Monday, August 20, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 20

Week 20
A 5-2 week against the Brewers and Marlins. The Rox currently stand at 46-73 (second half record at 13-21). Nineteen and half games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in last place. Currently 26-39 at home and 20-34 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 681-567 (expected wins is 50 versus historical wins at 56). On pace for 63 wins with 772 runs scored and 927 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.83 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox actually redeemed themselves somewhat with a decent homestand.  Part of it was I think luck of the draw with certain opponents that they seem to do well against in the Brewers and Marlins.  That said they had couple of decent pitching outings, good bullpen relief as always, and some timely hitting.  If this team ever amounts to something, I think they will look back at the trials that this season has brought them and consider that the on the job training made a difference.  If this team amounts to nothing than it really won't matter will it?  Hard to believe how many players have passed through Denver this summer.  The lineup we see in late September will not be the one any Rox fans would have hoped for but to put a positive spin on everything this season basically became an extended Spring Season and try out central.  Rox management should have no excuses entering 2013 as to who is ready and who is not. Any ambiguity better be tried out because if I hear any lame excuses next April about players it will make me very angry.

In other news, another perfect game was thrown in baseball last week, highlighting once again just how bad our staff is.  Also the Astros dumped their manager.  Haven't really said too much about the Astros but only because they are probably more embarrassing then our Rox this year.  One really has to wonder what changes the Rox make and how they go about things in 2013 and what excuses they come up with to keep any of the current management in place.  I'm all for continuity, but Rox haven't put a decent product on the field since 2009.  Three years of anti-growth does not bode well.

What Works
Most people will tell you that statistics can be manipulated in whatever way so that the creator can tell their story.  Data bias is probably always present just because the creator doesn't truly have all the data and that just the selection of what data to used is probably skewing the data in the direction the conclusion is reaching for.  Does data create conclusions or does conclusions create the data we see?  Semantics and off topic but whatever.

Last week I had briefly created a graph showing the difference between Rox ERA and the league average to winning percentage.  Below is similar graph but shows all of baseball between 2002-2011.  X-axis is wins and y-axis is the difference between ERA and the league average for the corresponding year. Rox numbers are highlighted in purple.  Generally it shows that when you are better than league average in ERA you tend to have a better record although you will note quite a few teams were below average and only won 70-80 games (except for those rare outliers such as Yankees in 2004 who won 101 games and was 0.23 above league average in ERA and 2010 Seattle who won 61 games but had a 0.15 below league average).  With the lastest playoff hunt the new standard for playoff is around the 86 win mark which indicates you better be within 0.50 of the league average.  The thing that stands out most when looking at the Rox is how dependent their record is based on ERA.  For both of their playoff appearances their staff was below the league average which suggests for Rox pitching is key.

For comparison look at OPS difference between league averages with the graph below.  In the case for offense Rox are a bit more flatter and have had similar above average OPS seasons and yet win totals have ranged from 67-92 wins.  Ultimately what I am suggesting is not something we don't all know but to win in purple we really need to find pitching.  Playing half your games at Coors will help your offense, what you need to do is pitch better!  No duh!

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