Padres bloggin' since 2007

What Can You Say?

April 25th, 2008 by Melvin

Statistical sampling and the nature of the game of baseball are two concepts that make this sport frustrating to follow.  There are so many variables that account for teams playing either above or below expected levels.

Dramatic scenes such as the Rockies come back from the dead last year is an exhilarating, rip-roaing good time. On the flip side, under performance is a difficult, distressing, process. Like a crash on a crank binge, we’re feeling the downside right now and it is not much fun.

We know the Padres are a better team than the way they’re producing.  Nobody predicted 95 wins, but a last place team this is not

External Factors

Phantom over at Gaslamp Ball takes a closer look at the pitching we’ve faced, and the parks in which we’ve played.

First off, he averaged the ERA+ of starters each NL west team drew so far.  However, if we want to determine the ability of pitchers faced without involving our own play, this may not be the best idea.  If a pitcher we’ve faced more often has a high ERA+ this early in the season, it could easily be due to our own crapulence rather than the ability of the pitcher.

That said, he gives us the names of pitchers we’ve faced twice, and we know based on their history they’re good players.  This left us at a disadvantage.

Phantom’s second subject, analyzing the park effects of our games, is an important consideration when looking at raw numbers.  Our boys in blue sport a .234 / .302 / .336 line so far this season, which looks bleak compared to .251 / .322 / .411 last year.  I’ll use my own method in this analysis, and take the easy route with OPS+which adjusts for ballparks for me.*

Last year’s Padres OPS+ was 101, reflecting poorly on those who think the team’s offense was below average.  This year’s club sports an OPS+ of 79 which reflects poorly on the offense itself.

What about Runs?

Baseball Prospectus uses a modified version of the Pythagorian run equation (dubbed Pythagenport) to a team’s expected wins.  This is a method of removing luck when judging wins and losses.

Team W L AE Runs AE Runs Allowed
D-Backs 16 6 122 88
Rockies 10 12 116 97
Dodgers 9 13 102 101
Giants 10 13 88 109
Padres 9 14 80 109

They take the number of runs scored versus runs allowed, and adjust it according to variances in the teams’ batting line.  Then they adjust to the quality of the hitting and pitching abilities of opponents played to determine “adjusted equivalent runs scored” and “adjusted equivalent runs allowed” (AEqR and AEqRA) .*  Their calculations suggest we have played slightly unlucky in these regards, but not of enough significance to much yowsers in my trousers.

*By the way, those asterisks are there because data like park factors and opposing team adjustments need more innings before they can be relied on.  That’s a good thing though, it gives our boys more opportunity to bounce back.

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