|01-14-2002, 08:08 PM||#1|
1-run records and luck
Something I wanted to clear up here, hopefully, without getting a thread locked up.
Someone mentioned something about one-run games being decided by luck, as if the skill of the players involved have nothing to do with it.
This, of course, is nonsense. The average fan on the street knows this intuitively.
If one-run games were decided by luck, then one-run games would have totally random outcomes, basically no more predictable than a flip of a coin. This is not true.
When you hear the Yankees and Devil Rays are tied at 4 in the eighth, then you go out for a burger and came back and hear that the final score was 5-4, do you assume that there's a 50-percent chance the Devil Rays won? Of course not.
There is a point about one-run games that is widely misunderstood: That is, bad teams will generally have better records in one-run games than the rest of their games. Good teams will generally have worse records in one-run games than the rest of their games.
The reason for this is obvious: Good teams will have a great record in blowouts, much better than their overall record. A bad team is going to get blown out a lot, but rarely blow anyone else out.
What this does not mean is that bad teams are just as likely to have a good record in one-run games as good teams.
As far as luck goes...there is more luck involved in one-run games than any other...but it is hardly the only factor. If Pedro Martinez goes out and beats Mike Mussina 1-0, and then beats Freddy Garcia 2-1, and then beats Chuck Finley 3-2, do you say: "Gosh, that Pedro sher is darned lucky!" ? No, of course not. You realize that Pedro pitched better than those guys.
This is what you can expect from one-run team records:
Good teams will have a better record in one-run games. This happens the vast majority of all cases, and for an entire league, the good teams will have a better record than the bad teams, pretty much every single year.
Furthermore...the good teams never lose as many one-run games as bad teams do. That's because they're good, and the bad teams are bad.
If you don't believe me, here are the season-by-season records in one-run games for first-place teams the past four years:
Overall, a .560 winning percentage.
Here are the last-place teams' records for the past four years, 2001 first:
For a .465 winning percentage
As you can see, the good teams are much better, winning many more one-run games than the last-place teams, and losing far fewer. The reason the best teams' advantage in wins isn't as big as their advantage in losses....If a good team is going to lose, it's probably going to be a close game....although more likely than not, the better team is going to pull it out. The good teams, of course, are going to end up often winning by more than one run by the end of the game.
|01-14-2002, 08:32 PM||#2|
NetShrine Fan Favorite
Re: 1-run records and luck
again, good work. Let me try to clarify what said unnamed person was trying to get across, knowing that he did a rather poor job of it, again hopefully without getting a thread locked up:
Of course good teams are going to win more one-run games than bad teams, given a large enough sample. But, as I think you may've alluded to, it's easier to judge a great team by their record in blowouts than by their record in one-run games. Yes, I'm stealing that directly from Neyer and Epstein, that doesn't make it less true. One-run games are, more than any other games, decided by luck. In baseball it takes 162 games for the best teams to rise to the top--one single run in one single game can go either way.
The difference is magnified when you're talking about individual players, particularly pitchers' won-lost records. Sure, if Pedro Martinez beats Mike Mussina 1-0, Pedro pitched a better game. But does that mean Mussina pitched a bad one? Of course not--if you give up one run in today's game, you'll win over 90% of the time. He just happened to come across one of maybe two or three pitchers in the league who's as good as or better than he is. On another day, it's almost equally likely that he'll beat Pedro 1-0. But if he doesn't, if he loses thirteen times in a row to Pedro in games that were 1-0, 2-1, or even 3-2, does that mean he's not a great pitcher? If a pitcher starts 35 games, gives up two runs every game, and loses 2-1, or even 2-0, every single time in a league that averages 4 and a half runs per team per game--so, he's 0-35 with a 2.00 ERA, probably about a 220 ERA+--which is the best judge of how he did that year, his record or his ERA? I'd say he was a great pitcher that year suffering through the worst streak of luck ever...
anyway, that's what I was trying to say. There were too many other things going on for me to explain it properly. Sorry...
|01-15-2002, 09:36 AM||#3|
What is the WP of first and last place teams when not playing a one-run game?
The WP of last-place teams playing one-run games seemed higher than their overall WP...I said seemed.
|01-15-2002, 11:19 AM||#4|
NS Omnipresent Brasilian
Well shouldn't that be the case? If you split games into 'close games' and 'blowouts', bad teams probably have a better record in close games than in blowouts, because they're not good enough to blowout teams. They still have sub-par records in both, but are closer to .500 in close games, because close games are more likely to be determined by a single play than blowouts, which are more likely determined by skill (a dominant starter and offense).
Gustavo NDF Moderator
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin
|01-15-2002, 09:53 PM||#5|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Southern CA
I do tend to think the strength of a team's bullpen plays a major role in close games. Of course, chance also plays a major part, but it is not the only part.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.
|01-15-2002, 10:01 PM||#6|
NetShrine Creator & Curator
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: NetShrine WHQ
Ballpark too, perhaps - probably more blow outs in Coors and more 1-runs jobs in LA or Shea.
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