The Sweet Milk of Pythagoras

Jeff · May 18, 2005 at 5:43 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Jeff Angus, the Seattle Times’ newly-minted baseball statistics columnist, explains the Pythagorean Wins theorem and applies it to the Mariners’ season.

This won’t be news to many, but should be a salve against panic. Check the article for more if you’re interested, but here’s the upshot:

Studying the numbers suggests the M’s will play at about the pace preseason predictions posted, though perhaps not at the pace more passionate followers had hoped for.


8 Responses to “The Sweet Milk of Pythagoras”

  1. Jim Thomsen on May 18th, 2005 6:01 pm

    It seems to me the flaw in that reasoning is that those predictions were based on a roster composition that’s somewhat different than the one in place now — and the one we have now is likely to see more change in the next month or two.

  2. wabbles on May 18th, 2005 6:04 pm

    Interesting. I dunno tho. When we were playing .500 ball, I think we all had the feeling that the team was on some kind of magic carpet ride. We were amazed that the pitching was holding up and we were getting some unlikely offensive contributions to offset the slow starts by the big bats. It seemed we were all holding our breath, waiting for it to end. And now it has. We could go on a winning streak, of course, but at 7 games under .500, it would have to be a long one or a couple of extended ones at least. I suspect we’ll get half way there, which puts in the high 70s for a win total. ‘shrug’

  3. DMZ on May 18th, 2005 6:05 pm

    Also, Pythag is essentially not all that valuable

    See etc.

    Your W-L is your W-L, your RS/RA so far is just that. While Pythag may have some predictive value, it’s really only telling you what a formula thinks should have happened, and as Jim alludes — doesn’t make any guarantees about the future.

  4. Ralph Malph on May 18th, 2005 6:30 pm

    Pythag puts the M’s at 74 wins. I thought most serious preseason predictions were 80-85. Though 74 might have been realistic before the season. 74 now would be an improvement on the current winning percentage.

  5. msb on May 18th, 2005 6:30 pm

    hey, Hargrove says wait ’til the cake is done baking…

  6. Evan on May 19th, 2005 9:39 am

    Those predictions of 80-85 wins expected a healthy Bucky and Madritsch.

  7. Raoul Ortega on May 19th, 2005 12:09 pm

    I knew there was a player strike in 1994 that ended the season, but this column tells me that there was a owner lockout in 1995 that shortened the season, too. Am I missing something? Or is this column really about hockey?

  8. DMZ on May 19th, 2005 12:12 pm