Friday, April 7, 2017

Win expectations revisited

The Twins won again Thursday. They remain on pace to go 162-0, which would be some kind of record record.

I have been in recent days re-reading Bill James' "Guide to Baseball Managers," a book that came out about 20 years ago. I cracked it open to revisit his research on optimizing batting orders (see this Monday print column and this post) and kept reading a few pages at a time during my dinner breaks at work.

Last night I ran across a formula for establishing the "win expectations" for a specific team, and since the question of what we should expect from the Twins was the subject of a post earlier in the week I thought I would run it for the 2017 Twins.

The formula is: 50 percent the previous year record; 25 percent a .500 record (because all teams tend to head for .500); 12.5 percent the record from two seasons back; and 12.5 percent the record from the season before that.

So ...

2016: 59-103 x 4 =  236-412
.500: 81-81 x 2 = 162-162
2015: 83-79 x 1 = 83-79
2014: 70-92 x 1 = 70-92

Total: 551-745, a .425 winning percentage. Which, over 162 games, comes to 69-93. Which is three games better that what I suggested would be a baseline expectation for this team, and considerably more likely than 162-0.

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