First is the prediction that the Rays won’t win 70% of their games…
So, while the Rays’ record is sparkly, and even their Pythagorean Expected Record is impressive, there are chinks in the armor. With Carlos Pena struggling, Ben Zobrist hitting like it’s 2006 again and the team struggling to find a productive designated hitter, this isn’t the offense of a team that will win 70 percent of its games.
Winning 70% of a team’s games would mean a final record of 113-49. So Cameron’s big point is that the Rays won’t win 113 games? We are not sure who Cameron is arguing against. On the scale of bold predictions, this one falls just in front of predicting Albert Pujols to get a hit this year.
But what really gets us in that previous statement, is the assertion that Ben Zobrist is “hitting like it’s 2006 again.”
Sure the home runs haven’t been there, but that doesn’t mean Zorilla hasn’t been productive. Let’s compare Zobrist’s 2010 numbers to those from 2006 and 2009, when Zobrist finished 8th in the AL MVP voting. And in doing so, we will use numbers found on Cameron’s own site, Fangraphs.
If Cameron thinks Zobrist is back to his 2006 ways, Cameron just isn’t paying attention.
Yes, the Rays numbers with runners on base are high (.294 AVG) and likely to regress a little bit. At the same, their overall hitting numbers are still a little low (.261 AVG) and likely to rise. And in the end, the Rays will still score a lot of runs. Will they win 115 games? No. But last time we checked, you don’t need 115 wins to make the playoffs. About 94 will do.