Angels and Pythagoras
A lot has been written about the Angels beating their expected win/lost records based on runs scored and allowed. I thought I'd look at it by month:
Month Runs Runs All xWins realWins
April 140 129 16 18
May 101 108 13 15
June 100 97 13 16
July 113 85 12 14
At least they've been remarkably consistent about it. When the runs scored/runs allowed shows that they are playing well, they play incredible. When it shows they are merely average, they at least play at a good level anyway.
I think the reason they have outplayed Pythagoras is a conspiracy to get more saves for K-Rod. Yesterday they led 5-1 in the 7th, and if that score had held there would have been no save opportunity. Then Saunders gave up a few runs, but at no point did I worry - I was on to the plan, and K-Rod did come in and get save #43. It's looking like he'll get to 50 saves before August is halfway over, and then obliterate the alltime record.
This team is special. If you're an Angel fan, don't waste time trying to make sense of it or worry if it doesn't make logical sense. Just enjoy it. Leave the head-scratching to the A's fans who think they are "unlucky" as Billy Beane ships off more of the few players left that anyone could even recognize.
Do I think the Angels have found a magical formula to consistently beat their pythagorean expectations? No, and I don't think it will continue into next year, but for now they sure are fun to watch.