THT Dartboard: Week Four

Divisional Picture


Welcome to The Hardball Times Dartboard, our weekly attempt to rank all the teams in baseball. The Dartboard Factor is how many wins a team would be expected to have at the end of the season if it played a neutral schedule. Next to that, you’ll find the Dartboard Factor from the previous week. An explanation of our method can be found here.

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers (Dartboard Factor = 109, 119): Manny Ramirez blows up at the plate with a .421/.593/.789 line. Chad Billingsley notches 16 strikeouts over 14.1 innings but also walked seven.

#2 St Louis Cardinals (Dartboard Factor = 104, 109): A nice even distribution from the offense this week and ditto on the pitching side as the relief and starting pitchers chip in about equally to a productive week.

#3 Toronto Blue Jays (Dartboard Factor = 102, 117): Good outings from Brandon League and Jason Frasor out of the bullpen as they combine to hurl seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Adam Lind powered the offense with a pair of home runs and six walks drawn.

#4 Kansas City Royals (Dartboard Factor = 93, 97): A big week for Willie Bloomquist of all people with seven hits including a triple and a home run (more extra base hits right there than he had all of last season) and five walks.

#5 Tampa Bay Rays (Dartboard Factor = 93, 92): Matt Garza is absolutely outstanding against Boston, recording ten strikeouts, a single walk and had over half his balls in play allowed on the ground. Carlos Pena smacked three home runs and Evan Longoria got back on the home run tally with two of his own.

#6 New York Yankees (Dartboard Factor = 90, 84): Nick Swisher is still swinging a hot bat, with another three home runs and he tossed in five walks as well. Mark Teixeira is still drawing walks, another six this week, but had just two hits.

#7 New York Mets (Dartboard Factor = 90, 92): Oliver Perez has another disastrous two starts and is heading to the bullpen. That’s a good sign one month into a three-year contract.

#8 Boston Red Sox (Dartboard Factor = 88, 102): Jason Bay continues to power the Red Sox line up which is surviving despite a continued lack of production from David Ortiz.

#9 Pittsburgh Pirates (Dartboard Factor = 87, 97): A team wide offensive downturn really hurts the Pirates this week and the pitching does little to come to their aid.

#10 Atlanta Braves (Dartboard Factor = 86, 80): The seemingly always overlooked Chipper Jones combines nine walks with just one strikeout to register a .500 OBP for the week. A stellar week for the bullpen completes a solid week for Atlanta.

#11 Milwaukee Brewers (Dartboard Factor = 85, 72): Mike Cameron keeps hitting with another seven extra base hits to go along with his always stellar defensive play. It’s a good thing the Brewers didn’t move him this winter.

#12 Seattle Mariners (Dartboard Factor = 83, 85): Russell Branyan continues to hit, adding another pair of home runs and Felix Hernandez rolls with nine strike outs.

#13 Florida Marlins (Dartboard Factor = 83, 93): Jorge Cantu drops four home runs and Jeremy Hermida has the interesting line of a 0.077 batting average (just two hits) and ten strikeouts but eight walks drawn got his OBP near the .300 mark.

The Incompleat Starting Pitcher
The end of the nine-inning start and how we got here.

#14 Los Angeles Angels (Dartboard Factor = 79, 68): The Angels are still holding ground with their improvised rotation. Ervin Santana and John Lackey are expected back within a couple weeks.

#15 Detroit Tigers (Dartboard Factor = 78, 86): Another decent, but pitch heavy, outing from Edwin Jackson who tosses 117 pitches over just six innings despite walking only one and allowing no runs. The bullpen continues to struggle.

#16 Texas Rangers (Dartboard Factor = 77, 75): A big week for Hank Blalock with three home runs and a pair of doubles and walks. Michael Young has ten hits, five for extra bases as well.

#17 San Diego Padres (Dartboard Factor = 77, 93): Brian Giles is having a hard time breaking out of his sump with just four hits this week, but four walks and a home run amongst those four hits might be the light at the end of the tunnel.

#18 Cleveland Indians (Dartboard Factor = 76, 76): Jhonny Peralta has seen better weeks. Four for thirty with a single walk against thirteen strike outs. Teammate Shin-Soo Choo shows him the better way with eight walks against three punch outs this week, to go along with six hits.

#19 Cincinnati Reds (Dartboard Factor = 76, 70): Jay Bruce is rounding into form nicely with seven hits, three of them long balls, this week. And Johnny Cueto puts up a pair of nice starts to give the Reds some hope in the NL Central.

#20 Chicago Cubs (Dartboard Factor = 75, 82): Carlos Marmol flat imploded issuing nine walks over 3.1 innings along with a home run and six total runs.

#21 Philadelphia Phillies (Dartboard Factor = 75, 65): Jamie Moyer has drawn four walks this season. Four. Jamie Moyer. Meanwhile Raul Ibanez continues to just flat out mash.

#22 Chicago White Sox (Dartboard Factor = 74, 73): Matt Thornton faced nine hitters this week and struck out five of them with no walks, a pop up and three ground balls. That’s about as dominant as you get.

#23 Minnesota Twins (Dartboard Factor = 72, 61): A triple, a home run and eight walks for Michael Cuddyer on the week powers him to an OBP above .500. Great starts from the rotation also helped out the Twins jump spots this week.

#24 Arizona Diamondbacks (Dartboard Factor = 72, 61): Dan Haren, 17 innings pitched, 21 strikeouts, two walks. That’s flat out dominating. Max Scherzer also threw a quality six innings with seven punch outs to just one walk.

#25 Colorado Rockies (Dartboard Factor = 72, 65): Todd Helton hits nearly .500 for the week and Ryan Spilborghs launched three home runs helping to overcome some average pitching performances.

#26 San Francisco Giants (Dartboard Factor = 72, 66): Little offensive output for the Giants this week but good starts from Randy Johnson, Tim Lincecum and even Barry Zito is starting to mold the Giants into the team we thought they would be, stingy on allowing runs and even stingier on scoring them.

#27 Oakland Athletics (Dartboard Factor = 69, 56): Six walks on the week for Jack Cust, which doubles his number of hits, three and Matt Holliday finally get on the home run board with two this week. Brett Anderson tossed a gem combining strikeouts and ground balls, but of note was that all five of his punch outs were looking.

#28 Houston Astros (Dartboard Factor = 67, 65): Not much to cheer about in Houston, but the bullpen has been decent at least. Chris Sampson and LaTroy Hawkins both had good weeks.

#29 Washington Nationals (Dartboard Factor = 64, 61): Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman both tally three home runs while Zimmerman has also kept a hitting streak alive that’s pushed past 20 games now.

#30 Baltimore Orioles (Dartboard Factor = 56, 57): Adam Jones is lighting up the boards with three more home runs and is showing the offensive talent that he hitherto had only flashed in Triple-A. Combined with Nick Markakis, the Orioles have two-thirds of an outfield set for years to come.

Divisional Picture

The playoff picture takes the above ranking and reforms the teams back into their leagues and divisions including the wild card. This is in no ways a prediction, this is an assessment of how teams have played so far this season, not how each team is going to play.

Blue Jays – 102
Rays – 93
Yankees – 90
Red Sox – 88
Orioles – 56

Royals – 93
Tigers – 78
Indians – 76
White Sox – 74
Twins – 72

Mariners – 83
Angels – 79
Rangers – 77
Athletics – 69

Mets – 90
Braves – 86
Marlins – 83
Phillies – 75
Nationals – 64

Cardinals – 104
Pirates – 87
Brewers – 85
Reds – 76
Cubs – 75
Astros – 67

Dodgers – 109
Padres – 77
Diamondbacks – 72
Rockies – 72
Giants – 72

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