Week 5 EGI: Nationals Stay On Top

The Nationals stayed on top this week with another thriller. Their May 8th game had the notable distinction of beating out an Orioles at Red Sox 17-inning game.

Teams Date EGI
Nationals Pirates 8-May 62.94
Red Sox Orioles 6-May 62.17*
Marlins Astros 9-May 58.94*
Braves Rockies 4-May 53.52*
Rays Athletics 5-May 53.40*
Phillies Nationals 4-May 53.22*
Blue Jays Athletics 8-May 52.28
White Sox Tigers 4-May 51.97
Red Sox Orioles 4-May 51.47*
Marlins Padres 4-May 50.93*

*denotes extra innings

The Nationals at the Pirates on May 8th was just a 9 inning game, but it takes the top spot for the week. The two teams played to a 2-2 tie to the 8th, when the Pirates put runners on the corners and Neil Walker scored Nate McClouth on a sac fly. The game seesawed back into the Nationals favor in the top of the 9th, however, when Joel Hanrahan couldn’t close out, allowing a leadoff single to Ryan Zimmerman and a 2-run homerun to Adam LaRoche. The Pirates were a strong favorite to tie the game with a runner on third and one out, but Henry Rodriguez struck out Yamaico Navarro. With 2 outs, Rodriguez stumbled and allowed a game winning, do-or-die, 2-run HR to Rod Barajas. This is the first time this year that a team has had higher than an 85% win expectancy, followed by a sub-10% expectancy before winning the game.

Also notable was the Orioles at Red Sox game that lasted 17-innings. Both designated hitters ended up pitching in this game, and were the pitchers of record.

Orioles May 6th Win Expectancy

Notice the jagged edges on the right side of the chart which indicate the back and forth of extra innings.

For this chart, it’s clear that there were several extra innings, noted by the jagged edges. What’s interesting in this game was that neither team really threatened during the extra innings. Of the 16 extra-inning halves, only 4 had runners on 2nd. This jagged edge effect creates drama and excitement for the index. However, it could be even more pronounced if either team was threatening. The White Sox at Athletics game from April 25th is a good example of this because both teams threatened and then the A’s came back in the bottom of the 14th.

The Nationals now have a stranglehold on the most exciting games of the year. All of them have occurred in the last two weeks.

Teams Date EGI
Nationals Dodgers 28-Apr 64.40*
Nationals Diamondbacks 2-May 63.38
Nationals Pirates 8-May 62.94
Red Sox Orioles 6-May 62.17*
White Sox Athletics 25-Apr 62.00*

With other teams returning to the league average (34), the Nationals easily stay on top of the EGI leaderboard.

Team Average of EGI
Nationals 39.93
Blue Jays 36.75
Marlins 36.42

The Angels remain the league least exciting team, at 28.84.

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