Adjust Font Size: A A       Guest settings   Register

Inter-League MVP

Baseball news from Japan and Asia

Welcome to the Bayside West: Yokohama Blog

Featuring Michael Westbay (a.k.a. westbaystars)

Michael Westbay has been blogging about Pro Yakyu since before the word "blog" entered the vernacular. Here he writes about Pro Yakyu in general, and the Yokohama BayStars in particular.

Inter-League MVP

1 reply. Most recent reply: Jul 5, 2011 11:06 AM by Christopher

In this week's Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast, one of the featured topics was John Gibson and Jim Allen talking about who they thought really deserved the Inter-league MVP Award. The gist of it was that while Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks' Seiichi Uchikawa won the award, they both believed that Nobuhiro Matsuda was the one who deserved it. Please, listen in to hear their reasoning why.

As for me, everything I read in Nikkan Sports during Inter-league suggested that former BayStar Uchikawa was deserving. I hardly remember any mention of Matsuda as it seemed that Uchikawa was taking the podium on a near nightly basis. Gibson-san contends that it was just because Uchikawa happened to hit the game winning RBI early in many games, but then didn't contribute much thereafter. Hmm. That's not very easy to quantify.

But some stats that are easy to quantify include Runs Created and Win Shares.

Seiichi Uchikawa249230451110096318.064.27.15818.594.45.165
Nobuhiro Matsuda2484255502040185916.853.98.14718.454.51.167

RC21 is the HDG-21 version (explained below) for Runs Created. Likewise, WS21 is the Win Shares based on the HDG-21 Runs Created. Then both WS/27 figures are divided by 27 outs to give the rate of wins per game.

So, what do all of these numbers mean? Well, as everyone knows, winning is the name of the game, and the way one wins is by scoring runs, more than the opposition. So creating runs is a very valuable ability in a hitter, not allowing runs the most valuable aspect in a pitcher. To that end, Bill James (the father of Sabermetrics) set out to create a model to determine how many runs a player was responsible for creating independent of other players. ["Practicing Sabermetrics" by Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber, and John T. Saccoman, ISBN 978-0-7864-4177-8]

The formula Bill James came up with was Run Created = ((H + BB) * TB) / (AB + BB). This is the most simple form, only requiring metrics (measurements) that have been recorded for most of the history of baseball. According to this formula, over the 24 games of Inter-league play, Uchikawa was responsible for producing 18 runs whereas Matsuda was responsible for a little less than 17 runs.

But wait! Matsuda didn't have as many at bats! He didn't have as many chances to contribute. That's not fair!

To that end (actually to develop "a player evaluation system that encompasses all facets of a player's contribution to the team" - but it works to equalize things), Bill James also came up with a metric called Win Shares. In its simple form, Win Shares = ((RC - (OUTS / 12)) / 3 where OUTS = AB - H + SH + GIDP. If you're interested in how/why James-san came up with these formulas, there are many more books on the subject of Sabermetrics than "Practicing Sabermetrics." This is just the one I have handy this evening.

Using these Runs Created values and applying the Win Shares formula, Uchikawa was responsible for a little more than 4 and a quarter wins to SoftBank while Matsuda contributed to just under 4 Hawk wins. Considering that the Hawks won 18 of their 24 games, that suggests that these two players were responsible for almost half of the Hawks' wins (pitching and fielding excluded).

Now, while these formulas are very good at determining the value of a player in terms of creating runs and producing wins, as more stats became available, James-san refined his formulas to reflect the newer metrics available. Of the numerous "Historical Data Groups" that he's come up with, HDG-21 added Hit By Pitch, Strike Outs, Stolen Bases (but not Caught Stealing), Sacrifice Hits, and Ground Into Double Plays to the formula, all of which I have readily available. So, I've also calculated Runs Created and Win Shares based on this 21st Historical Data Group.

And it's here that Matsuda shows his MVP-ness. While he may not have created quite as many Runs Created as Uchikawa (by a fraction of a run), the lesser number of outs he was responsible for put him over the top with regard to Win Shares.

In the podcast, both Jim and John threw out several numbers to back up their belief that Matsuda was the more valuable player for Inter-league. Here we have two metrics that show that the pair of them contributed to about half of the Hawks' victories over the Central League teams. The basic version of Win Shares puts Uchikawa well ahead. But once the formulas are refined with additional statistics (HBP and SB helping more than 18 Strike Outs hindering), Matsuda's contributions to Hawk wins proves to be a little greater.
Share |


Re: Inter-League MVP

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jul 5, 2011 11:06 AM | Posts: 3481 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
Perhaps a level of analysis that is too detailed for the Japanese baseball authorities. Whilst the analysis itself is sound it's always easier to go for the guy who's visibly banging in the winning run.
Topic: Sledge, Sledge, Sledge, Sledge! Previous Topic
Go back to the topic listing  Back to Topic List    Click to go to the top of the page  Top of the page
Next Topic Topic: Inter-Legaue Data Dump
Search for Pro Yakyu news and information
Copyright (c) 1995-2024
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Some rights reserved.