Saturday, May 27

So Much for the Updates

Yeah, I had this brilliant idea to update daily, and then reality set in. Can't win them all, I guess. Obviously at this point it's a little late to do a Late Series for ....well, Sunday and possibly Monday, so I'll get it on Memorial Day.

I did love how I completely whiffed the Cubs/Marlins series "prediction" earlier this week. I'm going to now go ahead to blame my lack of updating on shame.

So what the hell am I going to do with this now? Well, I'm still going to do the Early/Late Series posts, as I find them interesting. With June coming shortly, that means there's a good chance I'll break out with the Divisional Updates again. That being said, though, I'm starting to run out of things to do. It's fine and all to run around each division giving general updates on each team, but you can find that on your own. That's why I've linked those guys on the right. (Look for me to finally link a Dodgers blog here shortly.) I might do closer team studies at some point during the season - it's been tempting to bust out some "Focus on [Division]" weeks where all the posts are about the specific division in question, updating all the major stories coming out of it and so forth, but again, that seems like a small cop-out to me. Not so small I won't do it, however. ;)

I've been studying some of Bill James' work lately - and that of those who have followed in his footsteps. In other words, I think I'm about to start doing some statistical analysis. What will be the point of the analysis? My initial idea was to figure out whether the small-ball approach was better than the massive homer approach - or vice versa - but that's already been done before, and I'd rather not tread along the line of insanely obvious and overdone if I can help it. That being said, I'm still keen on figuring out if there's any correlation between home runs given up / allowed and winning percentage. Specifically, this would be runs scored / HR and runs given up / HR.

One thing I haven't quite figured out is why the batter that leads the league in HR has at least 50, but it's rare to see a pitcher give up more than 35 - Eric Milton included. Will this research answer my question? Maybe.

Basically, what I'm doing - and what I will post about shortly; look for it early next week or so - is compiling a bunch of HR-related data from every team in 2005 and seeing if I can find some sort of correlation. Then I'll do the same with 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000; as sample sizes go, it's not a Jamesian "let's take data from the last 91 years", but 6 years should be enough to find at least SOME kind of comparison. Consider this a pre-emptive thanks to

The comparisons that I'm tackling first:

- What is the league average HR/AB, and did teams that performed above it have better records than teams that performed below it?

- What is the league average batters/HR given up, and did teams that performed above it have better records than teams that performed below it?

- What is the correlation between the first question and the second question: in other words, what will the Adjusted HR Rate tell me?

Of course, the initial question there is what's the Adjusted HR Rate. For me, I'm defining it as thus:

AdjHR = (HR hit / AB had) - (HR given up / batters faced)

More to come later.