Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All-Star Break Charts — 1

The Bulls midseason passed by quite a while ago (midseason is 71 games and they are at 90 now). Nevertheless, by tradition the All-Star break is still a good time to take a look.

Note: For all charts you can get a larger version by clicking on the image.

The Bulls are 10 games above .500 (50-40) in the South and a half game ahead of Gwinnett. For the last couple of weeks they have been playing tag with the Braves and that is likely to continue to the end of the season. The Bulls only have 52 games left in their schedule.

A look at the Bulls runs scored-runs allowed chart is much more worrisome. If you crank the Bulls numbers through the "Pythagorean Expectation" formula the team "should" be at 46-44 instead of 50-40. That is, the Bulls are doing much better than would be expected. The sabermetrics guys attribute variance from the expectation to two key factors, luck and the bullpen. From numbers that we will be looking at soon, that makes sense. Our bullpen has been doing a very good job overall. Otherwise, the Bulls could easily be well out of first place.

What about our friends playing down South, the Tampa Bay Rays? They are also 90 games into the season. How could that be? Especially since the Bulls started their season more than a week after the Rays? Simple. The answer is that in Triple-A the players work harder. In the majors the players have a union. In the minors things are much, much tougher.

As you can see, the Rays are actually doing quite well. Eight games above .500 (49-41) is a pretty good year anywhere but the East Division of the American League. Interesting similarity between the curve for Baltimore and their AAA team, Norfolk.

The Rays runs scored/runs allowed chart shows them (as with the Bulls) well below previous years. When you crank their numbers through the expectation formula they come out exactly as the actual, 49-41. To be honest, I find that a bit creepy.

I'll take a look at pitching in my next post.

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