Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Best Offensive Team in The AL


After yesterday's megatrade, I started to wonder if the Tigers were the best offensive team in baseball. The Tigers were very good last season -- only second to the Yankees --and now they added one of the best hitters in the majors. So do the Yankees still hold the top spot?

I decided to compare the most likely lineup of the two teams using EQR, which is EQA represented in actual runs (see here). This lineup will not be entirely realistic for two reasons:

1) I'm going to use last seasons numbers, so I'm not taking into account regressions to the mean positively or negatively. We can safely assume Jorge Posada will decline somewhat as will Magglio Ordonez, and Jeter will probably play better next year. My system isn't going to take that into account.

2) I'm assuming everyone in the lineup will play 162 games. Obviously no one will do that, and some players are far less likely to play an entire season than others (Giambi won't even break 100).

Here's what I did. I took the player's EQR from last season, divided it by the number of games played and multiplied by 162. I then added up all the runs for the total runs produced by the lineup. Ready?

Here are the two respective lineups.

First the Tigers.

(Scroll down to see the tables because Blogger is making me crazy)

Detroit Tigers:

PlayerEQR Per GameEQR Over 162 Games
Curtis Granderson0.772151899125.0886076
Placido Polanco0.704225352114.084507
Maggilio Ordonez0.898089172145.4904459
Miguel Cabrera0.796178344128.9808917
Gary Sheffield0.714285714115.7142857
Carlos Guillen0.655629139106.2119205
Edgar Renteria0.701612903113.6612903
Jacque Jones0.40740740766
Ivan Rodriguez0.44961240372.8372093

Now here are the Yankees.

New York Yankees:

PlayerEQR Per GameEQR Over 162 Games
Johnny Damon0.57446808593.06382979
Derek Jeter0.705128205114.2307692
Bobby Abreu0.664556962107.6582278
Alex Rodriguez0.974683544157.8987342
Hideki Matsui0.699300699113.2867133
Jorge Posada0.777777778126
Robinson Cano0.63125102.2625
Jason Giambi0.50602409681.97590361
Melky Cabrera0.581

As you can see, the Tigers project to finish 11 runs better than the Yankees. There are a lot of factors that I haven't accounted for, but it's safe to say the Tigers are going to be at least as good offensively as the Yanks next year and will probably be better.

Update: It seemed unfair to only use last year's stats, so I decided to take an average of the last three seasons stats and use those numbers as a projection. Not perfect, but better. I'm not going to make another table, so I'll just list the total numbers.


Per Game: 5.762857783
Over 162: 933.5829608


Per Game: 6.140102444
Over 162: 994.696596

And for fun here are the Red Sox. I used Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ortiz, Manny, Youkilis, Drew, Lowell, Varitek, and Lugo:

Per Game: 5.830537782
Over 162: 944.5471207

I also wanted to run the Indians numbers but unlike the other three teams, it was hard to figure out who are the primary 9 players. Hafner, Sizemore, Blake, Peralta, Martinez and Garko are clearly everyday players. But who are the other three? I came up with a few different lineups. One used Barfield, Lofton, and Gutierrez. That lineup scored:

Per Game: 5.312430512
Over 162: 860.613743

The other substituted Asdrubal Cabrera for Josh Barfield and Trot Nixon for Franklin Gutierrez:

Per game: 5.529906373
Over 162: 895.8448324

The second lineup was the best offensive configuration I could come up with.

So it looks like the Yankees should have the best offense in baseball this season. I believe 3 years is a legitimate amount of time to use as a reference, and the Yanks come out way ahead. While other teams certainly have better pitching, the Yankees offense should carry them to the playoffs.

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