Three Up Three Down (7/1/13)

By John Ewing

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

Pittsburgh Pirates

June: 17 Wins, 9 Losses, .654 Win Percentage, Leading NL Central by 4 games

Season: .630 Win Percentage, 51 wins – 30 losses

The Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record in baseball. Read that again, the Buccos, the franchise with the most consecutive losing seasons in North American professional sports history, are leading the Majors in wins. The Pirates just need to go .383 the rest of the way to end the streak. When Pittsburgh’s losing streak began in 1992 Justin Bieber was not born.

PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Pirates finish 2nd in the NL Central with a projected Win-Loss record of 93-69, good for the first Wild Card in the NL.

Toronto Blue Jays

June: 17 Wins, 9 Losses, .654 Win Percentage, Leading AL East by 1 game

Season: .494 Win Percentage, 40 wins – 41 losses

The Blue Jays won 11 games in a row in June tying a team record and climbing back into the Wild Card race. A big reason for Toronto’s success was their bullpen. In the last 30 days, the pen has given up just 1.4 runs per nine innings compared to the season average of 3.5 runs. The Jays’ World Series odds improved from 40/1 to 12/1 after the 11 game winning streak.

PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Blue Jays finish with a winning record, 82-80, but that is only good for 4th in a tight AL East.

Miami Marlins

June: 15 Wins, 10 Losses, .600 Win Percentage, Leading NL East by 0.5 game

Season: .363 Win Percentage, 29 wins – 51 losses

This is Miami’s first winning month since they went 21-8 in May 2012 (technically the Marlins went 2-1 last October but that does not count). After a 14-41 start, the month of June has been a nice reprieve for the Fish. The Marlins have allowed three runs or fewer in 12 of their last 13 games. Still, Miami has the worst record in baseball but like a Kindergarten graduation, it is important to celebrate mediocrity.

PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Marlins finish last in the NL East with a projected Win-Loss record of 63-99. Miami finishes 29 games behind 1st place Atlanta.

Three Down

Chicago White Sox

June: 8 Wins, 19 Losses, .296 Win Percentage, 8 games out of first in AL Central

Season: .405 Win Percentage, 32 wins – 47 losses

The White Sox are 10.5 games out of 1st in the AL Central and 13 games out of the Wild Card. If you are a fan of the South Siders then the trade deadline might bring the most excitement all season. Rumor has it that the Sox are actively shopping Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, Jesse Crain, and Alexei Ramirez. With a barren farm system Chicago needs to flip veterans to acquire prospects.  

PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the White Sox finish 18 games out of first in the AL Central with a projected Win-Loss record of 72-90.

San Francisco Giants

June: 10 Wins, 17 Losses, .370 Win Percentage, 4.5 games out of first in the NL West

Season: .481 Win Percentage, 39 wins – 42 losses

The Giants are 2-8 in their last 10 games, including a season long 6 game losing streak. Part of the problem is San Francisco’s offense which is second to last in runs scored in June. The other problem, pitching. Tim Lincecum is mediocre at best, Barry Zito is wildly inconsistent and Ryan Vogelsong is on the DL. The only bright spot is Matt Cain who has rebounded after a less than stellar start.

PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Giants finish third in the NL West, just two games back of the Rockies, with a projected Win-Loss record of 80-82.

Tampa Bay Rays

June: 13 Wins, 15 Losses, .464 Win Percentage, 5 games out of first in AL East

Season: .524 Win Percentage, 43 wins – 39 losses

Wil Myers, Baseball Prospectus’s no. 7 prospect (Tampa Bay’s no. 1), was called up this month. Myers, 66% owned in fantasy leagues, is raking in his first 13 games, .296/.309/.481 with three homers and nine RBI. The concern with Myers is a 14/1 K/BB ratio. Myer’s early career production has been for naught as the Rays find themselves near the bottom of the AL East in June.

The Rays over was one of our normal win total picks. We are currently projecting our normal+ 2013 win total picks to go 7-4 (64% O/U). Our picks on Tampa Bay (over 86.5) and Arizona (under 81.5) are currently projected to lose by just tenths of a win on each bet. By the end of the season our record on normal picks could easily improve to 9-2. 

PredictionMachine.com simulated the remainder of the season 50,000 times and the Rays finish third in the AL East, 5 games behind division leading Boston with a projected Win-Loss record of 86-76.