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Balloon busting


Why the Sox aren’t really as good as their record indicates, via Justin at Beyond the Boxscore:

The ChiSox didn’t move a lot this week in the rankings, but they currently do sit atop the actual AL Central despite trailing the Twins significantly in the power rankings. Why the disparity?

White Sox fans would be quick to point out that their actual winning percentage (.566) is very close to their Pythagorean record (.557). However, our estimated component winning percentage is substantially lower, at .522. What gives? …

So what we have here is a modest bit of overproduction on both offense and pitching/fielding, which adds up to a fairly big gap between actual vs. expected team performance. On top of all of that, the White Sox also have had a fairly weak schedule: we estimate their average opponent cW% at .487, which is the third easiest in the AL. Adjusting for this weaker competition pulls their cW% down from .522 to just .502. As a result, despite leading the AL Central in reality, we rank them as being significantly behind the second place Minnesota Twins.

I snipped out the best pieces; it’s worth reading the whole thing, but you get the gist. The offense has scratched out a few more runs than they probably should have, and the pitching has had some good luck with HR/FB, especially considering their home park. They’ve beat up on an easy schedule, and things don’t appear to be getting much harder. They play three at home against the Yankees, seven games with the Red Sox, nine with the Twins (gulp), and three against the Angels. That’s the hard part. They play 13 more with Detroit and their crummy pitching staff, and then there is 7 games with Baltimore, 6 with KC and 6 with Cleveland, and 3 with Oakland.

I feel sort of like Jon Lovitz on the Wedding Singer.

"He’s losing his mind, and I’m reaping all the benefits."

The trouble is once the Twins regress to the mean they could surge ahead in this thing. Their schedule is tougher than the Sox’s, so this could spell another crazy finish in the central again.

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