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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blowouts and Pythagoras

A questioner asks regarding the Pythagoras and the White Sox article, how much does a blowout (say a 16-0 win instead of a 2-1 victory) make in the various projections?

On April 7, 2004 the Rangers beat the A's and Barry Zito 2-1. What would the projections look like if instead the Rangers had won 16-0? To find out I looked at the Pythagorean and the Pyth+Actual predictions at each point in the season. The following table shows the differences between the actual number of wins and the expected number of wins on each date when using the 2-1 versus the 16-0 result. In other words, on April 10th by including the 16-0 game the Pyth projection is 22.5 wins worse than using the Pyth with the 2-1 win. By May 30th, the impact of inserting that 16-0 game goes down to 4.4 wins (in that case the Pyth projection was almost exact projecting the Rangers to win 89 games while using the blowout had them at 93.4 wins).

Pyth Pyth+Actual
10-Apr 22.5 21.2
15-Apr 17.4 16.4
30-Apr 8.7 7.5
30-May 4.4 3.2
30-Jun 2.8 1.5
30-Jul 2.1 0.9
30-Aug 0.9 0.4
5-Oct -1.4 0

Interestingly, by the end of the season using the blowout projected the Rangers to win 88.9 games while not using it projected them to win 87.5 games. They actually won 89 of course.

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