July 15, 2020

Climbing the Ladder with the American League 5/18/08

May 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Tampa Bay stays hot while the Tigers have not, plus more in this weeks Climbing the Ladder with the American League

A.L. East W L PCT. GB L10 STRK
Tampa Bay
25 18 .581 8-2 L1
Boston 26 19 .578 4-6 W2
Baltimore 23 19 .548 1.5 7-3 W4
Toronto 22 23 .489 4.0 5-5 W1
New York 20 23 .465 5.0 3-7 L2
Tampa Bay Rays
Wins Losses
Games 25 18
Runs Scored 140 57
Runs Allowed 54 117
Batting Average .289 .227
On Base Percentage .357 .296
Slugging Percentage .428 .351
Home Runs 24 17
Home Runs Allowed 9 22
ERA 1.89 6.40

The Tampa Bay Rays are off to the best start in franchise history and have the best record in the American League. Tampa has been in first for what will be the 5th straight day, the longest such streak of its kind for the team. The 12 days in first place this season is just 3 days shy of the Rays total in the last ten years. It’s remarkable how good this team is this year, and how bad they’ve been in the past. Tampa’s pitching and defense has been a major reason for the teams success in 2008. Tampa starters are 8-3 in their last 11 games, while posting an ERA of 1.82 and the Rays are 18 errors below where they were at this time last year. Tampa Bay has the pieces in place to have continued success for not only this season, but for many season’s to come.

Boston Red Sox
Wins Losses
Games 26 19
Runs Scored 159 69
Runs Allowed 78 124
Batting Average .322 .251
On Base Percentage .395 .316
Slugging Percentage .507 .378
Home Runs 30 15
Home Runs Allowed 18 22
ERA 2.68 6.29

The Boston Red Sox are glad to be playing at home again. The Sox have posted the best home winning percentage (.762) in the majors and with their two wins yesterday, have moved back into a virtual first place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays. Last week was a tough week for the Sox as the team lost three consecutive games in which they lead by at least 3 runs. The good news is that Boston leads the majors in batting average, ranks second in OPS and ranks 5th in home runs. The Red Sox have also scored the most runs in the American League and 3rd most in the majors behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox have the best offense in the American League and will benefit from getting to play the weak hitting Royals in a 4 game series this week.

Baltimore Orioles
Wins Losses
Games 23 19
Runs Scored 131 44
Runs Allowed 75 104
Batting Average .287 .204
On Base Percentage .362 .267
Slugging Percentage .461 .298
Home Runs 28 11
Home Runs Allowed 22 18
ERA 3.16 5.33

The Baltimore Orioles stay hot in a strong division. The O’s have won four straight games for the second time this season and have won seven of their last eight. Baltimore has also won three straight series, but remain a game and a half out of first place. I don’t know how long the birds can keep this pace up, but I don’t imagine it will last till the end of the season. Baltimore has been outscored 182-178 making their expected record 21-21. Last nights game was the first of the season in which the O’s never trailed at any point and it appears they have been winning with smoke and mirrors. Baltimores record could be a lot worse as the team came back from 2 runs or more to win in three games during this home stand and have come from behind in 12 of their 23 wins. The Birds are a different team at home and are enjoying a 14-6 record at Camden Yards, ranking them the second best home team in the American League behind the Boston Red Sox. Baltimore begins a 6 game road trip this week in which they will play the New York and Tampa. The O’s then return home for a 7 game home stand with high hopes of finishing off the month of May in style.

Toronto Blue Jays
Wins Losses
Games 22 23
Runs Scored 113 58
Runs Allowed 51 125
Batting Average .293 .219
On Base Percentage .369 .296
Slugging Percentage .425 .309
Home Runs 17 11
Home Runs Allowed 16 20
ERA 2.14 5.19

The Toronto Blue Jays have had been through an up and down season so far. The team has struggled as of late and has not been above the .500 mark since April 21st. Starting pitching has not been a problem for the Blue Jays, as the staff has earned the W in 19 of the teams 22 wins, ranking them tied for 3rd in the majors. Blue Jay starters lead the majors in innings pitched with 408.1 but have often come up short due to the teams anemic offense. Toronto ranks just 24th in the majors in runs scored with 171 and 20th in team batting average at .255. The Toronto offense is just awful and releasing Frank Thomas was a major mistake for a team who can’t score runs. Toronto will need to rely on its pitching to keep them in games and hope their offense can heat up and bring the team above .500.

New York Yankees
Wins Losses
Games 20 23
Runs Scored 112 65
Runs Allowed 48 138
Batting Average .288 .231
On Base Percentage .354 .297
Slugging Percentage .481 .347
Home Runs 27 16
Home Runs Allowed 10 25
ERA 2.40 6.09

My oh my how the mighty have fallen. The New York Yankees are in last place in the American League East and the team formerly known as the Bronx Bombers rank 22nd in the majors in runs scored with 177, the fewest by the team since 1990. Only the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays have scored less runs in the American League. The good and bad news for the Yankees is that they have not had a steak in which the team has won or lost 3 or more games. Unfortunately for Yankee fans, the scale is tipping more towards the losing streaks. New York has had only one three game winning streak but has had three, three game losing streaks. Relief is in sight for the Yankees, as Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada will participate in extend spring training games this week.

A.L. Central W L PCT. GB L10 STRK
Chicago 22 20 .524 7-3 W4
Cleveland 22 21 .512 0.5 6-4 L2
Minnesota 21 21 .500 1.0 4-6 L1
Kansas City 20 22 .476 2.0 6-4 L1
Detroit 17 26 .395 5.5 3-7 W1
Chicago White Sox
Wins Losses
Games 22 20
Runs Scored 134 53
Runs Allowed 45 117
Batting Average .267 .218
On Base Percentage .365 .284
Slugging Percentage .446 .345
Home Runs 28 18
Home Runs Allowed 6 14
ERA 1.86 5.61

The Chicago White Sox have won four straight games and seven of their last ten. The White Sox have been in first place for 27 days this season. This marks a huge improvement for the team and its 1 day in first place in 2007 and 35 in 2006. Chicago just competed a long stretch of 26 games in 27 days. The long streak of playing on a nearly daily basis took its toll on the Chicago offense but things look to be falling back into place. What has kept the White Sox in contention during the last month is their tremendous pitching. Chicago ranks second in the American League with 26 quality starts and third with a 3.51 ERA. The White Sox have allowed three runs or less in 22 of their 43 games including 4 shut outs and 7 games with 1 run allowed.

Cleveland Indians
Wins Losses
Games 22 21
Runs Scored 131 48
Runs Allowed 41 110
Batting Average .269 .199
On Base Percentage .362 .261
Slugging Percentage .428 .297
Home Runs 23 12
Home Runs Allowed 12 27
ERA 1.76 5.02

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. The Cleveland Indians starting rotation has the best ERA in Major League Baseball at 2.88 and have allowed just 42 runs in their last 190 innings pitched. Cleveland starters have gone at least 5.0 innings in 26 consecutive starts and over their last 9 games, Cleveland starters have posted an ERA of 0.67. After coming off American League Pitcher of the Month honors, Cliff Lee has somehow pitched even better in two starts so far in May in which he’s gone 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Lee has been phenomenal so far this season and has had scoreless inning streaks of 16.0 and 27.o innings pitched. Lee has allowed runs in just 3 of the 52.3 innings pitched so far and is the favorite to start the all star game for the American League in July.

Minnesota Twins
Wins Losses
Games 21 21
Runs Scored 129 52
Runs Allowed 62 123
Batting Average .305 .219
On Base Percentage .353 .270
Slugging Percentage .444 .295
Home Runs 15 8
Home Runs Allowed 15 29
ERA 2.75 5.65

The Minnesota Twins seem to be playing just as the numbers would predict. The Twins have scored four less runs then they’ve allowed and their expected win loss record is the same as their actual record. The Twins have enjoyed success in interleague play and are one of only 10 teams with over 100 wins in such contests. Minnesota has 107 interleague wins, ranking them 4th best among all Major League teams. Playing at their current pace, the Twins don’t look to have enough talent to beat out the Indians or White Sox in the division. Despite sharing some time in first earlier in the week, the Twins can hope to finish ahead of the Royals and Tigers.

Kansas City Royals
Wins Losses
Games 20 22
Runs Scored 96 60
Runs Allowed 40 142
Batting Average .290 .234
On Base Percentage .352 .286
Slugging Percentage .429 .308
Home Runs 14 7
Home Runs Allowed 12 29
ERA 1.93 6.61

The Kansas City Royals are hot off a season high 7 game winning streak despite scoring very few runs. The Royals rank 25th in the majors with 156 runs scored and have performed better than their expected wins show them to be. The Royals locked up closer Joakim Soria to a multi-year contract last night on the the pitchers 24th birthday. The Royals have made great strides in improving their ball club. A year ago, the team was just 15-27 after 42 games. The Royals look to continue that success into its up coming stretch of 11 games in as many days.

Detroit Tigers
Wins Losses
Games 17 26
Runs Scored 137 55
Runs Allowed 65 163
Batting Average .319 .214
On Base Percentage .401 .286
Slugging Percentage .555 .298
Home Runs 28 13
Home Runs Allowed 12 26
ERA 3.47 6.04

The Detroit Tigers can be considered the biggest failure in the Major Leagues after the first quarter of the season. The team is last in the 5 team American League Central and has grossly under-performed. Last night’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks marked the teams first win in which the they scored four or less runs. Tiger pitching just isn’t getting it done. Detroit has been outscored 228-192 and the tremendous offense that was the talk of the majors at the beginning of the season ranks only 16th in runs scored. The Texas Rangers are the only other American League team to give up more runs. This team has been pathetic in 2008 and I’m almost certain that there isn’t a Tiger fan out there who isn’t disappointed.

A.L. West
Los Angeles 25 20 .594 6-4 W1
Oakland 24 20 .563 1.0 5-5 L2
Texas 22 22 .419 5.5 2-8 L4
Seattle 17 27 .419 5.5 6-4 W4
Los Angeles Angels
Wins Losses
Games 25 20
Runs Scored 135 66
Runs Allowed 69 134
Batting Average .286 .238
On Base Percentage .348 .293
Slugging Percentage .439 .351
Home Runs 26 13
Home Runs Allowed 15 25
ERA 2.64 6.67

The Anges lead in the American League West has been whittled down to .5 games and the teams 3-7 record in their last 10 hasn’t helped. The Angels are tied for second in wins with the Tampa Bay Rays with only the Boston Red Sox ahead of them and are the only first place team who has been outscored. The 3-7 record has come at a time in which the Angels power has fallen way off the table. Los Angeles was tied for second in home runs on May 9th and has managed only 1 home run since, dropping the team to 10th in the rankings. Defense has helped the Angels remain on top of the American League West as they are tied for the American League lead with a .989 fielding percentage.

Oakland Athletics
Wins Losses
Games 24 20
Runs Scored 162 34
Runs Allowed 73 89
Batting Average .297 .184
On Base Percentage .386 .258
Slugging Percentage .433 .248
Home Runs 18 6
Home Runs Allowed 15 13
ERA 2.48 4.45

The Oakland Athletics have been unable to take advantage of the Angels poor 3-7 record in their last 10. The A’s are coming off a season high four game losing streak which ended with their win last night in Atlanta. Oakland, who has a scoring differential of +34 has the best expected win loss record in the American League. Things have not gone as the numbers say they should and the A’s remain in second place in the American League West. Until last night’s two home runs, the A’s had also been experiencing a power outage. This was more the norm for Oakland, as the A’s rank only 19th in home runs with 24. Oakland starting pitching has continued its successful 2008 season having allowed 2 runs or fewer in four of their last five games. The A’s now rank second in the American League behind the Cleveland Indians with a 3.43 ERA.

Texas Rangers
Wins Losses
Games 22 22
Runs Scored 151 71
Runs Allowed 75 164
Batting Average .306 .237
On Base Percentage .381 .316
Slugging Percentage .526 .357
Home Runs 37 14
Home Runs Allowed 11 26
ERA 2.63 6.82

With last nights win, the Texas Rangers have secured their 7th consecutive series win, the first time the Rangers have done so since 1999. The Rangers were able to reach the .500 mark for the first time since April 11th and have done so by climbing from 9 games under .500. Josh Hamilton continues his hot streak and leads with majors with 49 RBI’s, 6 more than the next closest person. Hamilton also leads the American League in total bases (103), extra-base hits (26), slugging percentage (.599) and home runs (tied- 10). The Rangers rank 4th in the majors with 222 runs scored but have given up a whopping 239 runs. Texas will need to improve its pitching and defense it if wants to compete in the West.

Seattle Mariners
Wins Losses
Games 17 27
Runs Scored 102 77
Runs Allowed 46 159
Batting Average .296 .218
On Base Percentage .358 .272
Slugging Percentage .463 .329
Home Runs 14 22
Home Runs Allowed 10 28
ERA 2.42 5.66

The Seattle Mariners have a problem holding a lead. Seattle has lead at some point in 11 of its 27 losses. The problem looks to be going away and the bullpen is improving. The Seattle pen has lowered its ERA from 6.00 to 3.91 in a string of 21 games. Despite being 7.5 games out of first place, Seattle has not lost hope. At this time last season, the Mariners were a full 8 games out of first and ended up pulling to within one game of the division lead on August 25th. The Mariner offense is beginning to heat up and has averaged 5.57 runs in the teams last 7 games while batting .280 with 22 doubles, 2 triples and 7 home runs. This is good news for the Mariners as their win loss cut off point is 4 runs. Seattle is 17-10 when they score 4 or more runs and 0-17 when they don’t.

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