Do Anteaters Suck That Bad?

by Greg Nims

The league has finally stumbled into the free agent draft, and the field has taken one of two sides. Either you are really good, or you are really bad. Luckily, I'm grouped with the former. One of Bill James many postulates about baseball is his pythagorean theory of runs scored and its effect on winning ptg. I'm going to look at the predicted and actual records of each SL team, hopefully showing who should kewl off and who should heat up for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, I don't have the 40 game ORG file, I'm using stats with teams playing anywhere from 40 to 50 games.

Lets look at a table of wins/losses, runs scored, given up, actual win ptg., expected win ptg., and differential in the ptgs.:

TeamWinsLossesRunsAllowedWin ptg.Expected ptg.Difference
Frank Schmank
Windy City1921207196.475.527-.0523

Well, a couple things are evident. The teams over .500 are all over-achieving, while all the teams under .500 are under-achieving. Barstow and Hibbing lead their divisions at about their expected win ptg., but Liverpool and Andrews are playing well over their heads, each team with a winning ptg almost .100 over their expected level. We can expect Barstow and Hibbing to continue winning at their current rate, if their level of play stays the same. Liverpool and Andrews are destined to come back to the pack. They are the two top teams in the league, but they'll never keep up their current pace.

On the flip side, the five teams under .500 are under-achieving pretty badly, with Palatine having the greatest differential, over .100 below their expected ptg. Palatine isn't even producing at the level they should, and the runs differential they have produced would also yield a higher ptg. The Organization is the team you can expect to turn it around the most in the second half, but how much effect will they have? Chicago, Arvada, and Windy City are all around .050 below their expected win ptg., while Gilmer is a hair below theirs. In the big picture, would these teams winning at their expected level make a difference in the divisional races?

With Windy City, the answer is a definate yes. Their expected ptg. is .527, while they have posted an actual ptg. of .475 so far. I would expect the Tearers to finish right at or just above .500, which could put them within reach of Barstow. As for Gilmer, being grouped with Andrews and Liverpool has made a division crown and pretty much the wild card an impossibility. Palatine has dug themselves a big hole with their poor production, and they have two teams to pass in the division. I guarantee they improve, but their outlook is poor at best. Lastly, we have Chicago and Arvada chasing Joltin' Joe Hauser's Hibbing Hurricanes. I think we can expect the Hurricanes to win somewhere in the 80-86 game region, and I can't see the Shazam or the Anteaters finishing that well.

But as the Chicago skipper is fond of saying, thats why we play the games....