Why the Rays Underperformed Their WAR numbers (Batting Edition) II


The Rays accounted for 84.9 Park-Adjusted Runs Above Average at the plate in 2009 according to Fangraphs WAR. That is to say, they accounted for about 8.5 Wins Above  Replacement Level at the plate alone, without accounting for Defense (6.95 wins), Pitching (16.9 wins), Replacement (20.7 Wins), and Positional (-2.1). For now let's concern ourselves with the batting number, of 84.9 park-adjusted wRAA. Remember this is based off wOBA (linear weights). This does not account for base/out states or leverage. This solely factor the result of batter vs. pitcher in a vacuum.

 
Instead of using wOBA linear weights, let's consider the team's net change in run expectancies using base/out states (RE24). As a team, the Rays posted a RE24 of 36.29. How does the Rays' wRAA/RE24 relationship stack up when to the rest of the AL with  above-average offenses? 

 

Team PAwRAA RE24 RAA/RE24
Rangers 1.8 10.02 0.18
Angels 91.7 92.77 0.99
Red Sox 98.8 67.67 1.46
Yankees 205.9 130.67 1.58
Blue Jays 48.8 22.24 2.19
Twins 59.9 25.6 2.34
Rays 84.9 31.21 2.72
Indians 38.2 11.21 3.41

 

The 4th column gives an idea of a team's efficiency at stringing together hits or rallies. The Rays were second from the bottom well behind their ALE brothers. Its interesting to note the Rays have hired their new hitting coach, Derek Stanley,  from the only team to struggle worse than them at translating their wOBA talent into real runs.

If we factor in leverage, WPA gives the following:

 

Team

WPA

wRAA

wRAA/WPA

Rangers

0.61

1.8

2.95

Angels

9.46

91.7

9.69

Yankees

12.82

130.67

10.19

Red Sox

4.01

98.8

24.64

Rays

1.38

84.9

61.52

Twins

0.78

59.9

76.79

Blue Jays

-3.08

48.8

-15.84

Indians

-4.64

38.2

-8.23

 

Again, the Rays underperformed their ability in higher leverage situations relative to their ALE brethren. The Rays struggles with run distribution over the season were much discussed in 2009. This further validates that notion. RE24 highlights the struggle to string together rallies, while WPA adds the element of leverage to the discussion. Hopefully, in 2010, the gods of random noise can shine brightly upon the Rays.

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