Quick notes on the stats below: All runs data are park adjusted using Patriot's park factors. PythWins is from Hardball Times, and so is PythagenPat. XtrapWins is the wins that the teams' current winning percentage would provide at the season's end. Wif500 is what the team's record should be if they win half of their remaining games. %for90W is the winning percentage the teams will need to get to 90 wins at the end of the season.
P.S. Condolences to Zimmerman on having his hit streak stopped at 30.
Heading into tonight's action, the Reds and Brewers were tied for the lead in the NL wild card race. No, it's never too early to point that out.
Team performance breakdown
What I'm doing below is using some objective methods to estimate what team performance "should be." I estimate team runs scored using linear weights (actually, FanGraphs does, though I park-adjust it), pitching performance based on FIP (I do park-adjust the HR's; I'd rather use tRA*, but I can't pull it automatically from statcorner using excel and it takes too long to type it in), and fielding based on UZR. I use those numbers to estimate team runs scored and runs allowed, and then use PythagenPat to estimate expected winning percentage. It's not perfect, but this should give us another look at team performance that gets beyond actual wins, losses, and runs scored or allowed. You can think of the list below as a sort of power ranking in the National League.
The Reds come out looking pretty good here, ranking as the 6th-best team in the National League thanks to their pitching and fielding. The teams that rank above them are not a surprise, though the Brewers' ranking at #2 is pretty impressive.
But there are surprises among teams below the Reds. The Nationals show up as an expected-0.500 team here thanks to an offense that is expected to score 20 more runs than it actually has produced thus far (second only to the Dodgers). The Marlins and especially the Giants look to have massively overperformed thus far. The Marlins' offensive numbers are very weak (0.309 wOBA), and their expected runs scored is almost 20 runs below their actual total.
The Giants, on the other hand, look lucky in both their offensive production AND defensive run prevention. I'd estimate that their record should be closer to 12-20 than it's actual mark at 18-14. I expect them to fall out of the race quickly, which might end up leaving the Dodgers to seal off that division by mid-June or so. Unless the Rockies can catch them...
- Top hitting teams (wOBA): Nationals, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Brewers
- Top pitching teams (FIP*): Braves, Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Reds
- Top fielding teams: Brewers, Reds, Phillies, Pirates, Astros (maybe--Dodgers have a legit argument, despite their UZR)
- "Expected" playoff teams: Mets, Brewers, Dodgers win divisions, Braves win wild card