On to the reason we're here, Bill James' Pythagorean theorm for runs scored/allowed:
|Team||W-L||Win ptg.||Runs||Allowed||Differential||Expected |
The first thing thats obvious about the Stanish division is that all three teams have a positive run differential. Chilliwack leads the division and has the second-best differential in the league (+30), and their record is right about where it should be. Steve's Ypsilanti squad has surprised some league insiders to post both a positive differential (+10) and an above .500 record (21-20). Conrad pulls up the rear, both in diff. (+9) and record (19-21), a little lower than they should be. The division is tight right now, all three teams have performed about where they should, and with three solid teams it should be interesting. But Chilliwack should be able to slowly pull away from the other two as the season wears on, and I'm predicting the wild card coming out of the Stanish.
The Molsen division is a division of extremes. Austin leads the league in differential (+36) and record (28-12), but are out-performing their expected record by over 100 ptg points. While they should be able to win the division easily (an 11 game lead after 40 is hard to lose), they'll never keep up their current pace.
Rookie Dave Basler's Woollum Mammoths are on the plus side in diff. (+14), but its only gotten them tied for the worst record after 40. I don't know if this is a sign of some first-year jitters, or just bad luck, but the team is under-performing their expected record by over 100 ptg points, and at some point they'll turn it around. Will it be enough to contend for the wild card?
Grand Portage pulls up the rear, last in the league in differential (-55) and in the three way tie for worst record. The amazing thing is they are somewhat out-performing their expected record. I don't know what to say about the Zebra Mussels, coming out of the draft I had lots of respect for Joe's team. Trading an under-used Billy Wagner isn't going to help.
The Frank is made up of three teams with negative run differentials. Thief River and Corsica are both at -19, but their records are a different story. Thief River sits atop the division at 21-19, while Corsica is at the bottom and tied for the league's worst record at 17-23. While both projected to win 74, at this point the Cats are over acheiving and the Devils can't put it together. The Cuba Road Rage leads the division with a -6 differential, and split the difference in wins between the top and bottom of the division. The Frank is shaping up as the ugly division this year, and the team emerging with the division title is anyone's guess, possibly even joining last year's Hibbing Hurricanes as the lone sub-.500 playoff teams in SL history.