Phillies and Braves Strength of Schedule

Peter Hjort of Capitol Avenue Club was analyzing the Braves’ remaining schedule on Twitter, eventually concluding that it was a “cake walk” for the Braves. That made me a little angry. I went to Baseball Reference and pulled both the Braves’ and the Phillies’ remaining opponents and their winning percentages, and found an aggregate strength of schedule. The results are surprising.

Win%

.533

3

3

.587

-

6

.402

7

3

.489

3

4

.473

4

3

.473

12

6

.326

-

3

.446

3

3

.533

-

4

.505

9

9

.626

6

-

.522

4

3

.435

-

4

.565

4

7

.533

3

4

.500

12

9

TOTAL

70

71

AVG OPP WIN%

.500

.499

The Braves play the NL East 39 times over their remaining 70 games (56%) while the Phillies play within the division 30 times over their final 71 (42%). Removing the Braves and the Phillies from the equation yields an aggregate .489 opponent winning percentage for the Braves and .491 for the Phillies. Over 65 games, it doesn’t even mean the difference of one game. If the remaining schedule is a “cake walk” for the Braves, then it’s equally so for the Phillies, which should make for an intriguing push for the NL East division crown.

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13 comments

  1. Chris St John

    July 14, 2011 08:15 AM

    So I do a 3rd order calculation where I calculate strength of schedule based on the opponents’ 2nd order winning percentage.

    According to this, it would look like Philadelphia opponents: .508, Atlanta opponents: .504.

  2. EastFallowfield

    July 14, 2011 09:53 AM

    Nice work. I woulda put the teams in order of winning pct instead of alphabetical just because it’s fun to put the Phils on top.

  3. Travis

    July 14, 2011 11:18 AM

    Teasing out games not in common:
    Braves have 4x Cubs, 1x Rockies, 6x Marlins, 1x Pirates, 3x Nationals for .463

    Other than a disasterous June, I think the Marlins are better than their current record.

    Phillies have 1x Cardinals, 3x Giants, 4x Padres, 4x Brewers, 3x Astros, 1x Reds for .473

    It seems like the Astros really bad record is pulling down the average but we still only get 3 games against them.

  4. Chris

    July 14, 2011 03:35 PM

    Not sure how the D’backs and Pirates are still considered *bad* teams. And it’s not like the Marlins, Mets, and Nats are going to be pushovers, especially once the Marlins get Josh Johnson back and the Mets get Reyes back. In fact, I’d think the Braves would be more worried due to their 17-16 in-division record so far this season (11-10 not including games against the Phils).

  5. Nick

    July 14, 2011 07:22 PM

    Chris, are you sure the Mets are going to keep Reyes through the trade deadline? I know they’re saying they want to, but he’s too costly for them going into next year and they might as well try to get some value from him while they can. I’d be worried about the Marlins though (remember how good they were before that streak – neck and neck with the Phils, better record than the Braves) once JJ gets back and if they get some footing after the All Star Break to stop their skidding. The Nats are a good ball club, lots of young talent there (aka only going to get better the more experience they get) and the Pirates are a good team – let’s see if they buy before the deadline to improve their team.

    The Diamondbacks are really good too. Bunch of young teams out there that have some talent that should mature the more the season goes on.

  6. JIm Z.

    July 14, 2011 07:54 PM

    The playoff teams, in all likelihood, will be as follows:

    1. NL East – Braves
    2. NL Central – Brewers
    3. NL West – Giants
    4. NL Wildcard – Phillies

    1. AL East – Red Sox
    2. AL Central – Tigers
    3. AL West – Rangers
    4. AL Wildcard – Yankees

  7. Taco

    July 14, 2011 08:00 PM

    “in all likelihood”

    this phrase does not mean what you think it means

  8. hk

    July 14, 2011 08:25 PM

    Taco,

    I think he meant inconceivable (said with a lisp).

  9. Scott

    July 15, 2011 03:16 AM

    in all likelihood – with considerable certainty; without much doubt; “He is probably out of the country”; “in all likelihood we are headed for war”

    I’d say it means exactly what he thinks it means.

  10. Taco

    July 15, 2011 05:04 AM

    “in all likelihood – with considerable certainty; without much doubt; “He is probably out of the country”; “in all likelihood we are headed for war”

    I’d say it means exactly what he thinks it means.”

    I was being sarcastic, yes he probably thinks that his prediction, “in all likelihood” will come true. However, no matter what you define “all likelihood” — I personally would not use that phrase to define something that had less than a 75% chance of occurring, but YMMV — “all likelihood” is far too strong of a description of the odds of his prediction.

    If you consider that the Red Sox are a coin flip to win their division, and the Braves probably somewhat less than that, you can see why I object to Jim Z. describing that out come as “likely” rather than “possible”

  11. LTG

    July 15, 2011 12:29 PM

    I’m with Taco on the analysis of the phrase “in all likelihood.” For a sentence with that qualifier to be true, the objective probability of the state of affairs must be at least greater than 50%. And, like Taco, I’m disposed to think the qualifier is much stronger. It would be surprising if something that is the case-in-all-likelihood turned out to be false. And it would certainly not be surprising if Jim Z’s prediction turned out to be false, and I would think Jim Z recognizes this.

  12. Todd

    July 17, 2011 09:46 PM

    After July 17th results…

    Atl SOS: 0.501
    Phl SOS: 0.499

    Looks like the Phils have a clear path to the crown!!! (joke)

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