Another Phillies Myth Busted
After a disappointing 8-7 loss to the Washington Nationals on Thursday night, manager Charlie Manuel accused his Phillies team of playing down to their level of competition. Per David Murphy:
Afterward, Manuel lamented those struggles, saying the Phillies were guilty of playing down to their competition while falling to 79-59 and seeing their NL East lead drop to five games over second-place Florida.
So, I threw the Phillies’ stats in Excel and ran some numbers. The following two graphs show the correlation between opponent winning percentage and runs scored and runs allowed per game. If Charlie’s hypothesis is correct, we’d expect that as an opponent’s winning percentage increased, so to would run-scoring (first graph), and runs allowed (second graph) would decrease.
There is just about zero correlation in both graphs. The Phillies don’t play down to their opponents, and nor do they play up to them.
Maybe there’s a correlation in specific offensive categories like OBP and SLG?
- OBP: .0001 r-square to opponent winning percentage
- SLG: .0064 r-square to opponent winning percentage
For Phillies’ pitchers…
- Opponent OBP: .0004 r-square to opponent winning percentage
- Opponent SLG: .00002 r-square to opponent winning percentage
The final nail in the coffin is that there’s only a .0005 r-square between the Phillies’ winning percentage against teams this year and those teams’ real winning percentage.