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Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Chi-Sox Charade

Here we are in the first week of June and the Chicago White Sox still lead the majors with a 35-20 record, which gives them a 5 game lead in the AL Central over the Minnesota Twins. That lead will not hold up. By the end of June I expect the Sox to be 4 games behind the Twins, and trying to hold off the Cleveland Indians for second place in the division. Why? Couple of reasons:
  • The Sox are currently out-performing their expected winning percentage by 4 games. (Expected or Pythagorean winning percentage is based on a team's runs scored and runs allowed. You can find the expected WP for all teams here. The only team luckier than the Sox so far this season is the Arizona Diamondbacks.)
  • They are out-performing their EWP by virtue of a handful of lucky pitchers: Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras in the rotation; and Dustin Hermanson in the bullpen.

  • The offence is not good enough to offset the inevitable pitching decline. Their hitters simply make too many outs and hit with too little power for them to score the runs they are going to need to stay competitive in the division.
As far as the pitching goes, Garland especially, with his extremely low K/9 rate of 4.5 should come crashing back to earth this month — in his next couple of starts, I'd expect. Garcia and Contreras will also decline (possibly Mark Buerhle as well, but he has a track record of being successful with a low K/9), though Contreras should be the best of the three over the remainder of the season. In the bullpen, Hermanson will suffer a severe regression, Politte a less severe one. Damaso Marte will be the best pitcher in that pen by season's end.

1 comment:

Gazetteer said...

The analysis at the time was, indeed, sound MJ but....

Three weeks further in does it need revision?