THT Dartboard: Week Nineby Matthew Carruth
June 08, 2009
Welcome to The Hardball Times Dartboard, our weekly attempt to rank all the teams in baseball. The Dartboard Factor is how many wins a team would be expected to have at the end of the season if it played a neutral schedule. Next to that, you'll find the Dartboard Factor from the previous week. An explanation of our method can be found here.
#1 Los Angeles Dodgers (Dartboard Factor = 103, 106): Andre Ethier with a big week netting three home runs and three doubles. Hiroki Kuroda comes back as well for the Dodgers who continue to pace the NL West, and the entire league by a comfortable margin.
#2 New York Yankees (Dartboard Factor = 94, 92): Finally Alex Rodriguez slows down with just one home run this week. Tough week for Mariano Rivera who issued his second walk of the season.
#3 Boston Red Sox (Dartboard Factor = 92, 87): The Red Sox continue to surge upward, led this week by Jon Lester's amazing two starts, 15 innings with 23 strikeouts and five walks.
#4 St Louis Cardinals (Dartboard Factor = 91, 91): A solo home run was all that got in the way of a complete game shut out for Chris Carpenter who has looked good since returning, again, from injury.
#5 Texas Rangers (Dartboard Factor = 91, 91): After his torrid April, Andruw Jones has just a .724 OPS since May 1st. It was a brutal week for Jarrod Saltalamacchia as well with only three hits and nine strikeouts.
#6 New York Mets (Dartboard Factor = 90, 94): Not the greatest of week for the Mets, especially in the rotation. David Wright was one of the few bright spots, mostly on the strength of his four walks drawn.
#7 Toronto Blue Jays (Dartboard Factor = 90, 91): Ouch. Ricky Romero yields seven walks and four home runs over two starts this past week. Aaron Hill went hit less and managed to reach base just once.
#8 Philadelphia Phillies (Dartboard Factor = 89, 81): Two more home runs for Raul Ibanez and Jamie Moyer comes back strong on the mound with two starts totaling 13 innings, seven strikeouts and no walks.
#9 Tampa Bay Rays (Dartboard Factor = 89, 84): Not the greatest of starts from David Price who didn't do well throwing strikes or missing bats, but the rest of the rotation has a fine week.
#10 Milwaukee Brewers (Dartboard Factor = 88, 87): Huge week from Prince Fielder with 11 hits, seven for extra bases and five walks drawn. All in all, .440/.533/1.000 was his line.
#11 Chicago Cubs (Dartboard Factor = 86, 83): A great start from Ted Lilly this week, seven strikeouts and just one walk while limiting line drives. A poor showing from the offense overall this week however.
#12 Detroit Tigers (Dartboard Factor = 86, 88): Two more outstanding starts from Edwin Jackson, totaling 13 strikeouts to two walks and just a lone run allowed. Some might like to retroactively say Detroit saw this coming, but if so, it was in the scouting because there was little to no statistical evidence this was coming.
#13 Cincinnati Reds (Dartboard Factor = 84, 86): Jay Bruce got just two singles this week but did draw seven walks. Nick Masset had a fabulous week out of the pen with 5.1 innings with six strikeouts, one walk and no runs allowed.
#14 Los Angeles Angels (Dartboard Factor = 84, 83): Something is not right with Ervin Santana who is nursing his fastball in the low 90s instead of the mid 90s that he popped last year. Kelvim Escobar made his first start in a year and half and finally the Angels rotation is where they figured it would be.
#15 Minnesota Twins (Dartboard Factor = 83, 83): Playing in Minnesota keeps his profile down, but Joe Nathan has been year-in and year-out one of the best closers in the game and he's going it again this season.
#16 Atlanta Braves (Dartboard Factor = 78, 78): A good week from Chipper Jones, but with him it was nothing out of the ordinary. A couple hits, a home run, some walks. A ho-hum 1.100 OPS. The rotation had a very good turn through with 13 runs allowed over 33 innings.
#17 Cleveland Indians (Dartboard Factor = 77, 78): Carl Pavano, finally healthy, has a 3.68 FIP and a 4.05 xFIP and the most innings pitched since 2005.
#18 Pittsburgh Pirates (Dartboard Factor = 76, 76): Good last week for Nate McLouth in a Pirate uniform. Paul Maholm had a pair of good starts, ending up with eight Ks, three walks and whole host of ground balls.
#19 San Francisco Giants (Dartboard Factor = 75, 76): Congrats on 300, Randy. One of, and in the author's opinion, the, best left handers ever to play to date.
#20 San Diego Padres (Dartboard Factor = 75, 80): Whoboy is Adrian Gonzalez teeing off. His line for the week, 27 PAs, 12 walks, three home runs and a single. 1.460 OPS.
#21 Seattle Mariners (Dartboard Factor = 75, 70): What got into Jarrod Washburn? Every vital stat is improved this season, a marked reversal of his clear trends since signing with the Mariners. Russell Branyan worked nine walks this week for a .538 OBP.
#22 Colorado Rockies (Dartboard Factor = 74, 76): Ian Stewart was rocking it this week smacking three doubles and four home runs to give him a 1.567 OPS. Todd Helton's slugging percentage is above .500 for the first time since 2005, though his OBP is at a recent low.
#23 Arizona Diamondbacks (Dartboard Factor = 74, 72): Jon Garland, Dan Haren and Billy Buckner put some solid starts, all three keeping over half their balls in play on the ground and striking out a combined 18 to six walks.
#24 Houston Astros (Dartboard Factor = 74, 71): The offense got going this week with Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada. Mike Hampton had an amazing two starts with just under 75% of his batted balls staying on the ground.
#25 Florida Marlins (Dartboard Factor = 72, 67): Dan Uggla worked himself seven walks to go along with a pair of doubles and home runs, giving him a 1.244 OPS for the week.
#26 Kansas City Royals (Dartboard Factor = 71, 81): Wow, what a two week fall for the Royals. Gil Meche was trounced and Zack Greinke, despite pitching decently, is tagged with 11 runs in 12 innings.
#27 Oakland Athletics (Dartboard Factor = 71, 66): Matt Holliday draws five walks and gets 12 hits over 30 PAs as the Oakland offense knocks 12 home runs on the week.
#28 Baltimore Orioles (Dartboard Factor = 69, 74): Brian Roberts hit two measly singles in 25 trips to the plate last week. Aubrey Huff doubled that with four in 23. Not a great week for either of them, nor for Matt Wieters, two singles in 17 PAs.
#29 Chicago White Sox (Dartboard Factor = 69, 72): The offense continues to be abysmal and this week the rotation got smashed as well.
#30 Washington Nationals (Dartboard Factor = 57, 59): You may not have noticed, but the Nationals boast one of the best lineups in baseball to date. Another great outing by Jordan Zimmermann has him looking like a solid peg for the future and the Nationals should get another on Tuesday.
The playoff picture takes the above ranking and reforms the teams back into their leagues and divisions including the wild card. This is in no ways a prediction, this is an assessment of how teams have played so far this season, not how each team is going to play.
Yankees - 94
Red Sox - 92
Blue Jays - 90
Rays - 89
Orioles - 69
Tigers - 86
Twins - 83
Indians - 77
Royals - 71
White Sox - 69
Rangers - 91
Angels - 84
Mariners - 75
Athletics - 71
Mets - 90
Phillies - 89
Braves - 78
Marlins - 72
Nationals - 57
Cardinals - 91
Brewers - 88
Cubs - 86
Reds - 84
Pirates - 76
Astros - 74
Dodgers - 103
Giants - 75
Padres - 75
Rockies - 74
Diamondbacks - 74
Matthew Carruth is an editor for The Hardball Times. He welcomes any and all sorts of communication at his email.
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