Friday, May 18, 2007
The Blue Jays stumble into this series not in particularly good shape. They currently sit in third place, their usual accustomed spot in the A.L. East, but they need to be wary about the vastly improved Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the better-than-I-thought Baltimore Orioles. It is a same that J.P. Riccardi hasn’t succeeded in breaking into the playoffs up there in Toronto. He’s done a nice job and has final gotten some cash to spend, but you just get that feeling that the Blue Jays are going to be held hostage to the Red Sox – Yankees hegemony. Too bad.
The Blue Jays are swinging a decent bat at the moment, hitting a .165 ISO (.148 league average), but they are hitting poorly with runners in scoring position (.251, vs. the league average of .262) and aren’t getting on-base (just a .325 OBP). Defensively they are playing well: .718 DER, .020 better than the A.L. average, but their pitching is below-average, a surprise on a team boasting A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay. Actually, the differences between Halladay and Burnett are interesting: while Burnett has a better ERA – 3.99 to 4.37 – Halladay has the better FIP, 3.14 to 5.36 … Halladay is over a run better in terms of ERA to FIP, while Burnett is over a run worse! Neither Halladay nor Burnett will be pitching this weekend, so the Phillies are going to be facing-off with second-tier pitching. Ought to be a good weekend for Pat Burrell, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley...
It will be an interesting series to watch and I think that the Phillies matchup well. Very well. I guess we’ll see …
An interesting note … The Phillies have caught some bad breaks and the Atlanta Braves have been a little lucky thus far this season. At the moment the Phillies sit five games behind the Braves in the N.L. East chase:
New York Mets: 26-14
Atlanta Braves: 25-16
Philadelphia Phillies: 20-21
Florida Marlins: 18-23
Washington Nationals: 15-26
If you adjust for Pythagorean Win-Loss records, you’ll see that the gap between the Braves and Phillies isn’t so big:
New York Mets: 25-14
Atlanta Braves: 22-18
Philadelphia Phillies: 22-18
Florida Marlins: 19-22
Washington Nationals: 13-27
The Braves have a +21 run differential, while the Phillies are at +16. Not such a big difference between the two. Speaking of which … anyone notice how terrible the St. Louis Cardinals are playing? They are really, really terrible. Their -48 run differential was third-worst in the N.L., just one ahead of the Rockies. The only team worse is the Nats at -63. Ouch!
Enjoy the weekend!
i just saw a message you left me about exchanging links, probably a long time ago. Sorry i didnt mean to dis ya, i just dont always check the comments and must have missed it. I like what you have going here, and I will add you to my sidebar. best, imfm
am posting from Micronesia; have been a life-long phillies fan
2 questions, your article on base stealing has no stats on stealing second with 2 outs and how that improves the chance of scoring
also, the era stat seems to be messed up with so few pitchers going past the 6th inning anymore. A 4.00 era (high when I was kid)means a pitcher is only giving up about 2.5 runs a start. Is there a stat showing what a pitcher is giving up per start?