The thing that jumped out to me about this was the Padres. I would have assumed that the Mets would be on top.
In an attempt to shine a little light on the situation, I broke down the Padres' VWI a little further.
Obviously, Jake Peavy is pretty good (groundbreaking, I know). But the difference between Peavy's starts and the Padres' other four starters isn't as significant as I expected. In non-Peavy starts, the Padres' VWI is still tremendous- at .5229, it is only slightly below the Mets' VWI of .5264. So although Peavy vaults them over the Mets, this would be expected from the ace of any staff.
As I collect more of these lines, and have a larger sample size of pitchers, I plan on creating power rankings of individual pitchers themselves.
I also found the Brewers' mediocre VWI interesting. They are currently in first place in the Central at 32-26, yet have only the ninth best VWI at a very mediocre .5037. However, after a closer look at the numbers, this isn't particularly surprising- the Brewers have only outscored opponents by six runs, despite playing the majority of their games against the notoriously weak NL Central.
Speaking of divisions, here are how the three NL divisions stack up:
How about that! The NL Central didn't come in last for once!
How? Very simple. Although the Central doesn't have any powerhouses like the Mets or the Padres (their highest ranking team is the Cubs, coming in sixth with a .5093 VWI), they don't have any bottom feeders holding their rating down (lowest ranking: Pirates, .4811).
The East is exactly the opposite. They are very top heavy (Mets 2nd, Phillies 4th), but they also have the two worst VWIs, Florida and Washington. The part of the East that is surprising is the Braves, who despite having outscored opponents by 10 runs this season, have a VWI of only .4958. I would expect this to change with a larger sample size.
Check back next week for another edition of VWI. If you would like to subscribe to VWI by e-mail, please contact me at email@example.com. As always, feel free to drop a note in the comments section below.