22 July 2009

The Giants Are Not a Good Team

They're 7 games above 0.500, and have outscored their opposition by 27 runs. They're one game back in the wild card race. They even have an outside shot of catching the Dodgers in the standings, if the Dodgers collapse down the stretch. Nevertheless, the Giants are not a good team.

Their pitching is tremendous. It's probably better than the Dodger pitching is. The Dodger are ahead in ERA, but the Giants are ahead in ERA+. The only problem is that their hitting is just as bad as their pitching is good.

Look at this:

---- Giants -- Opposition
OBP -- 0.308 -- 0.315
SLG -- 0.385 -- 0.378

Even with their great pitching staff the Giants are getting beat in on-base percentage. They come out slightly ahead in slugging. The Giants hit like they have to face their own pitchers every game. They might end the season as a good team if they find some offense somewhere, in a trade or in some hot months from some regulars, but so far they're a winning team with a modestly positive run differential based mostly on doing so much better with runners in scoring position and two outs ( 0.791 v 0.653 OPS ). If I was a Giants fan I would probably think this was a sustainable result based on my team having so much heart ( especially panda heart ), but as a fan of another team I know a lucky, unsustainable result when I see one.

It's even more clear the Giants have the best pitching in the National League when you remember that the Dodger pitchers have the advantage of feasting on the Giants terrible hitting while the Giants have to face the Dodger juggernaut. Too bad for Giants fans that baseball isn't really 90% pitching. Favor the Rockies in the wild card race. The Rockies have a pretty good staff themselves, and they also have a functional offense.

And now, some unfair win shares.

Game 94 Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Wolf -- 1
Kemp -- 1
Furcal -- 1

Furcal scored the first run and later piled up 4 runs batted in, while Kemp hit a two-run home run when the game was still close. Loney and Manny have good cases but they can't crack the top 3.

Game 94 Unfair Loss Shares ( Reds )

Bailey -- 3

That was really easy.

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