Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thinking About the 2010 MLB Schedule

Currently, when I try to figure out how the Yankees as a team project in 2010 on a spreadsheet, I end up with them projecting to score about 873 runs and allow something like 695, which would essentially mean they are about a 98 win team as presently constituted. However, when I put the projections into Diamond Mind to simulate the season multiple times, they were coming out as a 102 win team and scoring about 40-45 more runs than expected. While I have the gap between the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays at about six games in total, the Yankees are coming out about eight games better than the Red Sox and 12 games better than Tampa Bay.

This generally means there's something up with the depth charts I'm using in the simulator not lining up with what I want them to be, which is something I'm still messing around with and will continue to mess around with through spring training. However, something I failed to consider was brought up by sam at this thread on Fangraphs. What about the strength of schedule?

So, I figured I'd use the results of my first set of projected standings to figure that out. Before I post the numbers, I need to make a confession. The only reason CAIRO was developed was because I felt other projetion systems were too harsh on the Yankees and wanted a system that would make them look better than any other. You may wonder why someone would go to the trouble of doing that, but it makes perfect sense. By doing so, I can pretend that the objective facts I know about the team are completely meaningless and I can use things that I know have no basis in reality and stick my head in the sand like an ostrich while pretending the Yankees are awesome, even if I actually know they aren't! It makes sense, right?

But I digress.

Anyway, here's a look at the AL strength of schedule, sorted in descending order of difficulty.


1 Blue Jays .519 84.0
2 Orioles .512 83.0
3 Athletics .505 81.8
4 Red Sox .504 81.7
5 Angels .504 81.7
6 Royals .504 81.6
7 Rays .501 81.2
8 Mariners .501 81.1
9 Indians .499 80.8
10 Rangers .498 80.7
11 Tigers .497 80.5
12 Yankees .496 80.4
13 Twins .494 80.0
14 White Sox .487 79.0

SOS: Strength of schedule (calculated as the sum of the log5 winning percentage for each team's games using the winning percentages from the most recent run of my Diamond Mind simulations with CAIRO.

Win equivalent of SOS (SOS times 162 games)

I'll again say that the projections used to generate this are still not something we want to take too seriously yet, but it is pretty interesting to see this. It also kind of sheds some light on why the White Sox may be projecting better than expected.


I thought it would tell us more if we look at the actual differences in the schedule, so here it is.

Vs. Rays Red Sox Yankees
Angels 1 2 0
Astros 3 0 3
Athletics 0 0 1
Braves 3 0 0
Dodgers 0 3 3
Giants 0 3 0
Indians 1 0 0
Mariners 0 1 1
Marlins 6 0 0
Mets 0 0 6
Padres 3 0 0
Phillies 0 6 3
Rangers 0 4 2
Rays 0 18 18
Red Sox 18 0 18
Rockies 0 3 0
Royals 1 0 1
Tigers 1 0 2
Twins 3 0 1
White Sox 1 1 0
Yankees 18 18 0

What I did here is remove all the common games from each team. So the Yankees have eight games against LA of Tampa Bay has nine, and Boston has 10. So I just subtract the minimum from all three, which shows the Red Sox having two additional games against LA of A and Tampa Bay having one.

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