Root for This Team (AL)

Table of Contents
Here’s a clickable Table of Contents that completes the study that I introduced on Monday and of which I did the National League version yesterday.

1. American League Team Scores
2. AL Hitter Scores
3. AL Pitcher Scores
4. Conclusions and a Suggestion

Again, as ever, all charts herein are sortable by category.

American League Team Scores
The categories for the team scores were explained in yesterday’s post, so check there if you’ve forgotten how this works.

I did forget to mention that the “Market” numbers refer to a teams position within the entire league, not just the teams considered in this “study” — but that might have been obvious.

Team PSA WSA DT PSV W% Market H-Score P-Score Score
Baltimore Orioles 1997 1983 1997 0 0.430 24 36 26.5 54
Oakland Athletics 2006 1990 2006 1 0.526 29 36.5 32 51
Tampa Bay Rays 2011 2008 2010 2 0.464 28 33 33.5 41
Chicago White Sox 2008 2005 2008 3 0.522 10 27 38 38.5
Detroit Tigers 2011 2006 2011 3 0.463 12 26 30.5 31
LA Angels of A 2009 2002 2009 7 0.561 5 49 24 30.5
Texas Rangers 2011 2011 2011 4 0.505 8 27.5 44 26
New York Yankees 2011 2009 2011 7 0.602 1 29 30.5 16

The Orioles place at the top of this chart shouldn’t surprise anyone. Despite the fact they have just the third “sweetest” hitter and a negligible pitcher entry, they come out “ahead” based on the fact that they’ve had one of the worst winning percentages of any team in the league, not just the remaining postseason contenders that I looked at for this “study.” They haven’t been to the World Series since 1983, and they certainly haven’t won a playoff series in the last decade. Plus, no argument about it, they have the awesomest cap in MLB.

Since I posted the intro to this series on Monday, many people whose teams are “out of it” have commented that they are adopting the Oakland A’s as their team. I myself am torn between the O’s and the A’s. It was less than ten years ago than Billy Beane put together an 100-win team, and they have a decent regular season record despite a lack of playoff success. Their second-place finish here is bolstered by the fact that the have the second-worst media market of any team in the Majors, and that they have exciting, young players as the base of this surprise contender. Oh, and they themselves have a sweet visual aesthetic.

Was the author biased?

American League Hitter Scores
Again, the categories in for the hitters scores were disclaimed in yesterday’s post.

Player Team Age POS PA P/PA ISO Clutch LD% tSpd Misc. Score
Mike Trout LAA 20 CF/LF 428 4.10 0.250 -0.71 25.1% 12.8 3 49
Yoenis Cespedes OAK 26 CF/LF 332 3.60 0.203 0.84 22.9% 5.7 2 36.5
Adam Jones BAL 26 CF 491 3.62 0.232 0.55 19.0% 6.5 0 36
Evan Longoria TBR 26 3B/DH 123 4.05 0.190 0.05 24.7% 3.1 0 33
Derek Jeter NYY 38 SS 521 3.68 0.105 -0.35 21.1% 5.3 1 29
Josh Hamilton TEX 31 CF/LF 460 3.60 0.294 -0.9 20.5% 6.3 0 27.5
Adam Dunn CHW 32 1B/DH 491 4.44 0.280 -0.92 24.5% -0.2 1 27
Prince Fielder DET 28 1B 499 3.73 0.201 -0.07 23.0% -0.9 2 26

Surprise! Mike Trout leads this group. Who would have guessed?! Yoenis “The Human” Cespedes and Adam Jones follow him, just a couple of more reasons to be excited about the A’s and O’s. The hype that surrounded Cespedes’s entry into the U.S. and MLB, and the fact that he’s lived up to that hype (posting a .373 wOBA so far) gain him some major “Misc.” points here, which helped him to catapult past Adam Jones. Cespedes would have been third even without those points.

I liked Jeter as a bounceback guy (currently posting his highest wOBA since 2007). In terms of face-of-the-franchise players, he can’t be beat, and I actually gave him credit for his age in stead of penalizing him. Those things got him to the middle of the board.

Prince Fielder signed a huge contract (which is why I chose him over Miguel Cabrera), and is having an excellent season, but his lack of speed, lack of pitches taken, and lack of defensive value hurt him here — not to mention his relatively low ISO.

American League Pitcher Scores
The categories, etc., explained here.

Name Team Age POS TBF P/PA FPv SwStr% K% Clutch Misc. Score
Yu Darvish TEX 25 SP 628 3.86 92.7 10.8% 25.8% 0.41 3 44
Chris Sale CHW 23 SP 543 3.86 92 10.4% 24.3% 0.43 1 38
David Price TBR 26 SP 614 4.07 95.6 8.4% 24.6% 0.36 0 33.5
Jarrod Parker OAK 23 SP 485 3.81 92.2 9.8% 19.0% -0.19 1 32
CC Sabathia NYY 31 SP 596 3.62 92.4 11.4% 23.5% -0.45 0 30.5
Justin Verlander DET 29 SP 691 3.96 94.4 11.2% 25.2% -0.9 0 30.5
Chris Tillman BAL 24 SP 168 4.13 95 8.2% 17.9% 0.22 0 26.5
Zack Greinke LAA 28 SP 588 3.89 93 7.9% 23.3% -0.61 2 24

It would have been easy to go with Wei-Yin Chen here for the O’s, as he’s been consistent and has the bland glamor of being an international signee, but to me Tillman is more interesting. Acquired in the same deal that brought Adam Jones to to Baltimore, it’s taken him a bit longer than Mr. Jones to develop. This year, he got his control under control at the AAA level while also posting an excellent walk rate, and since a July 4th season debut in the Majors, has been respectable with flashes of…something more.

Zack Greinke was an easy choice to represent the Angels, as he was one of the biggest mid-season acquisitions by a contending club. Surprisingly, he finishes very lowly, here.

Yu Darvish’s lead over Chris Sale at the top of this chart is bolstered by his “Misc.” total, but even if you take away that bonus, Yu still wins handily on the strength of his K%, SwStr%, and solid Clutch score. That was not enough to boost the Rangers in the overall standings, however.

Conclusions and a Suggestion
At the beginning of the season, virtually no one would have thought that both the A’s and the Orioles could make the playoffs, let alone one of them. There’s really no reason to root for any of the other teams, in my opinion, and according to this very objective “study” that I just did. Unless, of course, you are a fan of one of those teams to begin with. Then it’s okay.

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I have adopted Oakland as my “other team” this season. Obviously the O’s come first.

I used to love the Rays, but now that they’re more competition for the O’s I can’t outwardly root for them, so I’ve picked the Oakland BillyBeanes. Last season ended with me wearing a Longoria jersey to Camden Yards as I watched the O’s (and Rays indirectly) knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs.

This season I hope to wear my Jones jersey and Oakland hat as both teams win and get into the playoffs.

William Livingston

Dressing appropriately indicates comprehension that one lives in a social world and shows consideration to the obtainment of the good opinion of others, while total informality or slovenliness is pure FU egotism. With that in mind, I propose the geniuses at NotGraphs opine on: at what age (or what size gut) are you too old to wear athletic jerseys?

(This is a big problem at basketball games, where fleshy, aged, tufted men wear wife-beater jerseys.)


For what it’s worth I was 21 at the time. I think that’s acceptable.