As the second half of 2015 ramps up today, here is a look at some numbers from the first half in the AL Central. First up is the current standings plus each team’s likelihood of taking the division crown using Fangraphs projections:
Fangraphs projects KC going just 36-40 the rest of the way, yet at 68% to win the division. Incredible. And the Royals have wildly outperformed projections in the first half. I’m not sure how to handle this position of being the favorite to win the division. It’s new territory for me. But I know there’s a lot of baseball still to be played and 1,001 unforeseen things will take place between now and October 4.
Here are the most productive batsmen of the division so far:
The Royals balanced attack is represented by the four at the bottom. But Alex
Here is the cream of the crop of twirlers:
And hey, look at this. A comparison of the team pitching stats (starters & relievers):
I didn’t realize how poorly the Tigers have been pitching. They haven’t done anything particularly well to this point.
No surprise that the Royals defense is carrying an otherwise average pitching staff. Oversimplifying things, you could say the defense has added about five wins to the pitchers fielding independent numbers (the difference between fWAR and RA9W). Or that the defense takes an exactly average FIP (100 FIP-) and turns it into a 10% better than average run-preventing unit (90 ERA-). The 40% quality start rate is worst in the AL, and would normally be a major problem, except that KC has just enough hitting and that embarrassingly good bullpen and defense that can cover for so many lackluster starts.
Finally, the players with the best win probability added in the division:
Here’s to a great first half, and to the fun to come in the second.