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My Dinner With Andre

Toughest Division for Pitchers?

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All these pitchers moving from league to league, division to division got me wondering -- which has been the toughest division for pitchers this year?

It's been my contention all year that the AL East is not tough. But I was wrong. The AL East is actually the toughest division this year. With a whopping .717 OPS.

Fail for anyone who pays attention to divisions?

7-31-20147-16-30PM_zpse6aaacc8.jpg

Check my math if you like.

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How significant of a difference is it between an OPS of .717 vs .685? Honest question.

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All these pitchers moving from league to league, division to division got me wondering -- which has been the toughest division for pitchers this year?

It's been my contention all year that the AL East is not tough. But I was wrong. The AL East is actually the toughest division this year. With a whopping .717 OPS.

Fail for anyone who pays attention to divisions?

7-31-20147-16-30PM_zpse6aaacc8.jpg

Check my math if you like.

NL includes pitchers so those are always going to be at the bottom, even if they seem tougher. AL West has O.Co and Safeco as 2 of the 3 worst hitting environments, and Angels Stadium skewed toward pitchers as well. AL East has 4 bandboxes. that's why it can seem like they're a weak hitting division this year (they are) but still put up runs.

this is sorted by wRC+ which is normalized for park/league and they rate out better than I thought, with the Jays, O's, and Rays all in the top 10: http://www.fangraphs...ers=0&sort=16,d

Yanks and Red Sox 20 and 21, which is probably why the division seems weaker than it is. when you think of AL East, you usually think of those 2 teams first.

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How significant of a difference is it between an OPS of .717 vs .685? Honest question.

Currently Brandon Crawford is ops'ing 718 (no 717s) and Ryan Howard is at 685.

Simple approach, but that's an idea of the difference on average.

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How significant of a difference is it between an OPS of .717 vs .685? Honest question.

Considering the sample size. Its a pretty decent gap...

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All these pitchers moving from league to league, division to division got me wondering -- which has been the toughest division for pitchers this year?

It's been my contention all year that the AL East is not tough. But I was wrong. The AL East is actually the toughest division this year. With a whopping .717 OPS.

Fail for anyone who pays attention to divisions?

7-31-20147-16-30PM_zpse6aaacc8.jpg

Check my math if you like.

There's a number of factors that go into this though that aren't accounted for here, most notably:

1) What were the batting statistics for inter-league play

2) What are the statistics by stadium

The first is important because teams didn't play the same opponents in AL/NL play, so if a division had a notably weak opponent, then another division could be disproportionately benefiting from that.

The second is important because correlation and causality are not necessarily the same thing. For example, without looking into the stats I would bet heavily that the NL West is bolstered by Colorado's Home stats. Does that mean that I would bench a SP vs Colorado? If they're playing at Coors, sure, but if they're elsewhere then probably not. In the same vein, if I had a Boston starting pitcher (does anybody now?) playing at Fenway, I would much rather face the Rays' offense than the Angels', even though the Rays are part of the league leading AL East, and the Angels are part of the league worst AL West.

TL;DR: Parks play a far bigger role in this than is given credit, in a neutral site I would much rather have a pitcher go against the best of the AL East than the best of the AL West.

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The Title is toughest division for pitchers. Ergo, you have to accept ball park factors as part of package.

Not toughest lineup to face for pitchers.

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Several pitchers are just plain bad...so it inflates the numbers of a division.

NL East pitching is extremely good, AL east pitching is very bad. Definitely skews the numbers.

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Several pitchers are just plain bad...so it inflates the numbers of a division.

NL East pitching is extremely good, AL east pitching is very bad. Definitely skews the numbers.

Well could NL east hitting be worse. Its chicken and egg kinda thing?

RC+

AL East: 110,104,98,92,91

NL East: 95,93,93,91,87

ERA+ is league and ballpark neutral.

For the context of the ball parks and league. AL EAST is actually neither really good or bad. Its just simply mediocre

AL East: 107,104,101,101,101

NL East: 118,110,102,101,92

Some truth to NL East having better pitching. Mainly because of ATL, WAS...but Phil is worse than any AL east team on the other side.

Of course with Price, Lester and Lackey traded out of the Division. AL EAST is probably going to be below average the rest of the year. Good news for hitters..

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