The inner-stat nerd in me couldn’t resist passing this article from Ben Duronio of SI.com along, which attempts to rank teams using the Wins Above Replacement Level metric. Well worth putting your pens in the pocket protector for.
For what it is worth, I think the metric is pretty close to dead-on about the Nationals. They are definitely a plus .500 club, primarily on the back of a great pitching staff. But the chances of the staff maintaining a FIP* under 3 are quite remote, so the hitting needs to pick it up in order to keep the Nationals rolling.
And for Pirate fans out there. I’m sorry. The stats only confirm the awfulness the eyes see on the field.
*Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like over a given time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average. Read more at FanGraphs here: