Runs Created Above Average (RCAA) is the difference between a team’s runs created total and the total for an average team who used the same amount of outs. (A negative RCAA indicates a below average team in this category.) Runs Saved Against Average (RSAA) is the amount of runs that a team’s pitchers saved versus what an average team would have allowed. It is similar to the statistic Pitching Runs detailed in Total Baseball – except (1) both have different ways of park adjustments and (2) Total Baseball added a procedure to take into account the amount of decisions the pitcher had while RSAA does not. (A negative RSAA indicates a below average team in this category.)
Using the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, we’re able to see the RCAA and RSAA totals for the Yankees and Red Sox over the last 12 seasons. Note the charts below:
RCAA RCAA Red Sox -5 1996 -4 Yankees Red Sox 97 1997 134 Yankees Red Sox 54 1998 168 Yankees Red Sox 2 1999 170 Yankees Red Sox -56 2000 7 Yankees Red Sox 2 2001 20 Yankees Red Sox 106 2002 143 Yankees Red Sox 187 2003 142 Yankees Red Sox 119 2004 112 Yankees Red Sox 147 2005 138 Yankees Red Sox 25 2006 185 Yankees Red Sox 61 2007 161 Yankees RSAA RSAA Red Sox 53 1996 60 Yankees Red Sox -45 1997 78 Yankees Red Sox 90 1998 102 Yankees Red Sox 166 1999 40 Yankees Red Sox 115 2000 54 Yankees Red Sox 56 2001 71 Yankees Red Sox 103 2002 76 Yankees Red Sox 42 2003 50 Yankees Red Sox 118 2004 -41 Yankees Red Sox -54 2005 -11 Yankees Red Sox -28 2006 -14 Yankees Red Sox 163 2007 30 Yankees
Edge Offense Pitching 1996 Even Even 1997 Yanks Yanks 1998 Yanks Even 1999 Yanks Sox 2000 Yanks Sox 2001 Even Even 2002 Yanks Sox 2003 Sox Even 2004 Even Sox 2005 Even Yanks 2006 Yanks Even 2007 Yanks Sox
It’s interesting that the Yankees have had a better offense than the Red Sox in 7 of 10 seasons – whereas the Red Sox have had a better pitching staff than the Yankees in 5 of 10 seasons. I’m saying ten seasons, and not twelve, here because twice (in 1996 and 2001) the two teams were pretty much even in terms of hitting and pitching – according to RCAA and RSAA.
Looking at the past four seasons is interesting as well. In the two seasons where the Red Sox just blew the Yankees away, in terms of having much better pitching (2004 and 2007), Boston went on to win World Series rings.
Check out the 2000 season. If the Red Sox would have had any offense that year, they just may have beaten the Yankees that season too. And, it’s a good thing the Yankees offense was so high-powered in 1999 – or else maybe the Red Sox could have pulled out that season too, with their pitching. (Thank you Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams for your 1999 seasons in New York!)
Lastly, what happened to Boston in 1996? They had the same offense and pitching, just about, as New York that season. Yet, the Red Sox finished 7 games back of the Yankees that year. That season, 1996, was Roger Clemens last year in Boston. Clemens was very good that year – with 46 RSAA. But, he went 10-13 on the season. It was just not a good year for the Red Sox in 1996.
It will be interesting to look back, after the 2008 season, to compare these two teams again, in terms of their pitching and hitting, and see how that impacted the standings (or not).