Let’s take a look back at July 30th…

This year’s trade deadline (16:00 EST on July 30th) was one of the most memorable and busiest ever! A record total of 10 all-stars from this year were moved to new teams. A total of 23 current or former all-stars were traded. And the teams that have competed in this years’ division series were among the most active at the deadline. To recap the division serious playoff teams acquisitions before the trade deadline:

  • Dodgers: Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, Danny Duff, Billy McKinney
  • Giants: Kris Bryant, Tony Watson
  • Braves: Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, Richard Rodriguez, Stephen Vogt
  • White Sox: Craig Kimbrel, Cesar Hernandez, Ryan Tepera, Deivy Grullon
  • Red Sox: Kyle Schwarber, Hansel Robles
  • Astros: Phil Maton, Yainer Diaz, Yimi Garcia, Kendall Graveman, Rafael Montero,
  • Brewers: Daniel Norris, John Curtiss, Eduardo Escobar
  • Rays: Nelson Cruz, Calvin Faucher, Jordan Luplow, DJ Johnson, Shawn Armstrong,

Some of those trades worked out better than others, but regardless, most of these teams improved at least a little bit, and some quite a bit, after the trade-deadline. Going into the post-season, a team’s performance in their last two months of the season (since the trade-deadline), I would argue, is probably a better reflection of how “good” they are as they enter the playoffs than their full season record. Why? Because it reflects the current roster each team will go into the post-season with. There’s no doubt that Max Scherzer and Trea Turner improved the Dodgers. They went from great to greater. Comparing the Dodgers before August 1 and after is a comparison of two different teams.

And yet, this year, if you’ve watched or read any post-season coverage, you’ll keep hearing about the season records, and less about team’s finished in the last couple months. I’m sure most following baseball have heard something like, “the Atlanta Braves only won 88 games this year. They wouldn’t have even made the wildcard if they were in any other division.” You also probably know that every other team that played in the Division series won 92+, and that the Dodgers won 106 games, and the Giants 107 games. A lot of arguments have been made that the Braves are an inferior team to the rest, with many insinuating that they didn’t deserve a seat at the post-season table, despite winning their division. But as a Braves fan, I know they’ve looked like a different team after the trade deadline. So I did some digging into the data…

Post Trade-Deadline Team Statistics for all teams to play in the 2021 Division Series

I web-scraped data from Baseball Reference to pull together these results. The following table presents the team statistics from August 1st through their final regular season game for all 8 teams that played in the 2021 division series (Astros, Braves, Brewers, Dodgers, Giants, Rays, Red Sox, and White Sox) in a random order. I know which team is which, but for the first day or so of this post, I want other to think about it. Look at the team statistics and see if you can figure out who is who. I’ve purposely left out “number of games played” and “raw number of wins and losses” because those make these teams more easily identifiable; instead I simply give you their win record in terms of percentage. However, all teams played between 55-58 games in this time span, so they’re reasonably comparable.

TeamRecordRun DifferentialRuns scored per 9 InningsRuns allowed per 9 InningsBASLGHRsOBPOPSAvg # runners left on base per gameTeam ERAUneared Runs allowed per gameAverage IP for team starterStarter ERARelief ERA

So do you know what each team is?

I’m curious, which team do you think is which? If you were to “seed” or “rank” these teams based on the post trade-deadline statistics, how would you rank them and why? Please respond to this survey here, and discuss in the comments or in the reddit thread I’ve posted to /r/baseball here.