Monday, May 15, 2006

Baseball Post: Using Pythagorean Winning Percentages to Project the NL West

Last year the San Diego Padres took the NL West division title with just 82 wins - a win percentage of just .506. It was a weak division and that seems to be the case this year as well making it the toughest division to call right up to late September because no team seems to run away with it.

This year I've taken a particular interest in various Sabermetric angles on interpreting the vast numerical data of baseball and thought it would be interesting to look at some projections for the NL West using the relatively simple Pythagorean Win Percentage formula. Like many predictions, such projections are subject to the altering effects of reality. And these in particular assume that all 5 teams will continue to score and allow runs to score at roughly the same rate going forward. They are also based on an admittedly small sample size given this early point in the season.

Current Standings:
Padres 22-16 .579
projected at current win rate: 94-68
Rockies 21-17 .553
projected at current win rate: 90-72
Diamondbacks 20-17 .541
projected at current win rate: 88-74
Dodgers 19-19 .500
projected at current win rate: 81-81
Giants 18-20 .474
projected at current win rate: 77-85

Pythagorean Win Percentage Projection


Well, this small set of data suggests a tight race. Though it also suggests that the Rockies are currently winning much more than what they should expect if they continue to score and allow runs at their current rate. It is interesting to note that these projections place 3 of 5 teams with better records than the 82-80 2005 Padres.

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