OK, I admit it

Posted by Baseball Bob at 12:02
May 242017

OK, OK, I confess. I post more faithfully when the Yankees are winning. What can I say?

They have been struggling recently; some of the early season success stories (Headley, Ellsbury, Romine, Torreyes) have been pretty bad, and the Yankees lead the AL in HRs but recently they are climbing the leaderboard in HR allowed, as well. For example, last night rookie Jordan Montgomery pitched his best game of the season: after 6 IP he had faced 19 batters, allowing only one scratch single. NY led 2-0 on two solo HRs. But he allowed a HR in the 7th, and left leading 2-1. Warren, Holder and Layne allowed a HR each, and they lost 6-2. I think they have lost 8 of 12 or something like that. So it is not that much fun to write.

I am working on a simple projection system to try to guess how a team will finish based on its start plus its projection.

In my mind, there are three elements to consider:

  1. Record to date – obviously, whether lucky or great or bad, the wins and losses to date are in the books, and barring a pine tar incident (don’t know that one? You are young, my friend. Look it up, it’s really a good yarn) they aren’t going to be taken away.
  2. Runs scored and runs allowed – this is the basic measure of team performance, even more than wins. If a team is, say, 25-10 but has scored 150 runs and allowed 160, that is clear evidence that they are NOT a .700 team (.714 actually) but if they are 25-10 and score 250 while allowing only 160, that IS some indication that they are a .700 team.
  3. Preseason projection – some sites (e.g. Fangraphs) update their projections daily, but then I should just use their projections. I think they don’t really take into account true increases, and I’m trying to do something simpler.

I’m not done, but here’s a peek:

Suppose we think of their likely result as follows:

The first X games are their record right now. Let’s call YTD% the percentage of the season already in the books (X / 162). Then we could say that the balance of the season projection should be YTD% based on 2017, and 100 – YTD% based on preseason projection. So my proposed formula, would be something like:

Record after X games + Pythagorean projection % for the next YTD% times (162 – X) games, plus Preseason projection % times remaining games.

For example:

Yankees are 26-17

43 games is 26.5% of the season

Yankees preseason consensus record was 82-80 which is .506

Yankees have scored 238 runs while allowing 185. By the Pythagorean principle, they “deserve” a winning percentage of .623 (actual winning percentage .605)

So by this theory, they project to:

26-17 + 20-12 (.623 over 26.5% of remaining games) + 44-43 (.506 over the rest) = 90-72

As the season progresses, of course, the games in the books account for more of the total, AND the way those wins and losses were compiled accounts for more of the remainder of the season, and the preseason expectation accounts for less.

I have time for one more, let’s do the Red Sox.

Sox are 23-21

44 games is 27.2% of season

Sox preseason consensus was 95-67 which is .586

Sox have scored 207 and allowed 194, a deserved winning percentage of .532

Projection: 23-21 + 17-15 + 50-38 = 90-72

Maybe there’s something wrong with my methodology, and everyone projects to 90-72. But I think what this says is that my method predicts a tight race between the Sox and Yanks. Maybe I’ll do the Orioles tomorrow.

Go Yankees!

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