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Pythagorean Projections

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Pythagorean Projections
Every year, just for fun, I calculate projected final standings based on each team's Pythagorean expectations at different times of the season, and I thought I'd share my numbers here.

What I do is simply to calculate the Pythagorean winning percentage of every team (based on runs for and runs against) and project what their final record would be if they played at that level for the rest of the season.

Here's what the calculations give us after the inter-league season.

First the Pythagorean winning percentage compared to the actual ones:
Yomiuri .661 Actual --- .601 Pyth
Yakult .621 Actual --- .579 Pyth
Chunichi .525 Actual --- .543 Pyth
Hiroshima .500 Actual --- .412 Pyth
Hanshin .421 Actual --- .494 Pyth
Yokohama .311 Actual --- .328 Pyth

Nippon Ham .583 Actual --- .662 Pyth
SoftBank .583 Actual --- .553 Pyth
Rakuten .500 Actual --- .425 Pyth
Seibu .483 Actual --- .549 Pyth
Lotte .448 Actual --- .488 Pyth
Orix .377 Actual --- .353 Pyth

And then the projected final standings at this point:
Yomiuri 86-52-6
Yakult 86-58-0
Chunichi 77-66-1
Hanshin 65-76-3
Hiroshima 63-78-3
Yokohama 46-98-0

Nippon Ham 90-53-1
SoftBank 80-62-2
Seibu 73-68-3
Lotte 67-74-3
Rakuten 66-78-0
Orix 52-92-0

Pythagoras seems to think Yakult will give Yomiuri a run for their money, but doesn't expect SoftBank to keep up with Nippon Ham.

Personally, I'd love to see both Hiroshima and Rakuten in the playoffs, but Pythagoras says "not this year."

I'll do another review around the All-Star break to see what the numbers say then.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jun 24, 2009 1:30 PM ]

You do that for fun? Just kidding. It's actually pretty interesting and I think you're on the money with your projected CL standings. Rakuten might have something to say about that third spot in the PL with some of their good young arms.

Thanks for going to that effort and posting.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 24, 2009 6:15 PM ]

- Rakuten might have something to say about that third spot in the PL with some of their good young arms.

I'd love to see Rakuten break through as well, but I think the manager is holding them back. The Japanese media try to portray Nomura as some managing guru, but I think he's just a miserable grump who drags the team down.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest: No to Nomura | Posted: Jun 25, 2009 1:13 PM ]

Couldn't agree more. I find his demeanor offensive when he talks to the media. Just a pig of a man. I remember him belching into a microphone last year and not even excusing himself. I have worse stories that aren't appropriate for a public forum.
OT: Nomura-kantoku
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 25, 2009 9:53 PM ]

Has Nomura announced his retirement yet or is he still planning to stick around after this year? I'd really like to see how Rakuten does without him. Of course they were awful their first year, but that is par for the course for an expansion team. They have two of the best pitchers in the league, so they should be able to break through to A-class before long.

Hopefully people will realize Nomura really isn't a great manager. He had great success with Yakult, but that was a talented team with a solid leader in Furuta. He was a disaster with Hanshin and hasn't fared much better with Rakuten. When I hear him call his players out with comments like "It's hard enough for the young pitcher, but then Rick made that stupid error," I want to throw up.
Re: OT: Nomura-kantoku
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jun 30, 2009 3:44 PM | YOK Fan ]

Well tigersredsox, imagine my shock yesterday (June 29th) when I found out that I share a birthday with none other than Nomura himself. I honestly don't think I can ever look at my birthday the same again.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: Jun 25, 2009 11:42 PM ]

Very interesting stats. Rakuten has a better average and ERA than Seibu so I am surprised to see Rakuten all the way down in the 5th spot according to your Pythagorean stats. I also think Hiroshima is doing quite well due to the fact that their team average and ERA is worse than Hanshin. However, I expect them to drop sooner or later.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: nanbanjin | Posted: Jun 26, 2009 8:22 AM | HAN Fan ]

The Pythagorean formula for expected wins is based exclusively on Runs For and Runs Against. Rakuten has allowed more runs (245) than they have scored (207) and that's why Pythagoras thinks they won't be able to keep their .500 winning clip.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest: Jim Allen | Posted: Jun 26, 2009 10:57 AM ]

True. They have scored fewer runs than allowed, so shouldn't be above .500. The big thing about Rakuten of course, is their poor number of runs scored compared to their raw offensive stats. They've been (for lack of a better word) unlucky to score as few runs as they have.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 26, 2009 4:04 PM ]

In the infamous words of Mike Ditka, "Stats are for idiots." Now I am a stat otaku as much as the next guy, but his meaning was just that good teams find ways to win. It's not always in the stats. The Fighters managed to win the PL pennant two years in a row with some of the worst offensive numbers in all of baseball. It's all about playing smart baseball and doing what it takes to win.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 30, 2009 8:25 PM ]

- Well tigersredsox, imagine my shock yesterday (June 29th) when I found out that I share a birthday with none other than Nomura himself.

Oh, you poor boy! What did you guys do for your birthday? Get together and scowl for the cameras?!
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jul 1, 2009 12:55 PM | YOK Fan ]

Actually no, we shared a birthday cake with his face on it and he was actually SMILING! Yes, I kid you not. Here's a link with the proof. Nomura has his cake and eats it too, literally.

I felt honored to eat a piece of that cake, let me tell you.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jul 1, 2009 4:23 PM ]

Great link, thanks! This picture reminds me of when the Grinch discovers the true meaning of Christmas after trying to steal it from the Whos and a huge smile spreads across his face.
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jul 2, 2009 9:50 AM | YOK Fan ]

HA HA! Great comparison there. But seriously, I agree with you on the entire Nomura thing. I would like to see what Rakuten could do under a different manager as well, but with Nomura being the proverbial "cash cow" that he is, I don't think they are going to get rid of him despite the fact that I don't think he has guaranteed contract with Rakuten. Also too, people have spoken out against Nomura like Hiroshima manager Marty Brown did when he said that even though he couldn't understand Japanese that well, he felt it was wrong for Nomura to call out his players in the media like that.

Here's another Sanspo link quoting that.

But back to the thread topic, I don't think that anyone could've predicted SoftBank playing the way they are. I'm really hoping that the Lions can get on that one winning streak they need to put them back into contention for the Climax Series, but it seems doubtful at this point.
OT: Nomura-kantoku
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jul 2, 2009 12:42 PM ]

Yeah, we don't really know what Rakuten will be like. As I wrote before, their first year was awful, but that's to be expected for an expansion team. Hanshin finished dead last every year under Nomura, so one must wonder about his true abilities as a manager. I remember a quote from Darrell May when he went to the Giants from the Tigers, saying Nagashima talked with him more in one day or week than Nomura did for a whole season!

As you said, he's really just a cash cow, which is a shame and a mystery. I don't know why the media is so attracted to such a grumpy old man. (Then again, this is the same country where someone like Mino Monta can be on TV every single day.)

I do feel bad that he was overlooked during his playing career, so with Nagashima and Oh retired from managing maybe he figures it's finally his time in the spotlight!
Re: Pythagorean Projections
[ Author: nanbanjin | Posted: Jul 24, 2009 9:32 AM | HAN Fan ]

Since we have reached the All-Star break, I thought I'd ask Pythagoras again what he thinks of this year's NPB. He figures the final standings will look something like this:

Yomiuri 85-52-7
Chunichi 86-57-1
Yakult 81-63-0
Hanshin 61-79-4
Hiroshima 60-81-3
Yokohama 51-93-0

Nippon Ham 89-54-1
Softbank 82-60-2
Seibu 76-65-3
Rakuten 63-80-1
Lotte 61-80-3
Orix 56-87-1

The two hottest teams right now, in Pythagorean Pct. terms, are Nippon Ham (.653) and Chunichi (.597).

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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