Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pythagorean Standings

First Half Analysis

Heading into the start of the second half of the season, the Brewers' record stands at 42 wins and 46 losses, 14 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals.  They also are 7.5 games back in the Wild Card standings to Atlanta.  While there is virtually no chance of catching the Cardinals in the Central this year, the Brewers' record is not as bad as it appears to the naked eye. 

As you may or may not be aware of, the Pythagorean method (or formula) that applies to baseball is a Bill James creation that predicts a team’s wining percentage given a team's ratio of runs scored to runs allowed using the formula:

Expected Winning % = (RS^2) / ((RS^2)+(RA^2))

Pythagorean expectation is a formula invented by Bill James to estimate how many games a team "should" have won based on the number of runs they scored and allowed.  Win% is the winning percentage generated by the formula. You can then multiply this by the number of games played by a team to compute how many wins one would expect them to win based on their runs scored and allowed.

Empirically, this formula correlates fairly well with how baseball teams actually perform, although an exponent of 1.81 is slightly more accurate. This correlation is one justification for using runs as a unit of measurement for player performance.

With that explanation out of the way, here are the Pythagorean standings heading into the All Star Break:

American League East

TOR 90-72
NYY 89-73
BOS 89-73
BAL 85-77
TBD 55-107

American League Central

CWS 97-65
CLE 90-72
MIN 89-73
KCR 61-101

American League West

LAA 94-68
TEX 89-73
OAK 84-78
SEA 79-83

National League East

ATL 98-64
FLA 84-78
NYM 82-80
WAS 80-82
PHI 80-82

National League Central

STL 103-59
MIL 85-77
HOU 82-80
CHC 81-81
PIT 73-89
CIN 67-95

National League West

SDP 85-77
LAD 73-89
SFG 69-93
ARI 65-97
COL 62-100


Cleveland Indians @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Toronto Blue Jays @ Chicago White Sox
San Diego Padres @ St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers @ Atlanta Braves


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