Wednesday, August 24, 2005

« Bringin' stat meat: Matt Cary picks Indians »

By Suss
When other people write stuff, it saves me the time to do it.

College roommate/curling teammate Matt Cary wrote a rather lengthy and statful (ooh!) comment on the post below, so I'd do the buddy thing and feature it so you don't miss it.
If today was August 23, 2004, then you may have just witnessed the Indians finish their eighth loss in a row of a 9 game losing streak. After the All-Star break last season, the Tribe was 23-10 until the 15th, showing promise that they could see the play-offs. That was until they started their slide, losing 9 games in a row and going 17-27 the rest of the year (that’s only 3 games above .500 in the second half of the season.)

Today, they won their sixth game in a row, they are 22-16 so far in the second half of the season, and only have 3 losing streaks since the break (swept by Chicago in 4 games in the first series after the All-Star game and the recent sweep by Tampa Bay.) Also, they have won a total of 7 series and only lost 1 to Oakland and splitting another with Kansas City (this does not include the previously mentioned sweeps by the Sox and Rays.) As far as winning streaks, they have three; one of three games and since today’s 5-4 win over Tampa Bay, two 6 game winning streaks. (The first 6-game winning streak was back to back sweeps over Detroit and KC, and the second 6 gamer includes the recent sweep over the Orioles and the first two games of this 4 game series against Tampa.)

How does the rest of the season look? Interesting. Let me first explain what you see at the end of the next four paragraphs; the advantage stat. This is what the teams record would be if they won all of their games against teams below .500 and lost all of their games against teams over .500.

Matt C. sez: White Sox, Indians in, Twins out; Yanks in, BoSox out.
Starting with the Tribe, they play 18 games against teams with winning records; 6 games against the Twins, 6 against the White Sox, 3 against the Jays, 3 against the recently un-athletic Athletics. On the other hand, their other 18 games include 7 with the Royals, 6 with the Tigers, and 5 with the D-Rays. (Advantage: 18-18. No advantage.)

If you look at the Yankees schedule, who are tied with the Indians for that wild card spot, you would see they have 21 games against teams with losing schedules; 8 against the O’s, 6 against the Rays, 4 against the Mariners and 3 with the Royals. In their other 17 games, they have 8 games against the Jays, 6 games against World Champ Red Sox and 3 against the A’s. (Advantage: 21-17. Four game advantage.)

Speaking of Oakland, they only have 18 games against sub-.500 teams and 20 in the other category. (Advantage: 18-20. That’s a two game disadvantage.)

Just for kicks, since the Yankee’s schedule has a four game advantage, and they are less than four games behind Boston, let’s see what the Sox schedule looks like. They have games 18 against losing teams, which include their next 12 games coming up, and 20 against winning teams, which fall in their last 26 games. (Advantage: 18-20. Two game disadvantage.)

Who’s my pick for the Wild Card? The Cleveland Indians. “But Matt, you said that the Yankees have the advantage of schedule.” That is true, but the Yankees also don’t play the Twins. The Twins, I have a feeling, will decline from where they are now. They may have the pitching, but I don’t think they have the offense to stay competitive, and could lose at least half their games to the Tribe. Who’s my pick for the AL East? The New York Yankees. I can see the Red Sox not making the playoffs. I can’t see The Yankees not making the play-offs. They are going to make a run in the next couple of months and come September, the Red Sox may fall out first place in the East, and possibly miss October all together. They are 6-7 against the Yankees so far this season with 6 games left against New York, 5-7 against Baltimore with 6 games left against them, and 3-8 against the Blue Jays with 7 more to go. That’s a combined 14-22 record, 8 games under .500. They have their work cut out for them.

And finally, on a side-note, while I was on, I saw Tim Kurkjian give a “Happy Birthday” to Julio Franco. How does his season look? His team has the second best record in the NL, he’s hitting .299, with 9 homer’s, 9 doubles, and 40 RBI’s. Over his career, he has 2513 hits, 170 homers, 1150 RBI’s and 273 stolen bases. He’s a career .300 hitter and has a career .993 fielding percentage. Turning 47 makes him older than Ryne Sandberg and the same age as the L.A. Dodgers, Sweet'N Low and the Hula Hoop. That’s some pretty good company.

Now that I'm done with my cut & pasting, I can get back to work.