Some Wednesday MLB Helpful Information............
5 Replies | 271 ViewsOn 06/27/2012 08:00 AM in MLB
By Bryan Power
As the years go by, I am subscribing less and less to the notion of “a team is what its record is.”
As is the case in most professional sports, scoring differential is a more accurate projection of just how good or bad an individual team may be. Using that as my guide, I decided to take a look at the three most overrated teams in Major League Baseball.
These teams might have winning records right now, but come October I don’t see anyone out of this group in the postseason or winning any kind of pennant.
Cleveland Indians (37-35, -48 run differential)
The Indians are the most overrated team in baseball right now. Heading into Tuesday, the Tribe are half a game back of the Chicago White Sox in American League Central despite having a run differential that’s 80 runs worse. Only four teams currently have a run differential worse than the Tribe and three of them have winning percentages of .417 or worse.
Pitching is Cleveland’s problem (4.54 ERA). Only two teams have a worse staff ERA, those being Colorado and Minnesota. The offensive numbers are better, but the Indians still rank only 19th in runs scored (305) and that’s not going to be enough to offset the poor pitching numbers.
You won’t be seeing this team playing deep into October. The Indians were in first place last season as of July 1 and would finish with a losing record. You get the feeling that third place Detroit is in a worst-case scenario right now at two games below .500 and could easily blow by the Indians in the division race down the stretch.
Pittsburgh Pirates (38-34, -10 run differential)
Remember what a nice story the Pirates were last year? This franchise has not made the postseason since 1992 - a drought that’s topped by only two other organizations (Nationals, Royals). On July 15 of last year, Pittsburgh was in first place in the NL Central. It finished 18 games below .500 at the end of the year.
Unlike Cleveland, the Pirates’ issue is offense – or a lack thereof. They rank 29th – second to last – in runs scored (252), which is 13 runs worse than the 28th-ranked team. Only San Diego is worse and the Padres currently reside 21 games under .500 in the basement in the NL West. Though the NL Central is not a tough division, I can’t see Pittsburgh competing with Cincinnati (+37) and St. Louis (+68) down the stretch.
Baltimore Orioles (41-31, +4 run differential)
Unlike the other two teams on this list, the Orioles’ main problem is their division. For years, the issue was the Yankees and the Red Sox. This season all five American League East teams find themselves above .500 with Baltimore’s run differential of +4 being the worst by a considerable margin. Tampa Bay is a force to be reckoned with. The O’s pitching won’t hold and you can expect the Orioles to start falling, possibly starting as soon as this week when they host the Angels.