A stat that measures quality on both sides of the ball is Median Runs scored and Median Runs allowed. I never paid any attention to it until Pike, of all people, mentioned it last year. Contrasting this year's first 21 games to last year's first 21 games and interesting picture develops. First of all, a few ahem, discussions were centered around roster composition and whether or not the line-up was "balanced" last year. Since "balanced" is a perception, and hard to quantitfy, it's meaning is subject to interpretation. One common sentiment last year was that Crawford was too similar to Ellsbury, and there wasn't an appropriate spot for him in the line-up. By the time he was healthy enough to play, the team was out of contention, and he found himself batting mostly second, and sometimes seventh. Two spots with completely differnt expectations. In 2011, he hit first or second just 17 times, third, a few times and mostly sixth or lower after that.
The Frankenstein line-up created a monster of inconsistent scoring. The team in it's aggregate was among league leaders in offense, which made the focus on the pitching success or lack thereof more acute, and shifted responsibility for results away from the offense. Signing Mike Napoli was a huge step in the right "handed" direction. Through 21 games last year, they put up ten or more runs 6 times, but scored three or less 10 times. The whole effect was a Median Runs Scored of 4.
The revamped 2013 team has scored ten or more just once, and has scored three or less 8 times. This has produced a more consistent or "balanced" offense with a Median Runs scored of 5. The First Place NYY last year had a Median Runs scored of 5. Clearly being able to get at least five runs per game increases your chances of winning more than you lose. The roster as currently assembled has shown the ability to be consistent on offense, and not just run up the score in blow-outs and against weaker clubs. Should they manage to maintain this trend an exciting season lays out before us. FWIW right handed power threat Mike Napoli leads the team in RBI, imagine that.