Let’s break down the numbers for the season. First, we’ll look at the best and worst offenses based of runs scored.
New York Yankees – 968 runs
(NL Winner: Philadelphia Phillies – 892 runs)
Washington Nationals – 673 runs
(AL Winner: Chicago White Sox – 693 runs)
Sure, there’s more to offense than runs scored; but scoring runs is the basis of the game. It shouldn’t matter whether it was from small ball or the long ball; a runs a run. I hate the Yankees as much as the next guy out side of the Bronx, but their all star line up produced another playoff appearance. While I’m not surprised to see the Nationals at the bottom of the list, I’m pretty surprised by the White Sox being there. Their 2005 roster was pretty much in order, and they don’t have a ton of older players; I didn’t believe they would fall off the way they did.
Here’s the best and worst pitching teams based off runs allowed.
San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox- 657 runs allowed
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 944 runs
(NL Winner: Florida Marlins – 891 runs)
Both Cy Young winners should come from the these 2 teams (Peavy and Beckett); each staff went beyond these 2. Chris Young and Greg Maddux both had good seasons while Dice-K and Schilling pitched equally as well. Both teams also have solid bullpens. I wouldn’t be surprised to see each in the World Series (if the Padres make it past the Rockies in the 1 game playoff). At the other end, the D-Rays have young pitchers, so they are still trying to get it together. Look for James Shields to build upon this season and Scott Kazmir to come back strong.
If you remember the power rankings from last year, you’ll remember I tracked teams projected record using the Pythagorean Theory of Win, which Bill James first worked with. It basically figures the record of a team based off the runs scored and runs allowed. The over-achiever and under-achiever awards are for the team that played better than their Pythagorean record and the team that did worse.
Arizona Diamondbacks – 11 games
(AL Winner: Seattle Mariners – 9 games)
Boston Red Sox – 7 games
(NL Winner: San Francisco Giants – 6 games)
Arizona did what many thought they couldn’t: win the division with a young team. They did this by winning 11 games more than they should have. Boston, on the other hand, won their division even though they under-produced by 7 wins. (For the record, only Florida, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles nailed their records. 7 other teams were within 1 game of their projected record.)
The individual top players will be coming up later, with previews of the first round series.