It happens every week: a reader sees his favorite team trailing one of its division rivals in the Hit List rankings despite leading in the actual division race and fires off a snarky email or comment questioning the validity of the list, often while attempting to divine the current location of my head, and usually while making reference to last year's division race or postseason results. Well into my fifth season of writing the Hit List, I'm far more amused by such occurrences than I am offended, but the weekly give and take serves as a reminder for the occasional need to explain the list's workings in greater detail. As such, I annually set aside a column called the Hit List Remix to walk readers through the process.After running through the basics, I took a look at the relative strength of each division and dug deeper into the nuts and bolts of a few races where a team's ranking outdid their division standing such as the Rays being ahead of the Red Sox on the Hit List but behind them in the AL East. The article is free, so take a look.
First, a quick refresher course on the Hit List's basics. It's BP's version of the power rankings, created by me back in 2005 and based upon an objective formula which averages a team's actual, first-, second- and third-order winning percentages via the Adjusted Standings. To go into a bit more detail:
• First-order winning percentage is computed (via Pythagenpat, Pythagoras' slightly more sophisticated sibling) using actual runs scored and allowed.
• Second-order winning percentage uses equivalent runs scored and allowed, based on run elements (hits, walks, total bases, stolen bases, etc.) and the scoring environment (park and league adjustments).
• Third-order winning percentage adjusts for the quality of the opponent's hitting and pitching via opposing hitter EqA (OppHEqA) and opposing pitcher EqA (OppPEqA), both of which Clay Davenport recently added to the Adjusted Standings report for those of you curious enough to care.
With the exception of an injection of preseason PECOTA projections during the season's first month, those numbers are all that go into the rankings, which are averaged into what I've called the Hit List Factor (HLF). There are no subjective choices to be made, no additional tweaking to favor the A's or hurt the Phillies or fit into any of the other 28 conspiracy theories our readers might think of offering. No recent hot or cold streaks or head-to-head records are accounted for, either, despite the frustration of readers wondering why their team hasn't vaulted to the top thanks to a 5-2 week against their division rivals. It's all about runs, actual ones and projected ones, because run scoring and run prevention give us the best indication of a team's strength going forward. Using all four percentages is a way for correcting for teams that over- or underperform relative to the various areas examined.
[#1 Dodgers] Knuckling Down: An extra-inning loss to the Rockies shaves the Dodgers' division lead to two games, but they rebound to win the series behind a solid debut by Vicente Padilla, recently released by the Rangers. The Dodgers are getting good results from the pitchers they've pulled off the scrapheap; knuckleballer Charlie Haeger combines to shut out the Cubs earlier in the week. For all of their recent rotation woes, they're second in the league in SNLVAR, and while the team is just 14-17 since July 25, they've outscored opponents by 18 runs in that span.Tough to believe the nightmare that is this year's Mets. Can't recall a more pungent combination of insult and injury.
[#2 Yankees] Godzilla and Friends: Hideki Matsui's pair of two-homer games help the Yankees stave off the Red Sox by taking two out of three in Fenway; he drives in seven amid a 20-run deluge in the opener. Matsui's' 23 homers rank second to Mark Teixeira's 31, and with Robinson Cano contributing a pair of shots (and reaching a new career high), the team now has six players with at least 20 blasts, the third time in franchise history (1961, 2004) they've reached that plateau. Jorge Posada (17) and Derek Jeter (16) could help them surpass the 1996 Orioles, 2000 Blue Jays and 2005 Rangers, who had seven reach that mark.
[#22 Mets] Escape From New York: Just two innings into his comeback from Tommy John surgery, Billy Wagner gets traded to the Red Sox for a pair of PTBNLs, making him lucky enough to avoid the soaring body count, not to mention Omar Minaya's continued reign of error. The Mets lose both Johan Santana and Oliver Perez to season-ending surgery, the former due to bone chips in his elbow which have contributed to a 4.02 ERA and a 5.4 K/9 over his last 15 starts, the latter to patellar tendon tendinosis which turned his season into a 6.82 ERA, 7.9 BB/9 nightmare. Jeff Francouer could join the party as well due to a torn thumb ligament; his .305/.331/.500 line since being acquired includes just three unintentional walks in 175 PA.
June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]