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   1. Pingu Posted: July 13, 2010 at 06:55 PM (#3588505)
Ok, I'll bite.

Even if true,
The Sox should still have a 1-in-3 to 1-in-4 chance of making the playoffs.


does not =

Not As Depressing As You Expect


At least not for me.
   2. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3588535)
Since I expected them to win 82-84 games you're right; it's not as depressing as I'd expect. Ortiz now appears to be on Dr Frankenstein's special formula, Beltre has been better than I expected (as a hitter; totaling two left fielders cannot reasonably be said to be an improvement on my expectations). Lackey, Cameron and Scutaro have been as I expected, Dice-K better, Buchholz better and Beckett worse. With a tough schedule to come, oriented to away games, I still expect them to end up in the 85-88 range. And the Herald is using sloppy Ivey league grading in giving Theo a B; C at best.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3588539)
In the last paragraph, I was trying to make the point that the Red Sox losing two of their three or four best players until sometime in August is, counter-intuitively (to me, at least), not a crippling problem - it only projects to cost the team in the range of a single win.

I mean, the Sox lost Pedroia and Martinez and Beckett and Buchholz and Ellsbury and Cameron, while the Rays and Yankees are on pace for 100 wins apiece. Given this situation, I'm happy to have a 1-in-3 shot. Maybe this is the distinction - I'm taking it as a given that the events of April-July 2010 have been depressing, but the outlook going forward, given those events, still includes a significant chance of playoff baseball.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3588547)
I still expect them to end up in the 85-88 range.
You project the Red Sox second half record to be .500, at best? (88 wins takes a 37-37 second half, 85 wins means a 34-40 end to the season.)

It's funny. You projected the Sox to be barely over .500 for the season, and after a .580 first half, you're doubling down - now .500 is the best they can do.
   5. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2010 at 07:38 PM (#3588570)
Yes; all the injuries and a tougher schedule. Also I think they've been lucky. 9 wins for Lackey -- c'mon.
   6. konaforever Posted: July 13, 2010 at 07:52 PM (#3588592)
karlmagnus is consistent. i'll give him that.
   7. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 13, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3588595)
Maybe I'm not greedy enough but I'm pretty happy all things considered. A bunch of stuff has gone wrong and they're still in position to at least make the playoffs. If they don't, oh well, missing the playoffs for the second time in eight years won't devastate me. I'm more bothered by MC's other thread about the minor leagues. I really had high hopes for advancement this year and that has not exactly panned out.
   8. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: July 13, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3588608)
Karlmagnus: you're an idiot. The Red Sox have so far had the toughest schedule thus far in baseball. There isn't a better set of teams to play (unless they can play themselves), so it can't get tougher. The Yanks and Rays play 12 head-to-head games in the second half, and that'll make their schedules tougher than they have been.

If all you've got to go on is your own dislike of Theo in projecting the Red Sox, just shut the #### up. If you've got some real analysis, then step up and let us know why you think what you think.

Personally, I think you're just a caricature: you may have liked Duquette at one point and may have thought his firing undeserved, but now you're either completely full of ####, or just acting like it. If it's the latter, I wonder what you get out of your little shtick.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 13, 2010 at 08:22 PM (#3588632)
I like having karl around. I like it more when he's offering qualitative analysis. That said-
Also I think they've been lucky.
Lucky? The 2010 Red Sox have been lucky? Let's run through possible versions of luck.

1) Their players have overperformed expectations. This is just impossible given the injuries.

2) They have won a lot of close games, converted runs into wins at an unsustainable rate. Nope, the Sox Pyth is 51-37, same as their real record.

3) They have performed well in the clutch to an unsustainable degree, turning hits and walks into runs better than expected or preventing their opponents from doing the same. Nope, the Sox components hitting and pitching numbers, by BP's figuring, project to 490 runs scored and 400 runs allowed, both slightly better than the real outcomes. (It would make for an expected record of 52.5-35.5).

4) They played against a weak schedule, running up wins that can't be expected to come against better clubs. Well, there's a marginal result here - the Sox first half opponents have an average WP of .504, their second half opponents .508. I guess you could call that a bit lucky, but given the first three factors, considering the Sox lucky on the whole just seems indefensible to me.
   10. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 13, 2010 at 09:03 PM (#3588691)
I like it more when he's offering qualitative analysis.


Does this actually happen, or are you speaking hypothetically?
   11. Darren Posted: July 14, 2010 at 01:26 AM (#3588989)
Don't forget, the owners are broke so they stopped spending on the team. And Wakefield's the best starter on the team.

And they'll win 82 games unless they get really lucky. How will we know if they're lucky? They'll win more than 82 games.
   12. plim Posted: July 14, 2010 at 02:10 PM (#3589578)
actually, karl is on to something:
http://espn.go.com/mlb/huntforoctober

i don't know if they weight the winning pct to the number of games left (e.g. does playing the rays 9 times in the 2nd half weight more than playing the yankees 3 times), but either way, despite not having to play themselves, the sox have the 2nd highest avg win pct of opponents remaining amongst playoff contenders:

yankees: .511
red sox: .508
texas: .507
tigers: .501
la: .499
rays: .498
chisox: .487
minnesota: .482

secondly, despite fairly pedestrian overall numbers, nava and mcdonald have had multiple significant, game-altering clutch hits. now, maybe this is the perception argument, but i don't think you can count on that many game-winning hits from replacement players.
   13. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: July 14, 2010 at 03:14 PM (#3589626)
Winning percentage doesn't really give you the whole story on the strength of schedule, though. You need to know the SoS of each opponent, and the SoS of those opponents, and so on. Check out EV's Strength-of-schedule thread on SoSH.

Some days, especially when Karl is talking about Duquette and Wakefield, I think it's a brilliant joke and I love reading his ridiculous posts. Other days, like yesterday, I think that maybe he's actually serious and then I get irritated. It's either the best piece of performance art on this board ever, or he's really that stupid.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: July 14, 2010 at 03:21 PM (#3589632)
Winning percentage doesn't really give you the whole story on the strength of schedule, though. You need to know the SoS of each opponent, and the SoS of those opponents, and so on. Check out EV's Strength-of-schedule thread on SoSH.


Eventually, isn't everybody at .500?
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 14, 2010 at 03:39 PM (#3589651)
secondly, despite fairly pedestrian overall numbers, nava and mcdonald have had multiple significant, game-altering clutch hits. now, maybe this is the perception argument, but i don't think you can count on that many game-winning hits from replacement players.
Perhaps, but the Sox aren't overperforming either expected wins or expected runs. If they've been "lucky" to get big hits from McDonald and Nava, they've been "unlucky" in getting big hits from core performers, to balance it out.
   16. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: July 14, 2010 at 03:53 PM (#3589673)
Eventually, isn't everybody at .500?


I don't think so, but I'll let others who actually know math better than I do take it up. I think what the SoS of SoS of etc. shows is that it's exactly the opposite.
   17. RobertMachemer Posted: July 14, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3589695)
Some days, especially when Karl is talking about Duquette and Wakefield, I think it's a brilliant joke and I love reading his ridiculous posts. Other days, like yesterday, I think that maybe he's actually serious and then I get irritated. It's either the best piece of performance art on this board ever, or he's really that stupid.
But the thing is that as a joke, it's the same joke every time. Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and believe him to be "joking" in his posts, it's the same bloody joke in every post. I like a joke as much as the next guy, but I don't like the same "joke" over and over again for months on end. Which is why do not read his posts -- as far as I can tell, I've already seen all that he has to offer to Red Sox threads.
   18. RobertMachemer Posted: July 14, 2010 at 04:19 PM (#3589721)
Meanwhile, the argument that the Red Sox have been lucky amounts to (as I see it) 'Despite all those injuries, they still have one of the best records in baseball.' Had the Red Sox been luckier, they wouldn't have had the bad luck which has led to our seeing how lucky they are.

Or something like that.
   19. tjm1 Posted: July 14, 2010 at 04:27 PM (#3589734)
Eventually, isn't everybody at .500?


No, because there are groupings of teams - the divisions - that play each other a lot, and beat up on, or get beat up by, the other divisions.
   20. plim Posted: July 14, 2010 at 11:23 PM (#3590132)
Perhaps, but the Sox aren't overperforming either expected wins or expected runs. If they've been "lucky" to get big hits from McDonald and Nava, they've been "unlucky" in getting big hits from core performers, to balance it out.


Does the metric you're using for expected wins/runs take into account the replacement players' pt, or is it based on the original starting lineup with some nominal pct for reserves? If it's the former, then fine. But if it's the latter, then I think that's my point - that the sox were expected to score 481 runs / win 51 games with ellsbury, beckett, et al and they (luckily) managed to match that with the AAA outfielders and other replacements.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 14, 2010 at 11:31 PM (#3590140)
that the sox were expected to score 481 runs / win 51 games with ellsbury, beckett, et al and they (luckily) managed to match that with the AAA outfielders and other replacements.
Perhaps, but then there's another balance - they've been "lucky" in the performances of their backups, but "unlucky" that the backups had to play so much.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 15, 2010 at 12:26 AM (#3590163)
Terry Francona diesn't get nearly thr attention he deserves. The Red Sox with 51 wins based on Ortiz, Youk and the Island of Misfit Toys is the unnoticed managerial job so far.
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 15, 2010 at 01:38 AM (#3590183)
Terry Francona diesn't get nearly thr attention he deserves. The Red Sox with 51 wins based on Ortiz, Youk and the Island of Misfit Toys is the unnoticed managerial job so far.


Amen brother.

But if it's the latter, then I think that's my point - that the sox were expected to score 481 runs / win 51 games with ellsbury, beckett, et al and they (luckily) managed to match that with the AAA outfielders and other replacements


But this assumes the expectations were accurate. Based on what they've done I think a healthy Sox are a better team than the expectations.
   24. tfbg9 Posted: July 15, 2010 at 07:04 PM (#3590713)
The Sox have a poor record in 1 run games and extra inning games, worse than we'd expect.
In this regard, they've been a little unlucky.

Tito is a great manager. Even he, however, cannot ward-off tonight's sure loss.

Off topic: Anybody else find Jumpin' Johnny Lester's semi-cryptic put-down of Hanley, let's see...intriguing?
   25. tfbg9 Posted: July 15, 2010 at 07:06 PM (#3590717)
9 wins for Lackey -- c'mon.


The Sox can hit, and Big Gulp seldom pitches terribly. 5 earned in 5 or 6 IP has been the limit, it seems.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 15, 2010 at 07:36 PM (#3590770)
Anybody else find Jumpin' Johnny Lester's semi-cryptic put-down of Hanley, let's see...intriguing?


For a guy who doesn't usually say much I thought it said a lot about his opinion of Hanley that he said it. He usually makes Jeter look open and forthcoming.

I don't find it surprising that they don't get along. Lester doesn't exactly seem like a laugh riot and Hanley comes across as someone willing to have a bit of fun. I can see it being a Schilling/Pedro thing, just two different ways of going about their day.

The Sox can hit, and Big Gulp seldom pitches terribly. 5 earned in 5 or 6 IP has been the limit, it seems


It's a backhanded compliment but Lackey has done well getting deep into games even when not pitching well. Considering that the club has a solid offense and a lousy bullpen the 5 run/7 IP performance has more value than the Mark Portugal memorial 4 runs/5IP performances in 1999. What I find frustrating is that unlike Beckett in 2006 there is nothing about Lackey's performance so far that suggests he is going to improve. Beckett's 2006 was bad but there were markers that hinted to him pitching much better, Lackey so far has gotten the results he has deserved.
   27. Chip Posted: July 15, 2010 at 07:45 PM (#3590780)
Lackey has been knocked out twice this year before qualifying for a win, in 18 starts: 7 ER in 4.2 in his last start against Toronto, and 8 ER in 3.1 against Tampa back on April 19.

That's actually a worse rate than Wakefield, who has only had it happen once in 14 starts.
   28. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 15, 2010 at 11:44 PM (#3590951)
That's actually a worse rate than Wakefield, who has only had it happen once in 14 starts.


Spoke too soon my friend

Go Sox
   29. Chip Posted: July 16, 2010 at 01:35 AM (#3590998)
Yeah, he's caught up to the mouth breather.
   30. Darren Posted: July 16, 2010 at 02:02 AM (#3591019)
What, exactly, has Tito done? He has done a good job of putting a terrible hitter in the 2 hole whenever possible.
   31. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 16, 2010 at 02:15 AM (#3591029)
I think he's done a good job, but third-place teams generally don't engender manager-of-the-year votes.
   32. Darren Posted: July 16, 2010 at 02:26 AM (#3591039)
How has he done a good job?
   33. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 16, 2010 at 02:30 AM (#3591044)
He hasn't allowed the team to collapse, which a bad manager would have. He's given Bucholtz a chance to succeed (a better chance than I give myself of spelling his name right). He's coaxed a hell of a performance from Lester. I think he's done a generally good job of getting Bard as much non-ninth-inning leverage as possible. He is getting good numbers from MDC, and a puncher's MVP chance for Youkilis.

It's odd that we're on these particular sides of this issue, Darren.
   34. tfbg9 Posted: July 16, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3591320)
That's actually a worse rate than Wakefield, who has only had it happen once in 14 starts.


Wakefield has given up more than 5 earned runs 5 times, Lackey 3 times.
Wake has 8 QS's for a 53% QS rate, Lackey has 11 QS's for a 61% QS rate--
if he makes 34 starts, that'd be 21 QS's. Not too bad. I'd take that number every year.
It's good enough to get you in the top ten, top 15 in the AL.
For pitchers of their ilk, its about giving the club a shot to win, IMHO.

Lackey has pitched OK--at least he hasn't killed the team. Timmy has pitched like absolute crap.
   35. Answer Guy Posted: July 16, 2010 at 04:12 PM (#3591334)
Lackey has 11 QS's for a 61% QS rate--
if he makes 34 starts, that'd be 21 QS's. Not too bad. I'd take that number every year.


Not for what the team is paying him. He's been a #4 starter (or maybe a #3 for a medicore team) for #2 starter money.
   36. tfbg9 Posted: July 16, 2010 at 04:23 PM (#3591346)
Not for what the team is paying him. He's been a #4 starter (or maybe a #3 for a medicore team) for #2 starter money.


Fair enough, but I know he's been a #4 starter based on ERA+, I'm saying he's more like a 2 or 3 based on the QS's. He's been OK. OTTOMH, it seems like he's been K'ing a few more per 9 lately, too lazy to look.

His start tomorrow night may not be pretty. Yikes.

Gotta get some work done...
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 16, 2010 at 11:53 PM (#3591749)
What's Tito done? The Red Sox haven't had a set lineup since April. He has rotated outfielders constantly, running multiple platoons and testing out whatever new talent he's given. Now with injuries on the infield, he's rotated Patterson and Hall through those positions as well. The quality of performance that the Red Sox have gotten from AAAA and bench types has been in great part a function of Tito placing them in the best position to succeed.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 17, 2010 at 12:50 PM (#3591934)
To put some numbers on this -

Darnell McDonald has started 25 games against LHP, 22 against RHP
Jeremy Hermida has started 3 games against LHP, 34 against RHP
Bill Hall has started 25 games against LHP, 23 against RHP
Josh Reddick and Jonathan Van Every started 0 games against LHP, 14 against RHP
Daniel Nava has started 5 games against LHP, 18 against
Eric Patterson has started 0 games against LHP, 7 against RHP
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 17, 2010 at 02:13 PM (#3591966)
Darren:

You need to watch a poor manager. Ken Macha has had 100 things go right in his year and a half and the Brewers have played sub .500 ball in a cr#p division. The Red Sox are in one of the best if not THE best division, have had 50 things go wrong and the team is right there.

The manager has to receive SOME credit.

I know it's hip in some quarters to claim the manager is a babysitter and all but irrelevant. I didn't think you prescribed to that drivel
   40. villageidiom Posted: July 19, 2010 at 12:33 PM (#3592958)
I know it's hip in some quarters to claim the manager is a babysitter and all but irrelevant. I didn't think you prescribed to that drivel
I think Darren follows the theory that there are specific times in specific games when there was an obvious managerial move to make, and either Francona didn't make a move, or made something like the complete opposite move. I don't think Darren expects Francona to be perfect, but he expects him to get the obvious stuff right.

OTOH, how would we expect him not to be perfect, and yet succeed in every way obvious to us?
   41. Darren Posted: July 20, 2010 at 02:22 AM (#3593770)
@39--He "has to receive some credit" is a very far cry from "doesn't get nearly the attention he deserves." At least, the way I read it it is. I had asked about what he actually did specifically because I don't think sweeping statements like the first one are really a good way of evaluating things.

In this particular situation, Francona is the manager of a team that values depth above all else. They are specifically put together to sustain as many injuries and bad luck as possible and still win ~95 games. So far, the team has done a pretty nice job of surviving those injuries, but I don't see a lot of that that can be attributed to Francona. The things Erik points to simply credit Francona for good players succeeding while not dinging him for good players who have played badly. (And MDC is having a good year? Really?)

MCOA's posts 37 and 38 are a lot more compelling, but then you look at the players in question and--according to BBRef's WAR--McDonald, Hermida, Van Every, and Patterson have performed below replacement level. Maybe an average manager would have stuck with Nava over the replacement level guys or maybe he'd have the eyes to see Cameron was not really capable of playing CF this year. I don't see why he should be lauded for juggling players in this way.

Another way to approach that question is to ask, what would an average manager have done in that situation? I would guess just about what Francona did or something with quite similar results.

I have a few questions about how he's handled the people skills part of his job as well, as it seemed to me that he put Dice on the DL to teach him and lesson and he should set a tone where players do not call each other out in the press. But that's speculative on my part, so it's not really something I could defend. Overall, I see little real reason to think he's not getting all the credit he deserves.
   42. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 20, 2010 at 03:38 AM (#3593854)
Darren:

Having watched a good many teams other than LaRussa's crumble in similar circumstances I do not understand how anyone but the manager can be given some degree of credit given the adversity.


I will also mention that it is possible in the immediate Bosox area Francona is given credit. But in the general baseball media Terry is pretty much ignored. His teams have achieved quite a bit and while Torre/LaRussa/Cox and even Dusty Baker receive media accolades Francona is an afterthought. It's the organization/Theo that get the credit.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 20, 2010 at 02:26 PM (#3594030)
Another way to approach that question is to ask, what would an average manager have done in that situation? I would guess just about what Francona did or something with quite similar results.
I absolutely disagree. I think most managers would have been far less likely to stick with the multiple platoons over a span of several months. That's extremely rare in contemporary baseball. I think any average manager would have looked to find a regular guy as quickly as possible, at the cost of putting that regular in situations where he'd be unlikely to succeed.

In general, I think that when you have a team lose several regulars for a couple months, and that team continues to play at a 90-95 win pace, the baseline assumption has to be that the manager has done a fabulous job. What the Red Sox have done, so far, is well below what you'd expect when a team of this quality has this many injuries.
MCOA's posts 37 and 38 are a lot more compelling, but then you look at the players in question and--according to BBRef's WAR--McDonald, Hermida, Van Every, and Patterson have performed below replacement level.
The idea that Darnell McDonald has been below replacement level suggests something's wrong with the stat. Looking over it, I think the issue is that the CHONE defense numbers hate McDonald. I think that's far more likely to be a Fenway artifact or a sample size fluke. McDonald is not one of the worst center fielders in baseball.

Anyway, my larger point is this - there are a bunch of levels at which you can judge managing. Usually, I think you (Darren) tend to want to look solely at the moves the manager makes, their expected utility. You seem clearly unconvinced by the argument that the Red Sox have outperformed expectation in general, in a situation where the manager has to make a lot of personnel decisions. But here you turned to outcomes rather than expected value. It seems very clear that Francona's platooning will increase expected runs. I don't think it's consistent to turn to outcomes in just this case, and not in the general situation.
   44. Darren Posted: July 20, 2010 at 11:23 PM (#3594563)
Anyway, my larger point is this - there are a bunch of levels at which you can judge managing. Usually, I think you (Darren) tend to want to look solely at the moves the manager makes, their expected utility. You seem clearly unconvinced by the argument that the Red Sox have outperformed expectation in general, in a situation where the manager has to make a lot of personnel decisions. But here you turned to outcomes rather than expected value. It seems very clear that Francona's platooning will increase expected runs. I don't think it's consistent to turn to outcomes in just this case, and not in the general situation.


This is a fair argument, but the whole discussion of Francona is based on the fact that team has gotten good results. So I was asking what people thought Francona had done to produce those results. You pointed to his juggling of the outfielders, and I noted that it is hard to find any evidence that those moves have made any impact on the team's results. Now you don't want to talk about results. That's fine with me, but it's a different discussion. (I could go on and on about how much I think he's slagging Dan Bard or leaving his starters in too long and you would simply be able to say "but look how well the team is doing!")

This I find puzzling:

The idea that Darnell McDonald has been below replacement level suggests something's wrong with the stat. Looking over it, I think the issue is that the CHONE defense numbers hate McDonald. I think that's far more likely to be a Fenway artifact or a sample size fluke. McDonald is not one of the worst center fielders in baseball.


Is it really that hard to believe that a 31-year-old journeyman who was about 6th on the Sox depth chart at the beginning of the year is below replacement level? Coming into the year, Fangraphs had him at -0.1 WAR for his career; CHONE had him at -1.1. There's very little to suggest that he's anything better than replacement level. I'd be surprised if he wasn't one of the worst CFs in baseball.

As to our disagreement about what an average manager would do, I wish I could think of some examples. On last year's Mets, Tatis and Murphy shared 1B. 6 OFs had at least 250 PAs, with Reed getting another 177 (not sure how much those guys were platooned).

In general, I think that when you have a team lose several regulars for a couple months, and that team continues to play at a 90-95 win pace, the baseline assumption has to be that the manager has done a fabulous job.


I don't see that as the baseline assumption when the team in question has the resources (and philosophy) the Red Sox do. I'd say that the assumption should be that he's doing a fine job.
   45. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2010 at 12:00 AM (#3594578)
I look at Ken Macha turn solid to stellar seasons by Fielder, Weeks, McGehee, Braun, Hart, Gallardo and Axford into a pile of sh#t and am silently astonished that an observer can look at Francona and go, "Yeah, he'll do"

Not looking to pick a fight Darren. But methinks you need to see a guy muck things up.
   46. tjm1 Posted: July 21, 2010 at 12:07 AM (#3594586)
Is it really that hard to believe that a 31-year-old journeyman who was about 6th on the Sox depth chart at the beginning of the year is below replacement level? Coming into the year, Fangraphs had him at -0.1 WAR for his career; CHONE had him at -1.1. There's very little to suggest that he's anything better than replacement level. I'd be surprised if he wasn't one of the worst CFs in baseball.


I think the point is that McDonald rates out below replacement level because of shockingly bad defensive numbers, which are probably not really reliable. His offense, with an OPS+ of 90 and a 6 for 6 base-stealing record, has to be pretty close to average for a CF, and well above replacement level. McDonald may be playing over his head, but the performance he's turned in has been typical 4th outfielder stuff.
   47. Darren Posted: July 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3598765)
At least someone sent Terry a memo about putting the good hitters at the top of the lineup. Now, maybe they'll mention the whole idea of taking the pitcher out before he's actually dead.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 27, 2010 at 02:27 PM (#3600427)
Playoffs Odds Report Report:

Even after a thus-far poor (but hardly unexpectedly so) West Coast trip, the Red Sox are still very much in the playoff hunt. BP's odds have them at almost exactly 1-in-4 to make the playoffs. With the rotation healthy, Martinez back and Lowrie filling in most ably at second base, the projected quality of the Sox should actually be better going forward than it's been over the course of the season thus far.

Well, actually, it looks like the normal Monte Carlo odds are the best for the Sox, with that 25% chance. The ELO-adjusted report says 20%, and the PECOTA report, which previously was the most favorable to the Sox, now has them down to 15%. I don't really know what to make of that. It might be better to say 1-in-5 than 1-in-4 as a quick extrapolation.

That's not a good position to be in, but it's a position where they should be playing for the postseason. After the mess that injuries have made of the season up until this point, and after the Yanks and Rays played four months of brilliant baseball, the Sox should be in worse position than they are.

I'm weirdly hopeful.
   49. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 27, 2010 at 02:31 PM (#3600431)
I felt like the Sox needed a .500 trip to stay alive. It ain't been pretty but they have a fighting chance to do that. I'm with MCoA, I feel more hopeful than I have any right to. The problem right now is that the Rays and Yankees are looking like 100 win teams which is a big slap in the face. For all the comparisons to 2006 I'm thinking 2002 (93 wins, well out of the playoff hunt) is shaping up as a more likely comp.
   50. Pingu Posted: July 27, 2010 at 02:55 PM (#3600459)
The Sox have to go 39-23 (.629) to close the year in order to reach 95 wins.
Can they do that, I think they can.

But do we really think the Rays wont win 95 games?
I'm siding w/ PECOTA on the pessimistic side. No numbers to back it up, but I just dont think the Rays are going anywhere.

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