In the wake of the Mark Teixeira signing – and as an aside, does anyone else find it remarkable that Mazz is still arguing that the outcome could have been different, in spite of evidence like this? – and, to a lesser extent, the acquisition and signing of Matt Joyce and Pat Burrell by the Rays, many seemed to conclude that the Sox’ offense would necessarily compare less than favorably to our divisional rivals. Which of course is entirely possible.
But I thought it would be interesting to look at the projected average OPS of the anticipated lineups for the three AL East clubs to see how they fared relative to one another. For the comparison, I picked the CHONE projections, not least because they’re available by team. If anyone has the James or Marcel numbers batched I’d be happy to add them.
Anyway, here’s what CHONE sees for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009:
Not bad. Joyce and Burrell are decent additions, and the lineup as a whole should have reasonable on base skills with the exception of the bottom of the lineup (they’re not ordered here).
Now how about the big, bad Yankees?
I might quibble with a few of the projections, but basically it shows what you’d expect: substantial on base ability top to bottom, with consistent power through the first six spots.
But what of the good guys? Are we completely outclassed in this winter of media discontent?
Not exactly. What we give up in power, CHONE expects us to make up in OBP. Which is all the more interesting, as one common criticism of OPS is that it undervalues OBP.
Does this mean everything’s sunshine and lollipops for ’09? Hardly. First, it’s just a projection. Two, it doesn’t factor in benches. Three, it can’t anticipate injuries. And so on.
But it is worth remembering, I think, that the conventional wisdom that we wanted Tex while the Yankees needed him is looking pretty accurate by CHONE’s numbers.