Strength of Schedule and the Dodgers

The Dodgers have been impressive, since June 22 only losing 12 games, winning 46, good enough for a .793 winning percentage over 2 full months of baseball. They’ve only lost back to back games twice during this run. It got me thinking about their strength of schedule.

According to the expected win percentages of the teams they’ve played all season, they’ve had a weak schedule – with their opponents averaging an expected .494 winning percentage. Since June 22nd, it’s been slightly easier, at .492.

However, their schedule does get easier, as their opponents for the rest of the season have an expected win percentage of .489.

Like most teams, they do better against bad teams than good teams: their wins average out to opponents win percentage of .492, and their losses against .497 teams. They are 23-16 against expected .500+ teams. 53-38 against sub .500 teams, which are roughly the same.

In short, the Dodgers aren’t taking advantage of an easy schedule, they’re just taking advantage of every one.

Week 6 EGI: Cubs-Brewers Take Over

This week the Cubs and Brewers have taken over the leaderboard. The Cubs are also pulling themselves from the bottom of the league with two different exciting games. Here are the top 10 of the week.

Teams Date EGI
Cubs Brewers 11-May 66.86*
Diamondbacks Rockies 17-May 61.17
Cardinals Cubs 15-May 60.26
Giants Rockies 15-May 55.93
Braves Cardinals 11-May 55.89*
Orioles Royals 16-May 55.28*
Nationals Reds 13-May 54.32
Mets Marlins 13-May 53.61
Indians Mariners 17-May 52.62*
Giants Rockies 14-May 52.00

*denotes extra innings

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Correlating EGI: Is It Luck?

It’s important to understand where EGI comes from if we want to predict it for the future. With about 20% of the season past, it’s possible to draw some early conclusions about the underlying factors of EGI. Looking at an individual game, it’s easy to see if that game is going to be scored well: lead changes, late come backs, blown saves – all of these things will drive the score up. But what gets a team into these situations?

Certainly being in close games makes a big difference. Blowing out too many games, or being blown out won’t keep people interested late in the game. Take a look at the Angels, the least exciting team, and you’ll see a lot of blow out games (in both directions). In fact, only 15 of their 34 games have been within 3 runs. Compare this to the Nationals, who have 25 of 33 games within 3 runs, and 16 of 33 within 1 run.

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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

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Red Sox-Yankees: An Unexpected, Unexciting Game

What makes a game exciting? We all know it when we see it: lead changes, a big come back, extra innings, a lot of baserunners. However, the way in which all these things happen matter. On April 21st, there was a particularly interesting game, although it turned out to be less exciting than you’d expect at first glance.

The game was Yankees at Red Sox. It involved a huge comeback by the Yankees over a pivotal two innings. Down 9-0 in the 6th, and 9-1 in the 7th, the Yankees were completely out of the game. And then, over the course of 13 batters, they scored 10 runs to take the lead. Over the next 11 batters they piled on 5 more runs and put the game out of reach. Here’s a chart of their Win Expectancy:

Yankees Win Expectancy

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Week 4 EGI: Harper’s Debut Dazzles

Bryce Harper has landed in the big leagues in a very big way. In his first big league game, the Nationals and Dodgers played a 10 inning game that tops the leaderboard.

Teams Date EGI
Nationals Dodgers 28-Apr 64.40*
Nationals Diamondbacks 2-May 63.38
Phillies Braves 2-May 58.95*
Rays Mariners 30-Apr 56.51*
Cardinals Brewers 29-Apr 55.36
Royals Twins 27-Apr 55.08
Rockies Dodgers 2-May 51.95
Mets Rockies 29-Apr 51.87*
Blue Jays Rangers 1-May 51.19
Yankees Tigers 27-Apr 49.86

* denotes extra innings

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Week 3 EGI: White Sox, A’s Extra Inning Thriller

The White Sox and A’s played what may very well be the most exciting game of the year. Here’s the top 10 for the week.

Teams Date EGI
White Sox Athletics 25-Apr 62.00*
Mets Giants 20-Apr 61.16*
Red Sox Twins 23-Apr 57.14
Pirates Rockies 24-Apr 55.63
Orioles Angels 22-Apr 54.67*
Reds Giants 26-Apr 49.62
Cardinals Cubs 24-Apr 49.61*
Braves Dodgers 24-Apr 48.47
Rays Twins 20-Apr 47.69
Mets Marlins 26-Apr 47.68

* denotes extra innings

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Least Exciting Teams

A quick update on the least exciting teams.

Team Average EGI
Cardinals 28.03
Angels 28.11
Cubs 29.03

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Week 2 EGI

Here we go into Week 2 and the top 10 games.

Teams Date EGI
Diamondbacks Rockies 14-Apr 57.91
Brewers Dodgers 17-Apr 56.47
Blue Jays Orioles 13-Apr 54.95
Marlins Astros 15-Apr 53.59
Tigers Royals 18-Apr 53.53
Cardinals Reds 17-Apr 52.10
Nationals Astros 18-Apr 51.77
Padres Dodgers 15-Apr 50.76
Diamondbacks Rockies 13-Apr 49.91
Pirates Diamondbacks 18-Apr 49.66

An interesting twist this week as three different 9-inning games beat out the best extra inning game (Marlins-Astros on 15-Apr). The first two games were both bottom of the 9th walk off victories, but the Orioles at Blue Jays on 13-Apr was actually saw it’s last lead change in the 8th inning.

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Week 1 EGI

One week down, and here are the most exciting games so far. I rolled the first few games into this one for a complete look at the season so far. In the future, I’ll provide a breakdown of both the top 10 games of the week, and a running total for the season.

Teams Date EGI
Yankees Rays 6-Apr 60.89
Red Sox Tigers 8-Apr 59.81
Royals Athletics 11-Apr 57.76
Twins Angels 11-Apr 54.00
Phillies Pirates 8-Apr 53.97
Yankees Orioles 11-Apr 53.85
Red Sox Tigers 5-Apr 52.00
Blue Jays Indians 5-Apr 51.97
Nationals Cubs 5-Apr 51.49
Rangers Mariners 11-Apr 50.85

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