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  • Final 25 games...Wild Card

    Texas has 25 games remaining

    Here are the candidates for the final playoff spot.
    Minn
    LAA .5
    Balt 1.5
    Rangers 2
    Seattle 2.5
    KC 2.5
    TB 3

    Deserving or not of a wild card...one team will seize it. Minn has been hottest team and has the lead. But things change so fast. Even in 10 days...any of these teams could seize pole position.

    Only 4 AL teams have no playoff hopes.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ProfarMVP View Post
    Texas has 25 games remaining

    Here are the candidates for the final playoff spot.
    Minn
    LAA .5
    Balt 1.5
    Rangers 2
    Seattle 2.5
    KC 2.5
    TB 3

    Deserving or not of a wild card...one team will seize it. Minn has been hottest team and has the lead. But things change so fast. Even in 10 days...any of these teams could seize pole position.

    Only 4 AL teams have no playoff hopes.
    What's really frustrating is if we had just taken one of the three games in Oakland, we'd be in really good position right now -- at one game out and behind only the Angels among those currently on the outside looking in. That sweep was a killer because it undid all the work we did in winning three of the last four series.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dannyboy8517 View Post

      What's really frustrating is if we had just taken one of the three games in Oakland, we'd be in really good position right now -- at one game out and behind only the Angels among those currently on the outside looking in. That sweep was a killer because it undid all the work we did in winning three of the last four series.
      Yes. But any team can look at a particular series with woulda-coulda.

      The 16 1/2 game swing in one-run games is the difference from last season. Statistically last year's Rangers and this years Rangers are very similar teams qualitatively.

      We've been mediocre the past two years, just with different results.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ProfarMVP View Post

        Yes. But any team can look at a particular series with woulda-coulda.

        The 16 1/2 game swing in one-run games is the difference from last season. Statistically last year's Rangers and this years Rangers are very similar teams qualitatively.

        We've been mediocre the past two years, just with different results.
        I believe you mean quantitatively. Because qualitatively, last year's team was significantly better.

        And I don't really buy the run differential argument that much. Last year's team was healthier, tougher and lacked the fatal flaws that have done this one in. No one who watched the two teams play extensively would say these are similar teams IMO.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dannyboy8517 View Post

          I believe you mean quantitatively. Because qualitatively, last year's team was significantly better.

          And I don't really buy the run differential argument that much. Last year's team was healthier, tougher and lacked the fatal flaws that have done this one in. No one who watched the two teams play extensively would say these are similar teams IMO.

          No. I very much meant exactly what I wrote. Last season and this season...both teams are qualitatively similarly mediocre. I'm quite certain that people who evaluate teams superficially will say they are dissimilar qualitatively...but Pythag speaks for itself.

          Are there different narratives, different shortcomings and strengths in some of the particulars? Absolutely. But big picture...very similar.

          2017 team is better in a number of respects:
          -Chirinos and Elvis are enjoying career years.
          -We have Gallo and Cashner this season--didn't last year.
          -Deshields is over 2 full WAR better this season
          -More team power

          2016 was better in a number of respects
          -Odor much better
          -Moreland > Napoli
          -Bullpen better
          -Fewer team strikeouts

          We quickly forget Derek Holland was on 2016 team and a bunch of scrub utility players and awful pitchers.

          Hitting? Team OPS this year: 12th; Last year: 10th
          Pitching? Team ERA this year: 14th Last year: 22nd
          Fielding: Defensively we are 25th this year...pretty bad. 2016--19th.

          We have been the portrait of an average team the past two seasons.

          "Tougher" you say? That's baseball mythology talking. Fan and media narratives are 90% fake news.
          Last edited by ProfarMVP; 09-05-2017, 01:39 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd say the biggest difference is in the bullpen. Last year, they did enough to keep the team in games and hang onto close games. This year, it's been a disaster.

            Comment


            • #7
              But, ProfarMVP, I thought you were into analytics. Why do you suppose the Rangers do better than their OPS and ERA numbers would indicate? Could it be matching batting lineups and batting orders better with opposing pitchers? Getting the most out of the bullpen by matching pitchers to opposing batters? Positioning of fielders? Better base running decisions? All those are driven by analytics, not just the batting and pitching averages. They are analyzing the opposition well and getting the most out of what we have. Situations are falling into their laps as a result.

              Those kinds of decisions are not always going to show up in the statistics. Sometimes they might want to use their worst pitcher and let the other team rack up a great number of runs in a lost cause, for example, so they have their better pitchers ready for the next night. Things like that would cause the team ERA to skyrocket while at the same time winning games for the Rangers. It goes way deeper than that. They have this mapped out going out several days, I'm sure. They are probably having meetings on positioning fielders for the Yankees games already.

              The Rangers are playing 4D chess while everyone else is stuck on 2D. They are probably in the planning stages for a surprise ten-game winning streak coming soon. One thing we do know. You can't count the Rangers out. The way Darvish pitched that last game I'm thinking it was a sneaky move to ambush him during the World Series knowing he peters out to end the season. The Gonzalez move may be one of those stealth maneuvers we will be discussing all winter long. You never know.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Flounder1 View Post
                But, ProfarMVP, I thought you were into analytics. Why do you suppose the Rangers do better than their OPS and ERA numbers would indicate? Could it be matching batting lineups and batting orders better with opposing pitchers? Getting the most out of the bullpen by matching pitchers to opposing batters? Positioning of fielders? Better base running decisions? All those are driven by analytics, not just the batting and pitching averages. They are analyzing the opposition well and getting the most out of what we have. Situations are falling into their laps as a result.

                Those kinds of decisions are not always going to show up in the statistics. Sometimes they might want to use their worst pitcher and let the other team rack up a great number of runs in a lost cause, for example, so they have their better pitchers ready for the next night. Things like that would cause the team ERA to skyrocket while at the same time winning games for the Rangers. It goes way deeper than that. They have this mapped out going out several days, I'm sure. They are probably having meetings on positioning fielders for the Yankees games already.

                The Rangers are playing 4D chess while everyone else is stuck on 2D. They are probably in the planning stages for a surprise ten-game winning streak coming soon. One thing we do know. You can't count the Rangers out. The way Darvish pitched that last game I'm thinking it was a sneaky move to ambush him during the World Series knowing he peters out to end the season. The Gonzalez move may be one of those stealth maneuvers we will be discussing all winter long. You never know.
                Speaking of Darvish: He had a bad stretch right before we traded him and has been really bad for the Dodgers. Looks like JD "dodgered" a bullet.

                We can still get in. If we make the playoffs...you never know.
                Last edited by ProfarMVP; 09-05-2017, 11:27 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ProfarMVP View Post


                  No. I very much meant exactly what I wrote. Last season and this season...both teams are qualitatively similarly mediocre. I'm quite certain that people who evaluate teams superficially will say they are dissimilar qualitatively...but Pythag speaks for itself.

                  Are there different narratives, different shortcomings and strengths in some of the particulars? Absolutely. But big picture...very similar.

                  2017 team is better in a number of respects:
                  -Chirinos and Elvis are enjoying career years.
                  -We have Gallo and Cashner this season--didn't last year.
                  -Deshields is over 2 full WAR better this season
                  -More team power

                  2016 was better in a number of respects
                  -Odor much better
                  -Moreland > Napoli
                  -Bullpen better
                  -Fewer team strikeouts

                  We quickly forget Derek Holland was on 2016 team and a bunch of scrub utility players and awful pitchers.

                  Hitting? Team OPS this year: 12th; Last year: 10th
                  Pitching? Team ERA this year: 14th Last year: 22nd
                  Fielding: Defensively we are 25th this year...pretty bad. 2016--19th.

                  We have been the portrait of an average team the past two seasons.

                  "Tougher" you say? That's baseball mythology talking. Fan and media narratives are 90% fake news.
                  There are few more superficial ways to judge a team than by its Pythag, which gives a team's performance in 40-60 blowouts far more credence than what happens the other 65-75 percent of games. It's easy to point at one-run games alone and say, "Ding, ding, ding, this is the definitive stat." But doing so requires you to ignore a giant swath of games that were every bit as important in determining the success of last season and relative failure in this one.

                  A comparison of the Rangers 2016 and 2017 seasons provides a perfect of example of how woefully inadequate the Pythagorean Theorem is as an end-all, be-all stat.

                  We'll start with the overall run differential.

                  -- The 2016 team was plus-8 for the season. The 2017 team is plus-39 so far.

                  From that information, it would look like the 2017 team should have been better than last year's. But when you look at how those numbers were built, you quickly figure out why it was not.

                  -- The 2016 team was minus-52 in 42 blowout games. The 2017 team is plus-42 in 47 blowout games.
                  -- The 2016 team was plus-25 in 47 one-run games. The 2017 team is minus-8 in 34 one-run games.

                  So that leaves 73 games for the 2016 squad that weren't blowouts or one-run games, and 56 such games for this year's team thus far.

                  -- The 2016 team went 41-32 in those games with a plus-35 run differential. The 2017 team is 29-27 in those games with a plus-5 run differential.

                  So, what you're arguing in this comparison is that the results of a relatively small number of blowout games is more significant than what happened during the much larger portion of the season where success or failure was actually determined, which is crazy.

                  -- In 120 non-blowout games, the 2016 Rangers were 77-43 with a plus-60 run differential. In 90 such games so far, the 2017 Rangers are 42-48 with a minus-3 run differential.

                  If you look deeper, the teams aren't much alike at all. One was consistently good in three-quarters of its games. The other was consistently average in all but a few offensive explosions.

                  And the stats paint the same picture. This year's team has far more boom or bust than last year's did. And failure to acknowledge that when analyzing the two seasons is a failure to paint an accurate picture.
                  2016 2017 (through 137 games)
                  BATTING
                  Average .262 .247
                  OBP .322 .326
                  Slugging .433 .443
                  OPS .755 .769
                  Strikeouts 1,220 1,236
                  Walks 436 476
                  OPS late and close .795 .690
                  OPS w/ RISP .774 .783
                  OPS w/ runner on 3rd, < 2 outs .834 .726
                  More w/ runner on 3rd, < 2 outs 214 runs in 266 ABs/339 PAs 173 runs in 202 ABs/270 PAs
                  PITCHING
                  Starters ERA 4.38 4.53
                  Bullpen ERA 4.40 4.47
                  OPS against .753 .759
                  One team consistently did what the game asked of it. The other does not. It's no great mystery why last year's team was better than this one is.
                  Last edited by dannyboy8517; 09-05-2017, 04:34 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ProfarMVP View Post


                    No. I very much meant exactly what I wrote. Last season and this season...both teams are qualitatively similarly mediocre. I'm quite certain that people who evaluate teams superficially will say they are dissimilar qualitatively...but Pythag speaks for itself.
                    .
                    You'd be wrong...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dannyboy8517 View Post

                      There are few more superficial ways to judge a team than by its Pythag, which gives a team's performance in 40-60 blowouts far more credence than what happens the other 65-75 percent of games. It's easy to point at one-run games alone and say, "Ding, ding, ding, this is the definitive stat." But doing so requires you to ignore a giant swath of games that were every bit as important in determining the success of last season and relative failure in this one.

                      A comparison of the Rangers 2016 and 2017 seasons provides a perfect of example of how woefully inadequate the Pythagorean Theorem is as an end-all, be-all stat.

                      We'll start with the overall run differential.

                      -- The 2016 team was plus-8 for the season. The 2017 team is plus-39 so far.

                      From that information, it would look like the 2017 team should have been better than last year's. But when you look at how those numbers were built, you quickly figure out why it was not.

                      -- The 2016 team was minus-52 in 42 blowout games. The 2017 team is plus-42 in 47 blowout games.
                      -- The 2016 team was plus-25 in 47 one-run games. The 2017 team is minus-8 in 34 one-run games.

                      So that leaves 73 games for the 2016 squad that weren't blowouts or one-run games, and 56 such games for this year's team thus far.

                      -- The 2016 team went 41-32 in those games with a plus-35 run differential in those games. The 2017 team is 29-27 in those games with a plus-5 run differential.

                      So, what you're arguing in this comparison is that the results of a relatively small number of blowout games is more significant than what happened during the much larger portion of the season where success or failure was actually determined, which is crazy.

                      -- In 120 non-blowout games, the 2016 Rangers were 77-43 with a plus-60 run differential. In 90 such games so far, the 2017 Rangers are 42-48 with a minus-3 run differential.

                      If you look deeper, the teams aren't much alike at all. One was consistently good in three-quarters of its games. The other was consistently average in all but a few offensive explosions.

                      And the stats paint the same picture. This year's team has far more boom or bust than last year's did. And failure to acknowledge that when analyzing the two seasons is a failure to paint an accurate picture.
                      2016 2017 (through 137 games)
                      BATTING
                      Average .262 .247
                      OBP .322 .326
                      Slugging .433 .443
                      OPS .755 .769
                      Strikeouts 1,220 1,236
                      Walks 436 476
                      OPS late and close .795 .690
                      OPS w/ RISP .774 .783
                      OPS w/ runner on 3rd, < 2 outs .834 .726
                      More w/ runner on 3rd, < 2 outs 214 runs in 266 ABs/339 PAs 173 runs in 202 ABs/270 PAs
                      PITCHING
                      Starters ERA 4.38 4.53
                      Bullpen ERA 4.40 4.47
                      OPS against .753 .759
                      One team consistently did what the game asked of it. The other does not. It's no great mystery why last year's team was better than this one is.
                      A brief summary of your point.. It's a stat that generally does a good job of indicating how well a team performed for a given season with regards to W/L.. doesn't mean that it is always correct.. doesn't mean that it was correct with regards to the Rangers.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dannyboy8517 View Post

                        There are few more superficial ways to judge a team than by its Pythag, which gives a team's performance in 40-60 blowouts far more credence than what happens the other 65-75 percent of games. It's easy to point at one-run games alone and say, "Ding, ding, ding, this is the definitive stat." But doing so requires you to ignore a giant swath of games that were every bit as important in determining the success of last season and relative failure in this one.

                        A comparison of the Rangers 2016 and 2017 seasons provides a perfect of example of how woefully inadequate the Pythagorean Theorem is as an end-all, be-all stat.

                        We'll start with the overall run differential.

                        -- The 2016 team was plus-8 for the season. The 2017 team is plus-39 so far.

                        From that information, it would look like the 2017 team should have been better than last year's. But when you look at how those numbers were built, you quickly figure out why it was not.

                        -- The 2016 team was minus-52 in 42 blowout games. The 2017 team is plus-42 in 47 blowout games.
                        -- The 2016 team was plus-25 in 47 one-run games. The 2017 team is minus-8 in 34 one-run games.

                        So that leaves 73 games for the 2016 squad that weren't blowouts or one-run games, and 56 such games for this year's team thus far.

                        -- The 2016 team went 41-32 in those games with a plus-35 run differential in those games. The 2017 team is 29-27 in those games with a plus-5 run differential.

                        So, what you're arguing in this comparison is that the results of a relatively small number of blowout games is more significant than what happened during the much larger portion of the season where success or failure was actually determined, which is crazy.

                        -- In 120 non-blowout games, the 2016 Rangers were 77-43 with a plus-60 run differential. In 90 such games so far, the 2017 Rangers are 42-48 with a minus-3 run differential.

                        If you look deeper, the teams aren't much alike at all. One was consistently good in three-quarters of its games. The other was consistently average in all but a few offensive explosions.

                        And the stats paint the same picture. This year's team has far more boom or bust than last year's did. And failure to acknowledge that when analyzing the two seasons is a failure to paint an accurate picture.

                        One team consistently did what the game asked of it. The other does not. It's no great mystery why last year's team was better than this one is.
                        Sorry bro, Pythag is well regarded as keen measurement of a team's real quality by the GM s, analysts and decision-makers of the league. Trying to flippantly dismiss it makes your argument silly.

                        From Baseball Reference:
                        "The Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball is a creation of Bill James which relates the number of runs a team has scored and surrendered to its actual winning percentage, based on the idea that runs scored compared to runs allowed is a better indicator of a team's (future) performance than a team's actual winning percentage."
                        We won a ton of one-run games and didn't enjoy the same good fortune this year. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. One-run games have a large degree of sheer luck involved.

                        We are middle of the road offensively and in pitching and below average defensively. Just like last year. Your appeal that this team was anything special last year...fails.

                        Rotation last season included a mess of mediocrity:
                        Perez (whom you despise),
                        Holland whom we all despised...now dumped from league
                        Griffith, Martinez, Lewis, ChiChi.....none of whom would even play for top teams.

                        Offensively we aren't special like we were w/younger Hamilton/Cruz/Naps/etc.

                        Five years ago when this team really was great it was borne out in all-star selections...and in the statistical numbers. In the past few seasons we simply don't have the same caliber of players. All manner of pitching, hitting and defensive stats point to the reality this hasn't been a top baseball team in some time.
                        Last edited by ProfarMVP; 09-05-2017, 05:01 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dannyboy8517 View Post

                          There are few more superficial ways to judge a team than by its Pythag, which gives a team's performance in 40-60 blowouts far more credence than what happens the other 65-75 percent of games. It's easy to point at one-run games alone and say, "Ding, ding, ding, this is the definitive stat." But doing so requires you to ignore a giant swath of games that were every bit as important in determining the success of last season and relative failure in this one.

                          A comparison of the Rangers 2016 and 2017 seasons provides a perfect of example of how woefully inadequate the Pythagorean Theorem is as an end-all, be-all stat.

                          We'll start with the overall run differential.

                          -- The 2016 team was plus-8 for the season. The 2017 team is plus-39 so far.

                          From that information, it would look like the 2017 team should have been better than last year's. But when you look at how those numbers were built, you quickly figure out why it was not.

                          -- The 2016 team was minus-52 in 42 blowout games. The 2017 team is plus-42 in 47 blowout games.
                          -- The 2016 team was plus-25 in 47 one-run games. The 2017 team is minus-8 in 34 one-run games.

                          So that leaves 73 games for the 2016 squad that weren't blowouts or one-run games, and 56 such games for this year's team thus far.

                          -- The 2016 team went 41-32 in those games with a plus-35 run differential. The 2017 team is 29-27 in those games with a plus-5 run differential.

                          So, what you're arguing in this comparison is that the results of a relatively small number of blowout games is more significant than what happened during the much larger portion of the season where success or failure was actually determined, which is crazy.

                          -- In 120 non-blowout games, the 2016 Rangers were 77-43 with a plus-60 run differential. In 90 such games so far, the 2017 Rangers are 42-48 with a minus-3 run differential.

                          If you look deeper, the teams aren't much alike at all. One was consistently good in three-quarters of its games. The other was consistently average in all but a few offensive explosions.

                          And the stats paint the same picture. This year's team has far more boom or bust than last year's did. And failure to acknowledge that when analyzing the two seasons is a failure to paint an accurate picture.
                          2016 2017 (through 137 games)
                          BATTING
                          Average .262 .247
                          OBP .322 .326
                          Slugging .433 .443
                          OPS .755 .769
                          Strikeouts 1,220 1,236
                          Walks 436 476
                          OPS late and close .795 .690
                          OPS w/ RISP .774 .783
                          OPS w/ runner on 3rd, < 2 outs .834 .726
                          More w/ runner on 3rd, < 2 outs 214 runs in 266 ABs/339 PAs 173 runs in 202 ABs/270 PAs
                          PITCHING
                          Starters ERA 4.38 4.53
                          Bullpen ERA 4.40 4.47
                          OPS against .753 .759
                          One team consistently did what the game asked of it. The other does not. It's no great mystery why last year's team was better than this one is.
                          I think the close and late OPS differential says a lot. Combine that with a better bullpen last year along with not striking out as much and that's a recipe for winning a lot of close games. There's nothing that deflates a team than to put runners on late in the game with less than two outs and having Napoli and Odor come to the plate and end that threat by striking out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ProfarMVP View Post

                            Sorry bro, Pythag is well regarded as keen measurement of a team's real quality by the GM s, analysts and decision-makers of the league. Trying to flippantly dismiss it makes your argument silly.

                            From Baseball Reference:
                            "The Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball is a creation of Bill James which relates the number of runs a team has scored and surrendered to its actual winning percentage, based on the idea that runs scored compared to runs allowed is a better indicator of a team's (future) performance than a team's actual winning percentage."
                            We won a ton of one-run games and didn't enjoy the same good fortune this year. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. One-run games have a large degree of sheer luck involved.

                            We are middle of the road offensively and in pitching and below average defensive. Just like last year. Your appeal that this team was anything special last year...fails.

                            Rotation last season included a mess of mediocrity:
                            Perez (whom you despise),
                            Holland whom we all despised...now dumped from league
                            Griffith, Martinez, Lewis, ChiChi.....none of whom would even play for top teams.

                            Five years ago when this team really was great it was borne out in all-star selections...and in the statistical numbers. In the past few seasons we simply don't have the same caliber of players. All manner of pitching, hitting and defensive stats point to the reality this hasn't been a top baseball team in some time.
                            All Star selections mean absolutely nothing in terms of winning baseball games. All it means is that someone is having a heck of a first half... I remember when Roger Pavlik was an "All Star" based on his first half and then horribly collapsed and went back to his normal stats.

                            Also, the 2011 Rangers team had quite a bit of mediocrity to it too with CJ Wilson as the ace of the squad.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Redcap View Post
                              I think the close and late OPS differential says a lot. Combine that with a better bullpen last year along with not striking out as much and that's a recipe for winning a lot of close games. There's nothing that deflates a team than to put runners on late in the game with less than two outs and having Napoli and Odor come to the plate and end that threat by striking out.
                              There is a relationship between a strong bullpen and 1-run wins, but it doesn't make a huge difference. This has been well-researched.

                              Bob Arthur wrote about this issue. Here is a few excerpts:
                              "Performance in one-run games is notoriously variable."

                              "Just as any given plate appearance can produce almost any imaginable outcome, a game that hinges on only a single run is mostly up to chance."
                              The correlation between a teamís bullpen strength and its one-run winning percentage is significant but fairly weak, highlighting the role of randomness in these situations.3
                              https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...one-run-games/
                              Last edited by ProfarMVP; 09-05-2017, 05:43 PM.

                              Comment

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