• Yanks Vs. Red Sox – Last 12 Seasons

    Posted by on January 22nd, 2008 · Comments (9)

    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).

    Comments on Yanks Vs. Red Sox – Last 12 Seasons

    1. vocallytrnsfrmd
      January 22nd, 2008 | 6:57 pm

      I think those pitching splits are a somewhat misleading, particularly 1998-2000. Those years, Pedro was by and far the best picther in baseball (maybe the best ever??). The rest of the Sox rotation was filled with scrubs and the occasionally healthy Saberhagen. Remember Mark Portugal, Ramon Martinez, Pete Schourek, Steve Avery, Rolando Arrojo..along with some of Timmy Wakfields worst years (ugly 1999 and 2000)? I do, and I’m only 18! Of course, when someone has a 284/30 K/BB ratio the team pitching stats are going to go waaay up.

      The Yankees almost always had a much more balanced rotation. No, they didn’t have any historically awesome years. But the team could usually depend on 600-700 B+ innings from some combination of Clemens, Pettitie, El Duque, Wells and Cone (sans 2000) That metric might not show it, but those Yankee staffs were better.

    2. Lee Sinins
      January 23rd, 2008 | 8:25 am

      Balance means nothing. All that matters are totals.

      If you get more out of being topheavy than out of being balanced, you are better shape than if you get less, but are balanced.

      Plus, you are factually inaccurate. Martinez pitched for the Red Sox from 1998-2004. During that time, he had 348 RSAA and the Red Sox kicked the Yankees asses by a 338 RSAA margin. So, even if you arbitrarily throw out Martinez, the Yankees margin is only the slimmmest of ones.

      There is only 1 justification for not considering Martinez and that is if you don’t care about facts, but just want to bias things in favor of your side.

      And, if that’s what you want, then you better accept that the 1927 Yankees were no better than the 2007 Devil Rays. The ’27 Yankees were an extremely unbalanced team, with Ruth and Gehrig, but then a supporting cast that was no better than the 2007 Devil Rays.

      But, things don’t work that way. You can’t just expunge players from the comparision.

    3. Lee Sinins
      January 23rd, 2008 | 8:51 am

      Furthermore, if you want to describe those Red Sox as Martinez + a bunch of junk, that means the Yankees were nothing but junk.

    4. vocallytrnsfrmd
      January 23rd, 2008 | 5:16 pm

      Concession: Balance might not be the best word to describe what I’m saying. “Depth” should probably suffice. But I think you still know what I mean.

      Well, I’m not out to attack Boston, but I’m out to go deeper into the stats. And it’s not an expungement. I didn’t completely discount Martinez. I didn’t even moderately discount Martinez. I gave perspective to why the totals came out the way they were.

      Nah Lee, it doesn’t make them junk. And also, I specifically spoke of the 98-2000 Yankees. Rotational depth is insanely important in making and winning the postseason. As the Sox added depth (Lowe, Schilling, better years from Wake, Beckett) they became a much fiercer team.
      As far as that 27 Yanks, 07 Rays comparison? Look carefully. Using EQA, the Yankees had very very strong years from Tony Lazzeri.
      (.292 from 2B) Earle Combs(.315 from CF) Bob Meusel (.304) and a very very good year from Pat Collins (.290 from C). They were not a 2 man show. All else remaining the same, the offense would have been elite.

      As great as Pedro is, he only takes the ball every 5th game. If most everyone the Yankees threw out there were moderately to significantly better than the rest of the Sox rotation, isn’t it fair to say that they may have had the best staff? In addition, Boston did not have the Schilling-Johnson advantage of having 2 super-elite pitchers going for them to make up for the mediocre and bad. They only had one.

      And lets get clear up one more thing. Bias is “Derek Jeter is the Best!!11!!! Player!!11!! EVERR!!!!!! OMG and he’s cute!” Don’t throw the term around simply because someone has another (factual) point of view. I like stats. I like SABR. If you can honestly say that rotational depth does not have strong merit over the course of 162, along with modest merit in the postseason, perhaps it is you that struggles with bias.

    5. Lee Sinins
      January 24th, 2008 | 10:54 am

      Nah Lee, it doesn’t make them junk.

      ————-

      You stated, “The rest of the Sox rotation was filled with scrubs and the occasionally healthy Saberhagen.”

      So, you did call the Red Sox junk.

      That’s factually inaccurate.

      The rest of Red Sox consisted of 175 RSAA during that time, of which over 75% came from pitchers other than Saberhagen. By comparision, the Yankees had 196 RSAA.

      So, if “The rest of the Sox rotation was filled with scrubs” as you are the one is claiming, then the Yankees weren’t that much better than scrubs.

    6. Lee Sinins
      January 24th, 2008 | 10:58 am

      As far as that 27 Yanks, 07 Rays comparison? Look carefully.

      =================

      I did look carefully.

      Other than Ruth and Gehrig, the Yankees were a 64 RCAA team.

      The 2007 Devil Rays were a 62 RCAA team.

    7. Lee Sinins
      January 24th, 2008 | 11:01 am

      As great as Pedro is, he only takes the ball every 5th game. If most everyone the Yankees threw out there were moderately to significantly better than the rest of the Sox rotation, isn’t it fair to say that they may have had the best staff? In addition, Boston did not have the Schilling-Johnson advantage of having 2 super-elite pitchers going for them to make up for the mediocre and bad. They only had one.

      ==============

      IF the pitchers that the Yankees threw out were moderately to significantly better than the Red Sox, then it would be the case that the Yankees pitching was better.

      But, the premise is not true. The Yankees did not moderately to significantly better pitchers.

      And the Red Sox team RSAA shows great pitching depth. They were not a 1 man wonder.

    8. Lee Sinins
      January 24th, 2008 | 11:02 am

      I like SABR.

      ——————-

      Don’t insult me by including me in that group.

      SABR’s leaders have told me that they don’t want to have anything to do with me and I don’t want to have anything to do with them.

      And if you look at SABR’s membership, you will find a great percentage of them are against sabermetrics.

    9. Lee Sinins
      January 24th, 2008 | 11:03 am

      perhaps it is you that struggles with bias.

      —————–

      Yes, I have a bias. It is against afactists like yourself.

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