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Preview, #67: 6/10 @ Phillies

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How much has the D-backs schedule hurt their record?

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS PHILLIES
Jarrod Dyson - CF Cesar Hernandez - 2B
Ketel Marte - SS Bryce Harper - RF
David Peralta - LF Jean Segura - SS
Adam Jones - RF Rhys Hoskins - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B J.T. Realmuto - C
Christian Walker - 1B Jay Bruce - LF
Alex Avila - C Scott Kingery - CF
Ildemaro Vargas - 2B Maikel Franco - 3B
Taylor Clarke - RHP Jerad Eickhoff - RHP

The D-backs completed the sweep over the Blue Jays in Toronto, and improved to a major-league best 15-4 against opponents with losing records. The problem is, hardly anyone has played fewer games versus those teams. Only the Orioles (18), in fact; the average MLB team has faced sub-.500 opponents on 29 occasions, ten more than the D-backs. Now, this is a fairly chaotic statistic, with both the Padres and Rockies currently close to the dividing line. Indeed, if the Padres were just to lose in San Francisco tomorrow night, all if Arizona’s games against them would drop into the sub-.500 category. We’d go from 19 to 29 games - right at league average - and our record would drop from 15-4 to 18-11.

But, just for interest... For each team, I took their W% against winning/even and losing teams, and averaged them. This gives us a “Balanced win percentage” - an idea of what their record could be, if they had played equal numbers of games against each group. The chart below shows actual W%, winning, losing and balanced W% and the difference between actual and balanced W%. A negative value indicates the team would have been helped by a balanced schedule; a positive value, that it’d hurt their overall record.

Balanced schedule records

Team W% >= .500 < .500 Bal W% Change
Team W% >= .500 < .500 Bal W% Change
LAD .682 .727 .636 .682 .000
HOU .672 .622 .773 .697 -.026
MIN .672 .520 .769 .645 .027
TBR .625 .543 .724 .633 -.008
NYY .625 .520 .692 .606 .019
CHC .578 .484 .667 .575 .003
MIL .576 .483 .649 .566 .010
PHI .569 .533 .600 .567 .003
ATL .554 .484 .618 .551 .003
TEX .531 .417 .600 .508 .023
COL .516 .487 .560 .524 -.008
ARI .515 .404 .789 .597 -.082
BOS .515 .400 .645 .523 -.007
CLE .508 .414 .583 .499 .009
OAK .500 .500 .500 .500 .000
SDP .500 .433 .556 .494 .006
NYM .492 .387 .588 .488 .005
STL .492 .439 .591 .515 -.023
CHW .484 .414 .543 .478 .006
LAA .470 .395 .571 .483 -.013
PIT .469 .350 .667 .508 -.040
WSN .462 .433 .486 .460 .002
CIN .453 .433 .471 .452 .001
SFG .406 .368 .462 .415 -.009
SEA .406 .286 .700 .493 -.087
DET .387 .333 .448 .391 -.004
MIA .365 .308 .458 .383 -.018
TOR .354 .364 .333 .348 .005
BAL .308 .255 .444 .350 -.042
KCR .308 .343 .267 .305 .003

The Diamondbacks see their win percentage increase by 82 points, The only team with more are the Seattle Mariners, at 83 points. These two teams have far and away the biggest split in their W%. Arizona are 385 points better against losing teams, and Seattle a startling 414 points better. It’s worth noting that in the Mariners’ 13-2 start, eight of those wins came against teams now below .500, and they also beat the Red Sox three times, when they were struggling horribly [as we also enjoyed in April]. If ever there was a false dawn to a season, this was it, with Seattle going an awful 15-39 since, a 117-loss pace over the past third of the schedule. They haven’t had a worse 54-game spell since 1980.

Back on May 23, I looked at the schedule and wanted to see the team take 2 of 3 against teams with losing records, and 1 of 3 against winners. It has been a bit of a mixed bag, matters complicated by the Rockies having been below .500 at the time, but now across the line and above .500. But the D-backs have gone 8-1 against the Giants, Mets and Blue Jays, while a disappointing 1-6 versus the Rockies and Dodgers. Overall though, it’s not too far off what I wanted to this point. If we can go 4-3 the rest of this road-trip, going through Philadelphia and Washington, I’d be fine with that. With the back of our rotation here in Philly, it won’t be easy, however.