Worst WPA plays of the first half:
3. -53% WPA • Matt Holliday home run vs. Greg Holland
June 18 • Royals 4 @ Cardinals 5
Greg Holland has been nothing short of fantastic this year, but he shows up on this list for yielding a two-run homer to Matt Holliday that put the Cards ahead for good in the game.
2. -66% WPA • Torii Hunter home run vs. Joakim Soria
May 30 • Angels 10 @ Royals 8
In Soria’s third and final blown save of the first half, he squandered a one run lead with a single to Bobby Abreu followed by a two run shot by Hunter
1. -68% WPA • Carlos Quentin double vs. Joakim Soria
April 6 • White Sox 10 @ Royals 7
Heading into the top of the 9th, the Royals lead 6-3 and bring in Mr. Automatic, Joakim Soria. Soria retires the first two batters, at which point the Royals win expectancy rounds up to 100%. The game is over. But then Juan Pierre singles…and Gordon Beckham walks…and Alex Rios singles…and Paul Konerko singles….and in the biggest WPA swing of the Royals first half, Carlos Quentin hits a two-run double to give the White Sox the lead and a staggering 68% increase in win expectancy for the Sox.
Best WPA plays of the first half:
3. +44% WPA • Eric Hosmer home run vs. Neftali Feliz
May 18 • Rangers 5 @ Royals 4
I would not expect to see a Royals loss in this list, but here it is. The Royals trailed by a run in the top of the ninth when Hos hit his third career dinger to tie things up, but KC dropped the game in the 11th.
2. +47% • Melky Cabrera single vs. Chris Perez
April 21 • Indians 2 @ Royals 3
This hit finished off a nightmare ninth inning for Indians hurler Chris Perez and a walk off win for the Royals.
1. +52% WPA • Wilson Betemit double vs. Fernando Rodney
April 3 • Angels 9 @ Royals 12
This was the fourth game of the season and one of many big plays in a crazy opening week. Betemit’s double scored two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth; ironically, Matt Traenor’s walk-off homer in the 11th was not quite as big of a play by WPA (+39%).