Monday, June 28, 2010

Maybe the reason the Astros sucked in Inter-league play is because the Astros suck

I've seen an article here and there about how the Astros' woes in 2010 Inter-league play is MLB's fault. The Astros wuz robbed, and whatnot. Let's keep a few things in mind here, as we reflect on their 3-12 record against AL teams.

1. The master schedule for 2010 was released in September 2009.

2. So that means the Astros were already scheduled to play the Rangers (six times), Yankees, Royals, Rays before the season started.

3. Of course, anyone who pulls the Yankees and Rays is going to scream and cry. But the Rangers are a given, and the presence of the Royals should have made it easier.

4. Using CHONE's 2010 Projected Standings (Depth Chart version), the combined record of the Astros Inter-league opponents was projected to be 349-299 (.539). Their actual W/L percentage, as of today, is .561. Once you take out their records versus the Astros, the win% drops to .549

5. So let's flesh this out a bit, among the 15 other NL teams - with the cumulative winning percentages as of today:
Atlanta: 9-6 (White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Rays) - .518
Arizona: 6-9 (Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Rays) - .588
Chicago: 8-10 (White Sox, Angels, A's, Mariners) - .493
Cincinnati: 8-7 (Indians, Royals, A's, Mariners) - .421
Colorado: 9-6 (Red Sox, Royals, Angels, Twins, Blue Jays) - .529
Florida: 7-8 (Orioles, White Sox, Rays, Rangers) - .508
Los Angeles: 4-11 (Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Yankees) - .579
Milwaukee: 9-6 (Angels, Twins, Mariners, Rangers) - .531
New York: 13-5 (Orioles, Indians, Tigers, Twins, Yankees) - .477
Philadelphia: 10-8 (Red Sox, Indians, Twins, Yankees, Blue Jays) - .533
Pittsburgh: 2-13 (White Sox, Indians, Tigers, A's, Rangers) - .505
San Diego: 9-6 (Orioles, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays) - .458
San Francisco: 7-8 (Orioles, Red Sox, A's, Blue Jays) - .474
St. Louis: 9-6 (Royals, Angels, A's, Mariners, Blue Jays) - .479
Washington: 5-13 (Orioles, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Royals) - .432

Now. This is a lot of information, but the main thing you can take from this chart is this: Only one team in the National League with an overall losing record had a winning record in Inter-league play, and that's the Milwaukee Brewers.

There are teams who have a bigger beef than the Astros about getting railroaded in the Inter-league section of the schedule. The Diamondbacks' opponents have a .588 Win%, but the D-Backs still won six games. The Dodgers' opponents have a .579 win%, no doubt helped by the fact that the Dodgers went 4-11 against them.

The Astros were outscored by 47 runs in 15 Inter-league games (3.13 runs) and, oh yeah, the Astros have been outscored by 129 runs in 76 games (1.70 runs) overall. It's not like this was an uncharacteristic performance, and some Wild Card chances were derailed.

Sure, the Astros drew a tough Inter-league schedule, but good teams beat other good teams. Bad teams...well, they tend to lose to good teams.