MLB - 3 Up 3 Down (07/01/14)

By John Ewing
Three Up, Three Down - a look at the notably great and disappointing teams from the month of June.

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.

Three Up

Los Angeles Dodgers
June: 18 Wins, 10 Losses, .643 Win Percentage
Season: 48 wins – 37 losses, Leading NL West by 0.5 game

Clayton Kershaw dominated in the month of June. In 44 innings, the Dodgers' ace went 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA while allowing just four total runs. Kershaw's last three starts have been spectacular including his first no-hitter on June 18th and the lefty has a scoreless streak of 28 innings.

The Dodgers have won 14 of their last 17 games. Los Angeles was 9.5 games out of first in the NL West division on June 8th, yet are now atop the division.

In 50,000 simulations of the rest of the regular season, the Dodgers are projected to finish 91-71, just edging the Giants for the NL West crown.

Baseball Milestones

Baseball is all about records. For many notable players some impressive career milestones are within reach this season.

Derek Jeter needs 25 more hits to move into 8th place all-time. The Yankee Captain has 78 hits this season and is on pace for 156. If Jeter maintains his current pace he will move into 6th place all-time by the end of this season.

Albert Pujols needs 71 more hits to reach 2,500 in his career, a feat only 97 other players have ever accomplished.

Adrian Beltre is 15 home runs shy of 400 career long balls. Beltre has averaged 31.5 dingers over the last four years. There are 51 players part of the 400 home run club, eight of them are still active. David Ortiz hit his 450th home run over the weekend.

Bartolo Colon is three wins shy of 200 for his career. Wins have lost their luster among those studying the game, but there are still only 114 pitchers to ever earn 200 career wins. Not bad for a player whose nickname is "Fat."

Oakland Athletics
June: 17 Wins, 9 Losses, .654 Win Percentage
Season: 51 wins – 31 losses, Leading AL West by 5 games

By every conceivable mark, Oakland is really good at baseball. The Athletics win regardless of the situation. Oakland is 24-15 at home and on the road have a winning record of 27-16. Against winning or .500 teams, the A's are 22-17 and they are 29-14 against losing teams. Oakland also has a winning record in one-run and extra inning games.

Oakland is an MLB-best 20 games over .500. The Athletics are projected to finish 95-67, the best record in baseball.

Three Down

San Diego Padres
May: 10 Wins, 17 Losses, .370 Win Percentage
Season: 36 wins – 47 losses, 11 games out of first in NL West

San Diego fired general manager Josh Byrnes after a 32-43 start to this year, 12.5 games out of first in the NL West at the time. In each of Byrnes first two seasons, the club went 76-86. Byrnes is best known for trading Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs for Andrew Cashner and sending Mat Latos to the Reds for prospects that have not yet played very well at the top level.

Byrnes firing may just be the beginning of an overhaul in San Diego, but it is also a sign of things to come. That's right, with the All-Star break fast approaching and teams once with hopes of reaching the playoffs floundering to play .500 ball, which MLB manager will be fired first? Here are the sportsbooks odds:

Who Will be the first Manager fired during the 2014 Regular Season? Odds courtesy of
  • John Gibbons: 9/4
  • Kirk Gibson: 5/2
  • Ned Yost: 5/1
  • Terry Collins: 5/1
  • Bo Porter: 7/1
  • Mike Scioscia: 10/1
Colorado Rockies
June: 8 Wins, 20 Losses, .286 Win Percentage
Season: 36 wins – 47 losses, 11 games out of first in NL West

Colorado lost the first five games of the month, and eight of its first nine. Rockies fans were subjected to an additional seven game losing streak during the month. Colorado was swept by the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers and the Brewers, twice.

Before June, the Rockies were 3rd in our Power Rankings (15th in hitting, 3rd in pitching). After a disappointing month, Colorado is now 16th overall (17th in hitting, 18th in pitching).

Colorado's pitching staff allowed 187 runs in the month, 46 more runs then the second worst team. The Rockies have a negative 48 run differential in June.

The Rockies are projected to finish 75-87, third in the NL West. If elite, two-way players Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez return healthy soon, they have a chance to improve dramatically. Before the month began Colorado was projected to have a winning record, 85-77.

Attending Baseball Games

To some, America's game just helps pass the time between the Super Bowl and the start of the next NFL season. As such, year-over-year attendance (2013 compared to 2014) is down.

The Phillies, last in the NL East, have the worst differential per game (down 8,230 fans). Don't feel too bad for Philadelphia; the City of Brotherly Love is still ninth overall in total attendance.

Winning makes all the difference, even if it is just a slight improvement. The Astros lead the league in positive attendance differential per game (+4,442). Houston is 36-48, last in the AL West but the Astros were 30-53 at this time in 2013.