Monday, July 30, 2007

Pythagorean Win % Projections - AL West

The AL West division is the one I feel closest to, even if my current geography is somewhat remote to that region. Go Mariners.


AL West - Projections as of July 30, 2007

projected final record based on win%
1 Los Angeles Angels .587 95 - 67
2 Seattle Mariners .558 90 - 72
3 Oakland Athletics .462 75 - 87
4 Texas Rangers .438 71 - 91


AL West - Projections as of July 30, 2007

projected final record based on Pythagorean Win%
1 Los Angeles Angels .553 90 - 72
2 Seattle Mariners .508 82 - 80
3 Oakland Athletics .501 81 - 81
4 Texas Rangers .452 73 - 89

Unfortunately, the Seattle Mariners are currently performing well above their Pythagorean projection and are probably headed for a correction if they continue to score and allow runs at their current rate. After running these numbers for all the divisions in the majors it looks like the Yankees will be in the Wild Card race for the remainder of the season and will probably weasel their way into the post season via that berth. But with the M's just 3 games behind the Angels at this point I can hope against probability for now.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

3 Picks: All Hail King Felix


Monday, July 30: Cole Hamels (11-5)(PHI) vs. Ted Lilly (11-4)(CHC)

Two of the NL's 11-game winning starters go head to head in this one. I haven't tuned into enough Cubs games this year. And that's a shame as they're in a better position to make a run at the postseason than the Phillies are at this point.
Phillies 4, Cubs 1
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Phillies player of the game: (SP) Cole Hamels - WPA +.351
8.0IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 8SO, 1HR
Phillies lowest contributor: (RF) Shane Victorino - WPA -.080
0/3, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Cubs player of the game: (SS) Ryan Theriot - WPA +.097
2/4, 1R, 1HR, 1RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Cubs lowest contributor: (SP) Ted Lilly
5.0IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 3SO, 2HR

Cole Hamels: 8.0IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 8SO, 1HR - W
Brett Myers: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - SV

Ted Lilly: 5.0IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 3SO, 2HR - L

Outstanding pitching by Cole Hamels in a game that was satisfying to watch. The injuries to Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn were alarming. On the positive side, latest trade acquisition Tadahito Iguchi is filling in much better than expected for the injured Chase Utley. So much so that I've added him to my fantasy roster and moved Ryan Theriot over to short stop.

Tuesday, July 31: Erik Bedard (10-4)(BAL) vs. Josh Beckett (13-4)(BOS)

It's the major league strikeout leader taking on one of the front runners of the AL Cy Young Award.
Orioles 5, Red Sox 3
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Orioles player of the game: (SP) Erik Bedard - WPA +.190
6.0IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 6SO, 1HR
Orioles lowest contributor: (RF) Nick Markakis - WPA -.109
0/3, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 1BB, 2SO

Red Sox player of the game: (DH) David Ortiz - WPA +.237
3/4, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Red Sox lowest contributor: (SS) Julio Lugo - WPA -.309
0/5, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 2SO

Erik Bedard: 6.0IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 6SO, 1HR - W
Rob Bell: 1.0IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2SO, 1HR - H
Chad Bradford: 1.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Jamie Walker: 0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR - SV

Josh Beckett: 8.0IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 6SO, 1HR - L

The Win Points Added may peg Nick Markakis as the "lowest contributor" in this game offensively. But defensively he made one of the more impressive catches I've ever seen as he fell into the stands and managed to be the one to come away with a cleanly caught ball despite all the Red Sox fans trying to catch that same ball. And he was even physically below most of the outstretched hands.

Wednesday, August 1: Jered Weaver (7-5)(LAA) vs. Felix Hernandez (7-6)(SEA)

Unlike past seasons, the Mariners could conceivably catch the Angels in the division standings by the end of September. And it's starters like King Felix that make something that was once improbable into a compelling reason to tune in as he matches up against the Angels' own young phenom starting pitcher in the form of Jered Weaver. Which makes for a better match up than if the M's pitted brother against brother with Jeff Weaver inexplicably in that M's rotation.
Angels 7, Mariners 8 (12)
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Angels player of the game: (CF) Gary Matthews Jr. - WPA +.371
2/4, 1R, 1HR, 2RBI, 1BB, 1SO
Angels lowest contributor: (RP) Justin Speier - WPA -.352
0.1IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR

Mariners player of the game: (RP) Brandon Morrow - WPA +.305
1.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 2SO, 0HR
Mariners lowest contributor: (Util) Willie Bloomquist - WPA -.167
0/0, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO

Jered Weaver: 6.0IP, 12H, 6R, 6ER, 1BB, 1SO, 0HR - ND
Justin Speier: 0.1IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - L

Felix Hernandez: 8.0IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 7SO, 1HR - ND
JJ Putz: 1.0IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 0SO, 1HR - BS
Eric O'Flaherty: 0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - W

Pythagorean Win % Projections - AL East

Here's a look at the current Pythagorean Win % projections for the AL East as of July 29. First, here's the current win percentage projections:


AL East - Projections as of July 29, 2007

projected final record based on win%
1 Boston Red Sox .615 100 - 62
2 New York Yankees .529 86 - 76
3 Toronto Blue Jays .495 80 - 82
4
Baltimore Orioles .476 77 - 85
5 Tampa Bay Devil Rays .369 60 - 102

And here's the Pythagorean Win % projections:

AL East - Projections as of July 29, 2007

projected final record based on Pythagorean Win%
1 Boston Red Sox .623 101 - 61
2 New York Yankees .597 97 - 65
3 Toronto Blue Jays .526 85 - 77
4 Baltimore Orioles .514 83 - 79
5 Tampa Bay Devil Rays
.363 59 - 103

A couple of interesting things emerge from these projections. The Pythagorean projections show no change in the current division standings from the current state. And with the exception of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, all the AL East teams are currently under performing their Pythagorean win rate. But with the Yankees projected to win 97 games at their current ratio of runs scored versus runs allowed they actually have a better chance at passing the Cleveland Indians for the Wild Card Berth than I would have thought (or wished).

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Yankees 2, Orioles 4

(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Yankees player of the game: (2B) Robinson Cano - WPA +.091
1/4, 0R, 0HR, 1RBI, 0BB, 1SO
Yankees lowest contributor: (C) Jorge Posada - WPA -.182
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 2SO

Orioles player of the game: (C) Ramon Hernandez - WPA +.237
3/3, 0R, 0HR, 2RBI, 1BB, 0SO
Orioles lowest contributor: (SS) Miguel Tejada - WPA -.122
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Andy Pettitte: 7.0IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5SO, 0HR - L
Scott Proctor: 0.2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR
Ron Villone: 0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR

Jeremy Guthrie: 6.0IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4SO, 0HR - W
John Parrish: 0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Paul Shuey: 0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Jamie Walker: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Chad Bradford: 1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - SV

Even as the New York Yankees traverse the ragged edge toward mathematical elimination from the playoffs this year there is a completely different energy at the ballpark when they take to the field. As I sat out by left field in the stands in Baltimore the Yankees jerseys and vocal fans outnumbered the local orange and black by a wide margin. Not exactly baseball's more introspective fan base, the bleacher creatures of Baltimore were loud, passionate, and prone to logic-free cheers at oddly chosen moments. My personal favorite is the one yelling "let's go, Yankees" as he's making an early departure from a losing effort. It came off as an invitation to abandon the game, as in "let's go back to Jersey."

On the field, the Bronx Bombers exude professionalism and as much as I cheer against them out of habit they are still one of the more impressive offensive lineups around.

Andy Pettitte isn't the devastating force on the mound he used to be. Yet even as his control gets away from him a bit he remains an above average major league starting pitcher capable of logging in quality starts and giving his offense a chance. And he'll eat up innings, which is a good thing for the Yankee's bullpen down the stretch.

From my perspective, Jeremy Guthrie seemed to be throwing fastballs about 95% of the time. And if the stadium radar gun is to be believed, they were all coming in around 94 miles per hour. While the ability to repeat pitches may be a virtue, the fact that the Yankee offense wasn't just squaring up and teeing off on his heaters indicates he must be spotting his pitches all over the place in and around the strike zone. He'll need to mix in more off speed offerings and sliders as hitters start to figure him out. But it's hard to argue with the effectiveness he showed in this outing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

3 Picks: So Good to See Jon Lester Back and Healthy


Friday, July 27: Nate Robertson (6-7)(DET) vs. Jered Weaver (6-5)(LAA)

I'm surprised to see Nate at 6-7. He was one of the Tigers' under-rated arms in that stellar rotation last year. Likewise, Jered Weaver is a bit off his outstanding rookie numbers from a year ago as well.
Tigers 6, Angels 11
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Tigers player of the game: (2B) Placido Polanco - WPA +.174
5/5, 2R, 1HR, 1RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Tigers lowest contributor: (SP) Nate Robertson - WPA -.478
5.2IP, 10H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, 6SO, 0HR

Angels player of the game: (CF) Gary Matthews Jr. - WPA +.173
3/4, 2R, 0HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 1SO
Angels lowest contributor of the game: (SP) Jered Weaver - WPA -.186
5.1IP, 11H, 6R, 6ER, 1BB, 3SO, 2HR

Nate Robertson: 5.2IP, 10H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, 6SO, 0HR - L

Jered Weaver: 5.1IP, 11H, 6R, 6ER, 1BB, 3SO, 2HR - W
Justin Speier: 1.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO, 0HR - H

This was a surprisingly poorly pitched game for both starters. Ultimately, it was the Angels' offense that helped pick up Weaver's 11-hit, 6-run effort to give him the win.

Saturday, July 28: Jon Lester (1-0)(BOS) vs. James Shields (8-6)(TB)

What does the fantasy team owner do when they have both of these starters on their roster? Shields had his worst start ever against the Yankees last time out and needs to get back on track as the D-Rays ace. And Jon Lester's return from battling cancer is one of the more inspiring stories this season.
Red Sox 12, Devil Rays 6 (12)
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Red Sox player of the game: (SS) Julio Lugo - WPA +.519
2/5, 2R, 0HR, 2RBI, 2BB, 2SO
Red Sox lowest contributor: (RP) Jonathan Papelbon - WPA -.403
1.0IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1SO, 1HR

Devil Rays player of the game: (LF) Jonny Gomes - WPA +.432
2/5, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 1SO
Devil Rays lowest contributor: (RP) Brian Stokes - WPA -.343
0.2IP, 1H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 0SO, 0HR

Jon Lester: 6.2IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 3SO, 2HR - ND
Julian Tavarez: 0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Hideki Okajima: 1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - H
Jonathan Papelbon: 1.0IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1SO, 1HR - BS
Kyle Snyder: 2.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 2SO, 0HR - W

James Shields: 5.0IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 7SO, 0HR - ND
Brian Stokes: 0.2IP, 1H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 0SO, 0HR - L

So what does the fantasy league manager who started both Jon Lester and James Shields get from this game? Bubkus. Two no decisions and 5.40 ERA's from each starter as this game went toward the wee hours of extra frames before the D-Rays bullpen finally blew out. At least with the Yankees losing again today this helps to widen the gap with New York.

Sunday, July 29: Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-7)(BOS) vs. Scott Kazmir (7-7)(TB)

Dice-K versus Scott-K in Tampa Bay. Oh yeah.
Red Sox 2, Devil Rays 5
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Red Sox player of the game: (SP) Daisuke Matsuzaka - WPA +.165
6.1IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 6SO, 1HR
Red Sox lowest contributor: (DH) David Ortiz - WPA -.198
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Devil Rays player of the game: (SP) Scott Kazmir - WPA +.363
6.0IP, 6H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 8SO, 0HR
Devil Rays lowest contributor: (DH) Greg Norton - WPA -.110
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Daisuke Matsuzaka: 6.1IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 6SO, 1HR - L

Scott Kazmir: 6.0IP, 6H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 8SO, 0HR - ND
Gary Glover: 2.1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 3SO, 2HR - W

I find it peculiar that the pitcher who allows nearly one home run per inning pitched comes away with the win while Matsuzaka gets charged with the loss despite pitching very well.

Monday, July 23, 2007

3 Picks: Dice-K Meets the CC


Tuesday, July 24: Daisuke Matsuzaka (11-7)(BOS) vs. CC Sabathia (13-4)(CLE)

This could be the match up of the year. A good day to be a fan in Cleveland.
Red Sox 1, Indians 0
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Red Sox player of the game: (SP) Diasuke Matsuzaka - WPA +.500

Red Sox lowest contributor: (CF) Coco Crisp - WPA -.118
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 2SO

Indians player of the game: (SP) CC Sabathia - WPA +.259

Indians lowest contributor: (SS) Jhonny Peralta - WPA -.248
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Daisuke Matsuzaka: 7.0IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 5SO, 0HR - W
Hideki Okajima: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Jonathan Papelbon: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO - SV

CC Sabathia: 7.0IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 7SO, 0HR - L

Well pitched all around, this probably was one of the best games of the season. Dice-K and the Boston bullpen managed a shutout exactly when they needed it against the Cleveland ace.

Wednesday, July 25: Scott Olsen (8-7)(FLA) vs. Brandon Webb (8-8)(ARI)

I seriously doubt Olsen will make this start. And if the reports of his actions have any truth he shouldn't be making any starts until he gets some serious help. Webb, however, is worthy of rooting for.
Marlins 0, Diamondbacks 7
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Marlins player of the game: (3B) Miguel Cabrera - WPA +.080
1/3, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 1BB, 0SO
Marlins lowest contributor: (SP) Scott Olsen - WPA -.295
5.0IP, 11H, 7R, 7ER, 3BB, 4SO, 1HR

Diamondbacks player of the game: (SP) Brandon Webb - WPA +.203
7.0IP, 6H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 8SO, 0HR
Diamondbacks lowest contributor: (SP) Brandon Webb (as a hitter) - WPA -.044
0/3, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Scott Olsen: 5.0IP, 11H, 7R, 7ER, 3BB, 4SO, 1HR - L

Brandon Webb: 7.0IP, 6H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 8SO, 0HR - W

So Olsen posts bail and makes a terrible start. I can't imagine the Marlins tolerating him much longer. Webb, on the other hand, was brilliant as he shut out the fish.

Thursday, July 26: Justin Verlander (11-3)(DET) vs. John Danks (6-7)(CHW)

At 11-3 and a no-hitter I'm beginning to think that last year's AL Rookie of the Year might be pretty good.
Tigers 3, White Sox 4
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Tigers player of the game: (SS) Omar Infante - WPA +.176
1/1, 2R, 1HR, 1RBI, 1BB, 0SO
Tigers lowest contributor: (RP) Zach Miner - WPA -.309
1.0IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR

White Sox player of the game: (LF) Scott Podsednik - WPA +.314
2/4, 1R, 0HR, 1RBI, 0BB, 1SO
White Sox lowest contributor: (C) AJ Pierzynski - WPA -.163
1/4, 1R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Justin Verlander: 7.0IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5SO, 0HR - ND
Zach Miner: 1.0IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR - BS, L

John Danks: 6.2IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 5SO, 1HR - ND
Bobby Jenks: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO, 0HR - W

Quality starts from both starters and they both come away with no decisions. Zach pretty much lost this one single handed.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

3 Picks: Shields and Pettitte Get a Rematch


Saturday, July 21: Jered Weaver (6-5)(LAA) vs. Boof Bonser (5-6)(MIN)
Angels 2, Twins 5
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Angels player of the game: (2B) Maicer Izturis - WPA +.112
2/3, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Angels lowest contributor: (RP) Scot Shields - WPA -.359
0.1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 0SO, 1HR

Twins player of the game: (SP) Boof Bonser - WPA +.373
7.2IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR
Twins lowest contributor: (RP) Pat Neshek - WPA -.162
0.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR

Jered Weaver: 7.0IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 2SO, 2HR - ND
Scot Shields: 0.1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 0SO, 1HR - L

Boof Bonser: 7.2IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - ND
Pat Neshek: 0.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - BS, W
Joe Nathan: 1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - SV

This game saw shoddy relief pitching on both sides as Scot Shields and Pat Neshek both undid their respective starters' efforts in just one-third of an inning of work. And in Neshek's case he records both the blown save and a win. Which I see has a flaw in how both the save and win stats are awarded.

Sunday, July 22: James Shields (8-5)(TB) vs. Andy Pettitte (5-6)(NYY)
Devil Rays 4, Yankees 21
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Devil Rays player of the game: (2B) Josh Wilson - WPA +.155
2/4, 0R, 0HR, 2RBI, 0BB, 1SO
Devil Rays lowest contributor: (SP) James Shields - WPA -.557
3.1IP, 10H, 10R, 10ER, 4BB, 1SO, 1HR

Yankees player of the game: (SS) Derek Jeter - WPA +.122
1/3, 2R, 0HR, 1RBI, 1BB, 0SO
Yankees lowest contributor: (SP) Andy Pettitte - WPA -.097
6.0IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 8SO, 1HR

James Shields: 3.1IP, 10H, 10R, 10ER, 4BB, 1SO, 1HR - L
Andy Pettitte: 6.0IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 8SO, 1HR - W

Pettitte wins on a quality start with a little help from an offensive onslaught form the bombers. I'll be in the stands at his next start trying to figure out if there's any trace of his once dominant form.

Monday, July 23: Chris Capuano (5-6)(MIL) vs. Aaron Harang (10-2)(CIN)
Brewers 1, Reds 2
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Brewers player of the game: (SP) Chris Capuano WPA +.442
8.0IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1HR
Brewers lowest contributor: (C) Johnny Estrada - WPA -.554
0/5, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Reds player of the game: (SP) Aaron Harang - WPA +.727
10.0IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 10SO, 1HR
Reds lowest contibutor: (CF) Ryan Freel - WPA -.160
0/5, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 2SO

Chris Capuano: 8.0IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1HR - ND
Grant Balfour: 0.0IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 0SO, 0HR - L

Aaron Harang: 10.0IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 10SO, 1HR - ND
Jared Burton: 0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR - W

Harang throws 10 innings and gets a no decision? That's a tough break.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

3 Picks: Pulled into Red Sox Nation


Wednesday, July 18: John Maine (10-5)(NYM) vs. Greg Maddux (7-7)(SD)

The Mets' great hurler of right now squares off against one of history's greatest pitchers. And they do it in the pitching friendly confines of Petco Park.
Mets 5, Padres 5
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Mets player of the game: (3B) David Wright - WPA +.283
1/4, 1R, 1HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 1SO
Mets lowest contributor: (RP) Joe Smith - WPA -.254
0.2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1SO, 0HR

Padres player of the game: (2B) Geoff Blum - WPA +.273
2/3, 0R, 0HR, 1RBI, 1BB, 0SO
Padres lowest contributor: (RP) Scott Linebrink WPA -.316
1.0IP, 1H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 0SO, 1HR

John Maine: 6.0IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 5SO, 2HR - ND
Joe Smith: 0.2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1SO, 0HR - L

Greg Maddux: 5.0IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 6SO, 0HR - ND
Heath Bell: 0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Scott Linebrink: 1.0IP, 1H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 0SO, 1HR - BS, W
Trevor Hoffman: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - SV

With the Mets' starting pitching something like "John Maine, then pray for rain" it hurts when they don't get a victory on days when he starts. I've always felt it was an odd anomaly that a pitcher can blow a save yet record a win as Scott Linebrink does in this game. Of all the pitchers the Padres used in this game, he's the one who contributed the least toward this victory even as he gets the credit for it.

Thursday, July 19: Javier Vazquez (6-5)(CHW) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (11-6)(BOS)

The gyro-ball saga takes a turn toward the laundry with a battle of the Sox. Bring plenty of fabric softener as these guys both throw pretty hard.
White Sox 4, Red Sox 2
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
White Sox player of the game: (RP) Ryan Bukvich - WPA +.286
1.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR
White Sox lowest contributor: (3B) Josh Fields - WPA -.144
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Red Sox player of the game: (RP) Manny Delcarmen - WPA +.154
1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR
Red Sox lowest contributor: (SP) Daisuke Matsuzaka - WPA -.201
5.0IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 6BB, 6SO, 0HR

Javier Vazquez: 6.1IP, 9H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5SO, 0HR - W
Ryan Bukvich: 1.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - H
Bobby Jenks: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - SV

Daisuke Matsuzaka: 5.0IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 6BB, 6SO, 0HR - L

This says it all.

Friday, July 20: Jose Contreras (5-11)(CHW) vs. Josh Beckett (12-3)(BOS)

Jose Contreras is 5-11? That sums up the slide of the Chicago White Sox right there when someone of Contreras talent and ability is underachieving at that magnitude. At the other end of the magnitude toward pitching above expectations is Josh Beckett. While Dice-K is the story of the year in the American League it's actually Beckett that keeps me glued to more Red Sox games.
White Sox 3, Red Sox 10
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
White Sox player of the game: (DH) Jim Thome - WPA +.181
1/3, 1R, 1HR, 3RBI, 1BB, 1SO
White Sox lowest contributor: (SP) Jose Contreras - WPA -.374
7.1IP, 10H, 10R, 10ER, 3BB, 2SO, 1HR

Red Sox player of the game: (CF) Coco Crisp - WPA +.185
1/5, 1R, 0HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 2SO
Red Sox lowest contributor: (2B) Dustin Pedroia - WPA -.089
1/5, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Jose Contreras: 7.1IP, 10H, 10R, 10ER, 3BB, 2SO, 1HR - L

Josh Beckett: 6.0IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 10SO, 1HR - W
Mike Timlin: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - H
Hideki Okajima: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H

Beckett helps right the ship for the Red Sox. But he had a little help from Contreras giving up 10 earned runs.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

3 Picks: A Couple Games in Domes and A Shiny Penny in LA


Sunday, July 15: Dan Haren (10-3)(OAK) vs. Boof Bonser (5-6)(MIN)
Athletics 3, Twins 4
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Athletics player of the game: (CF) Mark Kotsay - WPA +.198
1/2, 1R, 0HR, 0RBI, 2BB, 0SO
Athletics lowest contributor: (RP) Joe Kennedy - WPA -.357
0.0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR

Twins player of the game: (RP) Pat Neshek - WPA +.225
1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 2SO, 0HR
Twins lowest contributor: (RP) Matt Guerrier - WPA -.195
0.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR

Dan Haren: 6.0IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3SO, 0HR - ND
Santiago Casilla: 1.1IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 0SO, 1HR - BS
Joe Kennedy: 0.0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR - L

Boof Bonser: 6.1IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 6SO, 1HR - ND
Matt Guerrier: 0.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - BS
Pat Neshek: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 2SO, 0HR - W

So Twins' reliever Pat Neshek records the win in a game that had blown saves for each side. Good for him. It's hard not to root for the side-arm reliever who has clearly earned - and enjoys - his success.

Monday, July 16: Jamie Moyer (7-7)(PHI) vs. Brad Penny (10-1)(LAD)
Phillies 3, Dodgers 10
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Phillies player of the game: (SS) Jimmy Rollins - WPA +.057
0/2, 1R, 0HR, 0RBI, 1BB, 0SO
Phillies lowest contributor: (SP) Jamie Moyer - WPA -.371
5.1IP, 10H, 10R, 10ER, 2BB, 4SO, 2HR

Dodgers player of the game: (CF) Juan Pierre - WPA +.156
2/4, 2R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Dodgers lowest contributor: TIE (RF) Matt Kemp - WPA -.016
1/4, 1R, 1HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 0SO
& (LF) Andre Ethier - WPA -.016
1/4, 1R, 0HR, 1RBI, 0BB, 0SO

Jamie Moyer: 5.1IP, 10H, 10R, 10ER, 2BB, 4SO, 2HR - L

Brad Penny: 7.0IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 8SO, 0HR - W

Jamie Moyer is one of my all-time favorite pitchers. So it pains me to see him cough up 10 earned runs like this. It does tell you something about the patience level of the Dodgers' hitters that they could get to the crafty lefty like that.

Tuesday, July 17: Bartolo Colon (6-4)(LAA) vs. James Shields (7-5)(TB)
Angels 3, Devil Rays 8
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Angels player of the game: (C) Jose Molina - WPA +.104
2/4, 0R, 0HR, 2RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Angels lowest contributor: (SP) Ervin Santana - WPA -.410
6.0IP, 14H, 7R, 7ER, 4BB, 4SO, 0HR

Devil Rays player of the game: (1B) Carlos Pena - WPA +.176
2/4, 1R, 0HR, 2RBI, 1BB, 2SO
Devil Rays lowest contributor: (3B) Akinori Iwamura - WPA -.135
0/5, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 2SO
Ervin Santana: 6.0IP, 14H, 7R, 7ER, 4BB, 4SO, 0HR - L

James Shields:7.0IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 2SO, 0HR - W

Ervin Santana got the call as Bartolo Colon was bumped by a day to face Scott Kazmir tomorrow. But today Ervin was simply terrible as he allowed 14! hits in 6 innings of work and the 7 earned runs were more than enough to saddle him with the loss. With an ERA north of 6 for the season it's hard to believe anyone was considering trading good bats for him last year at this time. James Shields, on the other hand, is the breakout performer of this year.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

3-picks: Break's Over - Play Ball


Thursday, July 12: Andy Pettitte (4-6)(NYY) vs. James Shields (7-4)(TB)

The riveting stories of the decline of Andy Pettitte and the ascension of James Shields dovetail in this match up as the pitcher of the Yankees once great past faces off against the Devil Rays future ace. Well, Shields is pitching like the staff ace already this year. Tampa Bay's strategy of stacking the farm teams with hot prospects will eventually even out the playing field against the deep pockets of New York. And we might get a taste of that in this game.
Yankees 7, Devil Rays 3
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Yankees player of the game: (RF) Bobby Abreu - WPA +.220
3/4, 1R, 1HR, 3RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Yankees lowest contributor: (2B) Robinson Cano - WPA -.070
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Devil Rays player of the game: (CF) Delmon Young - WPA +.088
2/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Devil Rays lowest contributor: (SP) James Shields - WPA -.332
6.0IP, 9H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 2SO, 3HR

Andy Pettitte: 5.2IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 3SO, 0HR - W
Luis Vizcaino: 1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO - H

James Shields: 6.0IP, 9H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 2SO, 3HR - L

This was not James Shields' night. He does have that awful Devil Rays defense working behind him and that awful Devil Rays offense not putting up the run support for him. And he pitches in one of the ugliest modern ballparks ever constructed. But when you give up 3 home runs in the fourth inning the way he did you have to tip your hat to the Yankee's offense and look at bad pitch selection as a culprit.

Friday, July 13: Jeff Francis (8-5)(COL) vs. Ben Sheets (10-4)(MIL)

Jeff Francis and his tantalizing slow pitches square off against the first-place Brewers. Either the Brew Crew is actually good this year or the NL Central is so bad that even Milwaukee can rise to the top. I'm leaning toward the former as all their plum draft picks are starting to pay dividends with Prince Fielder flashing his power swing and Ryan Braun making the case for Rookie of the Year honors.
Rockies 10, Brewers 6
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Rockies player of the game: (SS) Troy Tulowitzki - WPA +.276
2/4 2R, 1HR, 2RBI, 1BB, 1SO
Rockies lowest contributor: (2B) Jamey Carroll - WPA -.049
1/4, 1R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO

Brewers player of the game: (3B) Ryan Braun - WPA +.361
2/4, 2R, 2HR, 4RBI, 1BB, 1SO
Brewers lowest contributor: (SP) Chris Capuano - WPA -.458
3.0IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 3SO, 0HR

Jeff Francis: 5.0IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 7SO, 3HR - W

Chris Capuano: 3.0IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 3SO, 0HR - ND
Carlos Villanueva: 3.0IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 3SO, 3HR - L

The Brewers shuffled their starting rotation for the second half and slotted Chris Capuano to go up against Jeff Francis instead of Ben Sheets. Francis was extremely lucky to pick up a win despite allowing 6 earned runs and 3 home runs - all while pitching the minimum 5 innings to pick up that decision. Capuano, on the other hand, didn't last long enough to pick up a win and was fortunate not to be tagged with the loss.

Saturday, July 14: Dustin McGowan (5-4)(TOR) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (10-6)(BOS)

Injuries have been particularly cruel to Toronto's starting rotation. But it has cleared the way for Dustin McGowan to makes some impressive starts. This time out he gets to contend with the Green Monster and the Dice-K mania.
Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 9
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Blue Jays player of the game: (2B) Aaron Hill - WPA +.273
3/4, 1R, 1HR, 2RBI, 0BB, 1SO
Blue Jays lowest contributor: (RP) Jason Frasor - WPA -.444
1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR

Red Sox player of the game: (C) Jason Varitek - WPA +.193
1/4, 1R, 1HR, 2RBI, 0BB, 2SO
Red Sox lowest contributor: (SP) Daisuke Matsuzaka - WPA -.100
6.0IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2SO, 2HR

Dustin McGowan: 5.0IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 4SO, 3HR - L

Daisuke Matsuzaka: 6.0IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2SO, 2HR - W

Here's a perfect example where the new WPA stat collides head-on with more traditional baseball stats as Dice-K earns a win even as his effort toward the victory shows a net loss as Win Points Added. Equally interesting, for the losing Toronto Blue Jays, the bulk of the Win Points lost is placed on Jason Frasor even though he didn't allow any runs to score. This raises some questions about the way pitching WPA is calculated.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pythagorean Win % Projections - AL Central

Let's have a look at the Pythagorean Win% Projections for the toughest division in the major leagues: the AL Central. Like last year, I think winning just 90 games won't be good enough for even a wild card. And it seems likely that the wild card will come from this division.

Here's the current standings and projected final record based on current rate of wins:


AL Central - Projections as of July 11, 2007

projected final record based on win%
1 Detroit Tigers .605 98 - 64
2 Cleveland Indians .591 96 - 66
3 Minnesota Twins .511 83 - 79
4 Chicago White Sox .453 73 - 89
5 Kansas City Royals .432 70 - 92

And the Pythagorean projection:


AL Central - Projections as of July 11, 2007

projected final record based on Pythagorean Win%
1 Detroit Tigers .603 98 - 64
2 Cleveland Indians .559 91 - 71
3 Minnesota Twins .540 87 - 75
4 Kansas City Royals .462 75 - 87
5 Chicago White Sox .422 68 - 94

There's no change at the top of the division in this model. The Tigers - and their amazing offense - has them projected to continue at their current pace. The only surprise is at the bottom where this formula predicts the White Sox sinking below even the lowly Royals. That would definitely be the end of Ozzie Guillen if that happens.

Friday, July 06, 2007

3 picks: Bet on the AL in the All Star Game


Saturday, July 7: Felix Hernandez (4-4)(SEA) vs. Rich Harden (1-1)(OAK)

King Felix was on his way to pitching like a baseball deity at the start of this season. Then he went on the DL and hasn't regained whatever mojo he picked up in spring training. The Mariners have had better luck with Oakland this year - but honestly, they were so bad against the A's last year there was nowhere to go but up - and even have the green and gold in the rear view mirror as they've pushed Oakland down to third place thus far. Rich Harden - like Hernandez - is another starting pitcher I expected to do better than he has. Both these guys throw hard.
Mariners 4, Athletics 0(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Mariners player of the game: (SP) Felix Hernandez - WPA +.328
8.0IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 2SO, 0HR
Mariners lowest contributor: (DH) Jose Vidro - WPA -.068
1/5, 1R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO

Athletics player of the game: (RP) Lenny DiNardo - WPA +.103
6.1IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 5SO, 0HR
Athletics lowest contibutor: (SP) Rich Harden - WPA -.255
2.2IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 1SO, 1HR

Felix Hernandez: 8.0IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 2SO, 0HR - W

Rich Harden: 2.2IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 1SO, 1HR - L

A shutout from the King! Nice work. Only 2 strikeouts from Felix - but he gets 8 innings of work. It looks like the young King has learned to work more efficiently. Lenny DiNardo records the only positive WPA value on the entire Athletics team as he pitches long relief for the no decision.

Apparently the fine folks at USS Mariner are responsible for King Felix's success tonight. Check this out! Blogs can make this a better game. This old Mariners fan thanks USS Mariner for giving the King some pointers.

Sunday, July 8: Daisuke Matsuzaka (10-5)(BOS) vs. Nate Robertson (4-6)(DET)

Dice-K gets one more start in before the break. 10-5 is pretty good for a "rookie."
Red Sox 5, Tigers 6
(Win Probability Graphing by Fangraphs)
Red Sox player of the game: (SS) Julio Lugo - WPA +.275
3/3, 2R, 1HR, 2RBI, 1BB, 0SO
Red Sox lowest contributor: (SP) Daisuke Matsuzaka - WPA -.401
5.0IP, 10H, 6R, 6ER, 1BB, 4SO, 3HR - L

Tigers player of the game: (DH) Gary Sheffield - WPA +.196
3/4, 2R, 1HR, 2RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Tigers lowest contributor: (SP) Nate Robertson - WPA -.083
6.1IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 2SO, 2HR - W

Daisuke Matsuzaka: 5.0IP, 10H, 6R, 6ER, 1BB, 4SO, 3HR - L

Nate Robertson: 6.1IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 2SO, 2HR - W
Jose Capellan: 1.1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 2SO, 0HR - H
Zach Miner: 0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - H
Todd Jones: 1.0IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - SV

The last games before the break typically yield strange outcomes. Dice-K allowing 3 home runs is a strange outcome. Dice-K allowing 6 earned runs is odd. Nate Robertson walking twice as many batters as he strikes out, allowing 2 home runs and coming away with a win is weird. This is why I'm tempted to bench my entire fantasy team in the days leading up to the all-star game.

Tuesday, July 10: All-Star Game. American League vs. National League @ San Francisco

Let's go American League! The All-Star Game is a fine tradition and I even don't mind "making it count" with the World Series home field advantage tied to the outcome. But I could live without the home run derby. The presentation is always terrible. The last thing I want to do is hear 50 consecutive home run calls from the broadcasters. Even just three rounds of "back... back... back... back..." is enough to make me nauseous. And the competition structure is so contrived and just not baseball. Unless somebody can come up with an equivalent event to showcase pitching we should seriously consider retiring this empty display of undisciplined swinging. Skip the spectacle and just play the game!
American League 5, National League 4
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
American League player of the game: Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) - WPA +.293
3/3, 1R, 1HR, 2RBI, 0BB, 0SO
American League lowest contributor: Vladimir Guerrero (LAA) - WPA -.097
0/3, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO

National League player of the game: Jose Reyes (NYM) - WPA +.108
3/4, 1R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO
National League lowest contributor: Aaron Rowand (PHI) - WPA -.317
0/2, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 1SO

Dan Haren: 2.0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 2SO, 0HR - ND
Josh Beckett: 2.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO, 0HR - W
CC Sabathia: 1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Justin Verlander: 1.0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Johan Santana: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO, 0HR - H
Jonathan Papelbon: 1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO, 0HR - H
JJ Putz: 0.2IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 1SO, 1HR - H
Francisco Rodriguez: 0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 0SO, 0HR - SV

Jake Peavy: 1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - ND
Brad Penny: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Ben Sheets: 1.0IP, 2H 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Cole Hamels: 1.0IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Chris Young: 1.0IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 0SO, 1HR - L

The American League takes another All-Star exhibition. It must be nice to Johan Santana on hand to pitch an inning for a hold. He's an All-Star's All-Star. And on a day when Ichiro was all over the news wire with contract rumors he comes through with an inside-the-park 2-run home run to earn the MVP distinction. I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pythagorean Win % Projections - NL West

Here are the current win projections for the NL West with data through July 3:


NL West - Projections as of July 3, 2007

projected final record based on win%
1 San Diego Padres .573 93 - 69
2 Los Angeles Dodgers .571 93 - 69
3 Arizona Diamondbacks .553 90 - 72
4 Colorado Rockies .488 79 - 83
5 San Francisco Giants .432 70 - 92

And the Pythagorean Win % projections:


NL West - Projections as of July 3, 2007

projected final record based on Pythagorean Win%
1 San Diego Padres .610 99 - 63
2 Los Angeles Dodgers .550 89 - 73
3 San Francisco Giants .509 82 - 82
4 Colorado Rockies .477 77 - 85
5 Arizona Diamondbacks .476 77 - 85

The only real surprise is just how far above the Pythagorean Win formula the Arizona Diamondbacks are performing - suggesting that they are due for a major correction in the second half of the season. The flip side of that is that the San Francisco Giants are currently well under their projections and will probably improve down the stretch.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

3 Picks: Three more from the Junior Circuit

Wednesday, July 4: Johan Santana (9-6)(MIN) vs. Mike Mussina (4-5)(NYY)

Yankee Stadium has been unkind to the Minnesota Twins in recent years. They pull out the ace as they look to put a blanket on the Bombers offense in this one.
Twins 6, Yankees 2
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Twins player of the game: (SP) Johan Santana - WPA +.190
7.0IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5SO, 1HR
Twins lowest contributor: (C) Mike Redmond - WPA -.096
0/4, 0R, 0HR, 0RBI, 0BB, 0SO

Yankees player of the game: (LF) Hideki Matsui - WPA +.097
1/3, 1R, 1HR, 1RBI, 1BB, 1SO
Yankees lowest contributor: (SP) Mike Mussina - WPA -.207
6.0IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 5SO, 1HR

Johan Santana: 7.0IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5SO, 1HR - W
Pat Neshek: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO, 0HR - H

Mike Mussina: 6.0IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 5SO, 1HR - L

When Mike Mussina was chased from the top of the seventh inning by a two-run blast by Jason Kubel I had a flash of the Yankee-hater come over me. I admire the talent on that team, but the habit of rooting against the pinstripes is so deeply ingrained that I can only feel pleasure when someone gets the big hit against them like that. Pat Neshek's campaign to have Yankee fans vote for him to go to the All-Star game probably stalled out when he struck out two Yanks for the hold. I voted for Pat. He's pitching at an All-Star caliber. And he blogs. Vote for Pat.

Thursday, July 5: CC Sabathia (12-2)(CLE) vs. Justin Verlander (9-3)(DET)

Do not adjust your monitor. Captain Cheeseburger is indeed 12-2 so far this year. That might have something to do with Cleveland's insurgence in the AL Central this year. And with the Tigers throwing their Rookie of the Year and one-time no-hit pitcher at them they're looking to make up some ground against these Indians.
Indians 3, Tigers 12
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Indians player of the game: (C) Victor Martinez - WPA +.120
2/3, 1R, 1HR, 2RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Indians lowest contributor of the game: (SP) CC Sabathia - WPA -.442
4.0IP, 10H, 7R, 7ER, 1BB, 3SO, 3HR

Tigers player of the game: (2B) Placido Polanco - WPA +.213
3/5, 3R, 1HR, 1RBI, 0BB, 0SO
Tigers lowest contributor of the game: (LF) Craig Monroe - WPA -.050
1/5, 0R, 0HR, 1RBI, 0BB, 1SO

CC Sabathia: 4.0IP, 10H, 7R, 7ER, 1BB, 3SO, 3HR - L

Justin Verlander: 7.0IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 7SO, 1HR - W

12 wins or not, when you get rocked for 7 earned runs, 3 homers and 10 hits in just four innings of work you can charitably be said to be "not fooling anyone today." An uncharacteristically bad start for Class Clown Sabathia - and it came against exactly the division rival the Tribe needs to beat to open up some distance in the division race.

Friday, July 6: Jeremy Guthrie (4-2)(BAL) vs. Kameron Loe (5-6)(TEX)

We'll see if young Jeremy Guthrie's 2.63 ERA survives the cozy hitting confines of the Ballpark at Arlington.
Orioles 3, Rangers 4 (10)
(Win Probability graphing by Fangraphs)
Orioles player of the game: (2B) Brian Roberts - WPA +.404
1/3, 1R, 0HR, 1RBI, 2BB, 0SO
Orioles lowest contributor: (RP) Paul Shuey - WPA -.357
0.1IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR

Rangers player of the game: (SP) Kameron Loe
6.0IP, 5H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 3SO, 0HR
Rangers lowest contributor: (RP) Eric Gagne - WPA -.189
1.0IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR

Jeremy Guthrie: 6.0IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 3SO, 1HR - ND
Paul Shuey: 0.1IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 0SO, 0HR - L

Kameron Loe: 6.0IP, 5H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 3SO, 0HR - ND
CJ Wilson: 0.2IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 0SO, 0HR - H
Frank Francisco: 1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - H
Eric Gagne: 1.0IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1SO, 0HR - BS
Joaquin Benoit: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO, 0HR - W

Only 1 home run in all 10 innings at that tiny ballpark. Interesting. And it comes down to a battle of bad bullpens in extra frames with a blown save and a win going to the same team. Interesting.