Monday, July 15, 2013

AL Central At The Break

Our Royals stumble into the All-Star break with a five game losing streak and a .7% chance of making the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus. Dreams of meaningful second half baseball are slipping away. Here is a look at some of the stats that explain how we got here.

This is my trusty chart comparing the starting pitching in the division. On one hand, the Royals are much improved in this area. On the other hand, they are still barely mediocre. Getting a quality start 58% of the time is impressive. At last year's break, that number was 36%. The rotation has put the team in position to win more often than not, but the offense and bullpen haven't taken advantage. The staff is on pace to eclipse Dayton Moore's mostly meaningless goal of throwing 1,000 innings.

Here are the top 15 starters in the division by WAR. I've averaged Fangraphs' FIP-based WAR and Baseball Reference's runs allowed-based WAR.

Kind of depressing that James Shields would be the fourth best starter for Detroit by this measure.

And now this chart!

Collins and Herrera give me a sad.

Here are the most effective pitch types in the division (by Fangraphs pitch type values):

Fastball: Max Scherzer 17.7 runs above average
Slider: Justin Masterson 14.7 RAA
Curve: James Shields 3.9 RAA
Changeup: Chris Sale 9.0 RAA

Turning to the batsmen, here are the most productive in the division so far:

Miguel Cabrera: kind of good? Tigers all up in the top of this chart too. You know how awesome Alex Gordon is? There are four Tigers above him. Encouraging to see Hosmer's name though.

And also this chart!
Oh Moose. That is the lowest WPA for a batter in all of MLB, and if you include pitchers, only Joe Blanton of the Angels has hurt his team's chances of winning more than Moustakas. Prospects will break your heart.

In conclusion, all of the teams in the division not named Tigers don't really need to bother showing up for the rest of the year.

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