The Phillies and Contender Math

Recently, I have seen quite a few different debates on the Phillies’ status as buyers or sellers leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. There is certainly a legitimate argument to be made in favor of being a buyer (or having the illusion of buying), as it will keep casual fans engaged for longer, meaning they are tuned in to the TV and radio, as well as buying tickets and merchandise. You can even make an argument as a fan — saying “I will not enjoy watching Freddy Galvis and Cody Asche as much as Chase Utley and Michael Young” is legitimate, though not the basis by which a team is run.

However, the most spurious argument I have seen is that the Phillies are contenders for a playoff spot. They are 7.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East, and 5.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second Wild Card spot with only one team in between (the Nationals). The Phillies are well within striking distance of a post-season spot, particularly if they can continue their current run, having won five of their last six, and get on another one or two or three before the season runs out.

Relying on qualifying for one of the two Wild Card spots is a fool’s errand, however. In general, the one-game Wild Card match-up is a coin flip for entry into the post-season if you assume that both teams have around the same level of talent. If the Phillies won the second Wild Card today, they would match up against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite taking two of three from them recently, the Pirates have been the much better team over the first 90 or so games of the season with a +40 run differential. The Phillies have a -44 run differential. (And don’t forget, we’re measuring at a time when the Phillies are arguably at their best and the Pirates are at their worst, having lost five of their last six.)

The Phillies, as the second Wild Card, would actually be slight underdogs in a one-game match-up since they would be playing on the road. And if they happened to win, they would play three of their next five NLDS games on the road as well. This would mean playing the St. Louis Cardinals — with a +126 run differential — at home, after exhausting your ace (Cliff Lee) against the Pirates.

David Murphy made a different odds-based argument earlier in a column for the Daily News (use promo code P15R to read the whole thing):

The Phillies have not “proven” their ability to contend for a World Series anymore than Lannan has “proven” his ability to pitch eight shutout innings with regularity. Same goes for Ben Revere and the last 26 games, a stretch in which he has hit .413/.435/.500, and Delmon Young over the last 13 games, a stretch in which he has hit .438/.481/.563. Neither player is going to continue hitting at that rate for the rest of the season, so it makes no sense to make any decisions that assume that they will. The complete body of work is what matters, and through 91 games, the only members of the Phillies lineup whose numbers aren’t exactly where their performances over the last few seasons suggest they should be are Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz.

Last year, the second Wild Card winner (the Cardinals) won 88 games. This year’s second Wild Card leader (the Reds) is on pace to win 90 games. For the Phillies to get to 88 wins, they would need to win 43 of their remaining 71 games, or 61 percent. In other words, the Phillies have to play like a 99-win team over the next two and a half months. And not only that, but you have to hope that other teams don’t catch fire. Getting to 90 wins would require taking 45 of 71 (.634), which would mean playing like a 103-win team.

The Phillies are contenders if and only if everything mentioned above goes perfectly. You need the Phillies to play like a 99-win team for 71 straight games and you need the Reds, Nationals, and Dodgers to falter and you need to win your coin flip Wild Card match and you need to win at least one NLDS game on the road against a tough opponent that gets to use its ace potentially twice while the Phillies would get to use Cliff Lee only once.

Baseball Prospectus puts the Phillies’ odds of reaching the Division Series at four percent. Those aren’t great odds, particularly if you’re basing the future of your franchise on them. It would be delusional to add pieces rather than recoup value in the form of potentially-valuable prospects and current Major League-viable players for aging soon-to-be free agents like Carlos Ruiz, Michael Young, and yes, maybe even Chase Utley. It’s okay to miss the post-season, and it’s okay to give up on that hope as a .500-ish team in mid-July, especially if in doing so, you set up future teams in a much better position to succeed. We have had that sour taste in our mouths before, gearing up at the deadline only to fall flat in the post-season, like the Phillies did with Hunter Pence. And that was a team that won 102 games during the 2011 regular season. Now you’re relying on a team that would need everything to go right to cross 85.

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147 comments

  1. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 12:08 PM

    @Dante,

    To fully illustrate what this entire debate in this thread is really about… Blackjack offers some of the best odds at a casino. You and joecatz are people who like to believe you can win at blackjack on any given trip, and given the odds, you just might. The rest of us? We know long-term, the house always wins, we don’t like to play against the house, and we CERTAINLY would NEVER advocate running a baseball team with the mindset of a blackjack player.

  2. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 12:13 PM

    @Dante,

    Sorry, one more comment on your “playing over their heads” argument. The flaw with that argument is that without any statistical proof that that’s more likely to happen, you ignore the equally likely scenario that they will play under their talent. It goes both ways. It’s called variance, and banking on it to work out for you is why it’s called “hope” and “luck.” It may be “easier” in your mind for them to “play over their heads,” but it’s also “easier” for them to suck even more.

  3. jauer

    July 11, 2013 12:25 PM

    Why do I have to show evidence when Catz’s stat was the one that is incorrect?

  4. Pencilfish

    July 11, 2013 12:31 PM

    Scott G,

    “I said 2006-2011, so 2012 isn’t part of my argument.”

    So you are dismissing 2012 because it doesn’t fit your narrative?

  5. Scott G

    July 11, 2013 12:48 PM

    2012 was one single season where a team happened to perform better in the 2nd half of the season than the first half. One season doesn’t make a trend.

    This completely ignores the fact that the team missed Utley and Howard for time in the beginning of the season. Their spots were filled by Ty Wigginton and Freddy Galvis.

  6. Pencilfish

    July 11, 2013 12:50 PM

    hk,

    All I can say is that I hope RAJ doesn’t trade Lee for Profar 1-1. Rollins blocks him at SS perhaps as far as 2015. If the Phillies resign Utley on a multi-year deal, then Profar doesn’t have a position. It’s telling no one has come up with a trade scenario of Lee for a young starting pitcher. I suppose it’s because good SP’s are a rare commodity, and no one in his right mind trades that away needlessly.

  7. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 12:59 PM

    @Pencilfish,

    Or the fact that it’s been demonstrated young pitchers are bigger risks than young position players. Just because we’re going the prospect route doesn’t mean we want to take more risks than necessary.

  8. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 01:27 PM

    “With Ruf, Frandsen, and Kratz, I guarantee at least one of them proves to be a quality every day player.”

    I will take that bet. In fact, say, $1K? Who else wants in on the bet? It’s easy money.

    Although I suppose we have to define what a “quality every day player” is first.

  9. Scott G

    July 11, 2013 01:44 PM

    697, you better work out what “a quality every day player” means because apparently it gets thrown around pretty lightly by some people in this thread.

  10. BeezNutz

    July 11, 2013 01:47 PM

    LOL

    Im a believer in Frandsen … but I would never put money on him in this regard

    I just wanna see him get to play then make a decision

  11. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 01:48 PM

    @Scott G,

    Well, if I’m defining it for this particular bet, this is my criteria:

    One season of over 650 PAs (everyday means everyday), generating at least a fWAR or bWAR of 2.0 or better (2 WAR is league average, which would be a quality player to me); or

    Two seasons of over 1200 PAs (again, every day means everyday), generating at least an aggregate total of 4 fWAR or bWAR.

    If that’s the criteria that Ruf, Frandsen, and Kratz has to meet, I’m taking that bet.

  12. Pencilfish

    July 11, 2013 02:04 PM

    Phillie697,

    I agree young pitchers are bigger risks than young position players both health and performance-wise, but I believe there are very few front-line, can’t miss, young starting pitchers tearing the minor leagues now. Name a couple, and I can at least look them up.

    I will venture a guess there aren’t more than 10 such pitchers in MLB now. Imagine the dearth at the minor league level. That’s the reason for my reluctance to include Lee in any trades unless we get a king’s ransom in return. Profar 1-1 is not a king’s ransom in my view.

  13. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 02:08 PM

    The ones that are highly regarded are either close to the majors, in which case those teams would never trade them for a 35-year-old pitcher making $25M a year, or too far away for it to be interesting for me in a Lee trade.

    I agree with you there aren’t that many around. One more reason why we are more focused on position players. Also remember, teams have been aggressive in bringing them up too, so a lot of them are IN the majors already.

  14. Dante

    July 11, 2013 02:10 PM

    Phillie – I’m not trying to illustrat that there is any defined likelihood they will play out of their minds. As you say, that is basically impossible. The best way to assess what the team is capable of is see what the players would do with regression toward the mean, understanding there will be some deviation based on luck or hot/cold streaks. I found a ZIPS RoS analysis that predicts the Phils to play a bit over .500 ( I think it was about .540) the rest of the way. This prediction is based on the assumptions that J-Roll, Ruiz, and others who are struggling bounce back, those playing over their heads falter, etc. This should probably be the mid point for estimating where they end up. I’d say that is a fairly reasonable prediction, and a significant roster change could add a win or 2, but they are about as likely to get on a 99 game pace as they are to trade Hamels at this point.

    Jauer – simply saying a comment is wrong, especially one that is the result of actually looking at some data (as he showed in an earlier comment), is not effective to show you are right. He provided support for his conclusion, you did not. You say it is incorrect – show how.

  15. Dante

    July 11, 2013 02:15 PM

    Jauer – for reference, Joecatz made his point with the comment above beginning “So here’s an interesting run differential point.”

  16. jauer

    July 11, 2013 02:38 PM

    He used the NL for 2012, and then said it applies to every season without evidence of that.

    If you look at the AL for 2012, the pattern doesn’t hold at all.

  17. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 02:48 PM

    @Dante,

    I am entirely willing to accept that there is a non-trivial chance the Phillies can play .540 ball the rest of the way. That’s till not a 99-win team that we need to make the playoffs. So again, my question is, based on those odds, are you willing to turn down the chance to cash in on some of our more valuable assets?

  18. Larry

    July 11, 2013 02:55 PM

    @ BeezNutz,

    Exactly, there should be some excitement of seeing a guy like Frandsen get a full time shot. We know what Michael Young can do and he’s on the decline. We only have a small sample size from Frandsen as a Phillie, but I like it so far.

    For the record the Phillies have not produced a lot of guys with 650 PAs since 2010. It might surprise some people to know That Jimmy Rollins did it once in that span of years and Jaysen Werth barely did it once in 2010 with 652 PAs.

    By those high standards a guy like Yadier Molina would have never been a quality player. In his 10 year career the highest he has ever had are 563 PAs. He’s on pace to have a shot of doing it this year, but we shall see.

  19. Dante

    July 11, 2013 02:58 PM

    Phillie – I agree that they aren’t going to make the playoffs. Personally, I would trade Utley, Ruiz (especially if he picks up the hitting), Papelbon, and both Youngs. I am not so emotionally tied to any of those guys including Utley that I would forsake the future. I’m also not afraid of watching what could be a very intriguing final two months of seeing Galvis, Ruf, Pettibone and other youngsters with potential try to show their worth. However, I don’t think Ruben will be convinced it’s OK to trade guys who aren’t impending FAs, with the thought that they can help us next year (as with Lee). Unfortunately, I feel we will find out the hard way how painful the Papelbon contract really is when he goes downhill next year.

  20. Dante

    July 11, 2013 03:04 PM

    Larry – you realize very few pure catchers ever get to 650 PAs right?

  21. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 03:06 PM

    Molina is a catcher. Catchers are a different animal.

    JRoll has had 9 seasons of PAs over 650 in his career. All I’m asking is one, or 1200 over two, in the ENTIRE career. If they can’t even get to that, then I don’t know how anyone can call themselves “quality everyday player.”

  22. Larry

    July 11, 2013 03:11 PM

    “With Ruf, Frandsen, and Kratz, I guarantee at least one of them proves to be a quality every day player.”

    “I will take that bet. In fact, say, $1K? Who else wants in on the bet? It’s easy money.

    Although I suppose we have to define what a “quality every day player” is first.”

    “One season of over 650 PAs (everyday means everyday),”

    What position does Kratz play?

  23. Larry

    July 11, 2013 03:19 PM

    @ Dante,
    Absolutely I agree with that, Kratz was a part of the 3 players I wanted to see. Kratz had 8 homers in only 144 at bats. If you do the math and even assume their will be a decline later in the season. He might get you 25 or more homers in 500-550 at bats. There are not many catchers doing that these days and a power righty in the lineup would help. I don’t think Chooch will produce at a level without PEDS. His power dwindled very fast.

  24. Dante

    July 11, 2013 03:28 PM

    Larry – as Bill alludes, you aren’t going to be pleased with the results if you give a few career AAAA guys in Kratz and Frandsen full time gigs. They have done well in spurts with the team, but have significant flaws that will get exposed when they play for long stretches. I mentioned a few other players, like Galvis/Ruf/Pettibone, even DeFratus who I’d like to see play regularly, because these guys can still be considered prospects and can help us not for a year or two but for the full run of cost controlled years, primarliy because they are so young.

  25. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 03:33 PM

    Let’s reduce the PA for Kratz then. 550/1000 PAs.

  26. Larry

    July 11, 2013 03:44 PM

    @ Dante,
    I get the age thing, but my original post was basically saying If both Youngs and Chooch leave soon, Ruf, Kratz, and Frandsen can easily take over their spots. I’m not looking 3-4 years down the road right now. Ruf is only 26 right now, so sure he has a better shot to be part of the future if he works out. Some players are late bloomers. Cliff Lee is a good example of that.

    BTW Frandsen was one of the top leaders in the league for hits in the second half of last season. I’m OK with being optimistic about possible changes happening soon.

  27. Larry

    July 11, 2013 03:50 PM

    “”With Ruf, Frandsen, and Kratz, I guarantee at least one of them proves to be a quality every day player.”

    This statement means now to clarify. You can’t make a bet with those PAs in a short window.

  28. BeezNutz

    July 11, 2013 04:06 PM

    Frandsen .. as pointed out by Larry produced big time last year when given a chance to play significant time.

    he’s doing that again now in limited time

    every once in a while there are late bloomers and his numbers from the minors (and last 2 seasons) suggest he can get on base consistently and hit for a decent average. He has little power though. I’m willing to give him a chance or Ruf or Kratz but not all 3 at once LOL

  29. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 04:14 PM

    Well, then it’s not a guarantee then. That’s fine, I just figured if you want to make a guarantee, we might as well put some skin in the game.

  30. Larry

    July 11, 2013 04:25 PM

    Lets put it this way, “when you said Rollins defense wasn’t in Utley’s league” and then I bet you $1000 bucks that Rollins was better. The confirmation came from one of the authors of this site (Eric). There’s no way in the world you would have tried to contact me to give me the money.

    So for the future, a gentlemen’s bet for free would probably be the easiest mode of any bragging right. Sound fair?

  31. Phillie697

    July 11, 2013 11:41 PM

    Eric said Rollins had better tools, not better defense. You continue to make that mistake, but whatever.

  32. Larry

    July 12, 2013 12:23 AM

    “Eric said Rollins had better tools, not better defense. You continue to make that mistake, but whatever.”

    Under BB’s article about Jimmy Rollins and vanishing power is Eric’s article Longenhagen’s Scouting Mailbag. You can read it here:

    crashburnalley.com/2013/07/09/longenhagens-scouting-mailbag/

    While I agree with you, he said he had better tools, here was his comment to me:

    By Eric Longenhagen | @longenhagen | on Jul 10, 2013

    “Larry,

    Rollins is the better overall defender. Utley’s great over there at second base, but there’s a reason he’s not playing shortstop. Rollins had better defensive tools.”

    Obviously I know you respect his opinion. His articles are very insightful, but reread his 1st line to me :

    “Rollins is the better overall defender.”

    I know this may make you upset and blow your mind but he is 100% correct. The majority of Phillies fans, announcers, scouts, etc feel the same way.

    Now you have to remember that this is a sabermetric site where Eric knows every stat including UZR, but make no mistake about it, Rollins was the better defender…..Please try to have an open mind about this. Let’s put this one rest finally, thanks.

    Larry

  33. Joe

    July 12, 2013 10:48 AM

    The problem with assuming the Phillies have to play like a 99-win team is also assuming that the other teams will keep up their current pace. Whats to say the one of the teams ahead of the Phillies, such as the Reds don’t go into a prolonged slump or suffer an injury that seriously impacts their season? I’m not saying we should expect the Phillies to make the playoffs but no reason not to go for it. Besides trades are never guarantees either (especially with Amaro’s track record). Rather hold onto our core (Utley), maybe trade Chooch or Young, both who are expendable. At least play some half decent baseball from here on out and see where we go from their.

  34. Brian

    July 12, 2013 01:40 PM

    @Joecatz

    “The point is in your first sentence. Run differential IS NOT a predictor. It’s an analytic used to show past performance. It’s like citing ERA instead of FIP or xFIP to gague a pitcher.”

    This statement reveals you to be one of two things; a fraud statistician, or a fraud sabermetrician. Because that is simply incorrect.

    First of all, there is no such thing as a “predictor”, if there was, we wouldn’t be here.

    There is, however, a mean. A mean is the thing that the observable results center around. And the mean in these cases is run differential and xFIP. The observed winning percentage and the ERA are the observable results. If you simulated a season or a pitchers start 1000 times, you would expect to get a bell curve centered around the mean. Some of the results will vary greatly, but if you simulate enough times (ie, having a big enough n value), you’re always going to get a bell curve. That’s why you can’t assume that Phillies are going to outperform their run differential, because in order to do so, you have to assume that they’ll outperform their mean, and to do that is factually and logically incorrect.

    I (strongly) suggest you take a statistics class or two if you want to make these kinds of arguments.

  35. joecatz

    July 12, 2013 01:45 PM

    Its also the reason why you cant assume they’ll underperform it, or match it. which is the central arguement I’ve been making.

    the only point I’ve been making is that run differential is not the be all end all, and should not be the thing you look at when determining whether the team should buy or sell at the deadline, since doing either will change said variables.

  36. Phillie697

    July 12, 2013 03:57 PM

    @joecatz,

    Well, even if accepting all of your comments as true and gospel, after you have debunked all the “predictors” and provided none of your own other than “philosophical” differences (which I agree is philosophical), absent of all else, isn’t the default to assume the Phillies will play at the same winning % as they have so far? Otherwise, what, are you saying we should just use a Magic 8 Ball?

  37. Brian

    July 12, 2013 04:02 PM

    “or match it”

    Yes, that’s actually EXACTLY what you should be assuming.

  38. Phillie697

    July 12, 2013 04:09 PM

    @Larry,

    I think you misconstrue EL’s comments. By definition, ALL SS’s are better defenders than just about everyone else. The best, most athletic defenders start at SS and stay at SS, because conventional wisdom says you put your best athlete at the hardest defensive position. So in that respect, that’s what EL is saying.

    But when you’re going to compare a SS to a 2B, and ask who is the more “productive” defender to the TEAM, that doesn’t work, because when JRoll isn’t playing SS for whatever reason, the Phillies ain’t going to say, “let’s move Utley there.” They say, “what other SS is there we can get and play?” So for “production” purposes, you compare Rollins to other SS, and Utley to other 2B, because that’s what the TEAM cares about, the “production” they can get out of each player relative to who else they can get to play the positions. In that respect, Utley has been far more productive. Maybe it’s because Utley has vastly better “defensive” skills than Rollins save one glaring weakness that prevents him from being effective at SS (i.e. a weak arm), and once you move him to 2B, that weakness is negated and his superiority at everything else shines, or that there is some inherent skill that makes you good at playing 2B that Utley possesses that nobody else in baseball does. Who knows.

    Is that fair? I don’t know. But I stand by my statement that Utley has been far more productive defensively than JRoll. But yes, by virtue of playing a harder position, JRoll has already proven to be the better athlete with more tools. If you can’t understand any of that, then there’s not much else to say on the subject. This lack of understanding of the concept of “relative to replacement” is, I believe, why you have disagreed with just about everyone here.

  39. Phillie697

    July 12, 2013 04:27 PM

    Just to give you a real-life example of the above. Brett Gardner is by all accounts a fantastic defensive OF. In fact, by all accounts he’s a fantastic defensive CF, the hardest of all OF positions to play. However, when the Yankees got Curtis Granderson, they moved Brett Gardner to LF, and he proceeded to, as many people in the saber circle coined, “break UZR.” At some point, he was so ridiculous at LF that UZR had him providing 5-WAR value based on defense alone. There is no question he was “producing” at historic rates defensively better than, well, every single MLB player pretty much, but is he a better defender than Mike Trout or Andruw Jones in his prime? I doubt it. But Brett produced so much LF because the Yankees was basically putting an athlete that was far too over-qualified at the position.

    Now, if we plug JRoll at 2B, is there a decent chance he’ll be just as productive as Utley, or even more? Sure. But why? Why would the Phillies gimp themselves intentionally just so that they can help Larry prove once and for all JRoll is a “better” defender? Again, at the heart of it, most team really just care about “relatives,” not “absolutes.” And as I stated even before you went down this path of comparing the two defensively, my comment was, “why the hell do we care?”

  40. Joecatz

    July 12, 2013 05:34 PM

    Brian and 697,

    No I don’t think the default is to assume they will play to the same level or match it, any more than you sould assume they will get better or worse, based on run differential.

    If you had made the same arguement any time over the past 8 seasons you would have been wrong, in regards to the phillies. Wrong in your basic assumption that they would match. They’ve exceeded every year

    bill made a valid point real early on in this thread, which was in response to the 2010 squad.

    “I think someone already pointed this out. Our run-diffential in 2010 was +25; this year it’s -44. AND the 2010 team was 2 games above .500; this year we’re 1 game under. Please show me how you are going to explain a 69 run and 3 game difference away.”

    I think it’s a very, very valid point. Except you could very easily also say this

    “That’s a good point. Our run differential at that time was +25 this year it’s -44. That said, the 2010 team made some changes, and played .728 baseball to a .668 Pythag and was the same number of games behind a braves team as they are now. They put up a +107 RD while the braves, who were at +67 at the time ended up +42 the rest of the way. While its possible, i don’t know if its probable for this team to do that”

    Here’s my thing.

    If I look at last years team, they went 40-30 over their last 70 games with a RD of +27. They also went 40-26 over their last 66 with a RD of +35.

    From this point forward, as a variable small sample, it’s virtually impossible to use run differential to determine win loss records based on what the team has done up to this point.

    I’m not advocating buying, or selling, or standing pat, I’m saying stop pointing to run differential to make the arguement to do either of the three.

  41. Larry

    July 12, 2013 07:51 PM

    @697

    You are very amusing. I can not believe you are continuing this disagreement/argument, but I’ll get back to this in a little bit.

    “I believe, why you have disagreed with just about everyone here”

    Pot meet kettle???

    As far as your inferior little buddy LTG, he is probably………well coward comes to mind, but his lack of knowledge is is very concerning and I feel bad for him. Where were you?? No save for him after his classic statement on my Dom Brown question?

    “What can I say, intelligence is not democratic.”

    If you want to debate why Dom Brown hasn’t been the most valuable non pitcher for our team this year, then I’m all for it. I can’t fathom the idea that someone would think that, but I’d love to hear your defense of his statement. Also if you want to compare Babe Ruth’s season to Chase’s and tell me why Chase was worth more, I’m all for it.

    Back to Rollins vs Utley where you think “Rollins in not in his league defensively” You using UZR as a stand alone stat is cherry picking. Rollins was no statue out there, we all know who had the better range and arm. I had enough of your argument, that when I saw EL post a similar answer to a question, not the exact one, I felt compelled to ask him, because I knew he would tell me the obviously answer that most people think.

    Where were you??? You are on every thread, but you stayed away from that one?? Coincidence?? I think not. So I’m gonna put you on the spot. Go on that thread and tell him Rollins wasn’t in his league defensively. Go debate him, because maybe you will learn something that’s just not getting through to you. So what’s it gonna be? Are you afraid?? Or will you back up your statements to him??

  42. Larry

    July 12, 2013 08:35 PM

    By the way as far as run differentials go, there are so many different variables that are so hard to study. The Phillies might have a fly ball pitcher going one night where the wind is blowing out and lose 10-5. However, the next day we have another fly ball pitcher going but the wind is blowing in and we might win 1-0. This is just one example “weather” or outdoor climate which can distort the numbers.

  43. joecatz

    July 12, 2013 10:45 PM

    also, Brian,

    I know what a mean is.

    What i’d like to know is if you have any idea what the square mean error is to use run differential to estimate a teams final record at 90 games?

    if you want me to use statictical terms to make you feel better I’m happy to do that. I try not to use that stuff, mainly because its hard to understand if you don’t understand it yourself.

    thats the whole point here. We all get wrapped up in throwing around means, and using those means as be all end alls and we conveniently look around NOT JUST THE STANDARD DEVIATIONS, NOT JUST THE BELL CURVES, but we also also don’t take the partial samples into consideration and realize that we’re only analyzing A PART OF THE WHOLE.

    its about 8 to 10 wins. the standard deviation.

    figure out the variance at ninety games.

  44. hk

    July 13, 2013 05:54 AM

    By NavyJoe on Jul 10, 2013

    Is not one of the central tenets of advanced statistics that MLB playoff series are too short to be anything but random? …If you make the playoffs anything can happen.”

    While your points are correct, it is important to note that things changed beginning last season. Even if you believe the playoffs are a crap shoot, prior to last season, you could argue that each playoff team had ~1/8 chance of winning the World Series, but now, the Wild Card winners all have ~1/16 chance while the division winners still have ~1/8.

  45. Phillie697

    July 16, 2013 03:35 PM

    @Larry,

    crashburnalley.com/2013/06/04/phillies-draft-retrospective-chase-utley/

    Some of us have been here for awhile and kinda have touched upon all these topics before, and know what each other is thinking. I don’t need to respond when there is no need to. I know what Eric was saying.

    Weren’t you who said you don’t want me to respond to you anymore? I am quite happy to oblige, since talking to you doesn’t get anywhere. You come to a sabermetrically oriented site but refuses to acknowledge any sabermetric principles. I don’t really know what you get out of being here besides just arguing with people. If we wanted to be stuck in the traditionalist method, we would have chosen to do so long ago; after all, I’m pretty sure most kids don’t know what wOBA or UZR is.

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