Pythagorus and Major League Baseball Go Together Quite Well

I was reading several articles today and felt the need to reprint one here that I found quite interesting. If you take the Pythagoreum theory and make it work for baseball you can do a rather accurate indicator has to how well a team should do for the season.

This is from Covers and you can find the entire article here. Covers is a great read on a daily basis as they have great insight into sports from a different angle.

I have reprinted this with their permission. Here is a portion of the article……

The baseball version of the Pythagorean theorem uses the numbers of runs scored and allowed by a team to determine its expected record. The formula is to square the number of runs scored and divide it by the numbers of runs scored squared plus the number of runs allowed squared.In other words, a team that scores 700 runs in a season and allows 700 runs in a season would be expected to finish exactly at .500 with an 81-81 record over a 162-game schedule. A team that scores 800 runs and allowed 600 runs would be expected to have a .640 winning percentage and a record of 104-58. Conversely, a team that scores 600 runs and allows 800 run would be expected to play at a .360 clip and finish 58-104.There are four teams this season who have underperformed their Pythagorean records by two wins. The math says these teams are poised for a regression to the mean, stat talk for a market correction, and could be good plays if undervalued by the oddsmakers. Let’s take a look at the four teams and some starting pitchers who would benefit from their teams’ change of luck.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS The Cardinals are scoring 5.18 runs a game and allowing 3.77, which should be good for a 14-8 records. Instead, they are 12-10.  Despite the inefficiency, the Cardinals are hitting a National League-best .327 with runners in scoring position and two outs but that has been mitigated by grounding into double plays in 19 percent of their plate appearances with a runner on first base and less than two outs, the worst figure in the league. When the regression to the mean occurs, Chris Carpenter should benefit. The Cardinals have lost all five of his starts this season, even though his ERA of 3.90 is just 0.05 below the NL average. Furthermore, he has been the worst pitcher against the moneyline at minus-797.

ATLANTA BRAVES The Braves’ averages per game are 3.78 runs scored and 3.30 runs allowed, which should translate to a 13-10 record. Instead, they are a game under .500 at 11-12, though the regression seemed to start over the weekend when they swept a three-game series from the Giants in San Francisco. Still, the Braves have the second-worst on-base percentage (.302) and third lowest batting average (.229) in the NL.Tommy Hanson and Derek Lowe are candidates for better records when things start evening out. Both are 2-3, even though Hanson has a 3.21 ERA and Lowe’s is 3.25 after five starts. The Braves are also 2-3 in their starts with Lowe at minus-149 against the line and Hanson at minus-220.

OAKLAND ATHLETICS The Athletics are giving up just 3.09 runs a game, best in the American League, while scoring 3.64. They should be 13-9 despite the lack of offense but are instead 11-11. The Athletics’ offense ranks among the bottom half in the AL in all categories but its biggest weakness is a lack of power as their .354 slugging percentage is 12th in the 14-team league.A resurgent Brandon McCarthy, back in top form after years of injuries, is the starter who figures to gain the most if the Athletics enjoy a market correction. He is only 1-1 but has an outstanding 2.10 ERA through four starts. The Athletics are just 1-3 in his starts and -216 against the line.

The Reds should be 13-9 rather than 11-11 since they are averaging 5.18 runs a game and giving up 4.41. The rotation is missing injured Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey and it shows as the Reds have issued 80 walks this season, the third-highest total in the NL.The pitching certainly hasn’t been good but there is one starter who has pitched better than his record and figures to get some wins when things smooth out. That is Sam LeCure, who is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA but has an outstanding 17/4 strikeout/walk ratio. The Reds have gone 1-2 and minus-187 in his three starts.

Now that is fascinating stuff. However, following the Cardinals everyday we should have at least 4 more wins due to the 4 blown saves that the Cardinals have given up already this year.
Just an update that it has been about a year since I retired from teaching English and Writing. I haven’t found anything I don’t like about retirement yet. I love to sit and do internet writing about sports and wouldn’t mind doing more of it if the opportunity exists.