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How To Build A Champion?

World Series

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15 replies to this topic

#1
Pirata Morado

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Now that the season is over and the Astros have been crowned, I thought it would be useful to analyze how the Astros are built, in order to see if there's like a blueprint to become champions.

 

So, to begin with, let's analyze their batting WPA as compared to all other teams in history (1974-2017):

55813933_batwpa2.png

The 2017 Astros had an amazing 16.44 Batting WPA, which was incredibly good.  It is the 99.5 percentile of the distribution, meaning that there have been only 0.5% better teams than them.


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#2
Pirata Morado

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As for their starters:

 

V6xOl6v.png

 

They had a 3.06 WPA mark which is obviously good, but not historically good.  There have been 21.6% better teams than them.


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#3
Pirata Morado

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Finally their bullpen:

 

WzkgMNB.png

A pretty average bullpen with a 0.5 mark, 54.6% of the teams have had a better bulpen.


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#4
Pirata Morado

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In other words, the Astros, were historically good at hitting, have a decent Starting Pitching and an average Bullpen and they managed to become champions.

 

Let's see all other champions:

 

y8kblNE.png

You can see how good the Astros were as only the '09, and '98 Yankees as well as the '76 Reds were better than them.  Only the '10 Giants, the '03 Marlins, the '01 D-Backs, the '96 Yankees and the '85 Royals have had a negative batting WPA.

 

The '76 Reds were amazing, their percentile is 99.9%!


Edited by Pirata Morado, 02 November 2017 - 01:10 PM.

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#5
Pirata Morado

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As for Starters:

 

rfKxcHo.png

Last year's Cubs were the best of them all, with the '95 Braves and the '86 Mets close behind.

 

It's amazing how did the '15 Royals did win it all with such a bad starting pitching....


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#6
Pirata Morado

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Finally the bullpen:

 

3RdbwoQ.png

Best bullpen of the champion teams were the '84 Tigers, with a 99.8 percentile.  3 teams have had very bad bullpens and still won it all: Cards in 2011, Twins in 1987 and Dodgers in 1981.


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#7
Pirata Morado

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*
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Some final numbers:

 

Mean Batting WPA from all champions: 6.98

Mean Starters' WPA from all champions: 3.67

Mean Bullpen WPA from all champions: 3.92

 

So, as you can see, there have been all kinds of champions, teams with impressive hitting like the Astros, some Yankees teams and the Big Red Machine of the 70's, great starting pitching like the '16 Cubs, the '95 Braves and the '86 Mets, or some brilliant bullpen like the '15 Royals or the '84 Tigers.

 

Perhaps we can find out which of all the champion teams has been the most "regular" one, in the sense that was good in everything.


Edited by Pirata Morado, 02 November 2017 - 12:57 PM.

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#8
Pirata Morado

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Answering the previous question:

 

The 2011 Cardinals had a coefficient of variation (COV) among their 3 facets of 2.83, which was the highest of them all, meaning that they were the most unbalanced champ.  Their hitting was outstanding, with a 12.82 WPA, with a negative Starting of -1.72 and also a negative Bullpen of -2.09.

 

On the other side we find the 2002 Angels, with a COV of 0.16, the most balanced champ, with a Batting WPA of 6.52, Starting of 4.89, and a Bullpen of 6.59


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#9
Pitchin_Fool

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cpoint.gifAs always, beautiful work Pirata. I for one truly appreciate you skills and your efforts to provide us with the information that you do. Thank You!


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#10
Pirata Morado

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Thanks Pitching Fool, always appreciated.


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#11
MarinersMoose

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cpoint.gifAs always, beautiful work Pirata. I for one truly appreciate you skills and your efforts to provide us with the information that you do. Thank You!

 

I totally agree with the above sentiment... very cool analysis.

 

Thanks for taking the time to do it!

 

I note that you looked at batting and pitching (starting and relief)... Is there no easy way to look at corresponding defensive metrics?  I guess that factors in some to pitching, but there is such a thing as defensive WPA, right?


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My Adopt-A-Players:

Mayckol Guaipe - RHP, Tacoma Raniers Seattle Mariners claimed by Chicago White Sox Mexican League

 

Former Adopt-A-Player:

Ketel Marte - Traded to the Diamondbacks, along with another player, for Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, and Zac Curtis


#12
Pirata Morado

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I totally agree with the above sentiment... very cool analysis.

 

Thanks for taking the time to do it!

 

I note that you looked at batting and pitching (starting and relief)... Is there no easy way to look at corresponding defensive metrics?  I guess that factors in some to pitching, but there is such a thing as defensive WPA, right?

Thanks Moose.

 

Not yet, or at least not that I'm aware of.

 

So far, WPA is credited after each play either to the offense (batter) or the defense (pitcher), but nothing to the defense.  A strikeout is easy to credit it 100% to the pitcher, but what about a grounder?  How much should it be credited to the pitcher and how much to the infielder?  A flyball?  I guess that's why all defensive WPA is credited to the pitcher (easier).  I agree that there should be a formula to credit WPA to defensive players.  Hope to see some proposals about that soon.


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#13
Huindekmi

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You might be thinking of defensive WAR, Moose.


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Adopt-a-Players:

Evan White - 1B drafted out of Kentucky. Currently hitting .277/.345/.532/.877 for the AquaSox

 

Gone But Not Forgotten (former adopt-a-players):

Forrest Snow - Signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. Split time between AA and AAA this season.

Alex Jackson - Traded to Atlanta, moved back to catcher and finally hit well in High-A ball. Now hitting .091/.412/.182/.594 in AA
Eric Thames - Slowed down after a hot start. Hitting .253/.373/.537/.910 for the Brewers.
Matt Mangini - Out of baseball. Now sells cigars.
Mike Morse - Back with the SF Giants but hasn't played since May due to injuries. Looks like time has caught up with him.
Jamal Strong - Let go after 2005. Played in the Yankees, Cubs and Braves systems. Now a national scout for the Cards.


Updated: 08/02/2017

 
 

#14
MarinersMoose

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You might be thinking of defensive WAR, Moose.

 

Yeah, I guess I was... But I wonder if "team defensive WAR" is tabulated somewhere (i.e. the sum of the defensive WAR for all of the players on the team).  If there is an easy way to get that, then a teams total defensive WAR (or maybe a scaled and/or shifted version of a team's total defensive WAR to normalize WAR versus the rest of the league so the number becomes a comparative scaler that gives an idea of how good the team was defensively compared to the rest of the league) might be an interesting graph to compare against the others up there.  I wonder how it compares to pitchers WPA (I would guess that the teams who have the highest total DWAR in the league tend to skew their pitchers WPA higher)...

 

I guess my point is that when building a champion, if you just look at batters WPA and starters/bullpen WPA, you leave out the whole question of defense (other than indirectly as it affects pitching WPA)... and I thought that generally the debate of team construction included a large measure of discussion of balancing defensive versus offensive skills...  It does open a whole additional can of worms, though!


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My Adopt-A-Players:

Mayckol Guaipe - RHP, Tacoma Raniers Seattle Mariners claimed by Chicago White Sox Mexican League

 

Former Adopt-A-Player:

Ketel Marte - Traded to the Diamondbacks, along with another player, for Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, and Zac Curtis


#15
Pirata Morado

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Yeah, I guess I was... But I wonder if "team defensive WAR" is tabulated somewhere (i.e. the sum of the defensive WAR for all of the players on the team).  If there is an easy way to get that, then a teams total defensive WAR (or maybe a scaled and/or shifted version of a team's total defensive WAR to normalize WAR versus the rest of the league so the number becomes a comparative scaler that gives an idea of how good the team was defensively compared to the rest of the league) might be an interesting graph to compare against the others up there.  I wonder how it compares to pitchers WPA (I would guess that the teams who have the highest total DWAR in the league tend to skew their pitchers WPA higher)...

 

I guess my point is that when building a champion, if you just look at batters WPA and starters/bullpen WPA, you leave out the whole question of defense (other than indirectly as it affects pitching WPA)... and I thought that generally the debate of team construction included a large measure of discussion of balancing defensive versus offensive skills...  It does open a whole additional can of worms, though!

For that, let me refer you to this thread which was hidden in page#4 of the forum, perhaps it might help you:

http://www.marinerce...lding-analysis/


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#16
Dag Gummit

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There are generally two ways to tabulate defense.
First: Start with team down and divvy up shares. This was the standard up until UZR and DRS came into the scene.
Second: Individual up, a la UZR and DRS. This method tends to give a more accurate picture for the individual, but can be woefully inaccurate if you try to build it up to the team level.

Figuring out team defense is much easier than that really; even if you can't get the pretty relative runs numbers. All you need to look at is the team BABIP/ DER. These are inverse numbers of each other and reflect how many balls hit in play (AB-K-HR) that feel for hits or were recorded for outs. BABIP is rate of hits and DER is the rate of outs. You can easily get one even if you only have the other (BABIP = 1 - DER and DER = 1 - BABIP).
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AAPs:

Herschel Mack Just call me 'Boog' Powell IV has just been promoted to The Show for the first time and is hoping to stick around for a couple dozen years or so.

Joe Snake Eyes Wieland has been a mid-K, super-low-BB, Groundball machine in the minors and has a ~90 mph FB.  With his potential for masterful zone control, he's looking like the textbook Dipoto-type SP.

 

 

Gone, but not forgotten AAPs:
Nick Franklin

Brad Miller

Roenis Elias

 

Something horrible happened to Franklin and Elias.  Franklin was as sexy a blue-chipper as the M's have seen in a while, but it never materialized.  Elias was a bulldog with lots of Moxy, but fell off.  Miller, after looking like he'll never stick at SS or learn the OF, is forcing the Rays to play him somewhere because of his bat.





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