ReviewJune 15, 2006

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Mid Season Report

By Eddie Siegel

We are more than a third of the way through the MLB season, and there are already many surprises thus far. Few outside of Ohio predicted Cincinnati to be eight games above .500. No one expected the AL West to be this bad or the NL West to be this good. Detroit has surprised everyone by playing so well, and the Angels have surprised many by playing so poorly. Using the simple Pythagorean equation, which many of you probably already know, we can tell with some accuracy who is underperforming and who should fall back to Earth.

Here is how the Win/Loss should pan out over the season using current RS/RA totals:

Stats are as of June 12, 2006.

AL East:
New York: 97 W/ 64 L
Toronto: 90 W/ 72 L
Boston: 87 W/ 74 L

Baltimore: 73 W/ 89 L
Tampa Bay: 61 W/ 101 L

This is the division with biggest changes. Boston, in first at the time of this writing, now in third, and replaced in second by Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, and the Blue Jays. Yankees in first shouldn’t surprise too many people. Boston just can’t score enough runs to keep up in the offense-rich AL East. Baltimore and Tampa are about where everyone had them, and with a little luck (standard deviation), Tampa could be out of the 100L column.

AL Central:
Detroit: 100 W /62 L
Chicago Sox: 94 W/ 68 L
Cleveland: 90 W/ 72 L
Minnesota: 72 W/ 90 L
Kansas City: 44W/ 117 L

Nothing too shocking here. Detroit jumps out ahead of everyone with it’s Major League low 246 runs allowed and enough offense to keep things going. The White Sox are your AL wild card, and just like the NL last year, the wild card team is better than every team in the West. Kansas City’s 117 losses are quite close to the record 120, and with any deadline deals, the team just might get bad enough to do that (if it isn’t already). Minnesota just doesn’t have the bats, and while Cleveland was everyone’s chic AL sleeper team, they don’t have the goods right now to overtake the top two teams’ pitching staffs, even though they lead the league in runs scored.

AL West:
Texas: 87 W / 74L
Seattle: 82 W / 80 L
Oakland: 81 W / 81 L
Anaheim: 71 W / 90 L

Ah, another horrible West. This is the order in reverse of what many of you probably picked. For years Texas has been tortured by its sieve pitching staff even though they put up tons of runs on the board. Well, this is the year for them, because the Angels and Mariners can’t prevent runs either, and the A’s are one of the worst offensive teams in the AL! By far and away the offensive leader in the West, Texas takes the crown and will bow out in the first round of the playoffs as the division winner with the worst record.

NL East:
New York: 97 W / 65 L
Philadelphia: 83 W / 79 L
Washington: 80 W / 82 L
Atlanta: 78 W / 84 L
Florida: 75 W / 87 L

Nothing really big here. You can never count out Atlanta, because for some reason God always smiles on them and they find some super prospect, or make an awesome trade that propels them to the front, but what had been their strength for so many years, now is their foible. The Braves have given up the 5th most runs out of any team in the game, which is quite a difference from the Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz days. Philadelphia should compete for the wild card, but probably will come up short, and everyone else is terrible. Look for Washington to drop even more if (when?) Soriano is traded. Florida, with Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, are not as terrible as many predicted, but are still pretty bad.

NL Central :
St Louis: 94 W / 68 L
Cincinnati: 86 W / 75 L
Pittsburgh: 77 W/ 85 L
Houston: 74 W/ 88 L
Milwuakee: 69 W/ 93 L
Cubs: 65 W/ 97 L

The biggest single-team shocker thus far, Pittsburgh should finish third in the Central instead of their current cellar dweller status, because they hit just as well as everyone in this division except the top two, while not yielding too many runs. Houston, with a pretty bad 320 runs allowed, should be very positively impacted by the Rocket. The Cubs, as always, fail to meet anyone’s expectations, and the NL’s most popular sleeper team pick, the Brewers, lead the league in runs allowed. Cincinnati is a nice surprise in second, but there was no real question who this division’s winner would be.

NL West:
Los Angeles: 98 W / 64 L
Arizona: 88 W / 74 L
San Fransisco: 84 W/ 78 L
San Diego: 83 W/ 79 L
Colorado: 73 W/ 89 L

A refreshing change from last year, now all but one team is over .500. The Dodgers lead the NL in runs scored and have the least runs allowed except for the Mets and Cardinals. Colorado, who started the season as the leaders, fall back to Earth as they were playing way over their heads. Last year’s division winners fall to fourth, because Brian Giles can’t carry the offense anymore, and Peavy isn’t pitching like a super-ace.

All in all, a couple of surprises. It would be nice to see the Pirates and Toronto have some success, and hopefully the Royals aren’t as bad as advertised. Finally this should be the year Atlanta is out of the playoff picture and the best sports dynasty ever comes crashing down. We’ll take another look later in the season, and hopefully there will be another great summer of baseball.

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