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Postby KPucks » Sun Dec 11, 2005 12:44 am

mweir145 wrote:Last year, the Jays had a horrible record in one run games, and that is probably one of the main reasons why they finished so far behind in the standings next to the Sox and Yankees. I guess you could say they're "unlucky," but good teams find ways to win those close games.


I would argue the opposite. Each year, the teams with the best record in one run games tend to be the ones with the best records overall. This is not because they somehow "find a way to win the close ones." They have the best record becuase they got lucky and had a good record in one run games. A very large portion of teams that have a godd record in one run games one year fall back to the average (about .500) in one run games the next year. This is the case whether or not the team improves personel or not. The opposite is true for teams that are unlicky in one run games. They usually improve to the average thenext year. That is why if your team was extremely lucky in one run games this year (like the White Sox), you can expect a decrease in wins the next year unless you improve your personel.[/b]
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Postby quietstorm » Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:21 am

Again I ask:

Is a team who wins every game by one run better than a team who wins half their games by five runs but loses the other half by one run?
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Postby Madison » Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:26 am

My Rangers were pretty unlucky last year. 8-o

Now it's time for that luck to roll back around! :-) ;-D
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Postby davidmarver » Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:41 am

Is it me, or do bullpens and pinch hitters make a giant difference in the outcome of 1-run games?

I think some of it can be attributed to luck, but a lot of 1-run victories are such because of other factors.
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Postby Tavish » Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:50 am

davidmarver wrote:Is it me, or do bullpens and pinch hitters make a giant difference in the outcome of 1-run games?

I think some of it can be attributed to luck, but a lot of 1-run victories are such because of other factors.


Pitching (both the starters and the bullpen) have the greatest effect on how teams do against their Pythag prediction. The better your pitching the more often you will meet or exceed your Pythag. In terms of 1-run games pitching is a major key and since bullpens are being used in so many innings now it has become as big of a factor as the starters. I don't think there is really much correlation between PH and the outcomes.
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Postby quietstorm » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:08 am

davidmarver wrote:Is it me, or do bullpens and pinch hitters make a giant difference in the outcome of 1-run games?

I think some of it can be attributed to luck, but a lot of 1-run victories are such because of other factors.
This is true, but a team with a higher run differential is usually better.

I posed this question on another board about sports in general. This is a more football-oriented explanation, but just change all the terms to baseball terms and it makes sense (more, in fact, since baseball is governed by strict probability on a greater level):


"Wow. To continue with baseball: Every batted ball has a set of probabilities governing it. Aside from very minimal control of direction due to swing speed/timing, the batter has no ability to control where the ball goes. As such, and considering the defense, it may or may not fall in for a hit. Because of this, every batted ball of Velocity A has roughly the same chance of falling in for a hit, given that the defensive team remains the same (no stamina loss, etc.). What makes a good hitter is hitting more balls, yes.

However, it's still always a probability issue. If you're a .333 hitter, every at-bat gives you a one in three chance that you'll end up on base (or hitting a home run). You can't control that any more than I can control a coin flip -- it's going to come out relatively even, given enough chances, but that doesn't mean that it's not going to land heads fifty times then tails fifty times. Every time you swing, it's the same probability.

Though there's not the same element of ball-goes-anywhere-at-even-probability in football, if you assume static conditions, a 60% completion rate is always 60%. You have a three-in-five chance of completing a pass. Again, the coin analogy.

Now, let's take the coin analogy further, and say that heads is scoring, tails is not scoring. Each team has a given chance of scoring in any given situation.

Say a team gets four flips per quarter/inning/whatever. In football, that's 16 per game. Let's say Team A has a 75% score rate, and Team B has a 50%. Game 1, A goes 8-8, B goes 7-9. Game 2, A goes 16-0, B goes 9-7. It continues this way throughout the entire season. By the end, we now have two .500 teams. But which is better? The one who scored 50% of the time or the one who scored 75% of the time?

Okay, same thing, same assumptions: Team B has a 9/16 chance of scoring, Team C has a 50% chance. Every single game, B wins 9-8 over C. Is B now a superior team, even though their scoring rate is 56.25% compared to A's 75%?

Remember, we're assuming absolute statical conditions, so probabilities are all that matter. A is going to be considered the better team.

Now realize, we've already had fungability to the environment. In that first example, A had good days and bad days. Sure, it's never going to happen in quite that manner -- over the course of multiple seasons, they're more and more likely to go 12-4. But, sometimes they'll go 8-8, sometimes they'll go 16-0. Remember, same exact team. Same exact players, same exact skill level. The only difference between years is that players have different peaks and valleys, and if all of those players have a bad day at the same time, it's going to cause the team to lose."
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Postby OhMrScottyTrav06 » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:13 am

*** Final 2005 MLB Statistics - Records in One Run Games ***
(Complete through Sunday, October 2nd)

From The Sports Network

National League
---------------

Home Away Overall
W L W L W L
Arizona Diamondbacks 19 10 9 8 28 18
Atlanta Braves 14 5 9 15 23 20
Chicago Cubs 14 9 12 11 26 20
Cincinnati Reds 15 6 6 12 21 18
Colorado Rockies 11 8 14 16 25 24
Florida Marlins 13 8 7 15 20 23
Houston Astros 16 9 9 12 25 21
Los Angeles Dodgers 12 10 8 13 20 23
Milwaukee Brewers 15 6 6 15 21 21
New York Mets 14 7 7 17 21 24
Philadelphia Phillies 14 13 7 10 21 23
Pittsburgh Pirates 8 12 7 16 15 28
St. Louis Cardinals 12 13 9 12 21 25
San Diego Padres 20 8 9 12 29 20
San Francisco Giants 13 11 14 14 27 25
Washington Nationals 15 13 15 18 30 31


American League
---------------

Home Away Overall
W L W L W L
Baltimore Orioles 6 10 8 15 14 25
Boston Red Sox 15 1 12 14 27 15
Chicago White Sox 16 7 19 12 35 19
Cleveland Indians 12 20 10 16 22 36
Detroit Tigers 12 12 10 14 22 26
Kansas City Royals 14 16 4 14 18 30
LA Angels of Anaheim 20 8 13 18 33 26
Minnesota Twins 16 12 11 18 27 30
New York Yankees 18 5 9 11 27 16
Oakland Athletics 16 9 10 15 26 24
Seattle Mariners 17 9 9 14 26 23
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 18 10 11 15 29 25
Texas Rangers 12 11 12 18 24 29
Toronto Blue Jays 9 15 7 16 16 31


I think that if a team has a poor one-run record, it just means they are inconsistent. Every team's going to have their ups and downs... but teams like the Angels, who have struggled offensively at times, find ways to win with their smallball offense and solid bullpen...

Experience may factor into the equation as well... as the Indians and Blue Jays (both were terrible in one-run games) were very young. The Red Sox, Yanks, Angels, White Sox are all experienced teams and thus, had the good records in one run games...

Other than that, I don't see much of anything I can take away from the one-run records... Maybe just the outright will to win is why teams have better records in one-run games... I don't know!
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Postby mweir145 » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:17 am

New York Yankees: 27-16
Boston Red Sox: 27-15
Toronto Blue Jays: 16-31

8-o
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Postby mweir145 » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:19 am

OhMrScottyTrav06 wrote:Experience may factor into the equation as well... as the Indians and Blue Jays (both were terrible in one-run games) were very young. The Red Sox, Yanks, Angels, White Sox are all experienced teams and thus, had the good records in one run games...

I agree, experience seems to help teams pull out those tough ball games.
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Postby OhMrScottyTrav06 » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:23 am

I found an article on this...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/artic ... run-games/

Good teams win more one-run games.

Here's a graph of the winning percentage of all teams in each of the past five years, according to the margin of victory in each game. I've combined seasonal teams into five different groups based on their overall record.

Image

As you can see, a team's true talent emerges as the margin of a game increases. One-run games do tend to bring all teams closer to .500, but the best teams still win one-run games more often than other teams.

Bill James published an article three years ago in which he reviewed Tom Ruane's article, and added the useful insight that a team's record in one-run games can be projected by the ratio of its runs scored to runs allowed, each raised to the power of .865. In other words, he used the Pythagorean formula, but used .865 instead of 2 as the exponent.

So, in essence, the Pythagorean formula actually captures the notion that good teams generally win more one-run games. But it obviously won't capture unexpected swings in one-run game outcomes. And as we've said, wild swings do occur.
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