2019 Playoff Horse Race Part 6

We’re at the end of month 4 of 6 and past the trade deadline so let’s look at the playoff horse race using current rosters.  Below is a list of the top 15 MLB teams sorted by real team WAA; real wins minus real losses; the only stat in baseball that matters.

MLB Standings WAA

TeamID W-L Total Hitters Starters Relief UR
LAN 32 30.6 15.6 7.9 7.1 -23.1
HOU 31 35.6 15.0 16.3 4.3 9.9
NYA 30 26.8 19.7 0.3 6.8 4.9
MIN 25 37.7 21.0 8.6 8.1 -10.1
CLE 19 18.6 2.7 6.9 8.9 3.9
ATL 19 31.5 14.4 6.8 10.3 -17.1
TBA 15 10.6 -1.8 6.8 5.6 9.9
OAK 14 14.9 4.2 3.8 6.9 15.9
SLN 8 8.3 -3.5 5.6 6.3 6.9
WAS 7 18.1 8.7 7.6 1.8 12.9
CHN 7 14.1 5.9 6.3 1.9 2.9
BOS 7 24.6 24.5 -2.8 2.9 -5.1
PHI 5 4.6 2.8 0.2 1.6 0.9
MIL 3 8.4 5.6 2.1 0.6 5.9
TEX 1 12.0 8.0 4.7 -0.7 -0.1

Highlighted in bold brown are teams leading their divisions, bold green are teams eligible for a wild card as of now.  Best for each category highlighted in bold blue and worst of the top 15 teams in bold red.  These were colored manually so there may be mistakes.

Houston leads in Total WAA team value while the Dodgers lead in real Team WAA.  Minnesota has the best hitters, Cardinals the worst.  And so on.   The UR column is in units of runs, the rest of columns are in units of wins.

It is quite remarkable how under water the Dodgers and Atlanta are with unearned runs above average (UR).  Dodgers are tied for second, worst in MLB behind Seattle and Baltimore.  Right now LAN look to be odds on favorite to win an NL Pennant and possibly the World Series.  Unearned runs are bad bad bad in playoff season … hello 1984/2003 Cubs, 1986 Red Sox, etc. etc.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out in October.

Houston made the biggest gains in WAA gaining 12 WAA from Part 5 of this series to now lead MLB in WAA according to this data model.  Much of this was due to Greinke’s added value and perhaps other acquisitions or players returning from injury.

Minnesota also made a 9 WAA gain from 2 weeks ago and Yankees went down which may be due to injuries.

Note: Just noticed Hamels is missing from Cubs roster and he just pitched 5 no run innings which is good.  He’ll add about 3.5 WAA to Cubs Total and Starter value.  These tables are based upon our roster source which can lag a day or two.  It does have all the trade moves made at the deadline.

MLB Standings WAR

TeamID W-L Total Hitters Starters Relief UR
LAN 32 27.9 21.9 4.3 1.7 -23.1
HOU 31 47.5 28.0 16.0 3.5 9.9
NYA 30 27.6 21.5 2.2 3.9 4.9
MIN 25 38.6 25.2 8.8 4.6 -10.1
CLE 19 27.5 16.0 6.3 5.2 3.9
ATL 19 29.2 15.1 7.7 6.4 -17.1
TBA 15 27.2 15.3 6.7 5.2 9.9
OAK 14 30.3 16.3 8.6 5.4 15.9
SLN 8 20.1 12.2 4.3 3.6 6.9
WAS 7 29.1 15.2 10.9 3.0 12.9
CHN 7 28.7 18.1 7.3 3.3 2.9
BOS 7 34.3 21.7 8.1 4.5 -5.1
PHI 5 21.4 11.0 6.8 3.6 0.9
MIL 3 22.6 15.8 4.0 2.8 5.9
TEX 1 23.5 6.3 14.7 2.5 -0.1

While this model has HOU almost tied for the lead, WAR has them clearly in the lead.  Texas now trails Houston in the Starter category, probably due to the Greinke acquisition.   Texas led Starters in Part 5 even though they are way under water with PITCH based upon runs allowed.

The lowest team WARs are Cardinals and Phillies and this model agrees.  WAR skews higher because it’s based upon Replacement value which is below average according to this model.  WAR rarely goes negative where this model does often.  In fact, around half of MLB players have negative value.

Another set of WAR/WAA comparison posts in the works and next up will be a Cubs status since we haven’t done that in a couple weeks now.  Time goes by fast but records in baseball move at a glacial pace.  Until then ….