Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A brief analysis of the contenders...

Or, Nate pokes fun at people.

Realistically we have three main contenders at this point in the season, Seattle, South Bay, and River Cities. Others could still win their divisions but it's an uphill battle, I think you will agree. So let's restrict our analysis to those three.

At first glance the records indicate some distance...

Seattle 82-38
River Cities 79-41
South Bay 73-47

A spread of nine wins between the three teams. Well and good. But let's delve deeper into the numbers...

Pythagorean Record. The PytRec is a function of runs scored and runs allowed. It predicts the expected win total based on offensive and defensive performance. Through this we can establish to what level luck is involved in a teams W/L record:


River Cities 83.37
Seattle 81-39
South Bay 75-45

Suddenly in gets interesting. Both Zotti league teams have been unlucky to one extent or another while the Adams League team is a little bit to the lucky side of the ledger.

Aside: Let's send some love out to Saskatoon at this point as they are UNlucky at an astounding 9 game clip. A rare feat and one closely matched on the flip side by Covington who are 7 games to the LUCKY side.

Having already established the Zotti thing in terms of Record we'll look at Batting:

OPS .751
HR 125
R 608
BB 406
SB 57

River Cities
OPS .793
HR 147
R 664
BB 391
SB 93

South Bay
OPS .759
HR 124
R 607
BB 459
SB 102

Again we see the dominance of the Zotti League this season. Both River Cities AND South Bay have superior numbers in all facets of AVG, OBP, and SLG. In addition, they both beat Seattle handily in terms of SB. There is no facet of offense in which Seattle dominates the Zotti league contenders.

Pitching. Turning now to the pitching side of the ledger we see the first glimmerings of good news for the Seattlites (it's like a satellite but with more coffee and cloud cover). Seattle has a clear lead in ERA...

ERA 3.02
HA 966
R 420
ER 367
BB 290
K 990
OAVG .234

River Cities
ERA 3.40
HA 932
R 447
ER 415
BB 334
K 906
OAVG .229

South Bay
ERA 3.55
HA 980
R 473
ER 429
BB 313
K 849
OAVG .240

But wait! Before we praise Seattle too much let's dive into something I noticed! Seattle has, somehow given up 53 unearned runs this year. Compared to River Cities 32 and South Bay's 44 that seems excessive.

Total Runs Allowed per Game:

Seattle: 3.45
River Cities: 3.66
South Bay: 3.91

That still gives Seattle an edge in pitching but shrinks it by half. Add in the fact that Seattle has allowed only 62 HR so far this year and they have an advantage in this category, though not as much as appears at first blush.


On the defensive side of the ledger we're all close so we'll be looking for marginal advantages.

F% .981
DP 90
E 89

River Cities
F% .985
DP 105
E 68

South Bay
F% .982
DP 99
E 85

So River Cities is the clear winner in defense while Seattle's unearned runs from the 'Pitching' section above began to make a little sense. Clearly, Seattle is forgot to turn in those 'turn back the clock' gloves from a promotion. Using the Jamesian DP/E ratio we get:

Seattle: 1.01
River Cities: 1.54
South Bay: 1.16

A clear victory for River Cities.

In short, the signs point to the superiority of the Zotti league this season and the superiority of River Cities within that league.

Best to give up now, all of you, before it goes to far.

For what it's worth, Nate, I've won four Cups in this league using the simple "Pitching Wins Championships" mantra, and I firmly believe that I'd be way above you had Sorg and Plunk decided to be merely above average instead of great.

I don't know if I'll catch you or not, but I think this is Mack's year, regardless.

The most important fact that you failed to mention is that the two leagues haven't played one another. That makes a straightforward comparison between stats from the two leagues essentially meaningless. If one league was much better than the other, then the team from that league would need to have a bump up to make any rational comparisons. For all we know, this could be like comparing the stats from the top teams from the Japanese league to the top teams in the Major Leagues. We just don't know.

I think that the Adams league is a little stronger, overall, than the Zotti League. But I freely admit I don't know that. That's one of the things that makes it so interesting to look ahead.

I'd also posit that even the Cecil Cup won't prove which league is better, but the Cecil Cup obviously determines the champion and that's really all that's important.

All of that being said, I also think that your offense is better than my offense and that my team's combination of pitching and defense is better than your team's combination of pitching and defense. But, I base that in part on the game's obviously erratic ratings, so I'm not even sure about that.
Also, as long as we're debating:

1. I don't agree that South Bay's offense is clearly better than mine. I think they're pretty equivalent, as the OPS and runs scored show.

2. Seattle's running game is better than River Cities', and roughly equivalent to South Bay's. Stolen base numbers are meaningless without considering caught stealings.

River Cities: 93 SB, 40 CS (70%)
South Bay: 102 SB, 34 CS (75%)
Seattle: 57 SB, 13 CS (81%)

On marginal steals above Seattle's line:

River Cities: 36 SB, 27 CS (57%)
South Bay: 45 SB, 21 CS (68%)

River Cities is hurting itself with it's extra attempts, while the extra steals for South Bay are right about at the breakeven point for success.

3. The pitching edge from home runs allowed is huge:

Seattle: 62
River Cities: 90
South Bay: 104

Since this is considered a repeatable skill, and is treated that way in the game, this actually magnifies the difference in run prevention, not minimizes it as you suggest.
Sadly, pitching doesn't always win. My pitching staff is doing very well this year, but my batting stinks -- and I'm losing a lot of 2-0 and 3-2 games because of it.

And my hitting coach is Excellent!

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