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National League Power Rankings Through All-Star Break

July 14, 2009
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So the All-Star Break has arrived, and aside from the frustrating All-Star snub of Pablo Sandoval, Matt Cain’s injury keeping him out of the All-Star Game, Randy Johnson’s injury landing him on the DL, and Barry Zito – well yeah – it’s been one of the best seasons so far for Giants fans in about 5 years. We’re experiencing the emergence of three young stars, witnessed a 300 game-winner, a no-hitter and of course, own the 3rd best record in the NL 10 games over .500. There’s always talk through the sabermetric community whether or not a team is overachieving or playing better than their record indicates. With a few days off, it’s time to look into that.

Here are my National League Power Rankings based on 2nd-order wins through pythagorean expectation:

W, L and W% – Actual Win-Loss record.

RS, RA and W1% – Actual Runs Scored and Runs Allowed, accompanied with 1st order win percentage.

wRC, eRA, and W2% – Weighted Runs Created and expected RA based off of Statcorner’s wOBA* and tRA, and FanGraphs UZR, accompanied with 2nd order win percentage.

Any pythagorean record is calculated by (RS^1.81)/(RS^1.81+RA^1.81).

However, for 2nd order win Percentage, we will use PythagenPat which is more accurate. It uses a floating exponent rather than 1.81:

(RS^x)/(RS^X+RA^x) where X=RPG (RA and RS)

Power Rankings are sorted by 2nd order Win Percentage.

Team W L W% RS RA W1% wRC eRA W2%
Los Angeles 56 32 .636 443 338 .620 436 354 .597
Atlanta 43 45 .489 373 379 .493 391 323 .586
Colorado 47 41 .534 442 405 .539 422 361 .573
GIANTS 49 39 .557 368 324 .557 348 317 .542
Philadelphia 48 38 .558 460 412 .550 440 406 .539
St. Louis 49 42 .538 403 375 .533 411 381 .535
Arizona 38 51 .427 395 434 .457 370 357 .516
Milwaukee 45 43 .511 411 416 .495 421 408 .515
Pittsburgh 38 50 .432 374 385 .486 386 375 .513
Chicago 43 43 .500 355 353 .503 350 344 .508
Houston 44 44 .500 368 398 .465 383 385 .498
Florida 46 44 .511 415 428 .486 402 409 .492
New York 42 45 .483 375 408 .462 393 440 .446
Cincinnati 42 45 .483 356 405 .442 354 421 .420
Washington 26 61 .299 381 489 .389 407 495 .405
San Diego 36 52 .409 334 444 .374 343 421 .406

Major underachievers: Atlanta, Arizona, Pittsburgh and Washington (that’s good to hear)

Major overachievers: None really, some overachieving by the Giants and Phillies is all, but not enough to definitively say so.

Some power rankings out there have listed the Giants as overachievers, which is certainly possible. But with so many different methods of evaluating the many facets of baseball, they all must be looked at equally. This team has also been increasing month by month with increased offensive performance, as well as improved defense in Schierholtz and Uribe. It will definitely be an interesting 2nd half, and the Wild Card battle with the Rockies will probably be a good one.

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