Friday, May 2, 2008

And now the bad news for the Brewers

After a month's worth of games it's time to do our first analysis on expected wins/losses. I'm going to be using the real basic formula here. Is it perfect? No. Is it a useful tool which can shed some light? Definitely. All numbers are pulled from this page in case people are wondering. Sadly, the numbers currently don't look good for the crew.

NL Central

St. Louis
Actual Winning percentage - .621, Actual Wins - 18
Expected Winning percentage - .627, Expected Wins - 18
MY REACT: The numbers here are spot on...and that doesn't bode well for the Crew. St. Louis wasn't expected to contend this year (depending on who you talked to) and they are playing just SOLID baseball right now. Pitching has been excellent.

Chicago
Actual Winning percentage - .607, Actual Wins - 17
Expected Winning percentage - .648, Expected Wins - 18
MY REACT: Based purely on the numbers so far...it appears it is the Cubs division to lose. If they keep up the same scoring pace (best offense in baseball) and more games pile up, the actual wins are eventually going to catch up with the expected wins. Break out that expected winning percentage over a 162 game season...wow. It's not going to stay that high...but it just goes to show the ceiling that the Cubs have. But don't forget...see my post from yesterday. They still have no heart.

The Crew
Actual Winning percentage - .571, Actual Wins - 16
Expected Winning percentage - .496, Expected Wins - 13 or 14
MY REACT: Ouch. The Brewers have been OUTSCORED this year, and are currently "playing over their heads" (a little Ned Yostism for you). While I'm not complaining about the team's ability to grind out these games (and win in extra innings), if the offense doesn't pick it up like it's supposed to our record will begin to even out. Right now the Brewers are a .500 ballclub that is running well in the close games. It's tough to maintain that over a 162 game season (unless you are the Diamondbacks last year). Another tidbit...look at Houston's numbers...the are essentially the same as the Brewer's but they are 3.5 games back. Warrants mentioning.

I'll do a similar analysis each month this season. Like I said already...the analysis isn't perfect, but you can definitely draw conclusions from it. It appears St. Louis is for real, Chicago is the front-runner, and Milwaukee needs to step it up a little to maintain their current pace. You can't argue with that.

4 comments:

matt said...

I'd be interested to know what the numbers looked like before that 19-5 debacle the other night.

The tough thing about looking at small sample sizes like a month of baseball is that one goofy game like that can skew things pretty badly, right? Both for the Cubs and the Brewers.

Now I'm not a numbers guy like Woz, so maybe I'm way off base here...

Woz said...

As I mentioned twice there Matthew...the numbers aren't 100% accurate. But you aren't way off base.

While technically the sample size is small...I still stand behind the conclusion about the play of the 3 teams mentioned (the outlier game the other night won't drastically change anything).

We'll see what the month of May brings.

matt said...

I'm with you. I know this isn't meant to be 100% accurate.

I just think the numbers might have been a bit more accurate before Wednesday's game than they are now. I have to believe that a 14 run differential in one game has to drastically affect this formula, although again, I'm not a math guy.

Rather than focusing on math, I choose to look at it this way: To a man, the Brewers have underperformed on offense for the first month and they are still right in the mix. That's a successful month in my book.

AP said...

WOZ, I am not disagreeing with you, since you yourself mentioned the small sample size and stuff like that. However, on the positive side, the Crew has played the toughest schedule in baseball so far. Also, ESPN.com does an RPI like they do for college hoops and as of right now the Crew is tops in all of baseball.

Here:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/rpi?season=2008&sortColumn=rpi

They've faced some tough pitching too (Harang X2, Zambrano X2, Hamels, Johan Santana); they've won most of those games. A lot of teams would happily take a .571 Win% VS that schedule. The Cubs feasted on PIT, HOU, & WASH in April going 9-3 in those 12 games. We haven't seen any of those teams yet, although Pittsburgh always finds a way to kill us.

That 19 run game represents about 15% of all the runs the Brewers gave up so far in 28 games. Essentially that was about 4 games worth of runs. That'll definitely skew some things for both the Crew & Cubs.