The A’s have another one of these awkward 2-game series, but this time they face much tougher competition. The Texas Rangers have been one of the best teams in baseball this season and the A’s get the treat of facing them in Arlington.
The model doesn’t project good things, so this might be one of those series where we just ignore the numbers and instead hope for a good outcome. In case you forgot or didn’t see the explanation, here is a quick description of how the model works:
- I start by estimating the runs scored and allowed for each team given the starting pitcher, bullpen, defense and each team’s offense.
- The data used in the projection model is based on the current season’s statistics to date and ZiPS projections, with the weighting shifting more toward the actual stats as the season progresses.
- The estimated run differential is then converted into a projected winning percentage using the pythagorean expectation.
- Then, it’s converted into an odds of winning the game using the log5 method developed by Bill James
Probables (via MLB.com):
Wednesday, May 16, 5:05 PM: Tommy Milone vs. Yu Darvish
Thursday, May 17, 11:05 AM: Brandon McCarthy vs. Matt Harrison
|0 out 2||7%||53%|
Wow, that’s an ugly projection.
Game 1 is up there among the most lopsided the model has ever spit back at me. Taking a deeper look you see that Texas dominates in just about every facet of the game. Starting pitching: Darvish is much better than Milone. Bullpen: Texas’ bullpen has been among the best in baseball this season. Defense: according to UZR they have been the best defense in baseball; according to DSR they have been 6th best. Offense: Texas is only behind the Cardinals in wRC+.
I guess when you put that all together you have a really good team.
But hey, 2-out-of-10 times the A’s could WIN this game … so there’s that.
Game 2 doesn’t look much better, but at least the starting pitching match-up swings into the A’s favor. However, it isn’t enough to overcome the advantage the Rangers have in every other aspect of the game.
Even though this series is only two games it could help give us an idea of whether the A’s have the ability to stick around with the best teams in baseball.