Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sheets Can't Hit

I know, tell you something you don't already know. I knew Sheets was bad but I didn't realize that he might the worst hitting pitcher in the league, though. According to Nate Silver at Baseball Prospectus, Sheets is just that:

Lies, Damned Lies: Evaluating Pitcher Hitting

Assuming about 80 PA (what an average starter racks up over 32 or 33 starts, Sheets costs his team 2.2 runs, compared to the average hitting pitcher. Showing up on the "best hitters" list is Yovani Gallardo, at 4.9 runs above average. That's good for 4th best in the league. Roughly speaking, that 7.1 run difference in hitting talent between Yo and Sheets equates to around .30 ERA points. Wow!

You can find some addition discussion here on this topic.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No More SOS, Please.

20 home games, 31 road games; against eams with great records. Even Yost is using it as an excuse. Is there merit to it?

Not really.

While it's true that, through 5/26, the Brewers have faced teams with an average win percentage of .526, when you aren't even a quarter of the way through the season, that's just not a very good estimator of a team's actual strength. The average pythagorean win percentage of their opponent has been .516, suggesting that the straight win percentage might be inflated somewhat. What else can we look at at?

Only 50 games into the season, we know that preseason projections still tell us a lot about a team's true collective talent. Looking at the average preseason projections from here, the average projected win percentage of their opponents so far has been only .487. So, let's weigh that 75% and the 50-odd games 25%. Using the log5 method for each game and adding in the average 4% advantage to the home team, for a perfectly average team, we get the following average win expectancy for the season so far:

Actual win/loss record: 49.4%
Pythagorean Record: 49.7%

Even with all those road games, the Brewers have basically had an average strength of schedule.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Brewer Batters: Projected vs. Actual

Through yesterday's game:

The only batter with a significant number of ABs (Cameron has only 34) doing better than his projection is Kendall. Unfortunately, the majority of that production occurred over the first 8 games of the season. Since then (79 AB): .203/.292/.266/.588. Amazingly, the remaining 6 starters are all hitting over .100 OPS points less than projected! Wow.

What they are doing is pretty amazing. You have to expect some significant improvement from this offense if only by accident.


Friday, May 02, 2008

This is What Three Wins Looks Like

And it doesn't look good:

Brewers Assume Gallardo Out For Year

ZiPS says Bush is about a run per 9 innings worse than Gallardo. That's going to work out to around 2 or 3 less wins. BP projected 90.4 wins and a coin flip chance at the playoffs before the injury. I'd change that to about 88 wins and a 25% chance at this point.

One injury away from Jeff Weaver. Not good.