The Red Sox have played 100 games. They have a .570 WP, 3rd best in the AL--even though they have been abysmal on the road (.396 WP) and have faltered a bit lately, going 7-8 so far in July. Prior to this month, though, they were very steady:
Month W L RF RA WP
As a team, they have scored 4 fewer runs than they did after 100 games in 2007 and allowed 23 more runs. However, their pitching--especially their starters--is significantly better than it was in 2004. Here's how they stack up after 100 games with the championship teams:
Year RF RA
The bullpen has the 11th best (4th worst) ERA at 4.02. They are also 10th in BAA (.253) and they have the 5th most losses (16). Relief losses can be a sign of lousy pitching. But it can also mean the offense isn't doing it's job, as in the case of the Blue Jays whose relievers have a 7-17 record despite having the 2nd best bullpen ERA (3.12). In Boston's case, I think it's more the former than the latter. Only one "contending" team--the Tigers--has a worse ERA after the 7th inning. The Sox' pitchers have an ERA of 3.90 in the 7th and later, compared to the MFY (3.33) and the Rays (3.35).
There is room for improvement. Masterson may stabilize things, giving the Sox quality innings out of the pen. He will also be able to work as a long-man if needed. I also believe an improved offense will lead to an improved bullpen by cutting down on relief losses.
Positives - Ortiz is coming back
Having Papi back lengthens the line-up, with only Tek, Lowrie/Cora, and the struggling Ellsbury as "easy" outs. If Jacoby gets hot again, the Sox have a pretty scary line-up. Either way, I expect Boston to score a lot more runs with Ortiz back, which will take a lot of pressure off the pitching staff.
Positives - the remaining schedule
Here are the number of games each AL contender has played at home and on the road so far:
White Sox – 48 home games (33 remaining) 49 road games (32 remaining)
The Sox have played 53% of their games so far on the road. Boston and Texas have played the most road games so far in the AL.
55% of the Sox’ remaining games are at home, as compared to 43% for the Rays and 45% for the MFY. Assuming all three teams play the same way at home and on the road, here's how they'd finish the season:
Red Sox 94-68 1st place
If the Sox continue to win at home, I’d say they’re in very good shape.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Red Sox at 100 Games
My friend Adam, who's a whiz with numbers and stats regarding the Red Sox, sent me an email yesterday about the Red Sox having reached the 100 game mark for 2008. He's mostly positive about where the Red Sox stand right now. I thought it was worth sharing with you, my audience.