PDA

View Full Version : Lucky Wins and why the NL Wildcard is slipping away



jmcclain19
08-08-2006, 02:25 PM
The Reds have a lucky record so far this year. Let me explain using the idea of a Pythag Record.

If you're not familiar with the idea of a what a Baseball Pythag record, here the basic idea.

It takes the simplest idea about teams winning in baseball, and puts it into stat form. Essentially, the more runs you score and the less runs you allow the other team to score, the better your record ends up being at the end of the year.

It's based on taking the Runs Scored and Runs allowed, and coming up with a Winning Percentage. Multiply that by the games played and you have your Pythag Record.

To show how this works out - Check out these numbers

Reds RS/RA Actual Pythag Diff
2002 - (709/774) - 75-87 - 78-84 - 3
2003 - (694/885) - 63-99 - 69-93 - 6
2004 - (750/907) - 67-95 - 76-86 - 9
2005 - (820/889) - 75-87 - 73-89 - 2

How does this have anything to do with the Reds and the chase of the 2006 Wildcard?

Let's take a look at the Top 8 Wildcard contenderís actual records

Cincinnati 57-55
Los Angeles 57-55
Arizona 56-56
Philadelphia 54-57
Colorado 54-57
San Fran 54-58
Houston 53-58
Milwaukee 52-59

Now - how about each teams Pythag records

Los Angeles 61-51
Colorado 57-54
San Fran 56-56
Philly 55-56
Arizona 55-57
Houston 54-57
Cincinnati 53-59
Milwaukee 48-63

In tight race, you need everything to go your way to win out. The Reds have been several games lucky on the positive side of the margin, while the rest of the contenders, save Milwaukee, have been unlucky. And in baseball, luck tends to equal out. And with time running out on the Wildcard, the Pythag record is not on the Reds side. Translated over the course of the season, the Pythag Record shows the Reds finishing at 77-85, which won't get them anywhere near the playoffs. Something to think about as the Reds take on the Cardinals.

If you're interested in more about the Pythag Record, MLB.com's Standings page (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/standings/index.jsp) now allows you to follow this easily by selecting the "X W-L" box to go with your Home/Road Splits.

Also, Baseball Prospectus has a more in-depth look at the Pythag Record here (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=342). And the actual formula used to compute the Pythag Record Winning Percentage is (RAx1.83)/(RAx1.83) + (RSx1.83).

This was a cross post from something I added earlier today over at Red Reporter (http://www.redreporter.com/story/2006/8/8/142121/6319)

Johnny Footstool
08-08-2006, 02:34 PM
Good post!

KronoRed
08-08-2006, 03:39 PM
Good stuff, Reds need to turn it on or it's going to be over soon.

RedsManRick
08-08-2006, 03:59 PM
Of course I agree with the general usage of Pythag Records. However, you also have to consider that the teams who have put up those run totals, both scored and allowed, are no longer the same teams in terms of actual rostered players. To think that the Reds will continue either score or allow as many runs as they have to date, and to project season final win totals based on that is tenuous.

I have no problem saying that the Reds are lucky to be where they are. However, given the pretty substantial changes to the roster, a projection based on past run rates simply isn't applicable.

Of course, if you use just the RS/RA since the big trade, things look even worse for us.... particularly in light of the moves made by the Dodgers.

Reds1
08-08-2006, 04:34 PM
I have a hard time saying we've been lucky when we could easily be in 1st place if you take away the crapy closer and pen. Eddie is 7-7 and fixed a spot where many games have been blown.

Also, to look at the numbers is hard considering the departure of Kearn and FeLo and the additions of - well, a new pitching staff. We even have a new starter and is EZ ok.

Whether we've been lucky or not I will say this team is playing much better defense then earlier in the season. It's going to be a grind and it's fun to be here. I just hope we stay competative and sneak in and then hopefully we can improve and make a push for the WS and not just the playoffs next season.

Falls City Beer
08-08-2006, 04:36 PM
I have a hard time saying we've been lucky when we could easily be in 1st place if you take away the crapy closer and pen.


If you take away the crappy closer and pen then you have to replace it with a just-as-crappy pen. :)

dsmith421
08-08-2006, 04:54 PM
I have a hard time saying we've been lucky when we could easily be in 1st place if you take away the crapy closer and pen.

If we had a better closer and pen, we would have conceded far fewer runs, and our pythagorean expected record would be much higher.

The system works. At least, better than anything else around. And it sure looks like this is a 78 win team when it's all said and done.

37red
08-08-2006, 04:59 PM
That all makes too much sense. I think I'll just sit with my friends, drink beer, eat chips and watch to see who wins.

oregonred
08-08-2006, 05:42 PM
Until last night the Cards were running 1-2 games ahead of the Reds in X W-L. Factor in =12 for STL and -12 for CIN and now it's 57-54 vs. 53-59.

Of course the Pirates are only 8.5 back of the Cards in the Pythag world and the Brewers are in last place.

All I know is the Reds have been right there in 22 of the 23 games since the AS Break. A couple of them got out of hand in the 7th, but something like last night when the game is over by the 4th inning has been a very rare occurence this season (unlike the last five years with our duct tape/waiver wire starting staff when it seemed we were out of 30% of the games by the 6th inning).

Assume LA wins the NL West and SD is 56-55 in Pythag. So any way you cut it the NL stinks and anything near .500 keeps you in the race.

princeton
08-09-2006, 09:49 AM
we got 17 lucky hits yesterday

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 09:58 AM
we got 17 lucky hits yesterday

And gave up 17 the day before.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals turned their 17 hits into 13 runs, while the Reds could only manage 10.

princeton
08-09-2006, 09:59 AM
And gave up 17 the day before.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals turned their 17 hits into 13 runs, while the Reds could only manage 10.

I'm with you. Lose the right way. Solidarity.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 10:19 AM
I'm with you. Lose the right way. Solidarity.

I have no idea what pills you're taking, but you should bump up the dosage.

dabvu2498
08-09-2006, 10:25 AM
For what it's worth, by my quick count, the Reds are 18-26 in games decided by 5 or more runs and thus 40-29 in "close" games.

For what it's worth.

princeton
08-09-2006, 10:44 AM
I have no idea what pills you're taking, but you should bump up the dosage.

they're Redszone pills, and they are helping. Before, I was enjoying unlikely victories. But now, if we win, I feel pretty cheated.

17 hits. Of all the dirty, stinking luck.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 11:15 AM
they're Redszone pills, and they are helping. Before, I was enjoying unlikely victories. But now, if we win, I feel pretty cheated.

17 hits. Of all the dirty, stinking luck.

You must have a bad batch, because most of us enjoy all Reds victories, likely or unlikely.

Of course, most of us also realize that the odds favor the house. But if you'd like to keep betting on double-zeros, don't let us stop you.

princeton
08-09-2006, 11:19 AM
You must have a bad batch, because most of us enjoy all Reds victories, likely or unlikely.

yeah but losses rock-- they validate.

Another round of validation, waiter. We're winning too often, and it's getting harder for me to spin.

ochre
08-09-2006, 11:23 AM
I'll take a generous helping of micro macro salad. It all goes together so well. Of course some of teh tomatoes won't fit in the bowl.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 11:25 AM
yeah but losses rock-- they validate.

Another round of validation, waiter. We're winning too often, and it's getting harder for me to spin.

Funny you should choose the term "spin," because that's exactly what you're trying to do (and doing a pretty poor job).

If those mean old numbers scare you so much, try ignoring them and see if they go away.

princeton
08-09-2006, 11:27 AM
I'll take a generous helping of micro macro salad. It all goes together so well. Of course some of teh tomatoes won't fit in the bowl.

try ordering the short-term appetizer with the long-term dessert? It's nearly impossible to finish both in one sitting.

Falls City Beer
08-09-2006, 11:36 AM
I'll have the transcendental chicken, with the cloud cuckooland sauce.

princeton
08-09-2006, 11:41 AM
If those mean old numbers scare you so much, try ignoring them and see if they go away.

oh, but I need the numbers. Otherwise, I might have enjoyed 10 runs on 17 hits. Instead, thanks to you, I know that yesterday was really a moral loss because the Cardinals can score 13 runs on 17 hits. It allows me to extract validation from "all Reds victories, likely or unlikely" if someone can post the next day about the shortcomings of 10 runs.

this past March, I didn't think that we'd do so well, and I was enjoying being so wrong. But from Redszone, I know that I should actually feel insulted because my initial thoughts weren't being validated.

Solidarity, brother

ochre
08-09-2006, 11:42 AM
try ordering the short-term appetizer with the long-term dessert? It's nearly impossible to finish both in one sitting.
Nah. I went straight for the bourbon. It numbs the pain.

Puffy
08-09-2006, 11:45 AM
I went with the tension steak. You could cut it with a knife

registerthis
08-09-2006, 11:54 AM
I don't order anything. I just bite my nails.

SteelSD
08-09-2006, 11:56 AM
I don't order anything. I just bite my nails.

Fingernails or toenails?

registerthis
08-09-2006, 11:59 AM
Fingernails or toenails?

Fingernails if Arroyo's pitching.

Toenails if it's Milton.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 12:24 PM
oh, but I need the numbers. Otherwise, I might have enjoyed 10 runs on 17 hits. Instead, thanks to you, I know that yesterday was really a moral loss because the Cardinals can score 13 runs on 17 hits. It allows me to extract validation from "all Reds victories, likely or unlikely" if someone can post the next day about the shortcomings of 10 runs.

this past March, I didn't think that we'd do so well, and I was enjoying being so wrong. But from Redszone, I know that I should actually feel insulted because my initial thoughts weren't being validated.

Solidarity, brother

My sarcasm detector is on the fritz, so I'll just assume this post is in earnest and I'll leave you alone to charge those windmills.

KittyDuran
08-09-2006, 01:10 PM
Fingernails if Arroyo's pitching.

Toenails if it's Milton.Toenails because you're in a fetal position? ;)

oregonred
08-09-2006, 02:25 PM
that was fun, but back to the original thread...

Updated NL Central Pythag

STL 57-54
HOU 54-58 3
CIN 54-59 3.5
PIT 50-63 8
MIL 48-64 9.5
CHC 47-65 10.5

The Pirates realize the division/WC is actually within reach and will soon commence on many roster moves for the playoff run

KronoRed
08-09-2006, 04:30 PM
Fingernails if Arroyo's pitching.

Toenails if it's Milton.
:help:

They make clippers for that, I've heard using them is therapeutic

MaineRed
08-09-2006, 04:42 PM
Unfortunately, the Cardinals turned their 17 hits into 13 runs, while the Reds could only manage 10.

I think princeton has a point. A good point.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 04:51 PM
I think princeton has a point. A good point.

Which is...?

RFS62
08-09-2006, 05:02 PM
Of course I agree with the general usage of Pythag Records. However, you also have to consider that the teams who have put up those run totals, both scored and allowed, are no longer the same teams in terms of actual rostered players. To think that the Reds will continue either score or allow as many runs as they have to date, and to project season final win totals based on that is tenuous.

I have no problem saying that the Reds are lucky to be where they are. However, given the pretty substantial changes to the roster, a projection based on past run rates simply isn't applicable.




Exactly.

It's a different collection of players. If a team was substantially the same, pythag would hold a lot more water. But we've had a ton of turnover in key roles.

I believe in the pythag, but not applied in this case.

MaineRed
08-09-2006, 05:04 PM
oh, but I need the numbers. Otherwise, I might have enjoyed 10 runs on 17 hits. Instead, thanks to you, I know that yesterday was really a moral loss because the Cardinals can score 13 runs on 17 hits. It allows me to extract validation from "all Reds victories, likely or unlikely" if someone can post the next day about the shortcomings of 10 runs.

this past March, I didn't think that we'd do so well, and I was enjoying being so wrong. But from Redszone, I know that I should actually feel insulted because my initial thoughts weren't being validated.

Solidarity, brother

:beerme:

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 05:16 PM
So you don't like the fact that when princeton posted a snarky comment ("17 lucky hits"), I replied with a snarkier comment that sent him flying off the handle into Sarcasmville?

That's cool...I guess...

princeton
08-09-2006, 05:18 PM
Exactly.

It's a different collection of players. If a team was substantially the same, pythag would hold a lot more water. But we've had a ton of turnover in key roles.

I believe in the pythag, but not applied in this case.

I suspect that the Reds can't hang because they didn't make a big deal at the deadline. That said, the closer to the end, the less predictable things get. Small sample sizes can be our friend. :thumbup:


but the Reds are playing for more than one outcome. When 40,000 fans watched a big catch by Ryan Freel, a key milestone was reached. Luck was involved, but the Reds FO did a good job on capitalizing on it.

REDREAD
08-09-2006, 05:30 PM
I have a hard time saying we've been lucky when we could easily be in 1st place if you take away the crapy closer and pen. .

But if we took away the crappy pen, our pythag record would be a lot better.

I don't believe that since the Reds were lucky in the first part of the season that it necessarily means they are destined to be unlucky in the second half.

The results of the games that are going to be played are independent of the results of the games that have already been played. In other words, if you flip a coin and get heads 10 times in a row, you still have a 50% chance of heads on the next toss.

I agree that we are very fortunate to be leading the wildcard at this point, and we need to step it up (like last night) to hold on to it.

RFS62
08-09-2006, 05:31 PM
I suspect that the Reds can't hang because they didn't make a big deal at the deadline. That said, the closer to the end, the less predictable things get. Small sample sizes can be our friend. :thumbup:


but the Reds are playing for more than one outcome. When 40,000 fans watched a big catch by Ryan Freel, a key milestone was reached. Luck was involved, but the Reds FO did a good job on capitalizing on it.


Yeah, I think small sample sizes are our only hope, personally.

We're trying to catch lightning in a bottle here. A lot of very smart people enjoy telling me why we can't do it and won't do it.

I'm still glad we're trying.

It doesn't bother me when people explain the odds are impossibly against us. I get all that.

But damn, it's still baseball, a game. The greatest game ever invented. It's not a game for robots who always perform a certain way. Sometimes you get a little magic.

Sometimes you get this....


http://cmsimg.enquirer.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=AB&Date=20060809&Category=SPT04&ArtNo=308090029&Ref=AR&Profile=1071&MaxW=315&border=1

Ltlabner
08-09-2006, 05:33 PM
But damn, it's still baseball, a game. The greatest game ever invented. It's not a game for robots who always perform a certain way. Sometimes you get a little magic.


Come on RFS, quit pumping the sunshine. You are sucking all the fun out of reminding us how miserable we should be. ;)

westofyou
08-09-2006, 05:47 PM
but the Reds are playing for more than one outcome. When 40,000 fans watched a big catch by Ryan Freel, a key milestone was reached. Luck was involved, but the Reds FO did a good job on capitalizing on it.

Yep, stuff like that revitalizes the brand, it's part of the whole package like a team full of dirty guys who loved each other whose best finish was 3rd in the mid to late 50's. That team defined who the Reds were until the the BRM, because they were exciting, unlike the Reds of the late 40's and early 50's.

And speaking of outperforming the therom the A's are 11 games up on .500 and they have plus 10 runs.

Nope scratch that, they're losing 13-0 so they are 10 game over and 3 runs down.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 05:54 PM
No one is rooting for Pythagoras to catch up with the Reds. Some of us are just saying there's an iceberg in the water.

I'd love for it to miss us.

Ltlabner
08-09-2006, 05:58 PM
No one is rooting for Pythagoras to catch up with the Reds. Some of us are just saying there's an iceberg in the water.

I'd love for it to miss us.

And none of us who are excited about where the team is now deny the iceburg's existance or that there are many things that have to fall into place for us to go deep into the post season. It ain't going to be easy.

Just as its possible to be objective about the problems and still root on the team, it's possible to root on the team and be objective about the problems.

It does work both ways.

Cedric
08-09-2006, 06:07 PM
Yep, stuff like that revitalizes the brand, it's part of the whole package like a team full of dirty guys who loved each other whose best finish was 3rd in the mid to late 50's. That team defined who the Reds were until the the BRM, because they were exciting, unlike the Reds of the late 40's and early 50's.

And speaking of outperforming the therom the A's are 11 games up on .500 and they have plus 10 runs.

Nope scratch that, they're losing 13-0 so they are 10 game over and 3 runs down.

Speaking of that 13-0 game. When did Gary Mathews Jr actually get good? Missed that one.

Sorry for semi-thread jack. Just didn't think it was worthy of own thread.

westofyou
08-09-2006, 06:13 PM
When did Gary Mathews Jr actually get good? Missed that one. Live by the Batting Average Die by it.

oregonred
08-09-2006, 06:24 PM
No one is rooting for Pythagoras to catch up with the Reds. Some of us are just saying there's an iceberg in the water.

I'd love for it to miss us.

Mets + three "lucky" teams in the NL will miss the iceburg this season and get a stamped ticket to the postseason -- that's the beauty of this mess. Give The Dodgers the NL West and for the Reds you've still got two free passes left to be handed out.

The odds aren't ridiculous. IMO, we've got at least a 50/50 shot at getting into the game.

MaineRed
08-09-2006, 06:40 PM
So you don't like the fact that when princeton posted a snarky comment ("17 lucky hits"), I replied with a snarkier comment that sent him flying off the handle into Sarcasmville?

That's cool...I guess...

It was nothing against you. I just see his point. That is all I said.

RFS62
08-09-2006, 06:55 PM
Toenails because you're in a fetal position? ;)



That was pretty funny.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

redsrule2500
08-09-2006, 08:13 PM
I would tend to agree, but we have improved our team over the course of the season. Also, we have had a lot of blowouts (see the first cards game or even the season opener.)

The Reds win and get it done, however.

REDREAD
08-09-2006, 10:51 PM
One very interesting thing is that Marty said the Reds are something like 20-11 in one run games. Usually, to have a good record in one run games, you need a strong bullpen, which obviously the Reds don't have. Is it luck, or does this team have some magic ingredient to help in one run games. It could've been the above average slugging we had before the trade. I'm not trying to change the subject, just stating the offense was definitely above average in power for most of the year.

Also, I think what makes the pythag record decieving is that our #1 and #2 pitchers have been very solid. The Lizard and Milton are almost a total crapshoot. They've had good games and horrible games.. in other words, they are very mercurial. Likewise, the pen got hammered hard a couple games, but losing by a game by 10+ runs fortunately only counts as 1 loss.

Falls City Beer
08-09-2006, 10:53 PM
One very interesting thing is that Marty said the Reds are something like 20-11 in one run games. Usually, to have a good record in one run games, you need a strong bullpen, which obviously the Reds don't have. Is it luck, or does this team have some magic ingredient to help in one run games. It could've been the above average slugging we had before the trade. I'm not trying to change the subject, just stating the offense was definitely above average in power for most of the year.

Also, I think what makes the pythag record decieving is that our #1 and #2 pitchers have been very solid. The Lizard and Milton are almost a total crapshoot. They've had good games and horrible games.. in other words, they are very mercurial. Likewise, the pen got hammered hard a couple games, but losing by a game by 10+ runs fortunately only counts as 1 loss.

The magic ingredient: the offense.

D-Man
08-09-2006, 11:32 PM
Sorry everyone, but there is very little luck involved here. As I've argued multiple times on this site, the data supports the notion that this team is legit. BP's equivalent runs formula shows that the Reds predicted record is totally in line with its actual W-L. In fact, the Reds are the best team in the NL Central by equivalent runs and equivalent runs allowed.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.php

The pythagorean W-L is totally misleading because the offense has underproduced runs at anomalistic pace.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1097448#post1097448

The reason *why* the Reds are 20-11 in one-run games is that the poor bullpen and offensive underproduction have combined to make several would-be blowouts into close games.

GullyFoyle
08-09-2006, 11:44 PM
In fact, the Reds are the best team in the NL Central by equivalent runs and equivalent runs allowed.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.php

...

The reason *why* the Reds are 20-11 in one-run games is that the poor bullpen and offensive underproduction have combined to make several would-be blowouts into close games.

Good point and a nice link....

SteelSD
08-09-2006, 11:59 PM
Sorry everyone, but there is very little luck involved here. As I've argued multiple times on this site, the data supports the notion that this team is legit. BP's equivalent runs formula shows that the Reds predicted record is totally in line with its actual W-L. In fact, the Reds are the best team in the NL Central by equivalent runs and equivalent runs allowed.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.php

The pythagorean W-L is totally misleading because the offense has underproduced runs at anomalistic pace.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1097448#post1097448

The reason *why* the Reds are 20-11 in one-run games is that the poor bullpen and offensive underproduction have combined to make several would-be blowouts into close games.

Actually, the Second Order W/L record as of yesterday is 57.1 and 55.9. The Third Order W/L record is 54.6 and 58.4. The deltas are +4.2, +0.9, and +3.4. That's a Win-lucky trio of metrics. At best, they've been about one Win lucky. At worst, they've been about 4 Wins lucky.

Reds1
08-10-2006, 12:46 AM
One very interesting thing is that Marty said the Reds are something like 20-11 in one run games. Usually, to have a good record in one run games, you need a strong bullpen, which obviously the Reds don't have. Is it luck, or does this team have some magic ingredient to help in one run games. It could've been the above average slugging we had before the trade. I'm not trying to change the subject, just stating the offense was definitely above average in power for most of the year.

Also, I think what makes the pythag record decieving is that our #1 and #2 pitchers have been very solid. The Lizard and Milton are almost a total crapshoot. They've had good games and horrible games.. in other words, they are very mercurial. Likewise, the pen got hammered hard a couple games, but losing by a game by 10+ runs fortunately only counts as 1 loss.

We are 2nd in the league next to the mets in walk off wins. That has something to do with the 1 run victories. Sweet win tonight

penantboundreds
08-10-2006, 12:50 AM
im not going to say that we are lucky or not but i imagine that every team has about 8 lucky wins a season....just saying...its baseball and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't

NJReds
08-10-2006, 09:46 AM
I don't know if the Reds will make the playoffs or not, but this has been the most exciting season in recent memory, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Johnny Footstool
08-10-2006, 10:20 AM
im not going to say that we are lucky or not but i imagine that every team has about 8 lucky wins a season....just saying...its baseball and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't

You tend to have about as many lucky wins as lucky losses. Currently, the Reds have a few more lucky wins than losses. That's why some of us are worried.

registerthis
08-10-2006, 10:56 AM
Actually, the Second Order W/L record as of yesterday is 57.1 and 55.9. The Third Order W/L record is 54.6 and 58.4. The deltas are +4.2, +0.9, and +3.4. That's a Win-lucky trio of metrics. At best, they've been about one Win lucky. At worst, they've been about 4 Wins lucky.

How lucky have the cards been? Just curious...

SteelSD
08-10-2006, 11:07 AM
How lucky have the cards been? Just curious...

Luckier.

D1: +3.4
D2: +5.7
D3: +8.4

And it's interesting that the Reds won on a walkoff HR last night but their deltas increased:

D1: +4.6
D2: +1.5
D3: +3.9

D-Man
08-10-2006, 11:52 AM
Actually, the Second Order W/L record as of yesterday is 57.1 and 55.9. The Third Order W/L record is 54.6 and 58.4. The deltas are +4.2, +0.9, and +3.4. That's a Win-lucky trio of metrics. At best, they've been about one Win lucky. At worst, they've been about 4 Wins lucky.

Sure there are three metrics there. . . but you only need to look at the adjusted standings to see which of those three metrics that BP values most (i.e., the equivalent runs W-L). One or two wins, + or -, is normal variation around the mean.

My point is that we should have very little fidelity in the pythagorean W-L (the far left column in the link) because of the large deltas between the Reds' actual runs scored vice the Reds' runs created/equivalent runs.

These data do not support the notion that the "NL Wildcard is slipping away." If anything, the Reds are *unlucky* that they are in second place.