Head To Head

By Chris Cue
Wednesday Feb. 2, 2011

Anyone up for a (kinda silly) head to head comparison going into
next season? Here’s what I came up with. Red Sox vs Yankees. I broke it down to Offense and
Defense, ran the numbers and this is what it looks like based on last seasons numbers (OPS – offense/UZR- defense). Now, before any of my Yankee friends decide to jump down my throat for giving Scutaro the advantage over Jeter, let me stress that this is based SOLELY on who had the better numbers last season. I understand that Jeter had a down year and that Scutaro had his second best ever, but the numbers are what they are. OK? Here ya go……

Red Sox         Yankees

*- advantage

      Defense (based on last seasons UZR)

·   C Salty            Martin *
·   1B Agon *         Tex 
·   2B Pedroia         Cano *
·   3B Youk            Arod T
·   SS Scutaro *         Jeter
·   LF Crawford          Gardner * (this was a surprise)
·   CF Ellsbury         Granderson *
·   RF Drew *         Swisher

Red Sox 3, Yankees 4 and 1 tie.

Youk spent no time at 3B last season, the best sample (63 games) is
from 2009 when he played more than 1/3 of his time at 3B. Last season,
Arod posted a UZR of -1.8. In 2009, Youk posted a UZR of -1.6 at 3B.
Lack of sample size and the similar UZR make this too close to call IMO,
so I called it a tie. I did the same thing with Ellsbury and
Granderson. Ellsbury’s 2009 UZR vs Granderson’s last season.

      Offense (based on last seasons OPS)

·   C Salty            Martin *
·   1B AGon         Tex T
·   2B Pedroia         Cano *
·   3B Youk         Arod *
·   SS Scutaro *         Jeter
·   LF Crawford *         Gardner
·   CF Ellsbury         Granderson *
·   RF Drew          Swisher *
·   DH Ortiz *         Posada

Red Sox 3, Yankees 5 and 1 tie.

Agon had the better OPS last season (.904 compared to Tex .846), the
change in League makes this hard to call. Giving up his advantage of
.058 in OPS to Teixeira may be a little much, but until we see the
adjustment he makes I don’t think we can give him the advantage yet.
Thus, I called it a tie. However, if forced to press the issue, Agon
would have the advantage based on last season.
I also used Ellsbury’s 2009 numbers once again due to lack of playing time last season.

before you Yankees fans start jumping up and down, the 2 teams are
actually much closer when you look at the numbers from a team

Based on last season’s numbers, the current roster for both teams have the following average OPS heading into next season.

Red Sox ave OPS = .828    Yankees ave OPS = .803
Ellsbury’s 2009 numbers once again were used due to lack of playing time last season
(I don’t know how to average UZR or if it can be done based on the current rosters, so I leave that to the more statistically adept.)

obviously it would be an understatement to say that using only one Stat to decide who has the advantage doesn’t
tell the whole story. Different players are asked to perform in
different ways and their true value may not be fully appreciated by using just 2 different statistical categores. An example of that would be Ellsbury who bats leadoff vs
Granderson who bats further down in the order. In Ellsbury’s case, OBP
is more important to his value than it would be for Granderson. A
comparison along those lines would be Ells vs Jeter, but this is a
positional comparison not a batting order comparison.

only using UZR to determine an advantage has it’s drawbacks too. Others
might prefer using Fielding % or a different advanced stat, but in
general I thought if only one stat was to be used for Offense and
another for Defense, then OPS & UZR were probably the best “overall”
or the best “general” stats to use for the comparison.

when we get closer to season’s start I’ll run down the
pitching staffs. With both teams BP’s not quite finished, I didn’t see
the point in covering that comparison yet.


One comment

  1. bebeandme

    despite the uptick of run prntoevien that might happen if BG played all year in CF- i think it makes the most to maximize CG- that IS why we got him from the Tigers. I’m sure we all hope that BG fulfills the teams highest hopes ( maybe .280 with over .345 OPB but if he simply can’t at least the obvious plan B is a free agent next year and it clear to everyone involved that Craford would be the plan. they can’t put CG back into CF if they stuck him in left this year. it would be a huge waste of recourses.

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