Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Robert Tagorda over at Baseball Crank is not buying the hype about our beloved Nats. He throws some stat-head cold water on our 32-26 record by pointing out that the Pythagorean theorem says we should be 28-30. That's true, because in the aggregate we've been outscored this season.

Loyal readers of this blog know, however, about Win Value, which adjusts every run scored to reflect score and inning of its occurrence (e.g. the first run by the visitors in the top of the first isn't really worth 1.0 runs, its worth 0.61 runs). If you tally up the Win Value adjusted runs and plug them into the Pythagorean formula, it says our record should be 31.6 wins and 26.4 losses -- pretty close to our actual record.

So what does that mean? We have been scoring at the right time, and we've let the other guys score at the right time too. Is that luck? Is it clutch? Will it continue? I don't know.

P.S. You can also do interesting things with Pythagoras and Win Value. For example, add back all of the Batting and Running WV Guzman has costs us, and take away all the Fielding WV he's given to the other guys, and Pythagoras says our record would be 36-22 ... 14 games over .500. Without Nick the Stick, we'd be 28-30.


At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the whole point of the Pythag formula that there isn't any predictive value in "scoring at the right times."

At 3:17 PM, Blogger DM said...


Probably true -- my point was to show how Win Value might be used to illuminate the gap between Pythag and out actual results. I make no predictions based on it.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Yuda said...

Of course, it's not like there's any predictive power in 55 games' worth of pythagorean formula, either.


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