DRG here again to get you through the weekend. I can be reached here..
  • The Good: Andy Sonnanstine scattered 8 hits over 8 innings and only allowed 1 run on a solo home run in the 8th. Sonny only had 2, 1-2-3 innings (1st/7th), but managed to avoid any serious trouble.
  • The Bad: Andy Sonnanstine gave up a solo home run in the 8th in a 3-0 game. Really not that bad, except why did it have to be Shelley Duncan’s brother?
  • The Telling: The home run off of Andy Sonnanstine was the first allowed by a Rays’ starting pitcher since May 2nd.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Her Rays likes Andy Sonnanstine’s package. What? Too far? [Her Rays]
  • Rob Neyer points out that the Rays run differential shows that the Rays record is about right where it should be. [ESPN]

Not only are the Rays in first place, they’re in first place on merit, as their +25 run differential is slightly better than that of the Red Sox (+23). Everybody else in the division — Orioles (-7), Blue Jays (-1) and Yankees (-6) — is bunched up around .500, exactly where they should be. In fact, what’s often so striking about run differentials, even this early in the season, is just how closely they correspond with the actual records. Of the 14 teams in the league, only the Angels are more than two wins off their “expected” record … and the Angels are three games off. No sleeping giants here (at least not according to runs, though the Yankees’ history might suggest otherwise).

  • A Red Sox fan was rooting for the Yankees in the Yankees-Rays series? My eyes deceive me! [Wicked Good Sports]
  • Minor League Ball takes a hindisght look at Edwin Jackson, the prospect. [Minor League Ball]
  • Bugs & Cranks is looking for your best Devil Rays haiku. [Bugs & Cranks]
  • Loud Mouth of the South takes a look at what the AL All-Star squad might look at if the game were held this week. They predict two Rays, Carl Crawford and James Shields. Not sure how they can leave Troy Percival off. Yes he has two blown saves, but he is the anchor of one of the best bullpens in baseball and he has a WHIP of about 0.500. And then there is Dioner Navarro. Sure he missed two weeks, but can a manager keep him off the squad if he is still hitting .370? [The Loud Mouth of the South]
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  1. Scot Gould says:

    I tend to look at BP's adjusted standings: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.php
    which includes the expected number of runs scored and allowed given the peripherals and adjusts for the strength of schedule. Yes - the Rays are about right - their record is valid. However the Red Sox are a better team (underrated by 3 games) at this point. The overrated teams by record: Angels (by a lot), Twins and O's in the AL and of course the Marlins and the Astros in the NL. Most underrated - the Rockies - should be closer to .500.

    Also, one of BP's predictions was the immergence of the Rays Defense/Pitching to the point they would lead the league in least number of runs allowed per game. Amazingly, the Rays are just about there (though today did not help.) What a difference from last year where no game was safe (my favorite expression with friends.)

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