As always, all information is courtesy of Fangraphs. Also, I have added links so that if you click on each team name you will be taken to their individual FG page.
As you can see the top is starting to assert itself. Four of the top-5 teams remained in that grouping. The middle to bottom teams showed quite a bit of fluidity from the last time we looked at this stuff. This could be a good sign as it could indicate there are a couple of elite teams, and then a lot of good teams that will leapfrog eachother after a great or especially poor week. Personally, I like this as it keeps all fans motivated. I'm going to do the breakdowns a little differently this time to see if we can isolate each individual part of the game.
First, lets look at each teams Value Runs for just the starters. The Royals have been anchored at the top of this list all season and with good reason. Greinke gets all the media (25.1 Value Runs, from now on I will drop the label), but how about Mr. Horrible Signing Gil Meche (14.8). These two combine to top any other rotation in the game. Tigers fans should be pretty pleased with the way Verlander has started to capture some of that old magic (15.8), and Edwin Jackson is showing that, so far, he has been a wise addition (11.9). If you look through their page you will see that the teams at the top have a stud or two and then solid contributors throughout. Toronto has Doc (15.4) and Scott Richmond (6.7) and then some guys (Romero & Cecil) that don't have a ton of innings, but are contributing high WAR at this point due to good starts. We'll see if it's sustainable over the coming months. The M's have a nice triumvirate going out west with Bedard (12.8), Felix (10.9), and Mr. Shoulda Been a Twin (10.5) leading a staff that features a sharp drop off from the #4 and #5 slots.
Rounding out the top-5, is a Cardinals staff that I bet you never thought you'd see here. They are slightly inflated thanks to Carpenter's nice start (3.8, but only 10 Innings), but Pineiro (7.4), Wellemeyer (6.5), Lohse (6.1), and Wainwright (3.5) are in the positive. I think this goes to show the value of having guys that are slightly above average that can throw innings for you. There are always going to be a couple of studs, but if you have a black hole at the back of your rotation, I'm looking at you Jeff Karstens (-2.5) and Bronson Arroyo (-1.6), it could be all for naught. OBYTHEWAY the Rays came in 17th on this list (25.1) with Garza (9.7), Sonny (8.3), Shields (4.3), and Kaz (3.6) all being above average. Giant not so much (-.8).
On the Relief-side we see 5 completely different teams. I suppose the A's wish it was their bats that were leading a category, but I digress. They have used a ton of guys in relief, but the cream of the crop is Bailey (6.4), Wuertz (5.6), and Ziegler (4.3). Additionally, they've done that in over 50+ innings and Ziegler was dealing with chest demons in the form of the flu. Something to keep an eye on for sure as BLB should probably be unloading everyone, E. Chavez not included, at the trade deadline. The Braves come in second with the lowest amount of relief innings of these 5 (EFFICIENCY!). Soriano (5.4) and Gonzalez (4.0) have been the primary culprits so far, totalling 1 WAR over nearly 30 innings between them. The Pale Hose are right in this fight mostly due to Matt Thornton (4.0 I really like his game BTW), Bobby Jenks (3.2), and a guy that has doubled them in innings thus far D. J. Carrasco (3.2 in 23 innings).
So the Manny Manny's came in 4th, through no fault of MannyBeingMammy (had to steal your joke Peter). Jon Broxton (10.7) is a man. I mean a freaking huge man (here he is standing next to a little girl). Dude has already put up over one WAR in 16 innings. Less heralded, is Ramon Troncoso (4.6 in 20 innings) who is just as important to the team. Kind of a sidenote FA acquisition Will Ohman is off to an inauspicious start at -3.6 in almost 10 innings. The Red Sox are right in this as well, as we just witnessed first hand. The first name that pops to mind is the Papster (3.1), but they have FIVE guys that contribute at roughly the same level in DelCarmen (2.9), Okajima (2.5), Ramirez (2.4), and Masterson (2.3). The first four have approximately the same number of innings, so Theo must like the cogs he has put in place. Getting to the Rays, we are slotted in 20th at 0.9 Value Runs over 93.1 Innings. Lance (2.3), JP (2.0), and Balfour (1.3) lead the way, and Wheels (-2.3) and Nellie (-1.9) bring up the rear. Percy (.1) has been worth $100,000 dollars so far, only $3,900,000 more to go.
On to the teams that hit. The Blue Jays have been consistently near the top here all season. According to everyone at ESPN it is because Cito Gaston is a rebel and say's to hack at every pitch that looks good. For this section I will be noting each player a little differently. The first number will be Value Runs and the second number will be Positional Adjustment. For Example, Aaron Hill (10.1, .5) has been more valuable to the Jays than Adam Lind (10.1, -3.4) simply because Hill plays 2B and Lind is a DH. In fact Marco Scutaro also has more value than Lind (6.2, 1.5) due to playing SS. Wait until Rios (-3.2,-1.5) gets it going as well. The Yankees offense is carrying a pitching staff that hasn't been great to start. They're biggest contributors have been Damon (10.7, -1.4), Swisher (9.6, -1.5), Posada (6.3, .7), Melky Cabrera (6.0, -.6), and Cano (4.9, .5). Obviously, A-Rod hasn't done much yet, but Teix (.4, -2.2) should turn it around making them even scarier.
Continuing on our tour of the ALE the Red Sox are up 3rd. Bay (16.7, -1.5) and Youkilis (15.7, -1.8) have started off hitting out of their minds. Lowell (4.7, .5) and Pedroia (3.5, .5) have also chipped in along the way. Ortiz (-4.7, -3.3) is the underachiever du jour, though I don't expect him to turn it around the same way as Teix and Rios should. The Rays have a few guys that can match up with any other lineup in the league in Longoria (17.4, .4), Crawford (10.0, -1.5), Pena (9.5, -2.5), and Bartlett (7.2, 1.4). Our weak links, at the moment, are Burrell (-2.0, -3.2), Upton (-8.5, .4), and Navarro (-10.8, 2.0). These guys are all better than that and if/when they regress it should push our offense up a couple of spots. We finally get out of the group of death to re-confront the Manny Manny's (TV has warped my fragile little mind). Mr. Ramirez (13.7, -1.3) leads the charge, but is hotly followed by Orlando Hudson (10.8, .5). Ethier (6.0, -.5) gives them a good 3rd stick, but you have to think the next 50 games are going to be a little more tightly contested. Of course Furcal (-5.4, 1.3) could attempt to match his career numbers as could James Loney (-3.3, -2.5).
This is where the Rays really show off. The left side of the field is a collective 14.7 from Longoria (7.4), Crawford (4.2), and Bartlett (3.1) flex great range while on the other side Gross (5.2), Zobrist (4.4), and Pena (2.0) are all well above average. Currently, Aki is our least productive fielder at -.8. The Brewers clock in second roughly halfway to the Rays. Mike Cameron (7.6) proves that he doesn't need the juice to track down balls in play. Rickie Weeks (4.9) and Craig Counsell (2.9) hold down the infield and J. J. Hardy (1.1) does what he can at the all important SS position. Fielder (-3.0), Braun (-1.7), and Hart (-1.4) are the other side of the coin. The Reds have a wider range of good and bad. Jay Bruce (9.0) really took me by surprise, though Willy Taveras (5.1) is a little less shocking. Brandon Phillips (2.9) and Jerry Hairston (2.3) are both more than serviceable, but Edwin Encarnacion (-3.7) and Joey Votto (-3.3) do their best to make it all a moot point.
The Rangers continue to show off in the field. Coming in 4th can mainly be attributed to Chris Davis (4.3) and DOITALL Ian Kinsler (3.3). Not much gets through the right side of the infield and Nelson Cruz (2.8), Josh Hamilton (2.7), and David Murphy (2.6) make sure that not much falls in the outfield either. Vizquel (2.1) is no stranger to a leather and rawhide collision and when he's resting his knees the youngbuck Elvis Andrus (1.7) shows that he should be around for awhile. Andruw Jones (1.6) must have realized it's ok to be able to run around, but the Gold Glover Michael Young (-6.1) shows that he's no slouch at 3B either. I can't wait to see who BBWAA drunkenly picks this year. Marlon Byrd (-5.6) does his best Michael Young impression in the OF. Lastly, we have the Mariners rolling in at 5th. They're more along the line of the Rays as far as having defensively capable players across the board. With the exception of Yuni Betancourt (-6.4) and Jose Lopez (-1.5) are primarily in the positive. F-Gut (4.8), Chavez (3.2), Ichiro (3.1), and Wlad (3.0) patrol the OF a little better than the 3 Washington State Troopers assigned to patrol the American-Canadian border. The infield could use some glue, but with High K hurlers the M's get by.
As always, if you click here you'll have access to the entire workbook and can look at things in different ways. Additionally, I have different tabs for each report so you may find it interesting to see which teams are going in different directions for the various values. Until next time, I hope you enjoy.