A sports rating system analyzes the results of sports competitions to provide objective ratings for each team. Rankings are then derived by sorting the team’s rating and assigning an ordinal rank. A lazy analyst will add the word Power to the beginning of their ranking for added significance. An even lazier analyst will skip the whole ranking ordeal and cherry pick a few teams to talk about - which leads us to June’s Three Up, Three Down column from PredictionMachine.com’s Manager of Research and Analytics, John Ewing.
Cashing Out by Ca$h Out
#36 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the Rap Songs chart, and #1 in my heart
My favorite song so far this summer is Cashing Out by Ca$h Out. Please watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9mfuifkZgc and then go to RapGenius.com and read what the lyrics mean; serious go, I’ll wait. Ok, now that you are back lets jump into the best teams of June and like Cashing Out, they’re so hot right now!
1. New York Yankees
June: 20 Wins, 7 Losses, .741 Win Percentage, Leading NL East in June by 5 games
Season: 47 Wins, 30 Losses, .610 Win Percentage, Leading AL East by 5 games
The Yankees rattled off a ten game winning streak this month that saw them sweep the Mets, Braves and Nationals. Derek Jeter passed Cal Ripken Jr. for 14th place on the all-time career hit list as New York grew its division lead to five games. All seemed right in the Big Apple until the Bronx Bombers put CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the 15-day and 60-day DL respectively. These injuries will test the Yank’s pitching depth. Manager Joe Girardi doesn’t seem too worried since he already has the answer, “If we have to score some runs, we’ll score some runs.”
PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and, even with the injuries, the Yankees win the AL East with a projected Win-Loss record of 91-71, finishing five games ahead of the hated Red Sox.
2. San Francisco Giants
June: 17 Wins, 11 Losses, .615 Win Percentage, tied for lead in NL West in June
Season: 44 Wins, 35 Losses, .557 Win Percentage, Leading NL West by 1 game
The Giants were having a pretty good month (14 Wins and 9 Losses) before they rattled off 36 straight innings without allowing a run, a San Francisco record. During that streak we saw Spain beat Portugal in PKs, the season premier of Louie on FX, and Tim Lincecum become The Freak of old, winning for the first time in two months.
PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Giants win the NL West with a projected Win-Loss record of 87-75, finishing less than a game (on average) ahead of the second place Diamondbacks.
3. Los Angeles Angels
June: 17 Wins, 9 Losses, .654 Win Percentage, 1 game behind in the AL West in June
Season: 43 Wins, 35 Losses, .551 Win Percentage, 6.5 games out of first in AL West
The Angels were part of my 3 Up last month on the back of El Hombre’s home run parade. This time, L.A. can thank their young guns, the 26 year-old Mark Trumbo (.587 SLG, 9 HR, and 27 RBI in the month) and 20 year-old Mike Trout (.950 OPS, 14 stolen bases, and 27 runs scored in the month), for their continued stay on my vaunted 3 Up list.
PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Angels finish 9 games behind the AL West winning Texas Rangers with a predicted Win-Loss record of 88-74 (which is still good enough to an a Wild Card spot). In April the Angels were predicted to finish 29 games out of first, in May they were predicted to finish 14 games out of first. If I am the Rangers I might start looking over my shoulder.
Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
#1 on Hot 100, worst song ever?
College baseball teams spend a lot of time on the road. It would seem that they also listen to the same song repeatedly and then come up with dance routines that can be performed in a twelve passenger van (Really Harvard, a twelve passenger van? The estimated cost to attend Harvard for 2012-13 is $57,950). Harvard baseball’s Call Me Maybe cover sparked a number of copycat parody videos including the Florida Gators, SMU Women’s Rowing, TCU Orientation Leaders and Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders (my personal favorite). Watch the original here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEWVwgDnuzE, and then see how the three worst teams in June found themselves in the inescapable downward spiral that is Call Me Maybe.
1. Miami Marlins
June: 8 Wins, 18 Loses, .308 Win Percentage, 7 games out of first in NL East in June
Season: 37 Wins, 40 Loses, .481 Win Percentage, 7.5 games out of first in NL East
From the penthouse to the outhouse; the Marlins have regressed. Part of that regression includes victories in one run games. In May, the Marlins won eight out ten one run games. This month, they have lost all three one run games they’ve played in. The real problem is their pitching. Of the five starting pitchers, only Josh Johnson has posted a respectable xFIP (3.51), one of the best metrics for predicting a pitcher’s future performance. To put this in perspective, Carlos Zambrano’s xFIP in June was 5.42. Historically, excellent pitchers have xFIP’s of 2.9 or lower, the average is 3.75, and 5.0 or worse is awful.
PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Marlins finish 12 games out of first in the NL East with a projected Win-Loss record of 79-83.
2. Chicago Cubs
June: 10 Wins, 17 Loses, .370 Win Percentage, 7 games out of first in NL Central in June
Season: 28 Wins, 49 Loses, .364 Win Percentage, 15 games out of first in NL Central
The Loveable Losers are at it again this month. Through 75 games this year, the Cubs record stood at a pitiful 26-49, tying for its third worst start ever. Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto, Darwin Barney and Carlos Marmol are all on the trading block. Cubbie fans are hoping the rebuilding process will not take long and were treated to a glimpse of the future with the debut of first basemen Anthony Rizzo on June 26 when he had two hits and one RBI.
PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Cubs finish 22 games out of first in the NL Central with a projected Win-Loss record of 67-95 (the second worst record in MLB behind San Diego at 63-99).
3. Kansas City Royals
June: 14 Wins, 13 Losses, .519 Win Percentage, tied for first in AL Central
Season: 35 Wins, 41 Losses, .461 Win Percentage, 6 games out of first in AL Central
The Royals were not bad in June. So why are they on the 3 Down list? In April’s 3 Up, 3 Down I ran my mouth off about how the Royals stunk, how their slogan “Our Time” was premature, and that all Royals fans had to look forward to was the All-Star game being held in KC and Chief’s preseason football. After the first full month of baseball, we projected KC to have 59 wins. After June, they are project to win 75 games. This still falls under the preseason Total Wins Line of 80 and our under pick still looks good (see the rest of our season over/under picks here). I just prefer our picks to work out like the Heat over play in game 5 of the Finals when it covered with over six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Royals finish ten games out of first in the AL Central with a projected Win-Loss record of 75-87.
And finally, check out PredictionMachine.com’s Preseason Over/Under Picks, which are currently projected to go 8-2 on "normal" plays and 18-6 overall.