Taking Stock of the AL East, Part 1

Keeping in theme today at FanGraphs with the look at teams in general, I decided to take a look into the AL East and examine how the three contenders, Boston, New York and Tampa have performed so far to date.

First of all, we have the traditional benchmark, won loss record. At time of writing, they look as follows:
New York, 65-42, –
Boston RS, 62-44, 2.5
Tampa Bay, 60-48, 5.5

Looking at run differential paints a slightly different picture:
Boston RS, 63-43, –
Tampa Bay, 63-45, 1.0
New York, 61-46, 2.5

Run differential does not tell the whole story however, as there are various other factors, namely luck, that can still skew results this far into the season. Instead, I like to look at a couple other measures. One is straight BaseRuns. If you are not familair with the model, here is a decent starting point.

BaseRuns concludes that Boston has been really lucky at keeping runs off the board, that the Rays have been a touch unlucky at plating runs and that the Yankees have been very slightly unlucky on both ends. BaseRuns would set the standings as follows:
Tampa Bay, 64-44, –
New York, 63-44, 0.5
Boston RS, 59-47, 4.0

Three measurements, three different leaders. In fact, each team appears in each possible spot in the respected order. We can introduce a fourth method here, looking at discrete units of the team (pitching, defense, offense) with our best metrics and see where the teams stack up. That will be part 2.




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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


10 Responses to “Taking Stock of the AL East, Part 1”

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  1. Matt says:

    The Red Sox have been lucky, IMO. Right now they’re a team without an identity and without a clue on how to win. Their best pitcher turns in a gem of a performance and the offense can only muster 4 hits, two by Ellsbury? Gah.

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  2. Myke says:

    ‘Right now they’re a team without an identity’

    lol, sure they have sucked recently but what does that even mean? what is the yankees ‘identity’?

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  3. Jason T says:

    lol, sure myke can’t use the shift key recently but what does that even mean? what is myke’s ‘education’?

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  4. Jason T says:

    I kid of course, Myke. Grammar will f***ed by the Twitter Generation

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    • Tim says:

      It is, in fact, entirely possible to utilize social networking without communicating like some eight-year-old playing counter strike (ZOMG pwnd!!11). Don’t blame, cell phones, Twitter or the internet – blame the stupid, lazy people who chose to use ridiculous short hand instead of English.

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    • Tim says:

      And also: don’t lay it at the feet of any one generation. I can’t begin to express the horrifying things that people in my parent’s (baby boomers) generate in text messages and online.

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  5. Jason T says:

    be” even. *sigh* All hope is lost for me.

    This was an awesome article, Mathew. When I’ve tried to explain sabermetrics to people they sometimes say that all our statistics will ‘take the fun out of the game’ or ‘ruin any kind of debate’. It’s obvious that even the best stats disagree with each other, at least sometimes. Thanks for all the work.

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  6. Myke says:

    wow some cranky people. its the internet ffs. i post on a lot of different sites, not using caps in fairly standard on a few of them.

    im going to look for my identity right now, maybe its one that uses proper grammar on the internetz.

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  7. 939291 says:

    for run differential, dont forget the yankees lost a game 22-4 to cleveland in april. without that game they look a lot better

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  8. Myke says:

    what about the game they beat the mets 15-0, should we drop that?

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