Monday, October 3, 2011

Pointless Analysis, Part 2 of likely 4

Now that the season has fully wrapped up, the time has come to apply some more Pointless Analysis. Luckily, this time, I will refrain from jinxing any remaining teams, sorry Braves and Red Sox.

Today's session is a nice and easy appetizer for the more intense waste of time I will bother with in the next two posts. Two quick comparisons of my previous, early season predictions to the finalized standings, in order of final win/loss record find their way to the menu today. The two main reasons for this are to one, figure out well my process predicting the final standings, and two, add to the pointlessness of this entire endeavor since baseball's unbalanced schedule makes a one through thirty ranking of the teams' records fairly pointless.

When I ultimately compared the final standings to my original predictions, here are the five biggest winners and losers based on the number of rankings spots they jumped or fell, respectively:

1. Arizona Diamondbacks +21
2. Milwaukee Brewers +17
3. Detroit Tigers +14
4. Cleveland Indians +12
5. Toronto Blue Jays +9

1. Minnesota Twins -19
T2. Colorado Rockies -17
T2. Chicago White Sox -17
T4. San Diego Padres -14
T4. Baltimore Orioles -14

In addition, the "worst player" process correctly predicted the final standings of three teams (Astros, Angels, and Rays). When looking at the losers are winners, for the most part, the most surprising teams (Diamondbacks, Indians, Blue Jays) and biggest disappointments (Twins, Rockies, White Sox) overall based on anyone's initial predictions all make an appearance. So the "worst player" ranking system was unable to identify those unexpected results. The system also proves that no matter his best efforts, Mark Kotsay was unable to hold back the Brewers this year.

For the second course, I decided to take the ultimate WAR rankings of my "worst players" and compare those to the final rankings as well, just to check and see if the players I chose held some sort of magic theory that could predict the final win/loss standings. Much to my surprise, that also failed.

Here are the biggest winners and losers using that method of comparison:

1. Tampa Bay Rays (Dan Johnson, funny enough) +23
2. St. Louis Cardinals (Miguel Batista) +21
3. Philadelphia Phillies (Pete Orr) +20
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (Melvin Mora) +18
5. Detroit Tigers (Carlos Guillen) +17

1. Houston Astros (Carlos Lee) -29
2. Baltimore Orioles (Derrek Lee) -23
3. Minnesota Twins (Jim Thome) -20
4. New York Mets (Chris Capuano) -17
T5. Colorado Rockies (Jason Giambi) -15
T5. Oakland Athletics (David DeJesus) -15

One team came out spot on with no difference at all, the Atlanta Braves with Brooks Conrad. Again, there is a slight, but unsurprising trend. The good teams with terrible years from their "worst players" jumped into the winners category while bad teams with (relatively) great years from their "worst players" fell into the losers category. I am also constantly amazed at how Carlos Lee and the Astros keep screwing everything up since Lee posted a 3.2 WAR, which actually was the highest on the dead last Astros team. I think that if it wasn't for him and his terrible team, things would be far more stabilized.

Hopefully these two quick bits of analysis wet your pallet for the rest of the Pointless Analysis that will follow in the next week or so. Stay tuned.

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