamilton and Beltre have missed games with injuries, right?

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  19. Ignorant Tool says:

    Rangers upcoming schedule: KC, OAK, @HOU.

    Thanks for playing, turn off the lights when your’e done.

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    • dustin says:

      Oakland’s last several series:

      DET: 2-2
      TOR: 1-1
      TBR: 2-1
      BOS: 2-1

      They’re not going to be pushovers, especially in a two-game series when one of the match-ups is Matt Harrison against Brandon McCarthy.

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  20. Phil says:

    I think if you discount some of Rangers offense for league, you should issue the same kind of warning for StL pitching.

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  21. Mark says:

    “While Rangers overall batting line is slightly better, they have the advantage of using a designated hitter”

    Somebody should tell the Rangers that using Michael Young as a Designated Hitter negates any advantage of having a DH in the first place.

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  22. Antonio Bananas says:

    One more thing, how in God’s name is Lynn, Carpenter (off a 275 total inning season and in his late 30s), Waino, Westbrook, Lohse, Garcia at ALL in the discussion for best rotation in baseball?

    I’m a Braves fan and I get a little sick of the Cards fans here in Missouri, but holy crap I can’t be so much of a Braves fan that this stuff is only make me scratch my head. 3 guys are over performing and Carpenter might never be the same again. So that leaves a guy coming back from Tommy John, and Jaime Garcia. Waino might be the only number 2 guy in the rotation. They don’t have a number 1. Also, again, you can’t discredit injury risk when assessing talent.

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    • bstar says:

      And Wainwright looks like a shell of himself right now. Good luck having Kyle Lohse, Lance Lynn, and Jake Westbrook carry you the rest of the way.

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    • GTL says:

      A few things:
      1) Lynn is better than people are giving him credit for. To dismiss him for over performing is completely unfair. Yes he’s not going to finish the year with a sub 3 ERA so he’s obviously over performing. However he’s spent the last 2 years striking out a batter per inning so expecting him to regress to a 4 ERA or something isn’t right either. He’s a legit number 3 in all likelihood.
      2) Wainwright as a number two is laughable. He spent two years as arguably the best pitcher in the NL, missed a year and is now putting up the best peripherals of his career.
      3) Garcia is criminally underrated. He’s easily a number 2… Borderline ace. He’s been about the same pitcher as Gallardo and Romero for 2 years yet somehow those guys get the ace title that still eludes Garcia.
      4) the Cardinals have insane depth across the board. There is not another NL team that has better depth. As Dave points out, two if the cardinals subs would be starters on most teams (off the top of my head I can’t think of a single team Craig wouldn’t start for, and only in Texas would he not be batting between 2-6 in the lineup). Matt Adams is ready to step in as another power bat if they need him. Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller could both be adequate to good starters (obviously Shelby has ace potential).

      And all of this talk about how the cardinals have over performed so far obviously has some merit, but it glosses over how thoroughly they’ve dominated the NL statistically. You’d have to regress the lineup a TON before they’re no longer the best offense in the NL. No one else is close. And it makes a lot of sense just looking at the lineups. Atlanta is probably the only other NL team that can boast a lineup with the only holes being the 8 and 9 hitters, but STL has better hitters up and down the lineup (Beltran > Prado, Holliday > Freeman etc).

      As for injuries, they’ve basically gone all year with one of their 3 injury risk players (Beltran, Berkman, Furcal) out. I’d say that’s pretty representative of what to expect going forward (I.e. it’s likely that one of them is hurt most of the time). The injury to Craig was unfortunate and freakish, he’s not an injury risk going forward.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Atlanta’s lineup scores as much as the Cards and there isn’t anyone who’s stats you look at right now and go “HOLY SHIT THAT WON’T LAST”. Look at Furcal, Jay, and probably even Beltran, they won’t keep up that pace. So yea, you will regress it quite a bit. Second, a lot of other teams are playing under their expected level. The gap closes pretty quickly when you look at the trend lines on both sides.

        I agree that Lynn isn’t getting enough credit. He’s certainly not as good as his numbers, but even on Sunday when he didn’t have his best stuff, he battled and kept the team in the game while he was pitching.

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  23. Anon says:

    I see a lot of people mentioning quality of opponent (a lot of conjecture with little if any support).

    Why isn’t there a whole category of statistics that consider quality of opponent?

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      Usually people are smart enough to say “it’s only been 35 games, who exactly have they beaten?”.

      B-R has a weighted system that’s decent. It still puts the Cards at the top I believe (based on run differential, which as everyone has pointed out, they are tops at). The thing is though, run differential can be skewed by a cluster of big games this early in the season. So run differential and thus, any stat based off of it, is also skewed.

      Just ask 3 questions:
      1. Who have they played?
      2. Are they hot (outperforming ability)?
      3. How sustainable is this.

      for the Cards, the answers are
      1. Most of their wins come against crap NL Central teams.
      2. Yes, virtually the whole team.
      3. Not very.

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      • The Mighty Tim says:

        @antiono dumas bananas

        OK a-hole. The NL Central is not crap. You yourself put both the Cards and Brewers ahead of the Dodgers. The Cubs and Cards always play each other tough no matter what their records are and for your information, the Cubs have split the season series with the Cards 3-3. BTW, the Cubs’ rotation is better than the Braves so suck it. Garza, Dempster and Samardjzia are all better than ANYONE the bravos have. Oh and for your insipid “Braves start 3 22 y/o players everyday” mantra, you can stick that up your wazoo too. You conveniently neglect to mention the third 22 year old is Tyler Pastornicky and any resemblance between him and a decent prospect is purely coincidental. He’ll be lucky to be a second division utility player or a Cesar Izturis that can’t play defense.

        Oh and to imply the Cards hadn’t had success outside of the Central, they were 4-0 before the braves series with a 26-10 run differential. Cincinnati is also a playoff contender and have a lineup that’s on par with the Rangers. Pittsburgh and Houston suck but the Cards have only played them 9 times and have a 5-4 record against them so they’re not exactly fattening up their record against them.

        So just shut your damn yap because you have no idea what you’re talking about. Why don’t you try a little research before you shoot your f’ing mouth off first? This really pisses me off because I’m a damn Cubs’ fan and you’re making defend the f’ing Cards …

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Dempster and Samardzija are better than Hanson? Samardzija barely has 200 career innings pitched. He has great stuff, but a lot of guys have great stuff.

        “4-0 before facing the Braves” ooooo wow that says something.

        The Central DOES suck. Especially with the Reds and Crew battling injuries. The NL East is likely to have 4 teams at or above .500.

        I’m not saying the Cardinals are bad, I’m saying that it’s insane to act like they are easily the class of the NL when it’s pretty obvious that a large number of their players are playing at a level that isn’t sustainable.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        A lot of people have Pastornicky as like an Omar Infante if he reaches his ceiling. Nobody thinks Pastornicky is a top prospect but he’s serviceable and he’s not even their best SS prospect. Also, congratulations, you pointed out ONE player who is likely to be slightly below average-league average at 22. Freeman is a year younger than Matt Adams, Julio Teheran at worst is as good as Shelby Miller. Other than that the top of the Cards system is two pitchers (Carlos Martinez and Tyrell Jenkins) with 0 upper level innings and two position players (Oscar Taveras and Kolten Wong) with 65 combined games at AA.

        My point is that yes, the Cardinals farm system is ranked ahead of the Braves and rightfully so. However, if we’re just talking about young talent, it’d be pretty dumb to say it’s hands down Cards. Atlanta has more pitching depth and their young position players are better at a younger age.

        I don’t care how “hard the Cubs play” the Cards, they suck and will suck. Any team that gets to play the Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Pirates, and Reds, instead of the Phillies, Mets, Nationals, and Marlins has an advantage. This is all before interleague play too (Atlanta’s is rough).

        I did research before I wrote. They have played a lot of teams that are either injured or bad and 3 of their starter and at least 2 of their everyday lineup is playing way over their sustainable level. How is that even arguable?

        My argument isn’t that the Cards suck, they’re definately good, it’s mind blowing that someone thinks they are hands down the best team in the NL and possibly the best in MLB.

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      • Anon says:

        I’m not saying the Cardinals are bad, I’m saying that it’s insane to act like they are easily the class of the NL when it’s pretty obvious that a large number of their players are playing at a level that isn’t sustainable.

        So…. the Cardinals aren’t the class of the NL because they are playing too good?

        Of course they will regress, but their offense is the class of the NL right now (and I could argue it was last year as well).

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        I have a Hamilton analogy somewhere on my dozen posts here. Saying “look at how good the Cardinals have done, they are the best in the NL” based on this year is like looking at Hamilton’s 4 home run game and saying “he’s the best home run hitter ever”. Yes, what he did on that day was awesome, but that’s not his true talent level. The Cards will probably regress a lot. I’ve posted stats of Westbrook and Beltran’s HR/FB, the FIP and SIERRA/ERA differences, why Furcal and Jay are over performing, etc.

        They aren’t the best in the NL because so many of their players are clearly playing out of their minds and they’re all doing it at once. More than anything I think it’s insulting to act like the Cards are obviously the best NL team. If you were to say “which is more impressive, what the Cards have done to this point or what Texas has done to this point” then fine. To act like the Cards are definately the best when a guy with less than 200 innings, Kyle Lohse, and Jake Westbrook are carrying the rotation and Beltran is homering on 30% of flyballs, and Jay and Furcal are (were, they’ve been in a mini slump) hitting between .360 and .400, it’s crazy to me.

        When any individual player is clearly putting up bigger numbers than his ability suggest due to BABIP luck or HR/FB luck or a hot streak, people here are quick to point it out. Why is it any different when a team does it?

        Most run differential-based team stats shouldn’t be taken too seriously either since it’s only been 35 games. We wait X amount of AB to look at AVG, SLG, etc, why not differential?

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  24. Not sure if anyone else mentioned this, but looking at the transactions page on ESPN, I don’t think Texas has made on roster move since opening day. That health luck is not going to last.

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    • Matt says:

      Theyve had nagging issues with Hamilton and beltre

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      • Pguim says:

        Deep team can manipulate DH to mitigate lost a week from hamilton and 1.5 weeks from beltre. Rangers have lost their ready made replacement for Hamilton/Cruz DL stint in Leonys Martin for 2 months. So the eventual DL stint for both will be compounded.

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      • Daniel says:

        Moreland and Snyder can both play OF. napoli and young can also play first. Torrealba and snyder can catch. Gonzalez can play 2b, ss and 3b. An injury would hurt any team, but this team has such flexible backups that they don’t really need to worry too much

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  25. Ranger Fan says:

    Dave, you’ll have to forgive me if I take this article with a grain of salt. But you are the same guy who said that the Angels made a great move in mortgaging their franchise to sign Pujols and that Yu Darvish wasn’t ready for the Show.

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    • Ranger Fan says:

      A fun fact that Dave forgot to mention. The Rangers have won 66% of their games while playing series against the teams with the best records in the AL (TB, NY, Tor, Det, Cle, and Bal) and against LAA and Bos, 2 teams that most thought had a shot at the WS. A lot of these games were on the road. Meanwhile, St. Louis has won only 59% of their games. And virtually every series that they have played has been against a team that currently has a losing record. The only really good team that they have played is Atlanta, and they got swept in that series (at home no less).

      I’m biased. I admit that. But I really don’t see the comparison. Despite playing a really weak schedule, the Cards have the 4th best record in the NL (7th in MLB). The Rangers have taken on the best the AL has to offer and have the 2nd best record in baseball (behind the Dodgers). I love the fangraphs website and read a lot of the articles Cameron writes on statistical analysis. But this article seems silly to me. I don’t watch much NL ball, but I’d guess that the Cards aren’t even the best team in the NL.

      This is the sort of article that gives baseball statisticians a bad wrap. Trying to evaluate teams using a few basic stats without looking behind those stats to see if there are reasons to question their validity.

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  26. Antonio Bananas says:

    I think another thing to consider is the possible regression of the rest of the NL Central. The Reds and Brewers should both perform better if they can stay/get healthy. So not only will the Cards’ lineup regress down to their normal level, but their competition should get better too.

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    • The Mighty Tim says:

      I thought the entire Central was crap? Or are you just a hypocrite?

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        the current version with the Brewers battling injuries and both the Brewers and Reds rosters underperforming, yes. Up to this point the Cards haven’t played too many teams that were both healthy and good. They played one over the weekend though.

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  27. Ajax says:

    Just comparing the personnel in the two lineups, I still don’t see how St. Louis stacks up with the Rangers. The Cards may be hitting well now, but on paper the Cards look at lot weaker to me.

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  28. Ajax says:

    Regarding injuries, Leonys Martin might be the center fielder now if he hadn’t injured his thumb sliding into 2nd base.

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  29. delta73 says:

    It pains me that no one has pointed this out yet, but….

    You can’t directly compare these teams using his WAR components because they aren’t calculated in the same way. He’s using completely different data sets (AL for the Rangers, NL for the Cardinals). So while the Cardinals are, in fact, a very good team, I don’t think you’ll see the same rankings if you calculate against all of MLB. I definitely don’t think you’ll be able to call them the best in baseball. I’m still not sure you could call them the best team in baseball given the misleading stats anyway.

    Give me information I can work with, and then I’ll consider your case. Until then, the argument is just one big fallacy.

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  30. Marc says:

    Arlington may be a hitter’s park, but the rest of the Rangers’ division uses extreme pitcher’s parks. Well, maybe not “extreme” regarding the Angels, but it’s still a pitcher’s park. Their pitchers also have to face a DH.

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  31. Antonio Bananas says:

    How long does it take run differentials to stabalize? We don’t generally numbers put up by individuals too seriously this early being going 0-5 or 5-5 can really swing your line. Wouldn’t run differential be similar?

    Say the Cards win 12-0 tonight. That will make their average differential, I believe, 0.3 points wider, which is a lot for one game. I’m not gonna talk about over/under performance or schedule strength. Simply asking how long should we wait before we actually look at run differential as something meaningful at that point in the season.

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  32. Jesse says:

    The Rangers have no weaknesses, best team I’ve ever seen. Let’s remember that much of the success last year, including their playoff run was without a healthy Josh Hamilton. The disturbing thing is that if they were to lose an SP other than Darvish they might actually improve given that they have Ogando ready to take over. The weak point in their bullpen is Joe Nathan for crying out loud! Also, it really looks like Andrus is growing into a premiere player. Amazing stuff.

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    • Anon says:

      Really?

      Better than the ’01 Mariners and ’98 Yankees?

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        1906 Cubs?

        But really, the Rangers don’t really have any holes. What will it take for them to be an all time great team? Team WAR total? Run differential? Win total?

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  33. elijah says:

    2012 Rangers team batting at home: .353 wOBA, 120 wRC+
    2012 Rangers team batting at away: .370 wOBA, 131 wRC+

    I don’t think there’s really any reason to bring in the “playing in one of the best hitters’ park in the game” stuff when talking about Rangers batting in 2012. They’ve been hitting better on the road.

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  34. Jeffrey Lage says:

    Cards are beating up on the weak NL Central?

    Now hold on.

    Cards are 16-11 against the NL Central, and that’s 8-4 against the Reds and Brewers both potentially playoff caliber teams. They are 4-3 against non NLC teams. Last year, they were better against the NLE than they were against anybody else, which included being the only team that had a winning record against the Phillies.

    The NL Central, when the Cards are not playing them, the following teams records:
    Cin – 16-12
    Pit – 15-14
    MIL – 13-16
    Hou – 13-19
    Chi – 12-17
    Total – 69-78

    They are not this wildly weak league. The only team that has consistently played the NLC is the Braves, who are 11-5. If they are this weak league, I guess you could say the Braves are enjoying it too?

    And the Cards are 1-5 in one run games. You think that will sustain? They are better than their record indicates, and they have the depth to handle the injuries. Offensively, this is a pretty good Cards team, but the pitching will regress. Lynn, Waino, and Garcia are good, and Lohse and Westbrook are both worse then they have been performing.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      They are on pace for about 92 wins and that’s after this 4 game losing streak. Before they were on pace for 100 wins. You think they’re better than that?

      You talked about the pitching but you didn’t talk about the hitting side. A lot of players on offense will regress too. Plus the competition they’ve faced thus far has been mostly weak or injured/playing under their ability.

      If the Reds and Brewers play to their ability, the Central isn’t as weak (still prety weak with 3 bad teams). So you have to consider both the pitching and the hitting for the Cardinals getting worse plus their competition getting better.

      Maybe not though, maybe they’ll keep scoring a boatload of runs, their pitching will keep the ball in the park, and the Reds and Brewers will keep getting hurt/under performing.

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  35. Jeffrey Lage says:

    Cardinals – 130 wRC+
    Rangers – 126 wRC+

    Does that include the DH? (I really don’t know)

    But that does illustrate the ballparks certainly.

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  36. Dangerous Dean says:

    The Cards are good. When Cruz couldn’t get back for that fly ball, they took advantage of their opportunity and won the Series. Props to them.

    But this year Texas has been better. As Ranger Fan pointed out, The Rangers have played the toughest part of their schedule and had a .600 winning percentage doing it.

    I would love to see a rematch of last year’s Series because I think Texas is clearly better this year (with current health assumed). Hamilton was a ghost of his self in the Series last year. If he is even up to his career average in this year’s Series Texas should win it over STL, or LAD or WAS or whoever the NL puts forward.

    I don’t just say that as a Rangers fan (been bleeding Rangers blue or red since the mid 70s). I say that as someone who watches enough baseball to know the difference between a bashing team with a flimsy defense (as Texas was in the 90s) and a team that can beat you with pitching, hitting or defense.

    This is the first golden era of Rangers baseball, but hopefully not the last.

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    • Antonio Bananas says:

      I became a Rangers fan after the Tex trade. As a Braves fan, I had been following Andrus, Harrison, Feliz, and Satly. So I just started following them in the Rangers farm and now on their big league club and really started to like the team.

      Honestly I can’t think of a single hole in their organization. Bullpen, rotation, offense, plus it’s a good mix of vets and young players. Their farm is stacked with position players and pitchers of all levels. Just amazing what they’ve done. To top it all off, DFW is a huge metro area and will be able to sustain a top of the line club.

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  37. BryanMichael says:

    just as Christine answered I’m startled that a mother can earn $6549 in 1 month on the internet. have you seen this page (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/aEkUd

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  38. Juan Chapa says:

    Say what you want on elite teams, but the Dodgers, going into
    the All – Star Game, are the WINNIEST Team in MLB. Stats
    Do not lie. Proof? Two insurance salesmen were arguing
    as to which one of them was the better salesman. Finally,
    their Manager asked for their check stubs, and proclaimed
    the one with the highest commission as the better salesman!
    Stats and talent aside, the team that plays better is usually
    best. The only stats that matter are Wins and Losses. The
    Dodgers are the BEST TEAM in MLB.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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