I’m not sure if this happened yesterday or during the Pirates/Astros series, but the Pirates have officially dropped behind the Astros in Baseball Prospectus’ third order win percentage.
What this means, in layman’s terms, is that when considering the schedule and based on things like on base percentage, slugging percentage, and for pitchers things like K/BB ratio and home run rate and possibly ground ball rate, the Pirates are expected to have a worse run differential than the Astros, which means they’re expected to have a worse record. They don’t, mostly because of the pitching from the first half of the season that we can safely say now was unsustainable. In short, it’s now a valid argument (with statistics to back it) that, records be damned, the Pittsburgh Pirates have played worse baseball than the Houston Astros this year.
That sign outside your window? It says, “You’ve just passed the Event Horizon. Welcome to the Worst Case Scenario, 2011.”