Like you really needed WAR to tell you the Angels’ pitching is awful after Mike Scioscia did so Sunday?
Here it is anyway: FanGraphs recently calculated the WAR (wins above replacement) for every team by position. (For an explanation of the frequently misunderstood statistic, which is calculated differently by FanGraphs.com and Baseball-Reference.com and has gained popularity in recent years, click here.) According to FanGraphs’ WAR, the Angels have the 22nd-best pitching staff in the major leagues.
Broken down further, their starters rank 20th and the relievers 23rd.
The chart has its limits. Add up the Angels’ position-by-position WAR, and they should have the fourth-best team in baseball. In reality the Angels are 10 games under .500. The Baltimore Orioles are tied for first place in the American League East, yet their combined WAR ranks 21st in the majors.
This is why you play the games, why the experts say that you can’t win without pitching.
• Who would have guessed that Vernon Wells would be a more productive third baseman than Wood at this stage in their careers?
• USA Today takes a lengthy look at Mike Trout’s 2013 potential.
• Sometimes, television replays aren’t enough to convince umpires that they blew a call. Thank God for the Internet. (Writes Will Leitch for Sports on Earth: “When someone is so wrong, you can’t help yourself but try to force them to understand just how wrong they are.”) Now we know that umpire Angel Hernandez has been blowing calls since the days of Tom Prince and Shawn Boskie.
• A 28-year-old woman choked on a hot dog at a Cubs game yesterday and died.
• Funny read from the Onion: The Astros’ announcers have run out of things to say.
• “Around the Block,” Pretty Lights feat. Talib Kweli, has “Summer jam” potential written all over it. (Click here for the popout video.)