Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Runs Per Game and Consistency

Much has been made of the inconsistency the Brewers offense and pitching has supposedly exhibited so far this year. To be fair, it’s hard to ignore when a team wins 11-0 one day and loses 11-0 the very next day. Just how atypical has Milwaukee’s scoring per game been through their first 38 games, though? As a rough estimator for the typical runs per game (RPG) distribution, I used the values from THIS BP article. The Brewers are scoring and giving up about 5 RPG, so I used the 5.0 RPG chart as reference. There are far better ways to do this but I was being lazy and its close enough, anyway. Let's look at runs scored first:

The Brewers have been shut out about 2 more times than you would have expected but have also scored 1 and 2 RPG less than expected. Since it's rare to win any game where you score less than 3 runs anyway, it seems like a wash to me. The only other number way out of line is in the 6 RPG category, where the Brewers would have been expected to have about 4 such games (instead of their actual 1). Overall, their "runs scored" distribution doesn't look that out of wack to me, although that 16 run game was certainly unexpected.

Next up is runs against:

The Brewers have allowed 2 runs in 9 games so far this year, much higher than the expected 4 games. They've also been blasted to the tune of 10, 11, 12 and 13 runs already. This Hardball times article, suggests that that type of inconsistency is actually a good thing, however. The reason is quite simple and can be easily illustrated with an example. Over the course of 4 games, what set of runs would be better to give up?

Scenario 1: 2,2,2,18

Scenario 2: 6,6,6,6

In both cases, the pitchers have given up an average of 6 runs but they'll probably have a better record in scenario 1. For a given runs against average, it's better to get blasted a few games since that means that you must have given up less in all the others. This kind of inconsistency may have actually resulted in a couple extra wins for the Brewers this year.

This is all very quick and dirty but this consistency stuff is way over blown in my opinion. Even if a team had a tendency to have irregular run distributions, that fact might actually help them.

I hope to go into more detail about this in the near future.


Blogger rluzinski said...

I just realized Brew Crew Ball posted the Brewer run distributions on may 1st:


We uses different "expected" run distributions, however. Anyway, just wanted to make things clear I wasn't just copying, just late to the party:)

12:16 PM  
Blogger rluzinski said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:16 PM  

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