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Teams Who Have Gone To WAR This Season

Posted by Steve Lombardi on August 27, 2010

Which teams, to date this season, have the most players on their roster with WAR totals of 2 or more?

Here's the answer for position players:

Rk Year Tm Lg #Matching  
1 2010 Atlanta Braves NL 5 Jason Heyward / Omar Infante / Chipper Jones / Brian McCann / Martin Prado
2 2010 Boston Red Sox AL 5 Adrian Beltre / J.D. Drew / David Ortiz / Dustin Pedroia / Kevin Youkilis
3 2010 Detroit Tigers AL 5 Brennan Boesch / Miguel Cabrera / Brandon Inge / Austin Jackson / Ramon Santiago
4 2010 Milwaukee Brewers NL 5 Ryan Braun / Prince Fielder / Corey Hart / Casey McGehee / Rickie Weeks
5 2010 New York Yankees AL 5 Robinson Cano / Brett Gardner / Alex Rodriguez / Nick Swisher / Mark Teixeira
6 2010 St. Louis Cardinals NL 5 Matt Holliday / Ryan Ludwick / Yadier Molina / Albert Pujols / Colby Rasmus
7 2010 Tampa Bay Rays AL 5 Carl Crawford / John Jaso / Evan Longoria / B.J. Upton / Ben Zobrist
8 2010 Toronto Blue Jays AL 5 Jose Bautista / John Buck / Alex Gonzalez / Lyle Overbay / Vernon Wells
9 2010 Minnesota Twins AL 4 Orlando Hudson / Joe Mauer / Justin Morneau / Jim Thome
10 2010 Philadelphia Phillies NL 4 Carlos Ruiz / Chase Utley / Shane Victorino / Jayson Werth
11 2010 Texas Rangers AL 4 Nelson Cruz / Josh Hamilton / Ian Kinsler / Mike Young
12 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 3 Kelly Johnson / Justin Upton / Chris Young
13 2010 Chicago White Sox AL 3 Paul Konerko / Alexei Ramirez / Alexis Rios
14 2010 Cincinnati Reds NL 3 Brandon Phillips / Scott Rolen / Joey Votto
15 2010 Colorado Rockies NL 3 Carlos Gonzalez / Miguel Olivo / Troy Tulowitzki
16 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 3 Casey Blake / Rafael Furcal / Matt Kemp
17 2010 Oakland Athletics AL 3 Daric Barton / Coco Crisp / Cliff Pennington
18 2010 San Diego Padres NL 3 Adrian Gonzalez / Chase Headley / Yorvit Torrealba
19 2010 Baltimore Orioles AL 2 Nick Markakis / Luke Scott
20 2010 Chicago Cubs NL 2 Marlon Byrd / Geovany Soto
21 2010 Cleveland Indians AL 2 Shin-Soo Choo / Carlos Santana
22 2010 Florida Marlins NL 2 Hanley Ramirez / Dan Uggla
23 2010 Kansas City Royals AL 2 Billy Butler / David DeJesus
24 2010 New York Mets NL 2 Angel Pagan / David Wright
25 2010 Seattle Mariners AL 2 Franklin Gutierrez / Ichiro Suzuki
26 2010 San Francisco Giants NL 2 Aubrey Huff / Andres Torres
27 2010 Washington Nationals NL 2 Adam Dunn / Ryan Zimmerman
28 2010 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim AL 1 Torii Hunter
29 2010 Houston Astros NL 1 Michael Bourn
30 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates NL 1 Andrew McCutchen
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/27/2010.

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And, here's the answer for pitchers:

Rk Year Lg Tm #Matching  
1 2010 NL San Francisco Giants 5 Matt Cain / Tim Lincecum / Jonathan Sanchez / Brian Wilson / Barry Zito
2 2010 NL Chicago Cubs 4 Ryan Dempster / Tom Gorzelanny / Ted Lilly / Carlos Silva
3 2010 AL Tampa Bay Rays 4 Matt Garza / Jeff Niemann / David Price / Rafael Soriano
4 2010 AL Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 Joel Pineiro / Ervin Santana / Jered Weaver
5 2010 AL Boston Red Sox 3 Daniel Bard / Clay Buchholz / Jon Lester
6 2010 AL Chicago White Sox 3 Mark Buehrle / John Danks / Gavin Floyd
7 2010 AL Minnesota Twins 3 Brian Duensing / Francisco Liriano / Carl Pavano
8 2010 NL New York Mets 3 R.A. Dickey / Francisco Rodriguez / Johan Santana
9 2010 AL New York Yankees 3 Andy Pettitte / Mariano Rivera / CC Sabathia
10 2010 AL Oakland Athletics 3 Andrew Bailey / Trevor Cahill / Gio Gonzalez
11 2010 AL Seattle Mariners 3 Felix Hernandez / Cliff Lee / Jason Vargas
12 2010 NL St. Louis Cardinals 3 Chris Carpenter / Jaime Garcia / Adam Wainwright
13 2010 AL Texas Rangers 3 Colby Lewis / Darren O'Day / C.J. Wilson
14 2010 AL Toronto Blue Jays 3 Brett Cecil / Shaun Marcum / Ricky Romero
15 2010 NL Atlanta Braves 2 Tim Hudson / Billy Wagner
16 2010 AL Baltimore Orioles 2 Jeremy Guthrie / Brian Matusz
17 2010 NL Cincinnati Reds 2 Bronson Arroyo / Johnny Cueto
18 2010 NL Colorado Rockies 2 Matt Belisle / Ubaldo Jimenez
19 2010 AL Detroit Tigers 2 Max Scherzer / Justin Verlander
20 2010 NL Florida Marlins 2 Josh Johnson / Anibal Sanchez
21 2010 NL Houston Astros 2 Brett Myers / Roy Oswalt
22 2010 AL Kansas City Royals 2 Zack Greinke / Joakim Soria
23 2010 NL Los Angeles Dodgers 2 Clayton Kershaw / Hong-Chih Kuo
24 2010 NL Philadelphia Phillies 2 Roy Halladay / Cole Hamels
25 2010 NL Arizona Diamondbacks 1 Ian Kennedy
26 2010 NL Milwaukee Brewers 1 Yovani Gallardo
27 2010 NL San Diego Padres 1 Mat Latos
28 2010 NL Washington Nationals 1 Livan Hernandez
29 2010 AL Cleveland Indians 0  
30 2010 NL Pittsburgh Pirates 0  
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/27/2010.

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By my count, the Rays have 9 such players here. And, the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Yankees each have 8 such players. Several teams have 7 players here: The Rangers, Braves, Tigers, Giants and Twins. Note that the Padres only have four players here. That's interesting.

Four teams from the A.L. East? Maybe it's time to break that group up?

This entry was posted on Friday, August 27th, 2010 at 1:48 pm and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

22 Responses to “Teams Who Have Gone To WAR This Season”

  1. Good teams are good.

  2. Ludwick doesn't play for the Cardinals anymore.

  3. Fair point Steve - but, his stats for them, when he was there, still count towards their record, etc.

  4. The Padres have Ludwick now, although his numbers for the Padres haven't been too stellar. His line so far is .224/.306/.376 in the 24 games he's played with them.

  5. The Padres have two players, Gonzalez & Headley with about 10 WAR so they get a lot of production from two players.

    Headley seems to be one of the most underrated/least appreciated players in baseball this year.

  6. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I would be interested in seeing which teams are over- or underperforming their total WAR thus far. In theory, a team's WAR should equal its Wins minus ~40 (however many games a replacement team would win).

  7. Interesting point Johnny. But shouldn't all the teams be about the same if you subtracted WAR from Wins? If they're not the same, that would seem to be a flaw in the stat (IMHO).

  8. If there's one thing good about the Pirates it's the fact that you don't have to look all over for their records and things. I literally got confused earlier this year when the Pirates were not in last place for their division. I looked in the last place spot but they were not there!
    It's good to know things are back to normal.

  9. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    WAR measures the expected runs produced by each action. If one team is lucky, or produces more runs in situations where runs are more valuable, they will outperform their WAR. If every teams Wins was equal to the total team WAR + some constant, then WAR would be measuring something different -- something a lot more like what WPA already measures. WPA should do this. The total team WPA + 81 should (within a game or two due to rounding errors) equal how many games that team wins.

    WAR is something else, it is trying to measure the expected runs produced by each action in a neutral context to get a better idea of a player's actual value.

  10. I did a quick check on the 2009 (most recent full season) NL East: according to my calculations Florida and Washington each won about 50 more games than their WAR totals, and the Mets 52. That seems about right -- the low .300s in winning percentage as a "replacement level" team. The Braves and Phils were the outliers on each side -- the Braves won only 46 more games than their WAR total while the Phils won 58. The average for the five teams still comes out to about 52 or so. The 1962 Mets, famously winners of only 40 games, show a minus 3.4 WAR for their hiting/defense, but a +3.2 in pitching WAR, giving them 0 WAR overall and 40 more wins than their WAR. I think most sabermetrics folk would estimate that a replacement level team should be able to exceed the '62 Mets' .250 win percentage.

  11. @6
    Here's this years team WAR leaders (bat/pitch/tot, actualW-L)

    NYY...25.3/13.8/39.1....78-49
    MIN...21.0/17.3/38.3....73-55
    TBR...20.1/17.3/37.4....78-49
    BOS...23.8/11.8/35.6....73-55
    SDP...22.4/11.4/33.8....76-50
    ATL...21.2/12.5/33.7....73-54
    STL...19.6/12.6/32.6....68-57
    TEX...14.7/17.2/31.9....72-55
    TOR...21.7/09.7/31.4....66-61
    CHW...13.6/17.6/31.2....69-58
    SFG...13.5/16.8/30.3....71-57
    CIN...20.4/07.0/27.4....73-54
    PHI...14.0/13.1/27.1....70-57
    ....
    BAL...04.4/07.3/11.7....45-83
    ARI...11.0/00.6/11.6....50-78
    HOU...-1.1/10.1/09.0....58-69
    PIT...-2.8/02.7/-0.1....43-84

    bb-ref should have this chart somewhere instead of split between the batter and pitching pages. It would save me a lot of typing. :-)

  12. These charts do a good job of showing why Cubs fans hated Lou Piniella this year for batting Lee/Ramirez #3 & 4 all season, as well as Theriot 1st, Byrd 5th, Soto 8th, on a team with really good pitching. Always makes sense to have a .400 OBP player hitting 8th while your cleanup guy isn't even slugging 400 into June. Good riddance to fat and tired old men.

  13. Can't believe Jeter doesn't have a 2 in WAR this year. Could be on the beginning of his descent????

  14. Pretty amazing that Carlos Santana made the list considering he only played in 46 games before his season ending injury.

  15. @13
    Just looked at Jeter's splits. In addition to his normally poor fielding, his been horrible against right-handers (651 OPS) and on the road (617 OPS). Interpret as you'd like.

  16. Ghost of Horace Clarke Says:

    So the Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers are a better team than the Reds this year....and the Reds are no better than the Diamondbacks....based on this new ....almighty stat. But of course. stats don't lie.

  17. @16
    I'm not a huge fan of WAR myself but that's not what this post is saying at all. The Brewers offense is pretty good. Their pitching is horrible.
    As far as the Reds, if this post had been made a little bit later, or if the cutoff of 2.0 had been different, they'd have several more players on this list. Drew Stubbs and Ramon Hernandez are at 1.9 and Jay Bruce is at 1.8

  18. This tells us how many players have contributed above a certain threshold. The Reds are obviously doing well because of good contributions from lots of players, as opposed to a few great players and nobody else doing anything.

    I posted a while back how the Angels won 100 games without anybody having >5 WAR (All star level). In other words the correlation between team performance and your best 1 or 2 players is quite low.

  19. The problem with a stat such as WAR is that there are positional adjustments to try to offset that 1B hit more than 2B (i.e.). There's two problems with that general line of thinking.

    1) What about players who play 2, 3, 4 postitions? Which adjustment do you use? 2) and more importantly, nobody in the history of the game ever went to the plate as a 1B. Every batter goes to the plate as a batter.

    Assign them value for what they did at the plate. Then assign them value for what they did in the field (if that's really possible. Fielding stats generally suck compared to hitting and pitching stats).

  20. Jeff, that's not a problem with WAR; that's the whole point of WAR. Everything else being equal, the ability to play SS is more valuable than the ability to play 1B (because a replacement-level SS is going to be a worse hitter than a replacement-level first-baseman). WAR simply takes that into account, since the purpose is to measure a player's total value. If you just want to compare two players' offensive abilities independent of what positions they play, well, there are already countless offensive stats you can look at. The point of WAR is to give us the bigger picture.

    As for players who play multiple positions, the adjustment (as far as I understand it) simply depends on how many games they play at each position (e.g., a player who plays 100 games at 1B, 40 at 3B, and 20 in RF gets 100 games' worth of 1B adjustment, 40 games' worth of 3B adjustment, and 20 games' worth of RF adjustment).

  21. As suggested by post 17 (Rich), dichotomized cut-scores are almost always misleading. A regression model (GLM) with a team's summed WAR predicting winning percentage after accounting for confounds (not sure this is necessary) would be a robust test of WAR's predictive validity. I see two problems with my approach: Calculating a team's summed WAR is difficult in part because players change teams (post 2) and play multiple positions (19). The latter means that the WAR for player x as a shortstop (say, y) should be z and WAR for player x as a 3rd basemen (say, m) should be n. But the regression exercise might be helpful because useless statistics will continue to proliferate and excellent ones will continue to be regarded with skepticism (post 1, post 16) until statisticians demonstrate the predictive validity of each statistic, using appropriate criteria, like winning percentage.

  22. Ah Brewers. If only you had more than 5 players above replacement level, maybe you'd be in the hunt for a division title.