Earlier, I went through the actual, run differential and BaseRuns standings of the top three in the AL East and came out with three different positions for each team one through three, depending on the method. Today I am looking at discrete units of each team (pitching, defense, offense) with our best available metrics, in my opinion, and see where the teams stack up.
First up, pitching. We use FIP here at FanGraphs and I am also partial to tRA as you may have noticed, so I will list both. Based off FIP, FanGraphs lists the Red Sox pitching staff at 18.8 wins above replacement, the Rays at 11.6 and the Yanks at 11.4. tRA only reports runs against average, and it has Boston at 68.8, Tampa at -13.9 and New York at -21.4. Either way, we have the Red Sox well out in front, through tRA sees a larger gulf between them and the other two teams.
For defense, we make use of UZR here on FanGraphs. The Rays lead the three teams with a 38.8 runs above average mark, third best in all the Majors. The Yankees are at -14.7 runs and the Red Sox are dead last at -29.8 runs. That certainly helps to level the playing field between the teams when it comes to the runs allowed department.
For offense, I will list two methods. The first is the baserunning-included version of wOBA presented here on FanGraphs. Factoring in positional and replacement level adjustments, done automatically, we have the following figures for runs above replacement
BOS – 173.6
NYA – 246.4
TBA – 217.7
Another method to estimate run scoring ability would be to look at just that half of the BaseRuns output, which gives us these readings
BOS – 560
NYA – 613
TBA – 589
Do not worry about converting one to another. Here is what sounds like delicious agreement between the two systems. The Yankees are tops in both, followed by Tampa in both, 28.7 runs behind by wOBA, 24 runs behind by BaseRuns. Boston is in the rear, 72.8 runs behind New York by wOBA, 53 by BaseRuns. 20 runs is a bit more than I would like to see in difference for perfect agreement, but it is pretty solid.
Adding it all together looks like this. By FIP, UZR and wOBA (the three listed here on FanGraphs) we would expect to see:
New York, 1.5
By tRA, UZR and BaseRuns, we arrive at:
New York, 4.0
That is a lot of different standings to look at so consider this a summation. Apart from actual wins and losses, Tampa always rates favorably, as either the divison leader or a close second (and Tampa has since taken over the run differential lead from Boston after last night’s game). Who deserves second place between Boston and New York is much harder to figure and essentially is a toss up. No matter which system you use, all three teams are within striking distance and that should make this a real exciting pennant drive as they fight for a likely, and maximum, two playoff spots.
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