Sunday, 17 May 2009

For Real? Royals and Blue Jays

The big question in my neck of the woods is whether the Blue Jays are for real. But I've noticed the Royals are tied for first with the Tigers in the AL Central, so I thought I'd look at both of these blue teams and their surprising early season records.

Rather than do any micro-analysis, like I've been doing with Nationals' pitchers, I'm going to to a fairly basic macro-analysis by looking at two aspects of the won-lost record. First, how the teams perform against weak and strong teams; second, how they perform depending on how many runs they score.

               <.500 opponents          =>.500 opponents
Royals 10-7 9-10
Blue Jays 13-5 11- 9

0-2 runs 3-5 runs 6+ runs
scored scored scored
Royals 4-10 3-6 12-1
Blue Jays 1- 7 9-5 14-2

My answers are:
Royals - probably not
Blue Jays - maybe

Based on the results so far, I don't think the Royals offense is potent enough to sustain them over the season. Fourteen games with 2 runs or less scored is almost a third of their total played, and the fact they have a losing record in the 3-5-runs-scored games suggests that their pitching can't always keep the runs against down enough for their weak bats. However, thirteen games with 6 or more runs scored suggests something of the Little Girl With The Forehead Curl — when they are good they are very good.

The Blue Jays, by contrast, are winning with the offense. I don't think anyone expected that. Everyone focused on how they were going to overcome their pitching injuries. Well, one way is to outscore the opponents. They've scored at least six runs in over a third of their games. And their pitching has been good enough to keep them winning the 3-5-runs-scored games.

They're also winning more than they are losing against .500 or better teams. If they can keep this up (and let's see how a road trip against the BEASTS of the EAST in Boston and New York goes before we start getting too excited), then come September Canada might not be entirely absorbed in the chase for CFL playoff spots.

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