PythagenMatt in the West

This is going to be a short article, but, as I am once again tracking PythagenMatt for the AL West race I thought I would offer up that information here so you guys know where we are as we approach the end of the first half.

After 86 games, the Mariners stand at 44-42, 4.5 back in the AL West.  I've tallied up the single game pythag figures and arrived at some rather bearish conclusions.

First a reminder.  The PythagenPat W% estimator tool is a two-step formula following this format:

W% = RS^X / (RS^X + RA^X)

X = ((RS + RA) / G)^0.285

I've co-opted that formula and used it to rate single-game performance instead of seasonal performance.  With a linear adjustment to account for the "center-pull" bias I discovered way back in early 2007 that comes with this game-by-game pythag approach, the sum total of the single-game winning percentages can be used as a tool to project future performance.  That adjustment is as follows:

Adjusted W% = ((SUM(Game W%) / G) - 0.1531) / 0.6938

The four teams in the AL West stand as follows after tonight's results:


Team GP W L RS RA X P-P P-M Proj-P Proj-M
LAA 84 47 37 442 417 1.940 0.528 0.565 88.2 91.1
OAK 84 35 49 347 396 1.861 0.439 0.431 69.2 68.6
SEA 86 44 42 339 362 1.818 0.470 0.485 79.7 80.9
TEX 85 48 37 426 387 1.903 0.546 0.551 90.0 90.4

The projections are foud by taking the team's existing win total and adding (162 - GP) * a W% estimator (either PythagenPat (P-P) or PythagenMatt (P-M).

The significant PythagenMatt outlier team is the Angels...and there's a simple explanation.  In April, they were missing approximately two teams worth of pitchers to the DL, causing spectacularlyl inconsistent and overall very poor RA results.  In a game by game universe though, those games all only count once, and as the season has gone on, they've returned to their previous levels of performance, though the loss of Vlad Guerrero and Torii Hunter to injury certainly will slow them down a little for a few weeks.  Everyone else is performing about where you'd expect other than the Mariners, who, thanks to good RESULTS from their bullpen in the first half, have slightly outperformed both P-M and P-P to stay in the playoff race.  The projections suggest, however, that the Mariners have a lot of ground to cover if they want to stay with the Angels and Rangers.

It is not a happy result, but it's not surprising.  The reason the 2007 Mariners drastically overperformed Pythag was fairly clear...they have very inconsistent defense and pretty consistent offense...both of which lead to overperforming pythag.  They were prone to getting blown out more than normal but when they weren't blown out, they were better than their numbers looked.  This 2009 team has a *VERY* consistent team defense and a typical offense (typical in spread of performance, below average overall in performance)...the only reason their PythagenMatt is slightly higher than their PythagenPat is the high performance of their bullpen causing them to win more close games than straight Pythag would predict.

The end result...a rather unfriendly 81-win projection if they do not add offense and increase their seasonal pythag.



I cannot get this blog to format a table.  All of the HTML tags are in there for a table creation and it looks fine in the post editor window but it will not display the table.


Your projections are exactly the way I pictured them...
The 2009 M's are undermanned, IMHO, and there's been a certain amount of luck in their playing as well as they have so far.
It's beautiful to see their Little Engine That Could attitude, but their offense just is not a serious contender's offense.  Their team OPS+ stands at 91 and that's hiked by a thumb on the scale for Safeco.
Give Capt Jack credit.  He has revamped a 102-loss team into a feisty .500 team in just a coupla months.  But until this team can look a quality pitcher in the eye, and beat him, it's not ready for prime time.


I made a small error when I calculated Seattle's PythagenMatt projection, I missed their first game of the season in highlighting the range of cells to count toward the projection.  Including that 6-1 win and the 4-1 and 5-3 wins in the last two games of the first half (along with Anaheim's two wins over the Yankees and Oakland's two blowout wins over the Rays) the standings look like this:
Team - W% - P-Proj - M-Proj
LAA - .570 - 90 - 92
OAK - .430 - 71 - 71
SEA - .523 - 81 - 84
TEX - .552 - 88 - 88
W% is the real world W%, M-Proj is the PythagenMatt based projection for the season's final win count, P-Proj is the final projection based on PythagenPat.


Team - W% - P-Matt - P-Pat - M-Proj - P-Proj
LAA - .578 - .580 - .540 - 94 - 91
TEX - .544 - .531 - .535 - 87 - 88
SEA - .533 - .519 - .484 - 85 - 83
OAK - .422 - .434 - .446 - 69 - 70

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