This is interesting
Over at BP, they've taken the chess concept of ELO rating and applied it to baseball. Read all about it (sub req'd) here.
Basically, ELO rates the average MLB club at 1500. The system adjusts for the most recent play most heavily, so theoretically the current ELO will give you a good idea about how well the team is playing now, as opposed to over the whole season. The harder your schedule (against higher ELO teams) the fewer points you lose with a loss, and the more you gain with a win.
I didn't examine the math behind it, but I trust the boys at BP. We'll see if it's a good predictor of future abilities. A few interesting tidbits regarding the Phillies:
The Phillies ELO is currently 1499, just a hair below average for MLB.
Unfortunately, the Mets are the best team in the NL and the 3rd best overall, with an ELO of 1549.
Very interestingly, the Mets, Cardinals, and the Marlins (yes, the Marlins) are the only NL teams with a better ELO than the Phils right now, with the Fish having an ELO of 1500, and the birds 1531.
Since the systems slants heavily toward recent play, the fact that the Phils have lost so many in the past two weeks is offset by how brutally hard their schedule has been, with the Red Sox, Mets, and Yankees being three of the top five teams in baseball.
Given all that, am I crazy to think the Phils aren't out of this? True, we're 5 games under .500 right now, but the teams ahead of us are not beating the world right now. Myers' "time out" makes things more difficult, and the poor play of so many makes things a little unlikely, but overall, this seems to be saying we're not quite as bad as it may seem we are.
Over the final two weeks before the All Star Break, we're playing some pretty bad teams. It's not unlikely we might enter the ASB with a .500 (or near .500) record.
Could it be the Phillies are not out of this? Is it possible we can still be buyers, and not sellers?